VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP Phone Systems

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a great new technology that enables users to use their internet connection to make and receive calls. If we think this through we can determine that this is a win-win situation. Installation is not that expensive for home users, for businesses it costs about as much as installing any other phone network, but trust me, this cost is worth it. First of all, since you are using an internet connection you will eliminate all phone costs where calls are between two VoIP networks. Imagine how handy this is for branch offices! It also gives people mobility, if someone has to go to a business meeting, he can just plug the phone into the internet anywhere and call the home office for free.

What is a VoIP Phone System?

VoIP in its structure for an outside viewer is very similar to the traditional PSTN phone lines. You have main telephone cables going in your street and when you buy two phones into the phone line in your house they branch into the main line. VoIP works similarly, except that the main line here is the internet. In essence all you need for a VoIP system is a voice router (and VoIP phones). You plug all the offices VoIP phones into this router, which in turn connects to the internet. Main PSTN lines are usually also connected to the router so you are not restricted to calling other VoIP phones,although you of course have to pay the bill for traditional calls.

Advantages

I touched on some advantages in the introduction, but there are just so many. If you are on low budget you don't even need to get a flashy VoIP phone. Cheap ones cost $20-$30, but you can use your laptop with a headset if you like. This won't give you the ease of use that a dedicated phone does, but it is a workable option. If you get a dedicated phone for this purpose you will have the freedom of taking your phone number with you. You can plug in the VoIP phone at home, and no one will notice they aren't reaching you at work, but at home. This is especially handy for traveling businessmen, if you also get a VoIP phone for your family you can call them for free any time.

Disadvantages

Amazing as it may seem, there are disadvantages to VoIP systems, although they are all temporary. The two major sources of problems are that internet connections are still not developed enough and that not everyone has a VoIP line yet. The first one is a problem because if your firm has business in Sierra Leone, you may find your fancy new VoIP phone useless because of the lack of internet infrastructure. If there is sufficient infrastructure bandwidth may be such that you experience bad quality, echoes and so on. While this problem is not a major one in the US or in Europe, we will still have to wait a while until the internet is as widespread as phone lines. The fact that not everyone has VoIP is a changing phenomenon, people are realizing the benefits of the technology and are changing quickly, I predict that this disadvantage will disappear soon enough.

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