What is VoIP?
It is a technology that allows you to make a call from your computer, phone, or other devices by converting your voice to a digital signal. In short, it is a phone service delivered by the internet.
The full form of VoIP is VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL. It is a method that helps you to make and receive a call through the internet. People consider VoIP as an alternative to local phone calls. Voice over internet protocol is the cost-effective way to make unlimited calls. If you have an internet connection you call your friends and family members without the service of a local phone. VoIP can work on any computer as it is a built-in feature in most computers and mobile phones. A trusted provider of VoIP handles everything for you. They just plug your internet protocol address in and you are done. A high-speed internet connection is required in phones and computers to establish connectivity. In the U.S about ninety-three percent of people have high-speed internet access. Voice over internet protocol converts your call into data and is sent over the internet. Ethernet cables can also be used to make VoIP calls but you can skip that if you have strong Wi-Fi connections. Wi-Fi connection costs you less as compare to local phone service. Voice over internet protocol has many advantages as compared to traditional phone calls.
How does VoIP work?(1)
Internet protocol is used in VoIP that is an essential part of the internet. Internet protocol is a massive innovation as compared to the old communication system. When you call, your conversation is packed in small data packets and exchange over the internet. In less than a second, these data packets can be sent over the internet around the world. Such data packets travel between the phone and provider of VoIP for internet telephony. Voice over internet protocol also provides other functions such as call forwarding, recording of the call, voicemail, and many more.
In four steps working of VoIP is discussed:
- In the Local area network, your phone is connected to the router
- When you want to place a call, the internet protocol of your phone command your VoIP provider to call the other party
- The call is established and exchanges via VoIP service in form of data packets from IP phone
- VoIP converts these signals back into sound that you can hear from your VoIP phone.
Benefits of Voice over internet protocol:
Lower cost: phone bills are lowered about 60 percent due to this technology. It is very cost-effective, especially for businesses.
High-quality sound: audio in VoIP is not muffled or fuzzy as the sound quality is very high.
Advance features: it has premium features that are beneficial for any company such as call recordings, call queues, and auto attendants. Such features are available in business cell phone plans.
Remote-ready: you can use your phone wherever you want to work, you just need an internet connection. You don’t need to install any technical setup if you are working from home.
Call anyone around the world: rates for making an international call is very low as you had to pay 0.04 dollar per minute to call Mexico.
Downsides of VoIP:
Here are some downfalls of Voice over internet protocol:
High speed of internet connection is required: voice over internet protocol doesn’t work well when used through dial-up or internet that is satellite-based. At least 100 kbps are required to make a call.
Emergency service limitations: in an emergency, you need to call 911 from your VoIP phone, and then you need to call the operator to send your exact location. Voice over internet protocol is not able to send your address to public operators of safety.
Makes analog phone obsolete: as this is a new technology it doesn’t rely on signals of analogs. All you need is to upgrade your outdated phones.
How much does VoIP cost?
According to the capabilities of VoIP, it is not expensive at all. A user of VoIP will pay 35 dollars per month to use the services. When compared with the traditional phone system, VoIP is dramatically cost-saving. Here’s a rough idea of how much does VoIP costs:
- Initial cost – $0 to $50 per line
- Monthly cost – $19 to $49 per line
- Cost of device – $80 to $600 per phone
- International call – $0.01 per minute
- Fees and taxes vary according to the city, country, and state you live.
Traditional phone calls have hidden costs one may never know.
- Installation fee: $50 to $100 per drop
- Deposits: $100 to $500
- Maintenance cost: $1,000 annually
- International calls: $1.00 per minute
- Hard pull check of credit
Top VoIP companies of 2021(2)
Here are the top companies of VoIP:
- Wide range of features at a low cost
- Price matching
- It is the best company overall for most the businesses
- Starting price is $22.99
- Plans are fairly affordable
- Allotment of toll-free minutes
- Inbound caller ID
- Unlimited calls within the United States and Canada
- Automatic call recording
- Voice menus in 100 different languages
- Scaleable solutions for remote work
- Best VoIP service for work from home
- Starting price of this company is $19.95.
- Favorite phone service for small businesses
- Best service for employees working from home
- Allow unlimited calls within North America
- Provides the backup
- Videoconferencing is available at Ooma pro plans
- Best for midsize businesses
- For multiple locations
- Budget-friendly for small businesses
- Easy to scale without breaking the budget
- It has cost international call feature
- Starting price for Nextiva is $17.95
- Nextiva mobile app is also available for the employees working from home
- Teams can collaborate via video call.
8 x 8
- It is budget-friendly for users
- They are famous due to their low pricing
- They provide cheap international calling rates
- Crowdsourced customer service
- Good for small businesses who are trying to save a buck without compromising on quality
- They offer simple feature-loaded plans
- They also offer integrations with other parties such as Microsoft, Zendesk, etc.
- It offers team messaging and videoconferencing
- Screen sharing is also available in this app.