Before we talk about how VoIP works we should talk about what VoIP means. VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it basically means that rather than having your voice (or other information) be transferred over physical phone lines, that information is transmitted through the Internet. You may be familiar with VoIP through services such as Skype, which allow you to make phone calls through your computer instead of a traditional phone line.
When you use VoIP your voice is converted into packets of digital data and sent through your computer, utilizing packet switching instead of traditional line switching methods, which are more cumbersome and costly to utilize. Once converted, the data packets travel in the same way as any other kind of digital data, such as e-mail over either public Internet or a private Internet Protocol network (or IP network).
Why is all of this important? Because by using VoIP, and the associated free software, you now have the power to make and receive free phone calls over the internet, cutting the phone company—and all of its associated charges—out of the picture. Additionally, because VoIP runs over an Internet network your system settings are stored in the cloud and can be accessed or changed by all of the users on your team no matter where they are. Contacts, phone numbers, client information, and more are all accessible through your VoIP dashboard.
You may think that switching to VoIP for your business means you have to get new phones or replace entire phone systems, but that is not always the case. In fact, much of the time, not only can you use your existing phones, but you can also add your cell phones to the network over Wi-Fi. All you need in order to use the phones you have over your Internet connection is an analog phone adaptor. This adaptor will take your existing phones and let you use them in a VoIP system instead.
Adding VoIP phone service to your company is more than just switching from one basic phone service to another. One of the greatest benefits of switching to VoIP from traditional phone systems is that it cuts down on the number of different providers you need for various services. Instead of paying for both phone and Internet service you can pay for one with VoIP communication services.
While your phone company may charge an extra fee for services such as call forwarding, caller ID, and others, it may not be able to offer features such as auto, call parking, attendant, or voicemail-to-email messaging at all. Unified communications are something commonly offered through VoIP—unifying all sorts of different communication features under one service umbrella. VoIP allows you to access services including voice, video chat, web conference, and instant messaging all through the same service and from a single, web-based interface.
Most VoIP providers are also able to scale with your company without the astronomical cost increases that are often associated with traditional phone services.
The choice is clear for most small and even some very large businesses: free domestic calls, international calls— if not entirely free, with very low per-minute rates—tons of features, flexibility, the ability to utilize existing hardware, and one low payment all add up to a service that’s worth looking into. Is VoIP right for you? Contact us today for more information to help you decide.