Imagine having to make phone calls via your computer using an internet connection to any part of the world by using special software and a microphone. Better still, with charges bypassing those of your phone network. Sounds too good?
VOIP is a force to reckon within the Telkom sector, saving businesses and people precious time and resources at a inexpensive price. If you are looking for VoIP services, consider contacting NYC IT consulting company Power Consulting.
What is VOIP?
VOIP or voice over IP stands for voice over internet protocol. VOIP is a technology that transmits voice and multimedia content over internet protocol networks. With VOIP, you can make phone calls over the internet or LANs (local area network) without the need to use your mobile system or phone.
This advanced technology converts analogue voice signals into digitized information packets. The packets can be transmitted over the internet allowing for communication to take place anywhere as long as there is access to internet connection. VOIP is also referred to as IP telephony, internet telephony or voice over IP.
How Does VOIP Work?
VOIP technology utilizes codecs to enclose analogue voice data into packets of digital data. And transmits these packets across a private IP network or a public internet where it unwraps the digital packets back into audio voice signals at the final point of connection.
Codecs turn analogue audio into packets for VOIP transmission.
VOIP Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of VOIP
VOIP has various advantages over circuit switching. With a high-speed internet connection and good bandwidth, VOIP phone services will not disappoint you. Advantages of VOIP include:
Low operating costs
VOIP systems save you a great deal of money. The initial set up and operating costs are cheaper than the usual mobile network. With a broadband internet connection (cable or DSL) you can make free PC- to-PC calls anywhere in the world.
And even though PC calls to landlines are charged, the rates are cheaper than your regular mobile network service. You can opt for the pay-as-you-go service or subscribe to a monthly connection with a VOIP service provider in return for unlimited calls within a specified geographic zone.
VOIP networks provide unmatched flexibility, unlike private box exchange. Private and internal phone networks limit the number of phones that the system can handle. This is because of a limited number of lines the system can accommodate. VOIP is only limited by bandwidths, so you can make unlimited connections.
When you subscribe to VOIP services using a VOIP phone service provider, a converter will be sent to you allowing a regular phone to access the VOIP phone service. You can program your phone into the converter and use it whenever you travel. And you stay connected even in the remotest place as long as you have an internet connection.
Since your phone number is based on your converter, you can choose any area code for your phone number. You can have more than one virtual code number depending with the carrier you buy.
Ease of accessibility
With a VOIP system, location is a non-factor and no matter which part of the world you are in, communication is possible as long as you have an internet connection.
The only necessary thing is you sign into your broadband account. You can also stay connected even if you are on the road though at a minimal cost. Compared to a traditional telephone line, VOIP technology is much more convenient.
Good Voice Quality
As long as your internet connection is reliable and you have a good bandwidth, the voice quality you experience should be equal or much better than that of a telephone connection.
With traditional phones, you pay more for extra features. But VOIP comes with a wide array of features like call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, three-way calling, caller ID and many more. You are also able to send data like pictures and documents while engaging in a conversation.
VOIP ensures you conduct meetings and hold discussions with your clients and staff via video, access and share data files, emails and much more as the session progresses. This allows you to have more flexible and integrated meetings that can connect people from various locations in the world.
Disadvantages of VOIP
Is VOIP starting to sound really good? Even though VOIP has many advantages, it has a share of its own setbacks that limit its effectiveness.
You can only operate VOIP as long as you have an internet connection with a reliable and excellent bandwidth. Poor internet connection and internet congestion can distort or garble the voice quality.
This is even more noticeable when you are using a congested network or where there are long distances between internetworking points.
As with other internet technologies, there is a prominent security risk when using VOIP especially over viruses and malware, identity and service theft, denial of service, call tampering, phishing attacks and spamming.
Zero Service with Power Outage/ Emergencies
When there is a blackout, your phone is still in service because of the current transmitted via the phone line. But with IP phones, power outages result in no VOIP phone service. You need an uninterruptible power supply or a generator installed in the premise to use VOIP during a power outage.
This can be a major headache when the power goes out for long. Businesses have to maintain one traditional telephone line for such inconveniences. Emergency services also find it difficult to trace VOIP calls when there’s no power.
Bandwidth requirements can interfere with calls making them delay, disappear or lag altogether. This is because packets of information need to reassemble and it takes time for you to make a call. But with more sophisticated data algorithms coming up, this is becoming a non-issue.
Even though the hiccups of VOIP technology can be quite annoying, VOIP is the backbone of modern communication. VOIP is reinventing voice quality and efficient communication and it is time we say farewell to the era of plain traditional phone service.