VoIP phone systems use the internet to deliver your phone service instead of local connections. VoIP services are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need about VoIP phone systems and advise you on how you can get the best deal for your business.
These systems are significantly popular within businesses across the world and are recognised for being cost-efficient, reliable and effective.
How are VoIP systems hosted?
VoIP systems are based in the cloud and often managed by third-party hosts. These hosts charge businesses on a monthly basis for VoIP services. The equipment is maintained in an off-site data centre.
How does VoIP work?
VoIP systems work by converting your voice into digital signals. These signals are then transmitted through your broadband or local area network. These signals are sent to their destination instantly and decoded for the recipient to hear.
For businesses, VoIP phone lines can be used through either a software or a hardware-based system. If you choose to use the software, you’ll need to download an app onto your computers or mobiles to gain access to VoIP. Alternatively, the hardware-based option involves using a technology that resembles a traditional phone. These devices often feature additional phone-like services, such as voicemail.
Why should my business use VoIP?
To help you decide whether VoIP is suitable for your company, below we’ve outlined some of its main pros and cons.
- Cheaper to use – By switching to a VoIP system, you can make savings through not having to pay to make calls from a landline. You’ll simply make use of your broadband and make monthly payments to your host.
- Flexibility – With VoIP, you can make calls to just about anywhere in the world and not have to worry about expensive overseas charges. Also, the software can be installed onto mobile phones, so you should be able to access the service no matter where you are.
- Opportunity to upscale – Most traditional phone lines have restrictions on many channels they can have. This isn’t the case with VoIP, you are free to add new phone extensions and the setup is usually pretty easy.
- Merge your communications – VoIP allows you to integrate features such as email, instant messaging, call recording and browsers. This can help you organise and streamline elements within your business.
- Additional features – A range of additional features are on offer with VoIP services. This includes voicemail, email voicemail, caller-ID, conference calling, on hold music and call waiting and forwarding.
- Simple maintenance – Most issues with VoIP can be rectified quickly and remotely.
- The main con of VoIP is that it can be affected by inefficient broadband. Your VoIP network will not perform well if you have a substandard internet connection. But not to worry, fixing this is simple. All you have to do is get a good quality broadband.
Our broadband comparison can help.
Choosing the best VoIP for your business
Features should be carefully considered when selecting a VoIP package.
For pricing, you should consider the main monthly cost as well as other factors such as the price of additional phone numbers. A business that operates in multiple locations may want to have local numbers for each site.
You should also consider the type of deal your business requires. For example, VoIP services tend to offer deals that include a certain number of minutes for call time (e.g. 1000 minutes), much like mobile phone contracts. Ensure that the deal you choose is suitable for your business’ requirements.
How much does VoIP cost?
The cost of VoIP can vary greatly. Some deals may be priced at £5, whilst others can cost £30. The cost of your VoIP will depend on the services and additional features required for your business. For example, additional lines can cost up to £500.
The more additions you need, the more expensive your VOIP package will be. So, we recommend that you think about the services you require before selecting a deal.
Do I have to change my business phone number when switching to VoIP?
Keeping your business phone number is often possible when switching to VoIP. However, it depends on whether your provider has a porting process. Bear in mind that the process can be complicated and not all providers offer this service. We recommend that you discuss your needs with your provider, they should be able to advise you on the best choice for your business.
Do I need to change my phones when switching to VoIP?
If you’re currently using traditional phones within your business, it’s likely that you’ll need to change phones when switching to VoIP. Additionally, any handsets you use will need to be VoIP compatible in order to work with your new system.
If you choose to use VoIP software, you’ll be using computers and mobile devices for calls, in which case you would have no use for your old phones.
However, it can be a good idea to have a landline phone available as backup just in case any issues with your VoIP service arise.