You might have heard of VoIP and its usage. You might have wondered what it is and how it is different from normal phone calls. Why do businesses use VoIP to make out their phone calls? In this guide, we explain to you What is VoIP and how does it work?
What is VoIP and How does it work?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a way to make phone calls using the internet instead of a telephone network. When you make a phone call using VoIP, your voice is converted into digital data packets and sent over the internet to the person you are calling or connected to. The person on the other end receives the call on their device, and their VoIP system converts the digital data back into your voice so they can hear you.
VoIP can be used on a variety of devices, including smartphones, laptops, and desktops, as long as they have an internet connection. Some popular VoIP services include Zoom, Skype, and Google Voice. VoIP calls can be made and received anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet connection. VoIP is often more cost-effective and offers more features than traditional phone systems which charge users putting limitations on the calls.
Features and advantages of VoIP
VoIP is nothing but calls we make over the internet without relying on the traditional telephone network. The features of VoIP are its advantages. They are:
- Cost-effective: VoIP is cost-effective as it relies on the internet than dedicated phone lines. You can make calls to anyone in the world using VoIP technology. All you need to have is a good internet connection which would be a very costly affair with phone calls.
- Flexibility: The flexibility VoIP has over traditional phones makes it a good choice. You can receive or make calls on any device like computers, mobiles, and tablets with an internet connection. It gives the advantage of staying connected even when you are not at home or the office.
- Versatility: Whenever you miss a call using VoIP technology, you can get instant messages just like normal phone systems, you can access voicemails, forward calls, or make conference calls in addition to the unique advantages it has.
- Scalability: If you are having hectic and busier days with your business, you can easily scale the VoIP with just a thought and a few clicks, unlike traditional phones for which you need to contact the telephone network.
- Integration: You can integrate VoIP calls with various business systems like customer relationship management (CRM) software. This allows users to access important customer and business data while on the phone.
- Disaster recovery: VoIP systems can be configured to automatically redirect calls to another location in the event of a natural disaster or other emergencies that disrupts phone service. This helps ensure that businesses can stay connected and continue to operate even in the face of unforeseen challenges.
Disadvantages of VoIP
Though VoIP has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. They are:
- Dependence on internet connectivity: VoIP requires a stable and reliable internet connection to work properly. If the internet goes down, you cannot make or receive calls, not even text messages. The entire system collapses in case of issues with the internet connection. VoIP technology needs not only the internet but also need a constant power supply for VoIP to work.
- Quality: The quality of a VoIP call can be affected by the speed and reliability of your internet connection. Calls may be prone to delays, and dropped connections, and the voices may be distorted or delayed if the internet connection is stable or sufficient to make the calls. To maintain the good quality of the calls, you have to maintain good internet connectivity which would be hard, if you are in a remote location away from the hubs of connectivity.
- Security: VoIP calls are transmitted over the internet, which means they are potentially vulnerable to hackers and other cyber threats. To ensure the security of VoIP calls, it is important to use secure protocols and encryption. Even if you rely on big tech, there is no guarantee that the data might not leak.
- Compatibility: Some older phone systems may not be compatible with VoIP. This can be an issue for businesses that want to switch to VoIP but have older equipment that they are not ready to replace. You need to regularly update your devices over time.
- Emergency calls: In some cases, VoIP calls may not be able to connect to emergency services like 911 in the US or may not be routed to the correct location. It is important for businesses using VoIP to have a plan in place for handling emergency calls to save lives or protect people in case of unforeseen emergencies.
- Regulatory compliance: Depending on the country or region, there may be regulatory requirements for businesses using VoIP that must be followed. For example, some countries require businesses to register their VoIP phone numbers or pay fees to use the service.
These are the various advantages and disadvantages of VoIP technology.
Do you need extra equipment to use VoIP?
Not really. To use the internet we all have routers that emit WiFi signals. You can use your smartphone with or without a headset to make VoIP calls using Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, or other such apps that lets you place calls using internet connectivity. You can also use your laptop or computer that connects to the internet and can use your headphones as an audio device. There are no specified requirements for the equipment to make calls on VoIP.
Is WhatsApp a VoIP call?
Yes. Since WhatsApp uses the internet to make or receive calls as well as text messages, we can say a call on WhatsApp is a VoIP call. You might have noticed the distortion in calls or bad quality of calls on WhatsApp when you don’t have proper connectivity to the internet. This all sums up to say WhatsApp is a VoIP call.