What is VoIP? The Complete Guide to Voice over IP Calling

voice over Internet Protocol ( VoIP ) is a raise technology that lets anyone topographic point call calls over an internet connection. With the rise of broadband, VoIP has become the definitive choice for phone service for consumers and businesses alike .
People enjoy using VoIP phone service over traditional telephone lines. Why ? It offers many more capabilities than analogue phones. And it can do it all for less than half the price .
Cloud earphone service providers include potent features not found with standard phone service. Auto attendants, call commemorate, custom caller ID, voice mail to email, and indeed much more. Plus, you can take calls and influence from anywhere .
We ‘ve expanded this lead to take a closer look at what you need to know about Voice over Internet Protocol. We ‘ll cover everything you need to know, including the benefits of VoIP telephone service.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol that describes the method to place and receive earphone calls over the internet. Most people consider VoIP the alternative to the local anesthetic telephone party .
If you ‘ve heard of an IP savoir-faire, that ‘s your Internet Protocol address. An IP cover is how computers and devices communicate with each other on the internet .
VoIP is n’t actually all that new. telephone has relied on digital lines to carry phone calls since the former 90s. VoIP is a cost-efficient way to handle an inexhaustible numeral of calls .
sol, what does this intend for you ?
VoIP uses your existing internet connection.
If you have an internet association, you call anyone without the need for local earphone serve. VoIP solutions work on any calculator because it ‘s built upon many years of exposed standards .
VoIP service providers do more than establishing calls. They perform routing of outgoing and incoming calls through existing telephone networks. Landlines and cell phones depend on the Public Switched Telephone Network ( PSTN ) .
traditional telephones use analogue lines to carry part signals. If you want to make calls, you have to have supernumerary wiring installed .
many businesses rely on specialized hardware for earphone service. This equipment is known as a Private Branch Exchange ( PBX ). It connects inner telephone extensions to the public telephone network. PBXs are by and large quite costly to set up and wield .
There ‘s a better option .
Try the # 1 business VoIP earphone system today.
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Try It A sure VoIP provider can handle everything for you. Plug your IP earphone in, and you ‘re done. These digital phones use your high-speed internet connection to establish connectivity .
high-speed internet access is available for 93.5 % of all people in the United States, according to data provided by the FCC and visualized by Microsoft .
FCC broadband availability map of the United States.
VoIP converts your telephone calls into data and is sent over the internet. You can use the Ethernet cables or skip them if you have a impregnable Wi-Fi bespeak. It does so at a a lot lower cost than older telephone systems. Voice over IP has many advantages over traditional telephone service. We ’ ll discourse subsequently on .

How does VoIP work?

articulation over IP uses Internet Protocol, an essential build block of the internet. IP telephone is a massive initiation from the century-old telecommunication system .

For telephone calls, the conversation is exchanged using little data packets. The internet can send these data packets around the universe in less than a moment. For internet telephone, these packets travel between your telephone and a VoIP supplier .
A VoIP phone system facilitates calls between other phones or over to another telephone caller. It besides provides other utilitarian functions like voice mail, call forwarding, call recording, and more .

In four steps, here’s how VoIP works.

  1. Your phone connects to your switch or router in your Local Area Network (LAN).
  2. When you dial a telephone number, your IP phone tells your VoIP service provider to call the other party.
  3. Your VoIP service establishes the call and exchanges data packets from your IP phone.
  4. Your VoIP phone converts these digital signals back into the sound you can hear.

voice over Internet Protocol bypasses the call company entirely. Wherever you have a broadband internet connection, you can use VoIP. It ’ s a significant upgrade from an analogue phone arrangement .
You used to need expensive, proprietorship equipment to use VoIP — but that was over 20 years ago ! today, VoIP is built upon open standards such as Session Initiation Protocol ( SIP ). SIP provides complete interoperability between different desk phones, conference phones, and VoIP apps .
Cloud-based PBXs are responsible for features like voice mail, conferencing, and call spread-eagle. When you think about it, they act as their own full-service telephone companies that you control .
All you need is a broadband internet association ( cable, DSL, or roughage ) and you can reap all the benefits of VoIP .

Pros and cons of Voice over IP

There are pros and cons to consider when looking into VoIP for handling your telephone calls to VoIP. here ‘s an dependable look at the benefits and drawbacks of voice over IP .

Benefits of VoIP

  • Lower cost – Many consumers and businesses alike have realized substantial cost savings and lowered their phone bills by over 60%.
  • High-quality sound – There’s a noticeable difference in the call quality, so the audio isn’t muffled or fuzzy.
  • Advanced features – Leverage premium features to run your company such as auto attendants, call recording, and call queues. They’re often included with business phone service plans.
  • Remote-ready – Use your phone service wherever you work. No technical setup is necessary if you work from home.
  • Call anyone worldwide – International long distance rates are as low as $0.04 per minute to call Mexico or $0.01 to reach the United Kingdom.

