VoIP uses your broadband connection as the medium to make and receive phone calls over the internet instead of using conventional phone lines. This revolutionary innovation means you save money on long-distance telephone costs, making international calling more affordable. Many small business owners report substantial cost savings as much as 70% when switching from traditional telephone service to VoIP.
With VoIP you can create extensions and forward your calls to any internet enabled device including smartphones, mobile phones and computers. If you already have an existing residential VoIP phone system then it is easy to transfer your calls to your new VoIP phone system by simply adding an extension. You do not need a special IP address. All your calls are converted to your IP based number and routed to the correct destination. This feature is useful if you have employees who live abroad and would like to continue making local calls home to manage their schedules.
Another great feature of VoIP is sip trunking. SIP trunks enable voice service from an IP number to be forwarded to another IP number in the same network. For example, if you were interested in subscribing to a VoIP provider but were not able to attend a meeting due to a bad weather condition you could call them just before the meeting started and have your call transferred to another office. SIP trunks to ensure that all your outgoing messages are delivered to the right recipients. VoIP providers usually provide sip trunking services for free with a contract. Most importantly, you don’t need a physical phone line to start enjoying these benefits.
Cloud-based phone systems can also be used as VoIP service providers.
Cloud-based services allow multiple devices to connect to the same VoIP phone system. They do not consume much bandwidth since all data is sent in a large digital file and compressed into a small file before being sent. The compression makes it possible for calls to go to as many as eight different devices. Because cloud-based systems use a central server, they have lower costs than dedicated servers.
One more advantage of cloud communications is that they are very easy to set up. In fact, most providers offer free tutorials on how to install their service on your business phone system. Furthermore, most have simple set up guides for small businesses. You only need an internet connection and an account with a VoIP provider in order to be able to use cloud communications. You will also need a computer with internet access and a password in order to access your voip phone service account. Simple monthly fees will also be required in order to use the service.
Most VoIP phone companies also allow users to create free number porting plans.
This service allows you to port your business phone number between your regular phone and the VoIP phone system. It allows you to keep your existing number or get a completely new one without spending a lot of money.
For those who use a traditional phone system but make lots of international VoIP phone calls, porting numbers can save you a lot of money each year. With a traditional phone system, you need to buy and subscribe to international phone calls, which can run in the thousands annually. However, a hosted voip system allows you to receive and make unlimited calls to any country for a flat monthly fee. The amount you pay is less than what you would spend on international calls if you had to buy an international calling card.
- One drawback to a hosted VoIP solution is that it does not have the same features as a dedicated system.
- Some features, such as caller ID are only available through hosted VoIP solutions.
- SIP VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is the protocol used to connect calls between computers using regular phone lines.
- Other protocols that are commonly used include RTP (Real Time Transport Protocol), OTT (Online Telephone Tipping), RTCP (Real-Time TCPA) and RTCP-E (Real-Time Transport Control Protocol).