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What is VOIP?

What is VOIP?

With NBN in Australia, internet service providers now can offer better than ever internet reception throughout the country. This not only allows households to stream movies or increase internet speed, it also allows companies, or even ordinary families to use VoIP systems. 

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, it has changed the way phone calls are made. VoIP turns voice into digital signal and uses the internet to transmit that signal to other phones. In between there is a VoIP service provider that allows it to happen.

voip phone

One of the main benefits of VoIP is to make phone calls at low cost, as it uses the internet, you do not need to pay long-distance nor international calls, like you would with a traditional landline service.

At first glance, VoIP sounds complicated, in fact there is a lot of technology behind it to make it work. However, you as the end user do not need to know the technical details of operation. All the user needs to know is what is required to make VoIP system work.

 

What do you need to have VoIP at your home or business?

As the name VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) implies, you will need a high-speed internet service. All regular NBN plans available in the market are usually enough to make the system work. However, the number of phones connected to the network will determine which internet speed is the best for the needs of your business.  

You will also need a VoIP Phone, which looks identical to a traditional desk phone, router/modem (most of the latest models are compatible with VoIP phones), and SIP server which is typically VoIP service providers. To explain the provider in simple words, it connects VoIP to traditional landline phones over Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). 

voip phone

VoIP works with digital quality signal, which allows higher quality calls compared to traditional PSTN ones. If both ends are using VoIP, the call (or even video if the VoIP phones support this feature) will be in high definition.  

 

VoIP Internet requirements

Before planning to start using VoIP it is important to verify the internet requirement suitable for the system. As explained before, VoIP relies on the internet to send and receive a digital signal, so a good internet speed is crucial, so your VoIP system works properly.   

You probably have noticed that if you use too many things online simultaneously (i.e., downloading files, browsing the web, or watching videos) the Internet speed (also known as bandwidth) is likely to decrease.  The internet speed is delivered as a set amount of speed at any one time and when you try to do too many resource-heavy activities at once, you can quickly exceed the allocated amount.

If you are using the internet to stream a video, for example, it can be a little inconvenience. Afterall, the video will probably take longer to load. However, in a real-time phone call it may not be acceptable, as the call might cut out regularly making it hard to communicate, or in the worst-case scenario making the call to be interrupted unadvisedly. Some VoIP phones feature video calls, which make the necessity of a reliable internet even higher.

voip phone

So, it is important to understand how much bandwidth is required to make a VoIP phone system viable to your home or business, so you can use the system uninterruptedly and at the same time not compromise the internet speed when you are using it to access the web, gaming or accessing a stream service.  

 

How much bandwidth is required?

Usually, the required bandwidth is way above the standard internet usage. However, it depends on the number of employees (phones) you need to have in your system.  The typical bandwidth required for VoIP is 100 Kbps per device. Depending on the type of data and features you use, you might need more bandwidth than the standard. 

An easy way to understand what bandwidth is, is to compare it to a highway. The better the bandwidth the more lanes the highway will have. Following this analogy, the highway gets busier during rush hour, accident or broken-down cars. When selecting the right bandwidth for your business, these bottlenecks should be taken into consideration, as if your internet does not consider these potential delays, you can end up having poor call quality in specific times of the day.

Find below recommended speeds for optimal performance.

 

Number of Concurrent Calls

Minimum Required Bandwidth

 

Recommended speed

1

100 Kbps Up and Down

 

3 MBps Up and Down

3

300 Kbps Up and Down

 

3 MBps Up and Down

5

500 Kbps Up and Down

 

5 MBps Up and Down

10

1 MBps Up and Down

 

5-10 MBps Up and Down

 

Is It Possible to Use an Existing Phone With VoIP? 

The answer is yes, it is possible. However, it is necessary to use a VoIP Phone Adapter, but bear in mind that analogue phones were not designed to be used with digital signal. Even though they might work, the quality of the call will not be digital and many features of a regular VoIP phone, such as video calls, or conference calls will not be supported. 

 

VoIP Phone Features

Speaking of features, there are so many that a regular VoIP phone can offer that it is worth talking about it. Find the main features below:

  • Online Faxing – Send and receive unlimited faxes, just like email. No hardware or wires. Faxing is finally easy and straightforward.
  • Unlimited Calling – Call any phone in the United States and Canada as much as you want. No minutes to track. Instant savings.
  • Call Queues – Handle calls when your team is busy. Callers wait in line for the next agent. You and your customers will love it.
  • Auto Attendant – Greet callers instantly when they call and direct them to the right person. Give your company an excellent first impression from the moment they call.
  • Conference Lines – Use a dedicated conference line for meetings with up to nine participants. Meet, moderate, and record in HD. 
  • HD Voice Quality – Get superior sounding phone calls. It is engineered to eliminate annoying static for vibrant conversations. 
  • Smartphone App – Answer business calls from on the go. Never miss an important call again. It is available free for iOS and Android devices. 
  • Voicemail-to-Email – Get voicemail messages delivered to your inbox. Listen to voicemails and respond through your email. 
  • CRM Integrations – Optional integration you can use with your current CRM. Boost productivity with a deeply integrated workflow.

These are just some features you can find in VoIP phones. There are many more.

Conclusion

I cannot think of a reason why you should not use a VoIP phone system. As explained before, it is cheaper than traditional landline phone systems, it has far superior digital quality, and it offers many different and useful features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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