A VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Phone service is a type of phone service that is most commonly known as internet calling. This was one of the features that were first popularized by Skype.
Nowadays, VoIP services are generally used to hedge against things like the costs of international phone calls. For iPhone users, this is often done through the facetime audio feature that allows iPhone users to call each other without the use of their minutes or roaming charges. Other apps such as Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp, are also competing for services that allow users access to VoIP phone services.
Essentially, VoIP phone services allow users to speak to one another through the use of the internet rather than traditional phone lines or cell services. They do this by converting the audio information that is spoken into the microphone of your device and converting it into data that will then be sent through the internet to the person on the other end of the line.
Other apps such as Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp, are also competing services that allow users the access to VoIP phone services. Essentially, VoIP phone services allows users to speak to one another through the use of the internet rather than traditional phone lines or cell services.
They do this by converting the audio information that is spoken into the microphone of your device and converting it into data that will then be sent through the internet to the person on the other end of the line.
A landline is a phone network that uses the connections of a physical network of phone wires that are connected to the phone company. Landlines require existing infrastructure to be set up so that a given phone line is connected to the phone company.
If you are making a local call, the phone company will make a loop with your call and the person receiving the call; however, if you are making a long distance phone call, it takes the phone company a bit more work. The auditory information that travels from your phone input to the phone company is converted into digital information.
From here the digital information is transmitted to a satellite which is then sent to another land-based phone network in the country/region in which you are calling. The digital information that is received by the hub connected to the satellite is then converted back into auditory information and a loop is completed with the person in which you are calling.
If you have an existing internet service that is available at the location in which you want to set up a new phone service, utilizing a VoIP phone service is a much cheaper option than the landline alternative. The only potential cost to start up a VoIP phone service is to install an internet service, so if you already have internet, the setup cost is very small.
Furthermore, since a VoIP phone service is merely using your existing internet, the cost of using it is also very cheap as it primarily utilizes a service that you are probably already paying for. If you invest in a VoIP phone service for a business, it will be cheaper to grow as you do not have to install extra lines to the property in which you would be making your calls from. Extra features such as call waiting, call forwarding, call parking, etc… are available through a VoIP phone service without extra costs.
VoIP phone services also allow for multimedia communications without extra service costs. If you prefer to have a more mobile and portable form of communication, VoIP is superior in that aspect, as well as you do not have to be in your home or office to make or receive phone calls. If you are a decently sized business, VoIP phone services also come with auto-attendants. This will allow callers to call through a series of menu options to get the extension that they need. In a sense, VoIP phone services are effectively converting your phone into more of a computer. This allows users to track call analytics which may help to optimize your business.
If you are constantly on the go or you are short on time, VoIP phone services also offer users capabilities of voicemail to text and voicemail to email messaging. Because VoIP is computerizing your phone service, it should be noted that softphone capabilities are also easily available. This means that you can effectively turn any device into a phone such as your mobile device, tablet, laptop, and desktop computer.
Another large benefit of computerizing your phone system is that many extra tools and apps may be added onto your phone, allowing you to have a larger variety of utilities at your disposal. These utilities include many third-party tools, CRM tools, sales software, and email marketing software. Lastly, VoIP phone services allow for free calls whenever you are making a call from one VoIP system to another.
VoIP phone services require the use of a stable internet connection to be used. This means that if you are using too much of your bandwidth through other devices it is possible to harm the connectivity of your calls; however, it should be noted that the required amount of internet connection required to run a VoIP phone service is just a mere 10kbps.
If you are in a location that does not have a stable internet connection or your internet service provider is largely unreliable, then this type of service may be unideal. The last major disadvantage to a VoIP phone service system is that phone calls must be forwarded to a secondary device during a power outage. Without the secondary device, you will not have the ability to make your phone calls during a blackout.
There are a few benefits to having a landline service rather than a VoIP phone service. Most notably, a landline service can be reliably used even when your internet goes down, or in circumstances when you are experiencing faulty or extremely slow internet connection. Landline services are tent to be a bit more reliable during times of emergencies. This is because landlines are still functional during power outages, provided that the phone that you are using is still able to be powered. This all accumulates to landline services being much more secure and stable than the connection that you would have when using a VoIP phone service.
