Features of VoIP Technology
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of phone service that allows you to do more and save money on the cost of phone minutes. Services are typically much cheaper than plain old telephone service (POTS) or cell phone service, enabling you to reduce your phone bill. You also gain access to features you may not have expected with your phone service. For example, you can use advanced call routing features and have your phone calls transferred to available agents and rerouted as needed. You can build a functional call center on a budget or just set up a simple communications system for business or personal use. With the variety of features available, you can create a customized phone plan.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Technology—VoIP is a powerful technology allowing people to make calls that are routed over the Internet instead of using cell phone towers or the copper wire networks of traditional phone service.
Phone service through VoIP can make a dramatic difference for your business. We think you may actually be amazed at the difference VoIP features and affordability can make. If you are interested in learning more about VoIP technology features, read on further in this article for information on how to get started and pick the functionality you need.
In this article, we will introduce VoIP and talk about features associated with VoIP technology. VoIP can help you create a call center with all the functionality of a much larger organization, enabling you to do so much more.
- VoIP’s Differences from POTS and Cell Service
- Features Available with VoIP
- Where to Go Next with VoIP Service
By the end, you should understand some of the more significant features of VoIP technology and feel confident about making a decision about VoIP services. We will help you find out which services you really need and figure out how you can get going with VoIP service.
1. VoIP’s Differences from POTS and Cell Service
VoIP is unique in how it works, compared with other forms of phone service. Most people are familiar with traditional landline phone service, sometimes called plain old telephone service (POTS) and cellphone service. Many people, however, are not familiar with VoIP. It works differently, using the Internet to transmit phone signals instead of copper wiring or cell phone towers. This saves money on infrastructure costs, and VoIP companies can pass these savings down to their customers. So, VoIP service is significantly cheaper while still high-quality and functional.
There are many services that are expensive for people using business communication systems or phone service systems, such as conference call bridging. These services can be costly, but VoIP makes them more affordable because VoIP provider expenses are low to begin with. This is a significant advantage to using a VoIP plan.
2. Features Available with VoIP
With VoIP, you can customize your plan to fit the needs of your organization or to fit your own personal needs in a communications system. Most vendors allow you to pick and choose your own features or opt for a package deal that includes a set of standard or premium features. Some plans allow you to add-on additional features for an extra cost, too. Depending on the plan, you will pay for minutes or have unlimited minutes. International rates are typically higher, but they are still much lower than what you would normally pay for international calls with a traditional phone plan.
- Call Waiting
- Call Transfers
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Conference Calls/Call Bridging
- Call Recording
- Voicemail-to-Email Transcription
- Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Functionality
- Business SMS Text
- Call Forwarding
- Virtual Extensions
- Caller ID
- Call Blocking
- 3-Way Calls
- Call Monitoring
- Call Analytics
- Call Reporting
- Join Calls In-Progress
- Automated Receptionist
- Remote Login
- User Portal
- Electronic Fax
With these and other features, you can build your business and scale your phone system to meet your needs. VoIP offers a great degree of flexibility to build a cost-effective and highly functional phone system to meet your business needs or to allow you to save on personal phone calls.
3. Where to Go Next with VoIP Service
If you are ready to get VoIP service and begin using it, you may need specific equipment and software. Besides that, you should be good to start using VoIP with a reliable, high-speed Internet connection. You will need the Internet to connect to your VoIP service and to use it, so that is an important point.
Generally speaking, you need to get the fastest Internet you reasonably can, especially if you plan to use the Internet extensively for other reasons. Other uses can slow down your connection and make it difficult in some circumstances to have a high-quality call—for instance, if you are receiving a large call volume and also using the Internet to stream video and download or upload a large volume of data, then you may encounter some challenges with your VoIP connection.
Steps to Using VoIP:
- Shop for a vendor.
- Choose equipment. This is best done after choosing a vendor, although many vendors also allow you to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
- Implement your VoIP system, with help from your vendor if needed.
- Test your system on a regular basis and secure it. Some VoIP systems are vulnerable to hacking, so consider investing in security features.
- As you use your system, look for signs that you need different features or a different plan. If you are not happy with what you have, contact your vendor.
- Update and upgrade your service as needed. Be sure to get training or train your employees on any new systems you choose.
Questions to Ask when Shopping for a VoIP Vendor:
- “How much does equipment cost? Phones?”
- “Which plans are appropriate for my business?”
- “If I need technical support, do I contact you, or do I need to have my own support? What resources, knowledgebase articles, forums, etc. are available to help me?”
- “What other costs are there for these plans? What is the total cost per month, year, etc. for the plans I am interested in?”
Use our site to compare and contrast VoIP services. We think you will find many different vendors who may meet your phone service needs so you can have choices in your phone service plan. If you have any questions about the services available, you can ask your vendor. Preparing a list of questions and concerns as you shop can help you identify the features you need and understand how you will be using your VoIP plan for your personal calls or for your business.
Keep in mind, the support options with your plan depend on the vendor you choose, your service plan and the equipment you decide to use. Bringing your own equipment may mean that you will need to provide more of your own support. Some vendors only provide technical support and installation help for a limited number of different brands and models of phones. This can make it difficult to get the support you truly need. To remedy this problem, you may need to hire support services or use your own resources to figure out problems with your phones as they occur.