Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phones are also known as Internet Telephony, Cloud Phones, Hosted PBX, IP Phones, SIP Phones and a number of other similar terms. VoIP technology enables phone calls to be conducted over the internet. This technology has been improving for at least the last decade and is becoming more and more popular in the business communications market. Instead of using a traditional phone service, VoIP enables you to contact people all over the world quickly and easily using a broadband or DSL connection. With VoIP you can contact any telephone device, on any telephone service. Furthermore, using VoIP as compared to traditional phone service is generally less expensive and can increase productivity with its flexibility.
How does VoIP work?
Regular phone systems use an analog signal to transfer voice over copper phone lines. With VoIP, the vibrations of your voice are converted to compressed digital signals that travel over the Internet in “packets”. These “packets” travel like any other form of data, like email for example, across the Internet and are delivered to their destination in what is very close to real time. If the person being called has a traditional analog or digital phone the “packets” are then converted back to a regular telephone signal.
What are the benefits of VoIP?
The benefits of using VoIP are tremendous! The biggest benefit for most companies is the significant savings when switching from traditional phone service to VoIP service. VoIP providers offer a wide range of phone service plans to accommodate your specific needs and you can choose additional features as well. International calling rates are also lower on VoIP service. Many small business owners assume that VoIP service is too complicated and expensive; however VoIP service providers offer monthly plans for as low as $50 per month.
VoIP technology can also help businesses be more flexible and productive. Phone numbers become portable using VoIP allowing employees to work from multiple locations & still be reached at the same phone number. Employees can work from their own office, a client’s office, their home office or any other location needed as long as a properly configured network is in place at those locations. They can even use their VoIP phone numbers with softphones on their laptops or other devices.
VoIP protocols also can make collaboration with email, instant messaging and social networking applications possible as well. Additionally, businesses that would like to appear to be in a specific area (on caller ID) can utilize VoIP phone numbers from anywhere in the world with or without being physically located in that area. Finally, most VoIP phone service comes with an array of features including Find-Me-Follow-Me (FMFM), selective call forwarding, personalized ring tones and simultaneous ringing on multiple phones (even when the VoIP phones are in different locations).
Small and medium size businesses in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR areas can benefit greatly from state of the art VoIP service today. It’s not just for big companies any more. Many VoIP service providers (including America’s Phone Guys!) can create personalized service plans to partially or completely meet your business communication needs.
What is required for VoIP?
VoIP service requires phone sets capable of VoIP calling and a high-speed Internet connection with a minimum bandwidth of 128kbps for upload and download. If you have an existing data network and wiring in your office you likely have the cabling for IP phones in place already. Lastly you will need some sort of router that can be configured for VoIP class of service so that call traffic can be set as the priority on your network. While this can sound confusing, your VoIP service provider can help you determine if you need to upgrade your current Internet connection, cabling or equipment in only a few minutes.