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What is VoIP?

Businesses are saving money by cutting phone service expenses and choosing VoIP. But what is it, how does it work and why are businesses making the switch? We take a closer look.

VoIP Explained

VoIP, otherwise known as Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a method of making and receiving telephone calls over the internet at low cost.

You do not need a physical phone system that sits in your office, it’s paid for using a range of easy to understand bundles and phone numbers aren’t tied to a specific location.

You can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world, regardless of the make of phone, carrier, software, or network, as long as there’s a  good quality internet connection.

How Does VoIP Work?

VoIP works by taking the analogue signals and converting them into digital signals that are sent as data over the internet. There are three different types of VoIP systems:

1. VoIP Using an IP Phone

This is the most common way our customers utilise VOIP technology; IP phones are usually indistinguishable from normal phones, but instead of a standard RJ-11 phone connector they have an RJ-45 ethernet connection which you’d more commonly find on computers. . They connect to either a network switch or directly to your router and include all the necessary hardware and software to make and receive calls.

For example: IP Phone > Ethernet > Router > Internet > VoIP Service Provider

2. VoIP Connecting Directly

With this method, you bypass a VoIP service provider (and their costs) and connect to another VoIP user. All you need is the software, a microphone, speakers or headphones and a reasonable quality internet connection. You’re most likely utilising this method in your day to day life already without even realising it! Any calls you make using services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger use VOIP to connect you directly to the recipient of the call

There is no cost for connecting other than your monthly internet subscription, but problems can occur if one of the VoIP devices is inside a network that filters / blocks VOIP data such as some airport WiFi connections..

For example: IP Phone > Ethernet > Router > Internet > Router > Ethernet > IP Phone

Why are Companies Switching to VoIP?

Many companies are switching to VoIP as an alternative to their traditional phone system. We take a look at some of the reasons why:

1. Low Cost and Flexible

VoIP will usually cost less than the equivalent service from your local phone company because there is no need for a traditional phone line and the price is included in your internet subscription.

Calls from PC to PC via VoIP (even international) are not charged, but calls to a landline may have a service fee. Even so, they are much less than with a traditional phone line. The cost of acquiring IP phones is also low and there are no expensive hardware maintenance costs for on-site physical phone systems.

A VoIP solution can also shrink and grow with your business as required, meaning you don’t have to pay for services that you are not using.

2. Location and Distance are No Problem

Physical location makes no difference as incoming calls are routed to your VoIP phone wherever you plug it into the network. Distance is no problem either and it’s as simple as sending an email whether you’re calling a customer next door or across the world.

Even if you take your VoIP phone with you on a business trip, you can make and receive calls as long as you connect it to the internet. This is beneficial for business travel and employees who need to work from home and stay in touch with fellow employees and customers.[

3. Extra Features

Many business VoIP services offer packages with beneficial features such as conference calls, voicemail, caller ID, and call forwarding at no extra charge – which are usually expensive add-ons with your typical telephone service provider.

Depending on your service provider, you may even be able to send documents and images during a call to the benefit of creative idea meetings and more. Many also offer a free voicemail to email service where you can choose to have calls forwarded to your voicemail for access via your email.

And with VoIP you also have the option to record conversations to playback or download, providing a helpful feature for businesses that need to protect or monitor important phone calls.

4. Disaster Recovery Solution

VoIP also provides a beneficial disaster recovery solution. If your business relies on telephone calls, for example if you are a call centre, it could be a big problem if your telephone system goes down or somehow becomes damaged.

As long as you have an internet connection, VoIP will be there to make sure your business is reachable at all times even if you’re unable to access your office .

Move to VoIP with San-iT

VoIP offers many benefits for businesses, but they do rely on many important factors such as a stable and reliable internet connection.

With that in mind, you need to work with an IT company that can ensure you have an appropriate quality internet connection, identify the best solution for your business needs and be there to monitor  your systems overall .

Move to VoIP with San-iT as your IT partner and we will migrate your telephone system with the least amount of disruption to your business. And we’ll be there today and tomorrow to ensure your system is always ready to go.

Ready to make the move? Give us a call on 0800 084 2575 or email us at [email protected]