Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is phone service that allows users to make calls over the Internet. As Internet speeds have increased and become more reliable, many businesses have said goodbye to conventional phone lines in favor of VoIP for business. There are several reasons to switch. VoIP systems tend to be more flexible, more full-featured, and best of all, cheaper than placing your calls through traditional telephone service providers. VoIP business phone systems are a great choice for business owners who are confident in their Internet connection. If your Internet connection is unreliable or often slows down during peak hours, a business VoIP phone service will be susceptible to the same symptoms. It’s important to have a fast, consistent Internet service to work hand-in-hand with business VoIP.
VoIP takes analog audio signals – like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone – and turns them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. VoIP phone systems can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls and bypass the phone company and its various charges for service. You may be making VoIP calls now without even knowing it when you place long distance calls. Phone companies use VoIP to streamline their networks and reduce bandwidth. Business VoIP phone systems can accommodate thousands of users, making them a great choice for companies small, large and huge. Business VoIP phone systems usually offer advanced features that can give businesses an edge in the tech-savvy corporate world, such as ad-hoc conferencing, call recording, presence indicators, Bluetooth support and web browsing capabilities.
Conventional phone systems use a method for connecting calls called “circuit switching.” When a call is made between two parties, the connection is maintained for the duration of the call. It’s reliable — but also inefficient, because the connection is continuous. VoIP uses the Internet’s packet-switching capabilities to provide phone service. When a call is made with a business VoIP phone system, a brief connection opens to switch the packet of data between computers. The connection doesn’t have to be sustained, so the service is much more efficient. That’s why a VoIP business phone system can offer more bandwidth and can accommodate more users simultaneously. Plus, business VoIP phone systems are not restricted to desk phones. Calls can be made via a computer with a microphone and speakers over a good Internet connection. They can also be made with mobile phones.
VoIP phone systems are often bundled with broadband Internet. Internet service providers can include both services on one convenient bill. This is a great option for businesses; in the event of an outage or other issue, you’ll have a single provider to contact for tech support, saving both time and valuable staffing resources. In many cases, your Internet service provider also offers VoIP phone systems, making the switch as easy as adding an additional service to your existing business account.
The most common way to place a business VoIP call is through the use of a device called an analog telephone adaptor (ATA). It’s an analog-to-digital converter that allows you to connect a standard phone to your Internet connection for use with VoIP. This is a great option for a company that wants to switch to a VoIP for business system without replacing all its current hardware.
These optimized phones look like regular phones with a handset, cradle and buttons. However, instead of using standard phone line connectors, IP phones for VoIP systems have an Ethernet connector to tap directly into your Internet connection.
This is the easiest and least expensive way to use VoIP for business. All you need is the software, a microphone, speakers, a sound card and an Internet connection – equipment that most companies already have.
Many providers offer special deals on hardware when you order VoIP business phone service. If you’re interested in making the switch to VoIP for business, be sure to check with your provider about free items and other incentives to get your VoIP for business system up and running.