VoIP Phone Service is a boon to small businesses who are looking to streamline their communications efforts. Simply put, it’s phone service delivered over the web. In simple terms, the digital voice data is encrypted using specialized codec to encode the same information as an analog voice signal. When it comes to switching the sound back to analog, all that’s required is a simple switch over to your conventional landline.
To get started with VoIP Phone Service, all you need is a broadband internet connection such as DSL or cable and an adapter for your laptop or desktop computer. Typically, you’ll receive a standard PC-to-PC connection (as opposed to a cell phone connection). From there, you simply configure your preferred method of communication. A SIP Trunking Provider will take care of connecting you to your network and is integrating your VoIP Phone Service with your existing telephony or internet service. This makes it extremely easy for you to begin making the most out of your VoIP Phone Service.
Most providers offer SIP Trunking as part of a bundled package. For example, your VoIP provider might include SIP hosting with your VoIP phone purchase, which allows you to seamlessly integrate your computer into your VoIP network. In addition, many SIP Trunking Providers offers extra services, like the ability to integrate your VoIP phone with your email, instant messenger, VOIP phone service, and even your Windows Live Messenger. This can be a great deal of convenience and greatly enhances what you can do on the web.
There are some downsides to integrating your VoIP Network with your existing infrastructure. One of these is that you must have a high speed internet connection in order to use SIP Hosting. If your internet connection is below dial up speeds, then this can be an issue. You may also find that some locations are not compatible with your network.
Another limitation is the distance that your calls can be made between your computer and the SIP Trunking Provider. The majority of internet lines are set up to handle voice traffic only. Therefore, if you are making long-distance calls, you may find that your telephone does not work. Your phone will recognize that you are calling from a different location and will ring. However, if the call goes to voicemail, then your telephone may disconnect from the network.
A third issue is that your VoIP Phone service does not handle faxes.
When sending a fax over the network, you will find that your phone is unable to connect. SIP has been designed to handle faxes, but the technology has not been updated to accommodate voice faxes. As a result, if you wish to send a voice fax, you will need to use a separate provider. You also may have to pay an extra fee to use faxing capabilities with your VoIP Phone.
There are two ways to make VoIP calls over your internet connection.
You can purchase a handset and install it on your computer, or you can use a server hosted VoIP solution. If you purchase a handset, then it will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. The problem with this solution is that the telephone can be heard throughout the house, so everyone in the house can hear the call. VoIP phones work well in this setting because they are plugged directly into each other.
- A server hosted VoIP solution will allow you to install the VoIP Phone service on a server that is not dedicated to your use.
- The telephone will connect to the server, which will provide a telephone number that you can call from anywhere in the world.
- Installation of this type of system is slightly more expensive than purchasing a handset, but you will not have to worry about wires getting tangled up or the phone hanging if you decide to move locations.