Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology for voice and multimedia communications via Internet Protocol. The method goes by several names, the most popular of which are:
● Voice over IP
● IP telephony
● Broadband telephony
● Broadband phone service
A VoIP phone is capable of making phone calls over the Internet. However, that’s not all it can do. Advanced features of the IP phone make it indistinguishable from a regular landline or mobile device. A VoIP phone system allows you to do everything a public switched telephone network (PSTN) does:
● Caller ID
● Video conferencing
The rise of the Digital Age made VoIP phones possible. Today, most areas in the United States have reliable network coverage. Wi-Fi is in every home and office. Smartphones running on Android and iOS are in everybody’s hands. It was only logical that entrepreneurs would look for ways to utilize the power of the Internet. VoIP services were the result of these efforts. While there are particular drawbacks of the technology, the pros often outweigh the cons. You should note that mobile tech evolves every day. Just as handsets replaced desk phones, VoIP phones will likely dethrone the traditional telephones. In the future, they’ll be just as obsolete as we perceive analog phones today. VoIP phones bring a lot of benefits to individual users and small businesses alike.
What Phones are VoIP Phones?
One of the greatest things about VoIP technology is how versatile it is. You can use it with a wide range of hardware that will do just as good a job as the next thing.
● SIP Phones. All VoIP phones are SIP phones. Some devices, however, are such by design. SIP phones can be handheld and desk phones.
● Analog Telephone Adapters. They provide a way for you to keep your analog phones in the office.
● Softphones are apps that enable your computers and laptops to operate like VoIP phones.
VoIP and Smartphones
Android and iPhone devices run apps that act like VoIP telephone systems. You can make calls and text people who have the same app. Some even make calls to landline and mobile phone numbers. The difference between the apps and a fully-fleshed VoIP system is in the fees. Apps require you to pay per minute for calling landlines. With the VoIP system, it’s only your monthly fee you have to worry about. That’s why many businesses prefer to stick to the latter. It’s cheaper that way. That doesn’t mean the apps like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Line don’t have merit.
Is There Specific Legislation You Need to be Aware Of?
The Federal Communications Commission mandates VoIP providers to comply with the same rules as traditional operators. They need to ensure local phone number portability. There are rules for providing people with disabilities with VoIP services as well. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) applies to VoIP phones. Last but not least, providers need to pay universal service contributions, regulatory, and other fees. The Federal Government treats Voice over IP phones just like any other. That’s a vital recognition because it shows the VoIP service has the same function as regular phones.
The Advantages of an IP Phone
Are you considering upgrading your business phone system? VoIP phones might be just the thing you’ve been looking for. The technology comes with many benefits for small businesses and call centers. If you value functionality and reasonable pricing, consider the following benefits of the IP phone:
● Low prices per call
● Mobility of service
● Many features are available
● Conference calls made easy
● Accommodations for speedy client interaction
● Overall reliability
A VoIP phone transfers all information via an IP network. You can rely on both your regular Internet connection and the Internet Protocol your VoIP provider delivers. In any case, you won’t have to pay as much as a traditional service provider would ask. The VoIP phone can do anything the old-school technology does and more. Even advanced features like call forwarding and video conferencing are in the picture. We live in the age of Digital Nomads. VoIP phones cater to these. Phone companies register a phone number to a location. If you need your office phone wherever you go around the world, Voice over IP is the thing for you. Call forwarding makes you more independent from the Internet than you think. The service flexibility makes it easy not to worry about a dependable Ethernet connection. Don’t hesitate to contact SMS Gorilla if you want to set up a VoIP phone system. Our experts will help you find the right service, hardware, and apps. We can create an individual plan that fits the requirements of your business.
The Drawbacks of VoIP Technology
Like everything in life, VoIP phones come with certain cons. Even though good Wi-Fi isn’t always necessary, you’ll still do better if you have good bandwidth. Some users experience latency and jitter of the phone service as well. That’s due to the way data travels through the Internet Protocol. The VoIP telephone software divides each message into data packages. On the other side of the short or long-distance call, another app pieces together the information. In case of a transmission delay, latency and jitter occur. The same can happen when the re-assembly of the data packages isn’t done correctly. You can expect that to happen when there is:
● Poor ethernet connection
● Inadequate internet cable
● Outdated router
At SMS Gorilla, we can tell you how to set up your business phone system in a way that minimizes the risk of such occurrences.