Downsides of VoIP

  • Needs a high-speed internet connection – VoIP doesn’t work well on dial-up or satellite-based internet connections. You’ll need at least 100 kbps (0.1 Mbps) per phone line.
  • Emergency services limitations – In the unlikely event you need to call 911 from your VoIP phone, you need to tell the operator your actual location. Voice over IP systems default to sending your company’s mailing address to public safety operators.
  • Makes analog phones obsolete – Voice over IP uses new technology that doesn’t rely on analog signals. You’ll likely want to upgrade outdated phone handsets. Read our advice later to find out how you can get a free VoIP phone.

Check out our comprehensive comparison between VoIP and landlines. It ‘ll help you understand the differences .
VoIP setup is easy as plugging in two wires.

Is it easy to use VoIP?

The truth is that VoIP is easy to set up and to use for everyday personal and business calling. angstrom long as you have a work internet connection, you can enjoy making calls over the internet .
Unlike proprietary calling apps like Skype or WhatsApp, you can call any telephone count. You can use your VoIP service to call anyone using telephone companies like AT & T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. They wo n’t even know the deviation, other than the improved call quality .
angstrom far as setup is concerned, you do n’t have to do anything technical foul. If you can plug in a might cord in the wall and a network cable to your call, you can use VoIP. Follow this handy usher on how to set up your business phone service .
It ‘s even easier to use your VoIP call avail on your iPhone or Android. Download a free VoIP app, sign in, and you ‘re fix to make calls using VoIP .

How much does VoIP cost?

VoIP is surprisingly cheap when you consider all its capabilities. The short answer is that you can expect to pay approximately $ 35 per user per calendar month for VoIP. The cost savings are quite dramatic compared to a traditional phone system or on-premises PBX .
To give you an idea, here ‘s how much VoIP typically costs :

  • Initial costs: $0-$50 per line
  • Monthly costs: $19-$45 per line
  • Device costs: $80-$600 per IP phone
  • International calls: $0.01+ per minute
  • Taxes and fees: Varies based on your city, county, and state.

traditional call systems have hidden costs you might not expect :

  • Installation fees: $50-100 per drop
  • Deposit: $100-$500
  • Maintenance contact: $1000+ annually
  • International calls: $1.00+ per minute
  • Hard pull credit check

All this is to say that we powerfully recommend you obtain a spare quotation mark to confirm the accurate VoIP pricing .
Mobile Phones, Desk Phones, and Laptops All Can Use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Top VoIP phone system features

What are the attractive features available with a cloud-based office phone system ? here are the most popular VoIP features that businesses will enjoy using .
These commercial enterprise telephone features will matter more or less depending on your needs .

1) Auto attendant

Project a professional trope with a telephone menu that greets incoming calls. If you ‘ve called a company and had to press 1 for sales, 2 for support, you ‘ve used an car attendant .
An car attendant helps you target callers to the right person or department. You can forward calls to your voice mail or elsewhere outside of business hours .

2) Mobile and desktop apps

With cloud communications, you wo n’t miss calls because you ‘re not in the position. respective VoIP overhaul providers now offer an app for your computer and mobile device .
It ‘s more important than ever to equip your team with a VoIP solution to work from home. These apps let you make call calls, join conference calls, exchange text messages, and more .
You can use these telecommunications apps with or without a branch desk earphone. It ‘s your choice .

3) HD call quality

There ‘s about nothing worse than asking callers to repeat themselves. HD Voice increases the sound quality in your earphone calls. This VoIP technology makes telephone calls sound doubly vitamin a clear as a standard telephone call .
For even fuller sound, many VoIP headsets and phones provide noise-canceling capabilities. This high-definition healthy quality is obtrusive even for long-distance calls .

4) Unified Communications

VoIP elevates your team ‘s work flow through a concept known as Unified Communications ( UC ). rather of using respective disparate apps, your company ‘s communications platform is in full integrated.

It ‘s nowadays even easier for employees to connect with each other and with customers. You can flush flip calls between mobile devices, excessively .
Your team gets work done faster by meeting over video recording and screen sharing. UC makes real-time communication intuitive and well-organized .
here are some of the identify functions within a UC platform :

  • Instant messaging
  • Team chats
  • Video meetings
  • Screen sharing
  • Conference calling
  • Mobile and desktop apps

5) Call encryption and VoIP security

VoIP security is lead of judgment for clientele owners. Telephone calls carry confidential information like credit card numbers and HR conversations. You must protect these assets, or it could cost you .
VoIP is safe and secure even as data packets travel through the internet. IP earphone systems have built-in security system to stop bad actors from tapping your calls .
Ask your VoIP service provider about call encoding. VoIP technologies like TLS and SRTP clamber call data making listen in near impossible .
You should consider whether a VoIP supplier is accredited and meets industry standards. It ’ south handy to have a requirements checklist when selecting a business call service .
utilitarian questions to ask admit :

  • Are they accredited (PCI, SOC 2, ISO/IEC 27001)?
  • How many data centers do they have?
  • What is the uptime of their VoIP service?
  • Do they provide HIPAA compliant IP telephony?
  • Can you access real-time call logs?