Landline services are significantly more expensive in most functions that either service provides. The initial cost of setting up a landline service is notably higher than the start-up cost of a VoIP phone service; the running cost is higher as well. Along with its higher cost, there are also many fewer extra features that come with using a landline phone service.
First of all, there is no option for multimedia communication if you are using a landline. You are simply relegated to audio communication and nothing else. Furthermore, extra features that are included with a VoIP phone service such as call waiting, call forwarding, and call parking are not available unless you pay extra fees. While VoIP phone services can call other VoIP phone services for free, landline phone services do not have free PSTN to PSTN calls as all calls are charged.
Most notably, landlines are very expensive when it comes to expanding a business. If you want to add extra phone lines, extra phone sets and wired phones may need to be purchased. There will also be additional fees for upholding the extra lines along with the cost of initially setting them up.
This very much depends on your internet access. If you have a very solid internet connection, then it will not matter. You should note that the internet required to sustain a VoIP phone service system is a mere 10KBPS which is an incredibly small amount in today’s age. Both types of phone services are very reliable, however, landline services do have a marginal edge against VoIP services in the short run.
The reliability of a landline phone service comes from the fact that the user gets a separate line for each connection, thus resulting in inconsistent performance.
Nevertheless, VoIP phone services are far more reliable in the long run because landlines are becoming obsolete. Since its inception, VoIP has been continually evolving as hardware technology and internet technology has developed.
Meanwhile, landlines have stagnated and fewer and fewer people are opting to use them. The abilities of VoIP for businesses will only continue to evolve as more and more people invest in VoIP technology and services. This makes it the far better option of the two in the long run.
There are a couple of other options outside of VoIP and landline phone services, but they do not boast the same level of reliability or efficiency that these two services provide. The first and more common option is to fully mobilize phone services and opt to only use cell service.
If you are planning to get the extra cell service for your business or home as a separate service than your personal cell phone, the extra cell service will be rather expensive. Also, cell phone services are generally more unreliable than hard-wired phone services. If the reliability and security of your phone calls is of high priority to you, cell service is an inferior product to VoIP and landline phone services.
Although it is possible to make your VoIP phone service equally as mobile as using exclusively a cellular phone, chances are you are already paying for a cell phone service so adding the VoIP phone service may not be necessary if you do not mind conducting all your business through your personal phone.
The other alternative to VoIP and landline phone services are computer-based telephony. This will likely be the cheapest option of all, but it does have the most limitations. This is most commonly done through programs such as Skype and Google Voice. These programs allow you to use your computer as a phone, but for you to access your virtual phone, you may need to keep these programs running at all times.
Unless you are planning to exclusively be using laptops, chances are you are also going to have to purchase external microphones for your desktop computer. This is an added cost to using computer-based telephony, but it is generally just going to be a one time cost. Overall, computer-based telephony is the cheapest option but also the most inconvenient.
When debating between VoIP and landline phone services, it is ideal to keep in mind your location’s connection to the internet. Landline phone services have an advantage in consistency and reliability simply through the way that landlines are installed; however, in this day and age, this should not be much of an issue. There are still places where fast, reliable internet access may be very lacking.
Most places, especially in metropolitan and industrial areas, have a decent internet connection available so the connection and reliability of VoIP lines are negligible. This means that the main advantage of using a landline phone service over VoIP phone service is marginal. In contrast, the advantages of VoIP phone services over landlines are quite significant.
There is much more freedom in how you like to set up your service and which programs and tools you would like to have equipped with your service. The general costs of VoIP are much cheaper than landline phone services, but it provides much more utilities and functionality. Whether you are purchasing VoIP for home or business, it is the superior product to a landline. It is the cheaper option between the two and if you are a business, lowering your overhead is always a plus.
Furthermore, VoIP phone services are far more scalable for businesses which would probably be the most important factor for growing businesses. There is a reason many businesses and entrepreneurs are investing in a VoIP phone service now and leaving landline services behind.
Landline phone services have stopped evolving while innovation continues to fuel VoIP. At the end of the day, VoIP phone services are the future of telecommunications.