Business Telephone Systems: How Does VOIP Work?

VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, is quickly gaining popularity for businesses. When you are deciding on a business telephone system for your office, there is a lot to choose from. If you want to get away from typical landlines, you should consider switching to VoIP. With VoIP, the phone calls will exist over an Internet connection, instead of a typical phone line. It has many benefits, especially for businesses. Here is more information about VoIP and how it works, so you can decide if it is right for you.

How VoIP Works

VoIP essentially lets you make phone calls from your computer, as long as your computer is connected to the Internet. You will be making these calls by using your Internet connection. You will choose a VoIP provider, who provides you with a hosted service. The providers are responsible for delivering calls made from your computer, and in most cases, new hardware is not required. For businesses, you might need to have some hardware on-site, especially if you don't already have headsets available. Hardware you might need includes headsets, soft phones, or VoIP phones.

The Benefits

Now that you know the basics of implementing a VoIP system, you can learn about the different ways your business can benefit from it. One of the biggest benefits to VoIP is that it is inexpensive. Even business packages for VoIP are generally less expensive than other business telephone systems you have to choose from. The hardware is often not required, and when it is, it doesn't cost much. There are also low monthly fees, and some plans that include unlimited calls.

Another benefit to VoIP is the fact that you can connect your mobile phones to the system and still receive calls while on the road. You will use your phone's data connection to receive these calls. This lets you forward calls from your office to your mobile phone when you will be out of the office. It can save you money by not using your mobile phone's minutes for these calls, as they are covered by the VoIP app.

The Drawbacks

As with any type of technology, there are also some drawbacks. The main drawback is that if you lose Internet service or power, you won't be able to make or receive calls. With a landline, you would at least have phone service if the Internet goes out. Some of the better hosted services will offer the options of sending calls to your voicemail or forwarding them to your mobile phone if this happens. Emergency calling is another disadvantage, as some VoIP providers don't allow you to call 911 with your Internet connection. If you got VoIP, 911 calls would need to be made from your mobile phone.