VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), also known as IP telephony, is an innovative manner and set of technologies for the transmission of voice and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol networks. VoIP services allow users to make voice calls over the internet using broadband lines and normal telephone lines. The VoIP service providers to provide both low-cost and high-speed services, with the cost usually depending on the services provided. VoIP can be integrated with other internet technologies to create IP-based services that include instant messaging (IM), e-mail, and video conferencing.
Internet telephony provides low-cost means of communication through the substitution of conventional PBX phone systems. Voice quality is guaranteed by the digital transmission of sound through internet connections. The VoIP provider provides converged infrastructure consisting of low-cost routers and amplifiers and professional phone system. A converter and firewall are also required. Thus, VoIP does not need a dedicated phone system.
The advantages of VoIP over conventional telephony are several.
First, VoIP providers offer lower costs. Through IP-based voice services, the costs for voice calls are dramatically reduced, even as call quality is increased. VoIP providers use high-speed internet connections and small businesses can get high-quality services at reasonable costs. Moreover, there are no technical restrictions in using VoIP phone systems, unlike traditional telephony where proper wiring is required.
Another major advantage in using a hosted VoIP service is the availability of reliable internet connection. With hosted telephony and voice services, your calls are made using a consistent, reliable internet connection. Therefore, you can take your phone with you anywhere you go, including places that do not have proper connections to telephone networks. Your conversations are always guaranteed quality.
There are other important advantages as well. Some advanced features such as call forwarding and call waiting are enabled through a hosted VoIP phone system. This means, even if your internet service goes down, your voice can be carried to another receiver. With a reliable internet connection, your business will run uninterrupted. Another advanced feature of hosted VoIP phone system is the auto attendant. Auto attendant helps customers in taking their questions and solving their problems.
In fact, you will also enjoy many other features like call transfer, recording conference, recording calls, simultaneous ringing of a phone and music on hold, web collaboration, and web synchronization among other features. There are also many low monthly fees available for the users. Most of the VoIP providers offer free trials and even provide a year long trial options for the first set of phone calls. So, you don’t have to worry about the money. You can easily switch from your current phone systems to a hosted VoIP provider and experience the countless benefits it offers.
There are some disadvantages associated with VoIP telephony as well.
One of them is the latency which refers to the delay in the sound or voice transmission due to traffic on the phone lines. Low latency makes VoIP service slow. And if the user has a slow internet connection, his calling rate also may be lower than those with higher latency levels.
But most of the VoIP service providers have made available many options, especially to the consumers who have limited bandwidth or no internet connection at all. Apart from softphones and other such traditional phones, there are VoIP phones for notebook PCs. So, the technology is definitely progressing and making VoIP phones more popular among users.
The nextiva VoIP Phone is another example of a VoIP solution that allows the user to have a better call quality than what he would get with other options. This solution is also referred to as the plug and play phone, and is perfect for those who want to start using VoIP phones without any previous experience. It features next-generation voice-quality technologies that allow the user to maximize voice clarity, while reducing background noise. Moreover, it also allows the user to have access to five lines simultaneously, as well as unlimited calling plans for low priced rates.
Another innovation that the plug and play softphone manufacturers have done is to offer advanced features to their clients. For instance, most of the softphones now also feature an inbuilt scheduler which helps the user to schedule the time and duration of his phone calls. Some other interesting features include the ability to record voice messages and attach email attachments directly to the device. This makes remote work very easy, and users no longer need to go through the hassle of downloading software or downloading complicated programs to enjoy the advantages of VoIP telephony.
- An additional advantage of this technology is that it can also be used for remote work.
- There are some soft phones that also feature IP telephony, which means they can transfer voice calls automatically over the internet.
- Thus, while traditional PBX networks incur a high cost on making phone calls, VoIP service providers enjoy cost savings in this area as well.
- Businesses that require constant communication with their employees can use the power of IP telephony to facilitate remote work.