VoIP abbreviated as Voice over Internet Protocol, is also known as internet calling or telephony. It is the technology to make calls via internet from computers, mobiles or VoIP phones.
VoIP converts the sound into a digital signal sending it over the internet, on the receiver’s end this signal is again decompressed to sounds to be heard on the speaker.
Internet calling is most affordable options in this era of 5G internet service. It overrules the use of telephone services and their extra costs for long distance calls.
Working of VoIP / Internet Voice [i]
The process of working is similar to that of a regular phone, but VoIP uses internet instead of the wiring of a telephone company. VoIP services convert the sound into a digital signal that is transferred over the Internet. On the other end, digital signal is decompressed into sound. If a call is made from a regular phone number, the signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the receiver’s end. A VoIP device con be a:
- Another telephone or VoIP adapter
Regular telephones work by means of cables and wires to make landline or other telephone calls. While VoIP is a versatile wireless technology which enables audio, video and even data to be shared with mobile, laptops, tabs, computers, etc.
VoIP telephone equipment
The two main types of VoIP telephones are:
- A hardware-based VoIP phone similar to a traditional hard-wired or cordless telephone with a speaker, microphone, a touchpad and a caller ID display. VoIP phones can also share voicemails, videos, video calls and call transfer.
- Software-based IP phones, also known as softphones, are software installed on a computer or mobile. A headset with a microphone is connected to the computer or mobile for making calls. Users can also make calls by their computer or mobile device if they have a built-in microphone and speaker.
Top VoIP Phone Features
VoIP has proved beneficial owing to their unlimited features in addition to being most reasonable. Top features offered by a VoIP phone are:
- Unlimited Calling– unlimited calling saves a lot of money utilized in regular phones.
- Online Faxing– unlimited faxes has become easy and effortless.
- Auto Attendant– automatic call receiving instantly and directing them to the right person gives an excellent impression of the company.
- Call Queues– Handle multiple calls when someone is busy. Callers wait in line for the next agent.
- HD Voice Quality– This is produced to eliminate annoying sounds for vibrant conversations.
- Conference Lines– conference call for meetings with up to nine participants are possible with VoIP.
- Voicemail-to-Email – voicemail messages are delivered in your mailbox. Listen to voicemails and respond through your email.
- Smartphone App -It is available free for iOS and Android devices to respond to all the calls.
- Real-Time Presence – Live status updates are available to receive calls and chat messages.
- Team Collaboration– Flawless video and screen sharing enables you to get work done faster.
- Text Messaging (SMS)– Send and receive text messages with customers for quick updates and appointment reminders.
Advantages and disadvantages of VoIP
Benefits of VoIP include:
- Lower cost.
- Higher-quality sound.
- Easy access for remote workers
- Added features of call recording, queues, custom caller ID or voicemail to email.
- Low international rates
The disadvantages include:
- Not all these services may connect directly to emergency services.
- VoIP needs a high-speed internet connection.
- Services will not work during power outages.
Best VoIP Providers[ii]
Some of the best VoIP service providers along with their pros, cons, key features, and more.
|-vast options of vanity, local, or toll-free numbers
-quick replies and updates
|$26 to $80|
|-Automate Customer Data
|-high quality of calls
-Nextiva smartphone app
-Call Screening feature
|$18.95 to $32.95|
-Business MMS and SMS
-Leverage live reports
-connect with up to 1,000 people
|-outsource customer support||$19.99 to $49.99|
|-Enhanced Call Blocking
–ring multiple devices
|-hardware cost is higher
-call drop reported
|$19.95 to $24.95|
|-create personalized greetings
–Internal Phone Number Tags
–Speech To Text
|-Automatically redirect incoming calls
-Leverage sentiment analytics
|-Integration with third-party is extensive.
|$15 to $35|
–Reliable call quality
-All-in-one for business (voice, video, chat, and contact center)
Available on any device
|$15 per month|
|-Efficiently interact with colleagues
-can leverage Bitrix24 as call center software, its basic version is free for up to 12 users
|-Free version imprints a Bitrix watermark
-New users might face a steep learning
|Free for a team of 12. The paid plans start at $17 up to $139|
|Verizon VoIP||Auto Attendant
Shared Call Appearance
|-easy management of voicemail, call history, and other essential features
-robust Administrator Web Portal
-automatic call transfer
|-Expensive for small business
-limited fiber optics
|$94 to $249|