Today’s business communications are constantly changing. Years ago, it simply involved voice calls. Now, businesses use calls, messaging, email, mobile apps, chat, and video conferencing to communicate internally and externally on any given day.
This evolution in communications doesn’t just change employee and customer behavior. It also changes the hardware and software required to make it happen. That’s where Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, comes in. VoIP phones empower businesses to replace outdated, traditional telephones with a complete communications package that happens all on the internet.
VoIP is changing the world of communications. With easy setup, low costs, and greater functionality, it’s a technology that the future is embracing.
Below, we’ll deep dive into the nitty-gritty details of VoIP, including what it is, how it works, and why you should consider using it.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Phone – Definition
As mentioned, VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol (you might hear it referred to as IP telephony, too), and it’s a technology that enables you to make and receive voice calls over the internet.
Traditionally, callers communicated over the Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, or what we think of as landlines. Instead, VoIP sends voice communications using data packets over a packet-switched network, which we know as the internet or local area networks (LANs).
All you need to make these calls is a device, an internet connection, a microphone, and VoIP. No traditional phones, analog lines, or circuit transmission is necessary. Simple, right?
VoIP can utilize cell phones, desk phones (“hard phones”), mobile devices, and even computers equipped with headset microphones (“softphones”) to connect callers—allowing you to communicate with new or existing hardware.
Whether you’re scaling a call center or expanding your business to new offices, VoIP can connect you to team members and clients with lower costs and greater functionality.
What does VoIP phone mean?
A VoIP phone refers to any VoIP-enabled device that’s able to transfer voice data over the internet. A VoIP phone could be a mobile device, desktop, tablet, web browser, or desk phone.
How do VoIP phones work?
At a basic level, VoIP phones work by sending and receiving calls over the internet instead of through traditional telephones and wiring. Speaking with a bit more detail, here’s how VoIP works:
- Your VoIP-enabled device connects to the internet with an assigned IP address
- Your VoIP service establishes the connection and begins exchanging data packets over a packet-switched network via media delivery protocols, like Session Initiation Protocol or SIP, when you dial a phone number
- Your VoIP phone converts the data packets into sounds that you can hear
Should you use a VoIP phone system?
VoIP phone systems offer significant advantages over traditional phone landline systems, but these aren’t right for everyone. Here are a few benefits and drawbacks you should consider before investing in your business communications system:
Benefits of VoIP phones
Easily route your calls to a VoIP phone, regardless of where you’ve plugged in your physical network. This allows you to take calls anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
Since VoIP numbers are virtual, you can take them wherever you go. That means you keep the same number anywhere in the world.
Since VoIP doesn’t require investments in traditional private branch exchange or PBX systems and landlines, you can switch and save significantly on your phone bill. Plain old telephone services (POTS) cost your business each month for each line, while VoIP saves you money with pay-as-you-go pricing. This allows you to easily scale up or down in response to demand.
Thanks to the evolution of the internet, finding a high-quality connection is simple and easy. This leads to clear calls with no noticeable latency, lag, or dropouts. However, if you don’t have a quality connection, VoIP can become a con (more on that later).
SIP trunking enables you to provision SMS and MMS functionality from your phone numbers, allowing you to send texts, images, and videos—creating a more seamless conversation.
Security and privacy:
VoIP technology can eliminate security and privacy threats with encryptions and identity management advancements.