What is VoIP? A complete guide and usage of VoI Phones
What is VoIP? A complete guide and usage of VoI Phones
Communication is a fundamental aspect of everyone’s life. No matter how many chatting platforms we have, nothing can ever replace the significance of voice calls. This is especially important for businesses, where due to privacy and multiple other reasons, voice calls are still considered highly important.
Previously, most of the businesses were dependent on landlines for communication. However, with the passage of time, the dynamics of the business world have changed drastically. With executive managers always on the go, it's harder to use a landline for all business communications. Moreover, the usage of traditional copper-line wires also influences the reliability of landlines. The constant challenge of an unclear and stuttering voice has motivated businesses to find a better alternative. Keeping this in consideration, some businesses have already switched to VoIP phones.
There are also multiple assumptions existing regarding VoI phones. While some say that it is the best voice-calling alternative ever, others are concerned about its security and reliability. Conducting your own research to learn its pros and cons and other fundamental details can be overwhelming. Thereby, this article presents a complete guide about what VoIP phones are, how they work, and whether you should get one or not.
What is VoIP?
First and foremost, let's explain what VoIP is. The basic abbreviation for VoIP is "Voice over Internet" phone. As you might have already guessed, yes, it refers to any phone call that uses the internet as the primary medium of transfer. Instead of copper line wires, VoIP phones rely on IP addresses to transfer vocal information from one point to another. Let’s make it even simpler for you! If you have ever called someone via WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, or any other internet based medium, then it was a VoIP call.
One of the major advantages of using VoI phones is that they can be connected from any device, at any location. As compared to landlines, which require the user to stay fixed at a certain location, a VoIP phone call can be made via mobile phones, laptops, or even your office desktop. Your number always stays with you, whenever and however you want. All you need is internet connectivity. That’s it!
Using the internet as the fundamental communication channel may sound complicated at first. But it’s just like using a traditional mobile phone or landline. If you are a caller, just pick up the phone and dial the number that you want to call. The same goes for the receiver. Just check who is calling and pick up. There is no additional step or extra process required. Only two seconds are enough to call someone or to receive someone’s call.
Moreover, all the basic landline functions that are used by individuals are also present in VoIP phones. Voicemail, call holding, call forwarding to any other number, and faxing (which is now obsolete even on landlines) are all easily accessible features of a VoIP phone. So, by switching to a better and more modern alternative, you won’t be missing out on any of the traditional features. Instead, you will be getting an all-in-one communication channel that fits all your needs and addresses all the challenges of modern life.
What should I do if the internet goes down?
VoIP phones are a business communications dream come true. But there is only one issue. What to do if the internet goes down? Most companies usually hesitate to adopt the trend of VoIP phones as they are concerned about their internet connectivity issues. They need to have a backup in case the internet goes down. Truth be told, just like copper-lined wires, internet connectivity can also create reliability challenges within a phone call. However, it is not as big an issue as it seems to be!
Firstly, other than phone calls, most business operations in the current age are dependent on good internet connectivity. Given this, almost every firm already has an extremely fast internet solution with maximum mb/s transfer speeds. Therefore, it is rare to come across an internet connectivity challenge. However, even if it happens, there are multiple possible solutions that will not only help you connect to your VoI phones, but they will also automatically resolve multiple other internet-related challenges in your firm. Some of them are stated below.
- Have a backup service provider: No business can afford to lose internet access, even for a second. Having an alternative service provider will enable you to stay connected to your VoIP phones even if the primary internet server is down
- Have a backup bandwidth connection: An alternative provider can only be helpful when you stay within the workplace's proximity. But what if you are out and you need to make an urgent phone call? Well, it’s not an issue anymore. The simple solution is to have a cellular bandwidth connection. On average, mobile bandwidth has a speed of 12 megabits per second, which is much faster than some Wi-Fi networks. Just turn on your mobile hotspot, connect your device, and enjoy unlimited calling.
- Test the power supply regularly: It is better to stay at the safe side always. For a business, it's highly important to keep checking the power supply regularly. It will help in identifying any potential issues beforehand, so they can be fixed proactively.
- Forwarding calls to a mobile number: One of the best backups for whenever the internet goes down is to forward calls to a local number or landline. This way, your employees or clients can take or initiate calls from different locations, even if they don’t have internet access.
How to set up a VoIP phone?
Setting up a VoIP-based communication channel is extremely hassle-free, which is one of the reasons why businesses are switching to this transmission mode day by day. There is no heavy requirement for setting up a VoIP-based communication channel within the workplace. But a complete guide on the setup requirements is stated below.
