Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a relatively new way to communicate and carry out voice communications, with both audio and video, over the Internet, including the Internet itself. VoIP simply means Voice over Internet Protocol. The VoIP service provider does not handle the phone calls; rather, it is the one which connects the users of VoIP with each other. VoIP is usually provided by the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and is usually bundled with Broadband internet connection. Most VoIP phones are sold as ‘unified’ phones, which allow multiple connections to a single telephone line. The cost of VoIP depends on the bandwidth and number of users.
VoIP phones can be used to make internet-based calls using VoIP services like the regular telephone, and using the internet protocol for voice communication. Voice over Internet Protocol can be sent and received via the traditional telephone system as well as through the World Wide Web (VoIP). VoIP service providers usually offer packages and plans that suit individual requirements. These plans include services like call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, fax, and more.
There are several benefits in using VoIP over the traditional system.
Inbound and outbound calls can be cheaper, since VoIP uses very little circuit costs. This makes it ideal for business and commercial needs, especially where there is little traffic on the network. Traditional phones usually incur long-distance charges when making calls, and this can be even more expensive when done using VoIP. Calls between VoIP enabled devices and traditional landlines are also less expensive than those made within the same network.
VoIP enables easy connectivity, particularly for businesses, between different departments and locations. Since VoIP is not controlled by any central server, it provides seamless connectivity for both voice and data. With VoIP, voice calls can be transferred from one end of a country to another without having to rely on a third party for the connection. For example, an IP phone can connect to an Internet café, and then to a customer’s home computer. This is common with businesses that send their employees to an off-site location for meetings.
The cost savings for businesses using VoIP can be significant.
It may seem that switching to a new telephone system, whether through an on-premise PBX or SIP backbone, will be expensive. However, many companies experience substantial cost savings when they switch to a VoIP service provider, which is significantly less than what they pay for their traditional phone system. In some cases, businesses may pay less than $40 a year for a single line of phone service, including installation and set-up services.
In addition, with VoIP, there are typically no limitations on how many phone numbers can be dialed at one time. In contrast, with a traditional business phone service, a business may only be able to manage a maximum of three to five lines. VoIP enables a business to manage up to ten lines at the same time.
As an IP network has no physical hardware components, it requires the use of servers, which is why there is no need to upgrade equipment. Additionally, cloud-based systems are self-managed by the subscriber. This means that each subscriber has complete control over the programs and services provided, and there is no need for technical support personnel. This ease of implementation is especially appealing to small businesses that do not have the resources to maintain their own IT department.
- VoIP technology allows users to make international calls at rates that are significantly less than traditional methods.
- The sound quality of VoIP phone calls is also far superior to that of regular phone calls.
- With all of these features in place, it’s easy to see why so many people are switching to VoIP technology.