A Complete Guide to VoIP
When looking at IT services you will see a lot of people mentioning VOIP services, but what is VoIP and what benefits does it have in your business?
VoIP, or voice over internet protocol is a technology that lets anyone place a phone call over an internet connection. Because of the vast amount of capabilities that VoIP phone services provide, VoIP has become the chosen service for both consumers and businesses.
When it comes to these phone services people tend to have a lot of questions, they also ask what can VoIP do and the answer to that is a lot! This cloud-based phone service includes a multitude of powerful features that aren’t found with typical phone-providing services. Some of these services include auto attendants, call recording, custom caller ID, and voicemail to email while also allowing you to take work calls from anywhere.
What is VoIP?
VoIP is the acronym that stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and describes a method of being able to place and receive phone calls over the internet. You’ve heard of IP addresses right? Well that “IP” stands for Internet Protocol, and this address is how computers and devices are able to communicate with one another over the internet.
VoIP services work to convert your phone calls into data that is then sent over the internet. This can happen with an ethernet cable or with a strong Wi-Fi signal at a lower cost than standard telephone systems. The majority of the population (about 93.5%) have access to high-speed internet but do not have access to a traditional analog telephone line. This allows you to be reached by more consumers looking for your services.
How VoIP Works
Know that you know a little bit more about VoIP the next thing that most people what to know is how VoIP actually works. As we mentioned before VoIP uses Internet Protocol, which is a huge building block of the internet. The process that takes place with these services is:
- Your phone first connects to your router in your Local Area Network (also known as LAN)
- Once you dial a telephone number, your Internet Protocol then tells your VoIP service provider to call the party you are trying to reach
- Your VoIP service will then establish the call and exchanges data packets from your Internet Protocol phone
- Your VoIP phone then converts these Digital signals back into a sound that you can hear
VoIP phone systems facilitate calls between other phones or other phone companies while also providing services like call forwarding, voicemail, and call recording. VoIP also bypasses telephone companies completely because wherever you have an internet connection is where you can use VoIP services.
Pros and Cons of VoIP
Just like there is with anything, there are pros and cons that go along with voice over IP services.
- You can call anyone worldwide- With standard phone plans you can have huge costs for international phone calls but with VoIP international rates are as low as four cents per minute to reach Mexico and 1 cent to reach the United Kingdom.
- It has numerous advanced features- We’ve mentioned some of the features that come along with VoIP like call recording and auto attendants but we will get into all of these features in just a bit.
- It is set up for remote work (which is vital in the COVID world we are living in)- You are able to use your phone service wherever you are working.
- It has a lower cost – Many businesses have saved substantial amounts by switching over to VoIP. (many companies have lowered their phone bills by over 60%)
- It has high-quality sound- The audio is never muffled or fuzzy so you always are getting high quality sound and so are the people who call you.
- Emergency services are limited- If for some reason you need to call 911 from your VoIP phone you have to tell the operator your location versus them being able to triangulate your location from cell towers because your system will always send your company’s mailing address as your location even if that is not where you are calling from.
- Makes analog phone services unnecessary- VoIP doesn’t rely on analog telephone signals. Because of this it is common for businesses to upgrade outdated phones.
- Needs a high-internet connection- VoIP does not work to its full capabilities with dial-up or satellite based internet connections. For this phone service to work will you will need at least 100 kbps per phone line.
Features that Come with VoIP
What pushes most businesses to make the switch over to VoIP services after finding out what VoIP is are the features that come along with it.
1. Call Encryption and Security
In business, telephone calls can carry a lot of confidential information from credit card numbers to HR conversations and it is important that this information is secure. VoIP phone services are safe and secure and have built in security to stop people from tapping your phone calls. You are even able to have call encryption services that scramble call data and make eavesdropping in on your phone calls almost impossible.
2. Call Recording
Being able to record your calls will help you keep track of information that is received during phone calls and important conversations. Not only that, but you will be able to listen back to these phone calls conducted with clients and employees to see if there are areas that can be improved upon. These recordings are also secure, so only authorized personal can access it.
3. Auto Attendant
If you have ever called a company and have been met with the phrase “press one for sales, press two for support” then you have used an auto attendant. This is incredibly helpful with directing your callers to the right person, forwarding calls to your voicemail if it is outside of regular businesses hours and also helps create a professional image.
4. HD call Quality
The voice services work to increase the sound quality in your phone calls and also makes your calls sound twice as clear in comparison to other phone calls.
VoIP offers headsets and phones with noise-canceling capabilities to help block out the world around you. This is incredibly helpful for everyone that is now working from home.
5. Unified Communications
VoIP also helps to streamline your team’s workflow through Unified Communications, also known as UC. Instead of using multiple platforms to communicate with your team, everything is fully integrated in order to help your employees stay in touch with one other and you. This helps to ensure that your team can get work done faster by providing instant messaging capabilities, video meetings, mobile and desktop apps, conference calling, screen sharing, and team chats.
Now the next question you should be asking is “what are my next steps?” Our team at Businets works with you to set up your VoIP services and will walk you through all of the features and technical aspects that go along with it. Contact us today to ensure high-quality and secure phone services for you and your team at an affordable price!