Every year we’re seeing more and more business embrace digital phones (VOIP) over traditional landlines. In a fast changing world it’s important to understand the differences in the existing technologies and if a digital phone service would be right for you.
What is VOIP?
VOIP simply stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VOIP technology takes advantage of the existing internet connection you already have. VOIP uses very little data and also has low speed requirements so under most circumstances an existing internet package would be more than enough to support VOIP service. The most important factor is having low latency internet, simply meaning there isn’t much distance between you and the internet provider giving you service. One extreme example is satellite internet. The data leaves your home through the dish, upto to space and is beamed back down to your internet provider and then makes that trip in reverse. This is an extreme amount of distance and would cause VOIP calls to be choppy and disconnect. Most connections provided through fiber, copper or coax cable provide low enough latency to support VOIP. Generally you need to be under 150MS of latency to enable quality and consistent voice traffic.
VOIP lines are quite a bit cheaper than a standard landline. Thanks to using the existing internet infrastructure already run to your home or business there isn’t much overhead as you’re already paying to maintain the internet service. Utilizing your existing connection is a great way to save money.
A major advantage is digital phones are simple to deploy. All you need is an internet connection. Did you add a new employee? Great! All we need to do is issue them a phone and an extension. Do they need to work from home? VOIP phones running over the internet means any place with an internet connection can instantly become your office. VOIP can also be utilizied using software. Meaning an existing cellphone or computer (with a microphone) can utilize VOIP, you don’t even need a physical phone anymore.
VOIP phones are much more capable than traditional phone systems. The sky is the limit in terms of the capability and possible complexity of a VOIP phone system. Best of all is most VOIP solutions include all features out of the box. You won’t be nickel and dimed for every feature you want to add to your line. Long gone are the days of paying an additional $10/month for Caller ID or Call Waiting.
Like any service there are tradeoffs that happen with any service. VOIP is dependent on a reliable internet connection thus isn’t a great fit for rural broadband. Security is also a consideration as the security of your phone is only as good as the security of your internet connection.
We feel that VOIP phones are going to be the way of the future for both the cost and flexibility reasons. Any drawbacks can be easily overcome by a professional security approach and a broadband internet connection. Give us a call today to find out more.