VoIP 101: Voice Over Internet Protocols
If you still haven’t heard about the potential benefits of VoIP, prepare to change the way you think about your current long-distance calling plan!
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), simply put, is a method for taking ordinary analog audio signals and converting them to digital signals that can be sent over the internet.
What does this mean? Well, it means that if you’re already paying a monthly bill for your internet usage, you can also use that connection to place free long distance phone calls!
The process works by utilizing VoIP technology to bypass the phone companies who charge for their services, and make calls directly online.
VoIP is not new technology by any means. Several companies have been providing it as a solution for many years! With the boom of high speed internet however, VoIP has received a windfall of attention and implementation. Now you’ll find the major telephone carriers setting up their own VoIP networks, which speaks to the success and potential of the technology.
In this introduction to VoIP, we will explain what the technology is, and how it works. Our goal is for you to have a baseline understanding of this communications solution, and to see how it could save you money and grow your business.
What is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)?
VoIP allows you to make phone calls over the internet, rather than with an analog phone line. With VoIP, a single phone is capable of managing multiple calls, and several phone numbers can be serviced by a single person. Efficiency is through the roof when you’re limited to the capabilities of a phone line. Further, VoIP isn’t just limited to making calls. It also provides features that can optimize your business communication system, such as SMS, chat, call recording, conference bridging, auto attendants, and more.
How does VoIP Work Step by Step?
VoIP services convert your voice into a digital signal that transmits over the Internet. If you call a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a standard telephone signal before it reaches the destination.
The conversation is exchanged in the form of data packets and enables businesses to communicate anywhere in the world in milliseconds. For internet telephony, these packets travel between a VoIP provider and other phone providers over the internet. VoIP can allow you to call directly from a computer, a desk VoIP phone, a mobile app, or a traditional phone connected to a special adapter.
VoIP Workflow Explained in 4 Easy Steps:
- VoIP phone connects to the router in your LAN.
- When you dial a phone number, your phone sends a signal to the VoIP provider, who goes on to call the other party.
- VoIP service exchanges data packets from your IP phone to establish the call.
- Your business VoIP phone system converts these signals into an audible sound.
VoIP Advantages – Benefits of Using VoIP
Even though the advantages of VoIP are evident, some people remain skeptical about using a VoIP solution for business. We often hear that “VoIP is not suitable for my business”, and they either believe that VoIP is unreliable due to their knowledge of it from 20 years ago, or they think that this technology is just meant for big organizations. This could not be further from the truth.
In fact, VoIP offers:
- Easy Scalability
- Hassle-free Installation
- A Cost-effective Solution
- High-Quality Calls/Sound
- Remote Support
VoIP offers Easy Scalability
Businesses demand scalability when it’s time for organizational change. However, traditional phone systems are less flexible in this regard. Using VoIP, you can easily scale the number of phones and phone lines surrounding your network, without another serious financial investment. VoIP offers a cost-effective service that allows businesses to seamlessly add or remove lines. VoIP also lets you pay only for services that you need for your organization.
A VoIP system is easy to install, which means that even if you’re not a tech-savvy professional, getting this phone system up and running isn’t something you have to worry about. You can add users and use highly reliable dashboards to make any necessary changes at any time. No more fiddling with any hardware components, and no more frustration. Now you can even manage your VoIP services from your mobile phone!
Businesses and customers have realized that VoIP benefits reduce the cost that would otherwise be spent on phone bills for outdated technology. Since Voice Over Internet Protocol doesn’t need an on-site phone system to make calls, you will easily save money on the phone service, as well as other related business expenses. Overall costs are minimized by approximately 65% when you are using VoIP solutions for business.
There is a noticeable difference in call quality when you use a VoIP system over a traditional phone system. A person’s voice might be fuzzy or muffled when you’re using traditional phones, but that is never the case with VoIP. This is because of the HD Audio programming available in today’s VoIP phones.
When you look at the facts, it’s evident that the landscape of business is changing. Did you ever imagine in early 2020 that many organizations would be going completely remote due to a worldwide pandemic?
Yet here we are, a year later having to deal with the new normal. VoIP phone service is available whenever you need it, no matter where you are. No technical setup is required, and you can quickly fulfill the ‘work from home’ criteria now and moving forward.
While VoIP is an incredible communications solution, like everything else, it comes with some limitations.
You need a good internet connection to make telephone calls
As we explained previously, you need to have an internet connection to make phone calls.
If your internet is slow, then your call quality may be impacted.
The good news is that VoIP technology doesn’t use as much bandwidth as you might think.
A good connection with less than 70ms ping and at least 500 kbps of upload speed will be enough to support VoIP calls.
However if you have a lot of team members in your office, then you may need to assess your bandwidth needs for the number of calls your business will be making at the same time.
Power outages can pose a problem
Regular phone service works during power outages, but you cannot make VoIP calls if you don’t have power or access to the internet.
Typically, most offices have wireless internet powered by WiFi routers. These routers need electricity, so if your building experiences a power outage, then your internet can also go down which will impact your VoIP service.
The way we mitigate this in our office is by using a battery backup system for our internet router. Since our internet is provided by a different company than our electricity, we never have both outages at the same time.
Training may be necessary
Switching to a new telephone system means you need to train your staff on how to use it.
Luckily, most VoIP services are designed to be as simple, straightforward, and intuitive as possible. It should be easy to train your team members on how to use a new phone system, even if your employees are working remotely.
Implementing VoIP For Your Business
We hope this article provided the information and tools you need to consider the advantages of a VoIP phone system.
Between the benefits you’ll receive in business, to the cost effectiveness of the solution, we implore you to learn more, ask questions, and do further research to determine if VoIP is the right solution for you!
There are many things to take into account when making the decision to transition over to VoIP technology, and you want to know you can trust the team that installs it for you.
For more information on VoIP solutions and the technology we provide, get in touch with the experts at Millennia Technologies today.