Do You Know How To VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a popular type of phone service that uses the Internet to route phone calls instead of traditional phone lines. This saves the phone company money, allowing them to pass the savings on to their subscribers directly. You can learn how to use VoIP service and access a low-cost, efficient type of phone service that may help you boost your business productivity or stay connected with friends and family. You can access inexpensive international phone service, low-cost advanced features that can help your business thrive, and inexpensive minutes to have long conversations or call more often.

  • What is VoIP? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) routes phone calls and communications over the Internet instead of using phone lines.
  • How To VoIP–Getting a vendor, the right equipment and an Internet connection allows you to begin using a VoIP phone service.

Learning how to use VoIP is fairly straightforward. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of VoIP and show you how to begin using it yourself. You may be amazed at what VoIP service is capable of, because it can bring you a rich variety of different phone features you may not have realized were available at such a reasonable cost.

Article Contents:

  1. The Power of VoIP
  2. What’s VoIP For?
  3. Using VoIP at Work and at Home
  4. VoIP Advanced Features

1. The Power of VoIP

VoIP allows you to accomplish many things as a small business owner, call center employee, staff member or just someone who makes phone calls for personal or business use. This technology reduces the costs that phone service companies typically have to pay for infrastructure maintenance, so it makes phone service much cheaper than it otherwise would be. You can access a better phone system that does more and helps your business accomplish more.

You are not limited to calling other VoIP systems, either. You can call traditional phones or VoIP phones and anyone with an Internet connection and VoIP account or a traditional phone with a phone plan can answer and communicate with you directly.

2. What’s VoIP For?

You can begin using VoIP in your home or business as a replacement for a traditional business or home phone system. VoIP systems have a broad range of different capabilities. You can implement a full business communications system through a VoIP vendor, in fact. If you plan to have a call center for your business, VoIP makes it possible to cheaply and effectively set up and manage one. You can have one single phone and line, or even have a unified communications system with a large list of extensions and features such as find me/follow me, autoresponder, virtual receptionist and others.

International phone calls are also much cheaper, so if you or if your business makes a large volume of international calls, VoIP may help you save money on your phone service. Using the Internet, VoIP subscribers can answer calls from other countries and make phone calls out to distant locations at a much cheaper per-minute rate. VoIP can help you reduce your phone costs if you depend on large call volumes, whether your calls are local or international.

3. Using VoIP at Work and at Home

If you are ready to get started, begin writing down a list of desired features, capabilities and functions for your VoIP phone system. A good place to start is with the current state of your communications system. If you frequently use SMS text messaging already, for instance, you may want to ask about this feature in your VoIP system. Your vendor can help you decide which specific features you will need, but it is a good idea to know a little bit about the types of functionality you will be looking for in your service plan.

Home Plans

At home, you probably do not need a lot of advanced VoIP features. You may already have an analog telephone you have been using, and if you want to keep it, then you will need a special adapter. Using your smartphone or tablet computer is another option, if your vendor provides a soft phone app for you to use. You will need an Internet connection at your home before you can begin using your VoIP connection.

Usually, these are plug-and-play plans you can begin using very quickly. You will probably be able to make and receive phone calls the same day you receive your equipment and access to service. You can replace your home phone system almost immediately.

Business Plans

For businesses, having other features such as phone queues may be important. You should think about how you use phone calls, SMS texting, video conferencing and chat as part of your marketing and operations. Many business plans are more expensive than home plans, but include more features and may include more minutes or offer unlimited minutes. You can use a variety of different phones with your service and may want calls to be routed through a find me/follow me system, too, so each call can follow agents or specific employees to the correct destination–this allows people to respond to calls away from the phone or at a different phone. Calls can be transferred to smartphones or sent away to follow you on the road, without the other party knowing you are away from the office.

VoIP allows remote workers to connect together in the same phone system, allowing businesses the option of using distributed teams. This allows you to hire candidates in different locations and removes geographic limitations on who you can hire and integrate into your team.

A business phone system may be a more complex undertaking than a home VoIP plan, but it still often a quick process to implement, particularly if you do not need extensive equipment onsite or onsite implementation from a vendor. You may need to provide your own technical support if you plan to bring your own phones into the service, so keep that in mind–not every vendor provides support for every phone system type.

4. VoIP Advanced Features

There are a lot of different types of advanced features available for VoIP service subscribers. Advanced VoIP features are often centered around creating a call center for your business. In the past, these systems would have been extremely expensive. Now, they are relatively inexpensive by comparison, so even small businesses can usually afford VoIP service and their own call centers.

Depending on what you are looking for, you may decide to have your system managed by your vendor and you may decide not to use an onsite private branch exchange (PBX). Your vendor can probably provide PBX services without you needing to buy a PBX box. PBX systems help to route call traffic within a business or organizational phone system. These functions can be (and often are) performed by software.

These systems may use online portals to allow users and administrators to manage the phone system for your business. If you want to make changes, you can quickly and easily change the entire system online through the portal. Users may be able to customize their own settings and preferences–updating settings such as their physical location when they need to.

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