Voice Over Internet Protocol
Using the technology that is available
can really help your business excel. Technology can help you to save money and make it convenient to conduct business all over the world . A good example of this is VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol. Businesses large and small are using VOIP more and
more frequently. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, there's no reason not to save money on your phone bill!
Unless you are a large corporation or need several lines, the good news is that there is very little that is necessary in order
for you to get started using this technology. For the home and small business user, simply having a broadband Internet connection,
such as cable or DSL, will have plenty of speed for your needs. The other equipment that is
necessary is usually just a headset and speakers, and possibly a special phone/audio card in your computer if you want to be able to talk through your computer. Most VOIP providers, however, will supply you with all the hardware you need, so just get yourself a plain-old corded or wireless handset phone. We use VOIP with a two-line phone bought at Best Buy that has both handheld and wireless capabilities.
A great benefit to VOIP technology is that it
is not only other computers that can be contacted, but you can also contact people on any type of device such as land lines and cellular/mobile phones. In addition, there are affordable calling plans available that give you the ability to call
international numbers, saving a significant amount of money over what you may currently be
paying through your land-line phone provider.
The quality is going to be dependent upon a number
of factors. For example, the more internet bandwidth you have available,
the more likely it is going to be that you can have call clarity that can't be distinguished from a land-line phone. Fortunately, over
the past several years, this technology has improved considerably and even slower DSL connections have amazing call quality. We have used ours with as little as 1.2 Megabytes per second while having our computers surfing the internet. Don't expect to have any such luck with a dial-up plan, though.
Another thing you will want to consider is the software that may be necessary. For
larger businesses, licensing may be necessary for very specific software that
will help to suit your needs and handle call transfers, voicemail boxes, conference
calls or even recording calls for later use. For home users, the software that is necessary can easily be downloaded in order to make calls, either locally or around the world
using their home Internet connection.
We are fortunate enough to use Vonage and they provide us with all the hardware except a phone. So we provide the internet connection and a phone to plug into their box and we are ready to go. No matter where we are in the world, anyone can call the same number and that phone will ring wherever we have it plugged in. Amazing!