Another common complaint VoIP phones face is the lack of location tracking. Some consider that a good thing. The technology provides flexibility and relative anonymity. On the other hand, it makes tracking a VoIP phone for emergencies almost impossible.
How Do VoIP Phones Work?
VoIP phones connect with other phones and devices over the Internet. The voices on both sides of a call are analog messages. The technology converts them into digital signals. Then it transfers these signals over your broadband connection. A VoIP server is another requirement. It accommodates routing messages to other IP networks and phone networks. The technology is simple and straightforward. It won’t be difficult to set up a VoIP system for your home or business.
What Equipment Do You Need?
The costs for setting up and operating are the strongest sides of VoIP phones. The basic requirement is high-speed Internet, a router, and a modem. You’ll also need a computer with a microphone or headsets. You don’t need to buy physical phones for IP telephony. Your computers operate as softphones. A softphone is an app that makes VoIP calls using a regular computer. You don’t need dedicated hardware of any kind, just:
● A modern PC or laptop with a mic and speaker, or a headset, or
● A USB phone, or
● Mobile phone or a landline receiver, and
● DSL or cable connection to the Internet
● A subscription to an Internet Telephony Service Provider or IP PBX provider
Already have those? You’re good to go then.
The most common VoIP setup is a desk phone and a SIP server. The server acts as your VoIP provider. The SIP is the main part of the IP PBX. PBX is short for Private Branch Exchange. It’s a business telephone system a company uses within its structures. When it utilizes the capabilities of the Internet, it becomes IP PBX. The SIP server controls voice and multimedia communications within the network. It also connects it to other networks. SIP Proxy and Registrar are other names used for the same thing.
The SIP server works much better than the good old landline. It has many features modern technology has to offer. All your business data goes in the cloud. That means even greater security. Hacking is possible in theory. VoIP service providers go to great lengths to ensure the risk is minimal, though. Today, VoIP phones are just as (if not more) secure and reliable than traditional telephones. Managing the system is easy as well. You can do it all through an online dashboard. Dashboards vary between service providers, but they all have in common the abilities to:
● Adjust contacts
● Enter business phone numbers
● Add new phone numbers
● Go through call logs
What’s a VoIP Adapter?
The adapter has a simple but crucial job in the VoIP telephone system. It’s a device that bridges the digital to an analog network. In Layman’s terms, it makes it possible to make VoIP calls to traditional mobile and landline phone numbers. Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) is another name for the device. The adapters are an important investment when you’re transferring your small business’s phone system to VoIP. Some of the big brand names on the market are:
The key benefit of using adapters is you won’t have to throw your old phones away. You can switch to VoIP and save money on new devices. The analog office phones you have will still do their job.
Count on SMS Gorilla for help deciding which brand and model fits your requirements best.
What to Consider When Choosing a System?
Picking up the right system for your VoIP needs can be confusing. You need something that will work well and doesn’t cost much. On the other hand, it won’t be a good idea to fall for the cheapest service with the flashiest marketing statement. Consider these six factors when you are picking a service provider:
- Do they have good customer reviews?
- Is their service straightforward and easy to use?
- What’s their uptime?
- Do they have reliable customer service?
- How long has the company spent on the market?
- How much do they charge for installation and monthly fees?
Making an informed decision is crucial. VoIP phones can make a real difference for your business. If you choose an improper service, you may run into considerable trouble.
The Bottom Line
It’s more than likely that your business will benefit from an IP network. They are the future. The VoIP’s capabilities for calls, instant messaging, and low-cost long-distance calls are unrivaled. What’s more, you can keep all the phone numbers clients associate with your company. Internet technology has been booming for decades. There isn’t a cheaper, more reliable, and efficient way to do business today. Count on SMS Gorilla to assist you in setting up and managing your VoIP network. We know what we’re doing.