What is VoIP? – Overview
Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP refers to the transmission of multimedia and voice content over internet protocol networks. It is enabled by a group of methodologies and technologies used to deliver voice communications, through the internet. In short, VoIP refers to software and hardware, which enables people to internet as the medium of transmission for voice calls. This occurs when voiced data is sent in packets using IP instead of the traditional or conventional transmissions of PSTN. One main benefit of using VoIP is that telephone calls transmitted over the internet don’t incur an extra charge, apart from what the user is paying for internet access.
How does VoIP Works?
VoIP enables you to convert a standard analog telephone signal into a digital signal, which is then transmitted over the internet. Once you plug a conventional telephone into a certain device known as ATA or Analogue Telephone Adapter, you are able to make telephone calls, using your internet connection.
You can also make VoIP telephone calls, straight from your computer with the use of certain software and a headset. This ability to make or receive telephone calls from wireless hotspots such as hotels, cafes and airports, is a great benefit to people who are always moving. This amazing modern technology can reshape or replace traditional telephone networks. Most telephone carriers are currently selling VoIP services. You can use VoIP in numerous ways to make telephone calls. They include:
- Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA): this is a device that allows you to connect a fax machine or standard phone so as to use VoIP over the internet connection.
- IP Phones: These are special telephones that work and look like normal phones. However, they link directly to the internet connection, without using ATA devices.
- Computer to Computer: This involves use of software installed in the computer, together with headsets to make and receive calls straight on your laptop or desktop.
VoIP implementation for businesses involves software and hardware dedicated handle voice traffic as well as provide a wide range of calling features. Such services were previously out of reach for many businesses, especially smaller ones. VoIP bring flexibility and scalability into any business. If you already have a high speed internet, as well as IP connectivity, then you can easily implement VoIP into your business. Here is how to go about it.
- Assess your needs then choose a solution. When implementing this system, you basically have two choices. You can implement IP voice system, also known as IP Private Branch Exchange (PBX). This system can handle all features of your phone system. Alternatively, you can simply implement a voice getaway, if you still want to retain your traditional PBX. The voice gateway works comfortably with your analog equipment in terms of adding internet calling to your current phone system.
- Prepare your network. Adding voice traffic to your current network can be a huge load for your network to handle. This means that you have to ensure your network can handle the additional load smoothly, without any audible delays, when conversations are happening or even dropped calls. Your IP calls should be as clear as possible and highly reliable just like normal calls. When it comes to prioritizing, voice traffic takes priority over data traffic. To establish whether your current network can handle the additional load of voice data, just conduct performance tests. If it is below par, consider adding extra bandwidth or even a VLAN specifically for voice data.
- Install the voice products. This is always the most challenging part when it comes to VoIP implementation. Adding a voice getaway or deploying an IP PBX network is not an easy process. It will affect your whole network from performance to capacity. Therefore, work with an IT specialist to make sure that you get the perfect solution for your business.
VoIP Solutions for Small Business:
VoIP has numerous benefits for small businesses. Its low cost stands out as the main attraction. Most VoIP services are much cheaper than conventional telephone services. Additionally, the monthly subscription fees are significantly lower. Service providers charge as low as $40 per line, which is a huge bonus for people in small business.
VoIP is less expensive than a traditional telephone line, especially if you have staff working in remote locations. Since these calls travel entirely over the data networks without involving public phone lines, majority of VoIP providers allow their clients to make these calls free. Another benefit of VoIP solutions for small businesses is the presence of mobile apps, which you can use to make and receive calls.
Scalability is another advantage of using VoIP over traditional telephones. Most VoIP provides provide a wide range of features, which are not currently available in traditional telephone lines. They have all the basics that include internet Faxing, caller ID, voicemail, conference calling, as well as other key features. Advanced features are also offered as part of the standard subscription package.
Best Business Voip Providers
- More than 10 years in the industry
- Quality connections
- Cost effective and intuitive VoIP solutions for small businesses
- Features include data-driven routing, call recording, robust collaborative dashboard, seamless CRM integration, list and campaign management, Email management, web call back routing, chat on demand, mobile applications, and many others
Ring Central Office
- Tailored to meet the needs of a small business
- Easy to install and run
- Prices start from $40 per single user all the way to $20 for 100 users
- Standard features include unlimited calling in the US and Canada, 1000 toll-free minutes every month, virtual receptionist, Microsoft office and Box integration and advanced call forwarding among others.
- Designed to meet the needs of small to mid-sized businesses
- Uses certified IP Phones, which are plug and play
- Offers three plans which include an unlimited for $40 per month, metered extension for $15 per month and a $15 virtual extension for people using VoIP on their mobile devices
- Standard features include unlimited calls to the US and Canada, 911/411 calling, caller ID, three-way calling, virtual receptionist and advanced screening and forwarding among others.
VoIP can greatly improve your existing phone technology, while reducing your phone costs significantly. The good news is that, with the right tools and information, you can easily implement VoIP in your business, and cut down your overall business costs.