Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make and receive phone calls using an internet connection instead of a conventional phone line. The experience of VoIP calls is so similar to a regular phone call that many consumers may not be aware they’re using an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
With VoIP calls, you still pick up a phone and dial a number, answer your phone when it rings, and hear a voice on the other end. Voicemail is the same, and you can place people on hold and forward calls to other numbers. On the surface, everything functions like a normal phone system—it just all takes place through the internet instead of a traditional landline.
Below, we go in depth about this service, answering questions like “What is VoIP?,” “How do VoIP-based phone calls work for small businesses?,” and “Why do I need this internet-based phone service?” so you can find the best calling options for your small business.
VoIP technology is the technology used to make traditional voice calls. Traditional phone calls travel through copper lines over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). VoIP routes voice calls over the internet, using IP networks and Local Area Networks (LANs) to make the service possible.
Conventional landlines open circuits from the call’s location all the way to its receiver. The complete circuit must remain open for the duration of the call, and the further a call travels, the more circuits have to be opened to maintain the call—that’s why long-distance phone calls are so expensive.
In contrast, with a VoIP call, a voice is converted into a data packet, and those data packets are sent to the call’s receiver. These packets don’t have to travel together and often take a variety of routes to their destination. Their flexibility makes them more efficient than traditional phone calls.
How VoIP Enhances Small Businesses
VoIP erases the distinction between consumer and business phone lines, making business features more affordable to all businesses and entrepreneurs. Many providers exclusively serve small businesses, entrepreneurs, contractors, and start-ups. VoIP eliminates the silos between email, video, phone calls, and instant messaging because they’re all integrated into one system. This integration leads to well-organized processes and data transfers.
There’s no additional infrastructure required for VoIP. Because it uses the existing internet connection, many VoIP service providers offer the additional value with little or no additional costs outside of purchasing new handsets or phones needed to support this new service. Businesses and individuals often save money by switching to VoIP service simply because they avoid paying for both an internet connection and traditional phone service. Note, however, that many of the free VoIP services only allow you to communicate with others using that same service. Make sure your package supports your needs.
Advantages of VoIP
Cloud-based VoIP solutions improve business collaboration at every level. They’re easily scalable and allow employees to operate from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection and IP address so the devices can be located during calls. Landlines are restricted to a single-use instrument that’s fixed at a determined location.
With VoIP, you can make and receive phone calls from any compatible device, including your desk phone, computer, cellphone, tablet, or laptop. This flexible feature eliminates the need to physically transfer lines from one location to another. Once you purchase a phone number, it travels with you anytime you have an internet connection.
VoIP helps you grow your business while minimizing complex logistical problems. It also doesn’t cost extra for long-distance, roaming, or international numbers.
Disadvantages of VoIP
Traditional phone lines continue working when the power goes out. Some VoIP service providers don’t function during power outages. However, some offer backup power to help prevent a system from going offline. Some VoIP providers offer services that only allow you to call other people who use the same service. Others enable you to call anyone who has a phone number.
Additionally, internet phone services are more susceptible to breaches than traditional PSTN phone systems. It’s important to invest in appropriate firewalls and perform regular security audits to ensure your system’s security.
The Future of VoIP
With 5G technology coming online soon, VoIP providers are looking to expand this service to a wider audience. VoIP may become synonymous with unified communications (UC), as it allows voice, instant messaging, email, text, and social media to combine into a highly collaborative system. This centralized communication system increases efficiency and agility within organizations.
As employees seek opportunities to work remotely, 5G and VoIP will be an invaluable tool, allowing them to operate in real time with those they serve.
For more information on this internet-based service, get in touch with Frontier Business. As a reliable VoIP provider, we can offer a range of business services that best suit your business’s specific needs.