What is VoIP?
VoIP, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology where your analog voice signals are turned into digital data so that you can make phone and video calls. The traditional communication tools are dependent on PSTN better known a public switched telephone network; on the other hand, VoIP works over the internet.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP has a codec that decodes your voice and encodes it to make it digital; this process is called encoding and decoding. Codec main purpose is to highly compress the data so they can be transmitted smoothly and rapidly, thus results in higher quality of the call. VoIP uses digital signals, unlike your traditional telephones which solely rely on PSTN analog data. When you use VoIP, your voice analog data is converted into digital signals. These digital signals are then decoded again in analog form and transferred to the person on the other line so they can listen and comprehend your voice. This entire process of you calling a person using VoIP takes place on the internet.
How are Calls made in VoIP?
There three ways to make VoIP calls:
- Analogue Telephone Device (ATA) An Analogue Telephone Device is an adapter which lets you connect your analog telephone to the internet and makes VoIP accessible to you. It encodes the outgoing analog data of your phone into digital data. Similarly, it decodes incoming data and encodes into analog so that you can listen to the sound of the person calling. The installation of ATA is easy and not costly for businesses who are thinking of using VoIP services as it saves thousands of dollars on hardware installations.
- Internet Protocol Phone IP phones may look like common phones but they are made specifically for VoIP. They don't connect by RJ-11 cable but instead, they connect to the internet with the means of RJ-45 Ethernet cable. Several options of these VoIP phones are available for businesses, from high ends to entry level.
- Softphones These phones are software-based phones made for you to use VoIP services on your computer. The design and layout of these software phones are much similar to the traditional phones. Skype is a well-known VoIP service provider for computers, mobiles, tablets and other devices.
Most of the softphones are easily available to download over the internet with minimal fees and offer great call plans. However, keep in mind that you need a microphone or speaker (or headset), a sound card and an internet connection for VoIP software to work on your PC.
How Does VoIP Work for Businesses?
VoIP is gaining extreme popularity globally, in Australia for example, the use of the public switch network is declining day by day. Their government plans to replace those old phones with VoIP phones. Even the businesses in Australia are switching to VoIP as they find the services to be very flexible and much cheaper than traditional telephones. Following are the reasons behind this change;
Some Pros of VoIP service for Businesses
Businesses are adopting this service because it has several advantages such as VoIP comes with an extensive list of features. Caller ID, call forwarding, voicemails, call transfer and call wait are all the features available in your traditional phone line, but the line service providers charge you extra fees for them to be used. Whereas, in VoIP, these services are preloaded and don't charge you an additional penny.
VoIP is very versatile option for your businesses as it can integrate with your old phones with the use of ATA. This way you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on the installation of new hardware.
Since the call plans for local, international and mobile are much cheaper than phone line providers, a business can save tons of cash. When we talk about flexibility and ease of installation, VoIP is the true king of phone services. You don't have to call or wait for your line providers when you want to add another phone to your communication system. VoIP setup is relatively fast and is much hassle-free than that of traditional phone lines.
Businesses where the employees are always on the move and want fast, reliable, secure and company related communication tool, VoIP is the best option. With internet connection and headset, employees who are out of office or country can connect and communicate to their entire office. They can join and attend other employees through conference calls as well.
Few Cons of VoIP service for Businesses
No matter how great having VoIP service is, there are few disadvantages you might want to be aware of. VoIP needs a good internet connection; they don't perform well in slower connections. The sound reception is not clear and crisp if you have a slower connection; this means that if you are planning to switch to VoIP service, make sure that you have good internet connection.
Although extremely rare, it's still possible to hack VoIP system. The good news is that good VoIP service providers are known to provide secure connections, and they continuously update their malware and viruses database.