When it comes to advancing technology, it is essential to adapt communications solutions accordingly. Enhancing communication efficiency and saving time on mundane tasks is precisely what a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system can achieve for your business. Nonetheless, you may be wondering: what exactly is VoIP phone service and what are the different types of VoIP phones available, as well as understand their functionality?
If intricate terminology leaves your mind cluttered, worry not, as you have come to the right place. In this article, we will elucidate the fundamental principles of VoIP, equipping you with the knowledge necessary to ensure a successful communication strategy for your business. Let’s commence.
What is a VoIP phone system?
A VoIP phone system provides the capability to engage in voice calls using a wireless internet connection, as an alternative to conventional analog phone lines (known as POTS, or plain old telephone service). VoIP services can be accessed through either hardware or software programs. Software-based IP phone systems are compatible with any device that supports an internet connection, ranging from the convenience of an iPhone to the practicality of a laptop computer. Therefore, they are undoubtedly one of the leading solutions for conducting business activities on the go.
In addition, the essential equipment required for VoIP phone systems is minimal, ensuring a hassle-free establishment process. By surpassing the call quality of traditional phone systems, they provide customers with an unparalleled experience. Furthermore, specialized VoIP service providers, such as OpenPhone, offer supplementary features that are absent from standard telephony services. These features include the ability to schedule business hours, share phone numbers with colleagues, and conveniently forward voicemails to email.
Which categories of VoIP phones are available?
As you transition to VoIP, you will encounter various options to consider. Depending on your business requirements, budget, and other factors, there are multiple types of VoIP phones from which to choose. It is crucial to select the most suitable option to seamlessly integrate your internet phone system into your workspace and accommodate the needs of both you and your team.
The following are the primary categories of VoIP phones:
- Hard phones:
When thinking about traditional phone systems, hard phones are likely what first come to mind. However, there are various types of hard phones available for exploration.
- Desk IP phones:
Desk IP phones are typically connected to computers to enhance connection strength as they are usually fixed in one location. Most desk phones feature a small screen for viewing caller ID and other functions. These phones can be used as regular phones, in call centers, or as receptionist phones. They offer a versatile option that combines the best features of traditional and VoIP telephony.
- Wireless phones:
Also known as handsets, wireless phones allow for mobility during voice calls. They do not tie the user to a specific wire or computer. However, wireless phone connections may become unreliable if the user moves out of range of a strong WiFi connection. Nevertheless, they offer convenience in certain office settings. Wireless phones enable users to answer calls wherever there is a WiFi hotspot, making them suitable for office workers who frequently move between colleagues.
- Conference phones:
When hosting conference calls with multiple participants, it is advisable to have the appropriate tools. Conference calls can become especially confusing with numerous people on the line. Specifically designed conference phones help mitigate these issues by electronically balancing the audio. This ensures that everyone can hear and communicate with each other smoothly. However, for teams that work remotely or in hybrid setups, these phones are less practical compared to more modern business phone options.
- USB phones:
The name accurately describes USB phones. A USB phone is connected to a device using a USB cable. This option is popular for stabilizing your softphone connection.
Contrary to hard phones, softphones operate through software. VoIP phone software can be installed on a device by downloading a VoIP provider’s application. This software provides access to a virtual phone number that can be used like a regular phone, but without being tied to a specific geographic location.
The benefits of utilizing a VoIP phone system are as follows:
1. Scalability: One major advantage of a VoIP phone system is its ability to easily expand alongside your business. No need to invest in new hardware or phone lines when adding new users. Simply adjust your monthly bill or consider purchasing a new mobile phone if necessary. With OpenPhone’s VoIP service, team members can use their personal cell phones without any disruption to their work-life balance, thanks to our business hours features. Regardless of your business’ growth, a reliable VoIP service will support you throughout.
2. Cost-effectiveness: Traditional phone service costs have been skyrocketing every year, with AT&T accused of raising prices by over 150% in a decade. This is due to the ever-increasing expenses of maintaining outdated infrastructure. Telephone companies are also unenthusiastic about investing in this dying form of telephony. Meanwhile, the UK is on the verge of completely eliminating this infrastructure within the next few years, with the US and other countries following suit.
Instead, take advantage of VoIP as the top alternative to POTS lines. By routing calls through your internet connection, VoIP phone systems enable you to avoid exorbitant fees. Your monthly bill for VoIP services is typically based on the number of users and call volume, making it a far more cost-effective solution compared to traditional analog telephone service.
3. Connectivity: Surprisingly, IP telephony offers superior call quality compared to its competitors. Traditional telephony’s copper wires often encounter connectivity issues, especially as they age. However, with a reliable internet connection, VoIP ensures consistently clear voice and video calls.
4. Portability: Flexibility in communication is now essential for businesses due to work-from-home arrangements and international operations. With VoIP technology, companies can engage in discourse from any location on the planet, as long as they have sufficient internet bandwidth.
VoIP phone systems offer versatility as they can be accessed from both mobile devices and desktops, ensuring users never miss a call even if they are away from their office phones for a few minutes.
Unlike traditional telephony, VoIP phone system providers like Telefeo offer a wide range of impressive features. In addition to standard call forwarding and voicemail, there are several exciting additions.
Team members can enjoy instant messaging, share phone numbers and address books, and even customize their business hours.