What is Voice over IP?
Voice over IP is a method of making and receiving phone calls over an internet connection using a Voice Over IP Phone. As opposed to the traditional methods of making phone calls witch use a telephone switchboard and landlines. However, with IP phone systems, you can easily transfer calls from phone to phone, cell phone, laptop, computer, and even send video with certain phones. There are many third-party applications, "most come standard" that will allow you to turn a VoIP phone system into a full-fledged business phone system, just like the big boys use.
How does it work?
Voice over IP converts data into digital packets of information. The system then sends these packets over the internet to be received by either the transferred phone destination, or picked up by a telephone network like at&t, and then routed to its final destination.
To make voice over IP calls, you need a VoIP service provider to initiate and route those calls, internet access, or SIP trunk provider. SIP TRUNK uses your existing telephones to make VoIP calls, but without all the added benefits of the new VoIP phones. More on SIP TRUNK phone systems here.
There are a variety of broadband internet service providers that offer VoIP services in Columbia South Carolina. Here at Weatherford Internet Consulting, we offer VoIP service from NTI-net. NTI-net is a leader in the industry and has been serving South Carolina small businesses for over 20 years.
We can help.
Weatherford Internet Consulting will consult you on moving your small business communications to VoIP. Give us a call at 1-803-813-1310
What are the benefits of Voice over IP?
VoIP phone service adds features and functionality that can be costly to implement on a standard telephone system.
- With VoIP, multiple phone calls can be transmitted over one broadband line.
- Businesses can have many users with only one phone line. Each user will have his/her own extension and phone.
- Extra features such as caller ID and call forwarding are usually standard with VoIP service and are much easier to set up and manage.
- Unified Communications features like conference calls, instant messaging, and video calls are all standard.
- Used with a modern VoIP phone, users can take their phone with them wherever they go, answering from hotels and even abroad—all you need is a live internet connection.
- In case you dont want to lug around a telephone in your suitcase, VoIP calls can be made over a laptop or even your cell phone, coming from your business number, made from the app on your cell phone.
- A voice over IP solution can save your business hundreds of dollars. For example, making nationwide calls for free with no limit on usage. Boosting productivity with Auto Answering Technology, having users routed directly to the department they need to be directed to from the auto-attendant menu, and minimizing the amount of time a secretary spends answering the phone and routing calls.
- RounRobin is a feature that will continually keep the phone ringing in a network until it is answered, usually starting with the phone that has been idle for the most extended amount of time.
- Have calls automatically routed to a mailbox, temp department, or special message during lunch hours holidays. "set this feature and forget it."
- It's much easier to keep up with employees during the COVID-19 pandemic with a VoIP phone system. Keep track of all the calls made and received by all users in the admin dashboard. Employees can make and receive calls from home as long as they have a stable internet connection.
- Fax machines are going away fast, but a lot of businesses still use them. Most VoIP service providers will offer a virtual fax feature as an added benefit, typically under $30.00 a month if needed.
- In 2020 a small business with five employees can expect to pay ....... to fully convert their business communications to Voice Over IP. A typical VoIP monthly bill for a small company of 5 in South Carolina will usually run around $174.75, not counting state and federal communication taxes, that will obviously vary by state.
Disadvantages of VoIP
- Power outages and Internet connectivity issues will result in a loss of service.
- Since VoIP is an internet connection and cyberattacks are increasing, using an untrusted network can open the door for eavesdropping and network attacks. Make sure your VoIP provider has all the necessary security features in place.
If you would like some more information about VoIP phone service, give us a call and we would be happy to help.