- For managers, call centre representatives, or other C-level executives who need their mobiles at their desks, install desktop VoIP phones.
- For employees who work on a remote or hybrid business model, just develop a VoIP model and install it to stay in the loop all day.
- For connecting all the laptops or PCs in the workplace, install the VoIP app on all the business devices.
- The analogue telephone adapter (ATA) is used in conjunction with VoIP phones for analogical functions such as faxing and other legacy services. If the VoIP service provider already has a faxing service, then even an ATA is not required.
VoIP phones are a top-tier technology that have multiple benefits in the business communication wing. This amazing innovation is one step ahead of the traditional communication channels, which provide both old and modern communication options in a single solution. Being dependent on internet connectivity, there can certainly be some issues, but that is true for every communication medium. Even landline connections can go down sometimes. However, using a VoIP phone is more sustainable, more cost-effective, and extremely reliable, which makes them totally worth it! If you have any more questions, we have tried to answer them in the below-mentioned FAQs.
What is VoIP? A complete guide and usage of VoIP phones
VoIP is simply a phone that uses the internet to send and receive calls. These can be desktop phones, which use IP addresses to build connections, or any other device, such as mobile phones, laptops, or desktops, fulfilling the same purpose. VoI phones come in different shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter what kind of communication system you are using at your office; the VoIP device might already be a part of it. There are two basic types of VoIP phones, i.e.,
- Soft phones
As evident from the name, soft phones don’t usually have a physical appearance; rather, they come in the form of a software programme or application. Different platforms, such as Windows and iOS, have dedicated applications that enable the user to initiate and receive voice calls via the internet. In other words, if your smartphone has a VoIP application, it is a soft VoIP phone. These devices are multipurpose and can be used for more than one purpose. For instance, if you have downloaded the VoIP application on your smartphone, you can use that device as both a VoIP phone and a normal smartphone.
- Desk phone
These phones resemble traditional landlines a lot. They are usually setup on your office desks in a fixed space with high quality audio transmissions, using IP addresses as the primary source of communication. These devices are independent of your PC, so even if there is any malfunction or disturbance in your PC system, it will not interfere with your business communications.
Usage of VoIP Phones
The difference between a VoIP phone and a traditional phone lies in the process. The outcome of both devices is the same, i.e., to verbally communicate. However, the process is different. The traditional landline uses copper-lined wires to transmit data from one point to another. However, a VoIP phone uses IP addresses such as SIP, UDP, RTP, etc. to transfer information from one point to another. In other words, the VoIP phone does not need any physical infrastructure for conducting its operations, which makes it highly sustainable.
VoIP Advantages and Disadvantages
Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Just like every other technology, there are some pros and cons to using a VoIP phone as well. Some of them are listed below.
- Internet connectivity
The most significant requirement for using VoIP phones effectively is having a stable internet connection. A VoIP setup, no matter how great, is useless if there is no effective internet connection available. Thereby, before making it an official communication channel, it is important to have an upgraded internet network.
- Cheaper and simpler
As compared to landlines or other traditional calling mediums, setting up a VoIP system is cheaper. We all know that phone bills, especially in the case of international calling, are a big deal. However, with VoIP, once you get a stable internet connection, all the calls are mostly free. So, when yearly savings are observed, significant cost-cutting in the budget can be clearly noticed.
- Remote working and mobility
The significance of remote working has been highlighted significantly during the outbreak of the pandemic. Now every minor to major industry acknowledges that their firms can work just as well with employees working on a remote basis. Some businesses have adopted hybrid work models, and this trend is not stopping anytime soon. So, traditional landlines cannot be used for business communication in such dynamic work models. VoIP phones are also suitable for such businesses. It doesn’t matter if your employee is working from home, from the workplace, or from a hotel; you can always keep them on a loop via VoI phones.
- High quality photo and audio
VoIP phones come with additional features such as group meetings and conferences, which enable businesses to conduct meetings without having to physically travel anywhere. The issues in audio and video quality, as faced by traditional business users are no more a challenge in these phones. Comparatively, the communication’s quality is much better. However, if there is a problem with internet connectivity, time lags or voice stuttering may occur.
- Backup and Security
Business privacy is the top consideration for every individual. No one would ever want to have their confidential files compromised or their client data exposed on the internet. The VoI phones use the same internet connection as the business, which puts the files at risk of theft or breach. So, if you are switching to VoIP phones, it is important to have your security system updated and highly encrypted. It is also a good option to use different internet connections for your VoIP and your business transactions.