Voice over IP services hit the telecommunications industry back in the late 90s and early 2000s. It had originally come out as competition for copper wire telephone services, and their capabilities far surpassed copper and created a platform with more advanced communications solutions in the technology sector.
VoIP technology is a host of telecom services and can be considered an alternative phone option but it encompasses much more than that. This service works over internet-connected networks. You can gain the capabilities of full range voice-to-voice services, including call waiting and conference calling as well as having access to video calling, video-conference solutions, digital whiteboards, and voicemail services.
The Benefits of VoIP
When you begin to compare VoIP to more traditional wire analog services you will find there are many benefits for VoIP, including the following:
Cheaper infrastructure. Copper lines and fiber optics for phones can be costly. For VoIP, all you need to do is add additional Ethernet connections to use a Wi-Fi connection. Doing so can significantly cut the costs associated with your service.
It doesn't require network topology. You don't have to have a local network in place for VoIP. Instead, you plug your VoIP solution into an already existing network without having to re-engineer anything.
Allows for mobile telephony. You can use a soft phone to call on both your computer and smartphone as well as program your desktop VoIP phones and move them without having to go through the process of reprogramming. This makes VoIP the perfect solution for an office environment.
Competition. With everything that VoIP offers, you will find that you will be getting far more in the way of features when compared to PSTN-based providers, and you will be paying much less over time.
A Few Drawbacks
As with everything, there are also a few drawbacks to consider along with the pros of VoIP. For example, the call quality can sometimes prove inferior and may face bandwidth challenges. Additionally, VoIP requires power to work so if you experience a total power failure either at home or your office where you utilize VoIP, you won't be able to use the service.
When you make emergency calls, you will find that VoIP can't be used because this service isn't location based. Finally, since it requires an internet connection, you may experience disruptions to the service because of problems with the internet. Not all VoIP providers offer end-to-end encryption either for their services, which may pose a problem to your overall security.
Who Should Use VoIP Services?
Even with the few drawbacks, there are many reasons to choose VoIP services for home or business. If you are a mid to large business, then using VoIP for your internal phone system may be beneficial because of the costs involved and how easy it is to maintain for a business that has already been wired for internet connectivity.
At home, you can choose between providers and will find competitive pricing. A lot of times, VoIP services can also be bundled with your internet or TV service as well making it, even more, cost-efficient.
If you find that you make a lot of long distance calls, you will also greatly benefit from VoIP services because you do not get charged extra like you would with PSTN. So, before going with traditional copper and a traditional phone system, consider VoIP at your home or office to begin to take advantage of its many benefits.