Voice over Internet Protocol communication is ever growing together with the constant advances in high-speed internet. Internet is becoming cheap and ubiquitous, which is increasing the number of businesses converting to VoIP.
VoIP is sometimes too robust to believe. The flexibility and more full-featured, and best of all, significantly cheaper than running your business phone solution through traditional telephone service providers.
But is VoIP really all it’s hyped up to be? I’ll walk you through the basics with these three VoIP services of varying complexity.
How Does VoIP Work?
In most cases, your business can integrate a hosted service into your business infrastructure; with no downtime or headaches. Your VoIP provider would handle all the set-up, delivering calls to your phones and software clients, make sure that you save money in both short and long term instances, and give your company a much more robust communications system. Almost every time, you may require no additional on-site hardware aside from phones; at most; there might need to be a small box of hardware for the VoIP system.
What Do You Need to Implement VoIP?
It all depends on the size of your company and the infrastructure you already have in place. Integrating VoIP could cost your company next to nothing, or it could entail significant up-front costs.
Even home broadband connections can handle several VoIP calls simultaneously, though you’ll need to be sure to leave bandwidth available for other applications as well.
VoIP requires a broadband connection. If you work alone out of a home office, or if you have only a few employees, you won’t have much to worry about. Make sure that your internal network—including your routers and switches—can handle the load, too. Most providers suggest using a router with configurable Quality of Service settings and assigning VoIP traffic high priority to maximize quality.
If your Internet service provider has a bandwidth cap in place, you should take that into consideration as well. Most VoIP service providers use the high-quality G.711 codec for VoIP communications, which consumes 64kb of data every second you talk. In reality, even a large number of people should be able to chat it up on VoIP without having to worry about hitting bandwidth caps, but you’ll want to keep close tabs on your data usage to avoid exceeding that cap.
Finally, even if you subscribe to a cloud-based hosted VoIP service, you’ll need to make sure your phones can communicate over VoIP. Most VoIP systems use session-initiation protocol technology to assign each phone or VoIP software client a specific address; that’s how the IP-PBX routes calls to specific lines. As such, you’ll need a SIP-enabled phone to make VoIP calls. (Some VoIP systems use H.323 technology rather than SIP, but those are rare.) If you want to keep your old analog touch-tone phones or fax machines, you can plug them into an analog telephone adapter (ATA), but they won’t be able to use many of the advanced features that SIP-based VoIP phones provide.