VOIP telephone


Internet technology has truly revolutionized the way we communicate – all thanks to Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. Every day consumers use VOIP technology to speak to their friends and family, and you’ll also find it in the most efficient customer-facing businesses. VoIP calls are now an essential tool for running effective call centers with productive agents.


Whether you’re a business leader looking to learn more about how VoIP works, or you’d just like to know more about how the internet revolutionized communication, this guide to VoIP will provide all the answers.


To learn more about exactly what VoIP is, this is the guide for you.


How VoIP Works

VoIP enables people to have voice-based conversations over the internet. Moving away from the traditional analog telephone conversations, which use a landline or mobile network connection, a VoIP system requires only a high-speed internet connection to work. VoIP has revolutionized the telecommunications industry, holding many significant benefits when compared to fixed phone lines.


VoIP systems take analog voice signals and convert them into digital signals before sending that data over a broadband connection.


Types of VoIP System

VoIP harnesses the power of the internet to make communication over the web a reality. It can do that in one of the following methods.


Using a phone and VoIP adapter

Any regular landline can be converted to make and accept VoIP calls. All that’s needed is a special adapter plugged into the phone socket or router.


Using a computer

There are countless providers of VoIP services already out there, many of which you’ve probably heard of or used. Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple’s Facetime service are all powered by VoIP technology.


Using a smartphone

There are countless options on mobile app stores offering VoIP services, using the same technology, only this time using your phone’s internet connection. This can be particularly powerful for remote workers, who can take business calls on their smartphone using the business’ phone system.


VoIP for Business

VoIP phone systems are a popular solution for businesses that want a cost-effective method to handle a lot of calls in a reliable way. They come in one of two solutions: Hosted Cloud PBX and SIP trunking.


Hosted Cloud PBX

Also known as a cloud phone system, a hosted Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a holistic, networked approach to business communication. In this system, every device that handles calls is connected to the same cloud-based infrastructure. The entire system is managed off-site by a third-party company.


Desk IP phones, analog phones with a built-in adapter, desktop computers and smartphones are all connected to the Local Area Network (LAN). When a call comes in from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), it travels through the VoIP provider, router and LAN before it arrives at the correct device.


Cloud PBX systems can be managed online, making it easier for administrators to adjust permissions or add features that wouldn’t be available with an analog system. They also tend to be much cheaper than using costly telephone businesses.


SIP Trunking

The initial cost of installing a PBX system can be high if businesses are required to replace a lot of hardwired phones. Using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking does away with this requirement, as it connects your existing PBX system to the internet.


An SIP trunk represents the bridge between the VoIP provider and your PBX equipment. Using this model, the system is handled by IT staff on-site.


Businesses who switch to SIP trunking can benefit from a reliable, quality phone service that handles multiple exchanges of data. SIP trunking not only handles voice data but also email, video, and other data – all on the same line. This allows everything from call routing, multimedia messaging and video conferencing to be handled on the same line.


Fixed Vs Non-Fixed VoIP

VoIP services come in one of two forms: fixed VoIP lines and non-fixed VoIP lines.


A fixed VoIP line must be associated with a physical address. This will be someone’s home or a business’s office. Fixed VoIP services tend to be exclusively paid for services. You can also expect a fixed VoIP service to be linked to a provider’s SIP trunk, rather than operating solely via the internet.


Non-fixed VoIP lines don’t require a fixed address to be set up. They can often be set up using only an email and tied to a geographical location. Also commonly known as “virtual phone numbers”, non-fixed VoIP services include huge consumer tech platforms such as Skype and Google Voice.


Businesses can benefit from both fixed and non-fixed VoIP depending on their circumstances. Fixed VoIP phone systems come with a range of features that can benefit large organizations. One example is phone flip, allowing you to move a call onto a different device quickly and easily.


Non-fixed VoIP is ideal for making phone calls across continents. If a business has two offices worldwide, a call on Skype or similar comes at no cost other than your existing internet package.


How to Set Up VOIP

VoIP is a great option for businesses that want to handle all of their phone calls using the internet. If you think it might for your business, here are the steps you need to take to get set up on VoIP.


What you need

Every VoIP system needs the following to work:


  • A good internet connection


The more calls you’ll be handling, the more bandwidth you’ll need. In advance, you might want to estimate how many phones your current connection can handle. Even if you need to invest in a better connection, it could still make financial sense given the savings you’ll make using VoIP.


  • Router


If you want to use the system remotely, you’ll need a VPN router. The better the quality of the router, the better the service you’ll produce.


  • IP phones


This is your hardware and ultimately what you’ll be answering calls on.


  • PBX server and software


The PBX server keeps your entire system on the move. Without it, you won’t be able to handle a high quantity of users.


  • VoIP provider


You’ll need to select from the many VoIP for business providers out there, who can install and manage your phone system.


What the system looks like

An office phone network with VoIP capabilities looks very similar to any other office network system. The VoIP provider communicates with the business’ modem and then router. From there, data is pushed to all the VoIP-enabled devices, such as phones and computers.


The only difference with a VoIP phone system is that a PBX server must be included. Often, a networked computer acts as the server. It must be connected via an NIC (Network Interface Card), and it must also have a static IP address to operate successfully.


Once all that is in place, all that’s left is to install the VoIP software you’ve chosen. There shouldn’t be many complications here. Your provider will offer extensive instructions and help you along the way.