Communication between people and organizations has evolved, with many embracing technology to make it much easier. Traditional telephony has not been left behind, with many switching to VoIP technology to make phone calls.
What is VoIP
VoIP, which stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a popular way of making phone calls using a voice-over IP, computer, and headset connected to the internet. The technology converts voice into digital signals, which are then transmitted in the form of packets over the internet to the receiver. A VoIP service supplier sets up the call between the sender and receiver. When the digital data reaches the receiver, it is unpacked into a sound that can be heard and understood through a handset.
Also referred to as broadband telephony or internet telephony, the VoIP packets can only be transmitted over a compatible network. VoIP isn’t your regular telephone service, and its workings are quite simple, giving you access to applications that enhance your communication. The process involved in making a VoIP call is nearly instant, with better sound quality than regular phone calls. Whether you are an individual or business, you only need a stable and fast internet connection, modem, and router to use VoIP and ensure your communication needs are met at all times.
VoIP features and benefits
The increase seen in people making the switch to VoIP is mainly because of its extensive features and benefits to the user. Some of its universal features include unlimited calling, HD voice quality, and smartphone application. Most times, users select features that meet their individual or business needs.
Besides its unique features, VoIP advantages also abound for users that decide to use technology to communicate faster and better. Some of these advantages of the telephone technology are highlighted below.
VoIP benefits to an organization
Most small businesses and larger corporates are moving away from traditional landlines to VoIP calls. Integrating VoIP into an organization is the best way of easing communication with customers and other team members. Some benefits for businesses embracing this technology include:
- Reduction of costs – businesses save money by managing a single network with phone extensions that can be changed, added, or moved depending on the location. The flexibility VoIP offers businesses without spending extra money is one of its popular benefits.
- Enhanced collaboration – VoIP offers a unified communication solution for organizations seeking to collaborate better. The technology allows workers to communicate through instant messaging, voice, web conference, and webchat on the same platform.
- Advanced business features – communication within an organization can be customized to meet the needs of the team members. VoIP allows business users to use auto-attendants, call waiting, caller tones, call routing, caller tones, and use of several phone numbers.
VoIP benefits to a home
Every day, consumers are becoming aware of VoIP’s benefits and are installing it in their homes. Home users have access to several voip advantages such as:
- Ease of installation – setting up VoIP in the home requires minimal hardware compared to traditional landlines. It’s a simple plug-and-play device easily configured and connected to a computer plus power source. To make calls, you can use a headset, computer loudspeaker, or application on your smartphone.
- Portability – making calls in every corner of your home is much easier with a VoIP connection. Whether you are using a phone that automatically connects to the internet or a mobile application, you can receive or make calls.
- Hassle-free moving – Home users only need to disconnect their modem when moving houses and transfer it to the new home. You can keep the same account and telephone number, allowing you to start using it almost immediately in the new residence.
VoIP benefits to an individual
Individuals can also opt to embrace VoIP for personal use. The voip advantages for people familiar with the technology are many, and they include:
- Extremely cost-efficient – VoIP calls cost far much less for both domestic and international calls resulting in lower monthly bills. Most service providers offer customers unlimited minutes for domestic calls at no extra cost. Long-distance calls are also quite affordable compared to traditional landline calls. Besides saving money on calls, switching to VoIP eliminates the maintenance and repair costs of landline phone providers.
- Great sound quality – The clarity in audio when using high-speed internet is one of the popular voip advantages. Users are assured of HD quality sound whenever they make or receive calls on their tablet, mobile phone, or laptop.
- Reliability – VoIP is very reliable for making calls, with many applications using it as a platform to offer call services to customers. Many people across the world use the cloud-based calling option to communicate with loved ones. Overall, the continuous innovation around VoIP is a sign of its growth and reliability.
What are the disadvantages of using VoIP?
VoIP is a remarkable technology with numerous advantages, but it has some drawbacks. Some of the disadvantages of VoIP include:
- Need for internet connection – Although VoIP requires minimal bandwidth for calls, the internet connection must be fast and stable. Slow internet may negatively impact the quality of calls made or received. Businesses with large teams may need to invest in more bandwidth depending on the number of calls made concurrently. Besides the internet, users have to invest in hardware such as a computer or handset and a modem.
- Need for training – Switching from traditional telephony to VoIP may seem simple but requires minimal training. Individuals or business teams conversant with technology will find it easier to adopt VoIP because of its straightforward user design. For larger groups, training will be needed for advanced features and doing tasks using the system so that everyone works well.
- Need for consistent power – VoIP relies on electricity to enable users to make calls for business or personal connection. Regular power outages will hinder the effective use of a VoIP system. When electricity is unreliable, it can halt communication for those in corporate settings or at home.
Ultimately, VoIP is the future of communication and is expected to advance further for users’ benefit.