VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. As you might be able to guess, that’s because VoIP uses the internet to send voice signals (rather than traditional landlines).
We won’t bore you with all the technical details, but here’s the short version of how VoIP works: Your VoIP service takes your voice call, makes it into a digital signal, breaks that signal up into a bunch of little data packets, and sends those packets through the internet. Depending on what kind of number you’re calling, that digital signal may get converted into an analog signal at the end (like the kind landlines use.)
Practically speaking, though, you won’t notice much of a difference. You’ll still dial a number and call as usual.
So why choose a VoIP phone system?
VoIP systems have some really standout benefits.
First and foremost, VoIP offers way more flexibility than other types of business phone systems. Because VoIP uses the internet to handle calls, you can use a variety of internet-connected devices for calling―including computers, tablets, mobile phones, and internet-enabled desk phones.
And you know how some of those devices are very portable? VoIP is too. If you’ve got your provider’s VoIP app on your phone, for example, you can make and take VoIP calls anywhere you have internet access.
Plus, VoIP comes with lots of great features (which we’ll come to in just a second) that you can’t get from traditional landlines. And VoIP tends to be pretty affordable to boot.
That doesn’t mean VoIP is perfect. It does rely on both internet and power, which means you’ll lose phone service in a power outage. And if you have slow or spotty internet, your VoIP service will suffer too.
Still, for most businesses, VoIP’s pros outweigh the cons.
We mentioned that VoIP has some great features. That’s true.
VoIP systems usually include most of the features and services found with traditional multi-line and PBX systems—plus access to more:
- Advanced reporting and analytics
- Click to call
- Instant messaging
- Internet fax
- Integration with CRM and other software
- Log-ins from any device
- Presence management
- Video conferencing
- Virtual phone lines for smartphones
- Voice-to-text transcription