What are the Pros and Cons of using VoIP?

voip pros and consThe Internet is growing rapidly, growing larger and getting faster by the day. You can employ it for all of your office needs and Voice over IP is no exception.

Having an online telephonic system offers cost effective voice communication and easy global access. There are many advantages for your business and they outweigh the few potential problems. So how will using this service benefit you?

What are the Advantages of VoIP?

Your business or home voice communication system can easily be improved with Voice over IP. Consider what features your business will benefit from before deciding on a specific package. Smaller businesses can even combine some of the more advanced features so that they appear bigger and more professional to their potential clients. These are the main benefits of using this service:

  • Price

More affordable than any other telephonic system, you get unlimited calling for a small monthly fee. This fee is charged by the company for the package you use but the actual phone call costs nothing over the Internet. Your broadband connection carries its own set of charges that are usually fixed at a certain price.

  • Auto Attendant

This feature allows automatic answering of all incoming calls to a specific number and the caller can select which department they need to speak to. You can also play recorded messages or music when customers are on hold, and it will even take voice mail for extensions, people or departments.

  • Convenience

There is an abundance of features, making using of cloud telephony convenient. Standard features include Contact Lists, Caller I.D., Voice Mail, Fax and Redirecting; making call management extremely easy. Advanced features offer even more, thus ensuring your business is professional and efficient, without having to hire staff to cope with the traffic.

  • Configuration

You can personalize your service and customize how you want it to handle calls. You can configure so that it does not call your mobile phone when you are in a certain location. A known caller I.D. can be routed immediately or played a specific message. The technology can recognize numbers, locations and even locate people.

  • Find Me Follow Me

Employees can have more flexibility because they do not need to be at their desks to receive calls. Clients will be able to speak to the person they are phoning instead of into their voice mail, regardless of where that person may be. This is easily done by sending a call to their desk phone, then their home phone and finally their cell phone when it is unanswered.

  • Tracking

An extension of the Find Me Follow Me feature, where employees can actually be tracked down. The technology will be able to discover where they last answered a call, checked their emails and even their voice mail. This information is then used to triangulate their whereabouts and send the call directly to them.

  • Conferences

Online telecommunication systems support multiple people on one line. Now you can hold audio and video conferences with people globally. Files and presentations can be shared, calendars synced, and remote access gained to each other’s computers easily; without anyone being physically present at the meeting.

  • User-Friendliness

The web-based interface is simple to use. With the click of a few buttons; you can set up your account to configure, personalize, customize and manage your telephonic communications the way that you want. There are many companies and they all have their own interface. Some are friendlier to use than others.

  • Technology Convergence

You can combine various technologies so that they can work efficiently together. Your service will be able to deal with phone calls, instant messages, faxes, video conferences, voice mail, email, credit card processors and more, and it can handle them simultaneously. These applications are compatible with each other and can be integrated for a total office solution.

  • Bandwidth Usage

Bandwidth is never wasted, even during lulls in conversation. You will not use any bandwidth unless you are actually talking. Conversing over the Internet uses data that is compressed and you can eliminate redundancy in certain speech patterns to conserve bandwidth usage further.

  • Remote Access

Due to the fact that this is an Internet solution hosted by a third party, you will be able to access your account at any time, from anywhere and with any of your portable devices. Calls can be forwarded to your mobile device or you can make and receive calls directly from your laptop. Wherever you go, you will have your business phone with you.

What are the Disadvantages of VoIP?

As with all Internet applications, there are some issues surrounding Voice over IP. Although these are few and not likely to concern you, they mostly center on reliability. Companies are very concerned about the professionalism, efficiency and productivity of your business; so they are continually finding solutions and working at solving these problems:

  • Power

A traditional phone uses power that is provided over the line, which means an electricity problem will not affect its performance. Cloud telephony uses wall power because it works through your computer. If you experience a power failure, you will not be able to make or receive calls.

  • Product Integration

Other products such as your digital recorder, TV service and home security system probably use your phone line to function. These products are not compatible with VoIP which could cause some inconvenient integration hassles. Some major work within the related industries is required to solve this issue.

  • Emergencies

If you need to call an emergency service, you could encounter a problem if you are unable to provide your location. Cloud telephony uses phone numbers that have an IP address but there is no way to trace a geographical location with this information, making it impossible for them to locate you.

  • Broadband Signal

Call quality can be affected by your Internet connection and can suddenly be terminated if your signal weakens too much. Errors in transmission or unstable data transfers can cause conversations to become garbled or distorted. These are normal problems with private broadband signal.

  • Security

All Internet activity is vulnerable to security threats such as hacking, viruses, worms and other malware but your calls are encrypted and these are unlikely to affect you. It is extremely rare for users to suffer such consequences but developers continue to work on safer encryption to ensure you remain protected.

  • Computer Dependence

This phone system relies on PCs that have different capabilities and strength. Some programs may drain your processor and if you open them during a conversation then your call will be immediately affected. You will notice loss of quality and you may even be cut off in the middle of your discussion.

Voice over IP offers businesses more pros than cons. You will need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages against each other, and decide how you can benefit from using it. It will not take long for service providers to fix these issues, and millions of businesses and private users encounter no problems when using this technology.