Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is simply a group and method of technology for the transmission of voice and audio communications over Internet Protocol networks. The concept is simple enough to understand. Rather than receiving a phone signal, the user can instead transmit their voice through the Internet, and anyone around the globe can receive the signal. This process is referred to as VoIP. One popular application is long distance calls, which are much cheaper than traditional phone calls.
With VoIP, you don’t have to go through any extra hardware. You just need an internet connection and a microphone and speakers. You can also use a computer if you want, but the advantage of a VoIP system is that it allows you to make free local telephone calls from anywhere in the world that you have an Internet connection. This is much more convenient than using a conventional landline or VOIP system.
Most people are familiar with a traditional telephone system. A telephone system uses lines transmitted via radio to make local telephone calls. The number is transmitted along with the name and address of the caller at the beginning of each call. The voice on the other end of the call is converted into digital information and sent over the Internet, where it travels to the destination. This is how many businesses communicate to their customers: by making long distance telephone calls over the Internet rather than the conventional method.
VoIP systems can also be used for international telephone calls. There are companies that offer international long distance services based on a VOIP network. An IP telephone system can be used for this service. An IP telephone system offers many advantages over traditional landline phones. These include lower costs and higher quality sound; no equipment required and no long distance charges; free VOIP minutes when you use them; free VOIP calling cards when you use them; free Internet access while you make and receive calls; no need for a fax machine or for any paper documents to be mailed in the mail, no additional fees for roaming, no or low cost long distance service and much more. You have a choice of service providers and many of them offer packages to fit all budgets.
One important factor to consider when choosing a VoIP provider is whether the company offers hosted services or servers. Many VoIP providers today offer hosted services where you don’t need to install an entire phone system yourself. Instead, the VoIP provider hosts your communications. Hosted internet phone systems offer many benefits and advantages over traditional systems including:
Traditional landline telephone systems provide very limited voice calling options. You either have a local dial tone or a special feature that lets you make long distance calls for free, regardless of where you live. You will have no option for making inexpensive international long distance calls for free or for paying very little for long distance service. The convenience of a computer is often enough for most people to decide they want to switch over to a VOIP system. In addition to the convenience of a VOIP phone system, however, comes the additional problem of maintenance and support. It can be difficult and expensive to keep your old phone number because it’s tied to a specific IP address.
If your VOIP provider doesn’t offer a virtual phone or if you have to use a traditional telephone line, then you are limited to using the features that are offered by the specific VOIP provider. If you make international calls with your VOIP service, you must use the special features offered by the VOIP provider. You may not be able to use your normal landline number for international calls because the VOIP provider does not offer such a feature. An alternative solution would be to purchase a VOIP phone that supports international calling options so that you can use your normal landline number for making international calls. It might be more difficult than buying a VOIP phone, but it can still be quite simple to switch over to a VOIP service.
You can easily find a variety of VOIP phone systems online. Many VOIP providers have websites where they provide a list of their services and a description of their offerings. Choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. Some VOIP providers even offer free trials so you can try out their services before switching. You can also read the opinions and reviews of VOIP phone systems and features on the many reviews and web sites out there. With some research and careful consideration, you can make an informed decision about which VOIP phone system best suits your small business communication needs.