Related: An In-Depth Look at VoIP Security & Call Encryption

6) Call recording

Leverage your phone system to record phone calls between customers and your staff. Is your team handling calls with wish and preciseness ?
Recording calls through your call arrangement reveals areas for your team to improve. Plus, it ‘s batten, so lone authorize personnel can access it .
The advantage of VoIP call recording is that it ‘s undetectable to all parties. It besides requires no supernumerary hardware, unlike land line PBX systems. Goodbye, cassette recorders !
Related: 40+ Best VoIP Features Your Business Can’t Do Without

Do I need a VoIP phone?

voice over Internet Protocol means that traditional telephone handsets wo n’t work as-is. You will need you to use a extra adapter to retrofit your existing phones or buy substitution IP phones .
The effective news is that VoIP desk phones are n’t expensive, and you can tied get them for free. If you always have a cell telephone or calculator within strive, you might not even need an IP call .
There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to transfer to VoIP service. We ’ ll cover a few of the most important ones below .

1) Do you work from home?

many companies have embraced telecommuting over the long draw. Working remotely comes with the caveat of having a variety of Local Area Network configurations .
The case for a desk earphone is clear cut. A desk phone is familiar to most people for voice calls — it ‘s natural, and it just works. With no supernumerary shape necessary, employees have an always-on call .
If your team is agile with software apps, they can use a softphone and get going in minutes. You can provide them their username and password .
You do n’t need a desk earphone in the short-run, but for necessity employees, it is a welcome position appliance .

2) Are there any must-have analog phones?

You can constantly replace traditional phones with low-cost IP phones. however, there are the few that like their facsimile machine or call they ‘ve used for years .
To use an existing analogue telephone with VoIP, you ‘ll need an Analog Telephone Adapter ( ATA ). These are pretty straightforward in how they function. They retrofit these older devices to send digital data over the internet .
Related: What Is a VoIP Phone & How Does It Work?

3) Is VoIP Reliable?

In the early on days of Voice over IP, the call quality was discrepant. sometimes calls dismiss, and delays were common. As internet bandwidth increased, VoIP call timbre has improved dramatically .
VoIP calls legal more crisp and clear as compared to a land line telephone. however, this will depend on your internet service supplier. The SIP protocol itself allows for error-correction protocols like TCP or UDP. It ’ s your option .
Did you know that you can have your defile PBX provider forward calls to your cell telephone if you ‘re not available ? This redundancy is a perfect means to stay on-line during a power outage .

Reaching emergency services

If you dial 911, operators might not know of your actual location. You have to tell them. If there ‘s a disturbance to your internet connection, a VoIP telephone can not complete the call .
The FCC provides some tips to keep in thinker when using VoIP to call emergency services in the United States .
To enhance safety, update each exploiter ‘s E911 location where they perform their work. For case, if they work from home, use their home address .

What to look for in a VoIP provider?

Having a commercial phone system adds credibility and dependability to your business. however, not all providers are the lapp. To decide on the best business phone service, consider your specific business needs .
When choosing a phone design for your company, you will need to decide what goals you have. Think about your needs today, tomorrow, and a couple of years out .

Assess your current and future needs

  • Incoming call volume
  • Current resources and staffing
  • Voice over IP functionality
  • Video conferencing needs

Examine your call volume to determine which VoIP plan you will need. If you have a team dedicated to calling prospects or supporting customers, you might be a good candidate for a virtual phone system. Think about scalability so that your small business can grow seamlessly .
Discuss with your team to identify which must-have features you need. It ‘s likely that most free VoIP solutions fall short .
Future-proof your office telephone system.
Nextiva is the circus tent option for outside teams .
See It Know What You Need With a VoIP Feature Checklist

Tips for selecting the best VoIP provider

once you have an estimate of your VoIP features and requirements, search for a service supplier that fits your budget and can grow with you. Take into circumstance customer reviews, handiness of live help, and software documentation .
here are respective qualities to look for in a VoIP phone service provider :

  • Proven reliability with minimal downtime
  • Compatible with your network
  • Live support available 24/7
  • Multiple, redundant data centers
  • No-pressure sales experience
  • Optional professional services
  • Examples of clients in a similar industry

When you ‘re in discussion with a VoIP provider, ask about the available specials. You could be eligible for a rid clientele VoIP telephone or a hefty rebate, depending on your commitment .
For most people, VoIP is the clean achiever over analogue landlines. VoIP offers the best value, cost savings, and the most utilitarian features .
When you switch to VoIP, you wo n’t even think about your old call military service. You could save up to 65 % off your occupation telephone beak .
Related: The Ultimate Business VoIP Phone System Buyer’s Guide

Gaetano DiNardi Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva and has a cut record of achiever working with brands like Major League Baseball, Pipedrive, Sales Hacker and Outreach.io. Outside of market, Gaetano is an accomplished music producer and songwriter – he ’ s worked with major artists like Fat Joe, Shaggy and loves making music to stay turbocharged. To get in touch, follow him on LinkedIn .

source : https://shoppingandreview.com
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