What are the benefits of VoIP technology?

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls over the internet. It offers many benefits over traditional analogue landlines. Here are the six biggest benefits of VoIP technology:

1. Cost savings

Generally, VoIP is much cheaper for businesses to install than traditional landlines that route calls over copper wire using what’s called a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).

With VoIP you don’t need to purchase expensive hardware including phone lines or PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems. Instead, you can use your existing internet connection and either a VoIP-enabled phone or softphone (software that connects to your laptop, tablet or mobile phone) to make and receive calls.

It is even possible to use your existing phone with a VoIP system, providing you have an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adaptor). Other cost benefits include a lower monthly subscription fee and cheaper long-distance calls.

2. Greater flexibility

With many employees now working outside the office for at least part of the week, VoIP offers much greater flexibility. Unlike a traditional phone which needs to be connected to a fixed line usually running to an office desk, a VoIP phone can essentially be used anywhere there is an internet connection.

Another benefit of VoIP is that many providers don’t require long-term contracts, so you can cancel your service at any time. This gives you the flexibility to switch providers if you find a better deal. On the other hand, landline providers typically tie you in to much longer contracts.

3. Increased features

VoIP offers a whole host of features that either aren’t available from a traditional landline or are added extras. These include facilities such as call forwarding, voice mail and conference calling. You can also use VoIP for making video calls which are becoming increasingly important for collaborating with staff and clients remotely.

For employers, a VoIP network makes it much easier to monitor employee phone use than a traditional telephone network. For example, using a VoIP analytics platform you can track a wide range of data, such as the length of calls, the number of calls made and the call destinations. This data can be used to identify trends in your phone usage and to make sure that your VoIP system is being used efficiently.

It is also possible to use a VoIP call recording service to track employee phone usage or to troubleshoot problems with your VoIP system. However, it’s always important to weigh the benefits of monitoring calls against the privacy concerns of your employees and any industry regulations.

4. Greater Scalability

Unlike traditional phone networks which are typically hosted on business premises, VoIP networks are usually cloud-based meaning they are hosted on remote servers. This makes them much easier to scale depending on the needs of the business.

For example, with a VoIP network you can easily add or remove users as your business grows or contracts whereas with a traditional telephone network this is often much more difficult.

Importantly, because VoIP is generally a much more scalable solution than a traditional phone system, it is much more efficient as businesses only pay for exactly what they need at any given time.

5. Better call quality

VoIP is reliable and calls will often have clearer sound quality than landline calls. This is because VoIP calls are digital, which means that they aren’t susceptible to types of interference from analogue devices such as microwave ovens or even the best cordless phones.

However, call quality will depend on a number of factors such as the quality of your internet connection and the codec used (this is the hardware or software that encodes and decodes the digital data stream).

If your internet connection is slow or unreliable, or if you are using a low-quality codec, you may experience call quality issues such as static, echo, or dropped calls. Overall, though, VoIP offers the potential for much better call quality than a traditional phone system.

As call quality can vary between VoIP service providers, it is always a good idea to test out the system before you decide. Most VoIP providers will offer a free trial, so you can try out their service out and see how it works for you.

6. Improved security

Unlike traditional analogue landlines, VoIP calls are encrypted using a secure protocol called Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP). This means they are less likely to be intercepted by hackers.

Furthermore, VoIP providers typically use firewalls to protect their networks from unauthorised access as well as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) to monitor the networks for suspicious activity. IDS can detect and alert you to potential threats, such as hacking attempts.

However, it is important to make clear that no communication method is 100% secure. There are always risks associated with using any type of technology. If you are concerned about the security of your VoIP calls, it is definitely a good idea to take further precautions such as using a strong password, keeping your software up to date and ensuring that your personal details (username, password, IP address) are kept safe.

By encrypting all your traffic and routing it through a server in another location, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can also help to protect your privacy and security when making VoIP calls.

Conclusion

VoIP is growing rapidly and according to the latest VoIP statistics, the UK VoIP Market is expected to grow by £3.78 billion by 2026.

VoIP systems offer several benefits over conventional analogue telephone networks. Not only are they generally much cheaper to install and run, they can also be scaled more easily using remote servers in the cloud.

VoIP systems are also more suited to today’s business needs where working from outside the office is becoming increasingly important. They can be used remotely over any internet network and on a wide range of devices including mobile phone, laptop computer or web tablet. What’s more they can be used to make video calls.

For employers, having a VoIP system makes it much easier to track employee phone usage to optimise efficiency. Finally, if configured correctly and installed on a high quality internet connection, VoIP can provide much better call quality levels as well as improved security.

To find the best VoIP system for your business, have a look at our rundown of some of the best phone systems on the market.

Written by:
Chris has been a freelance technology journalist since the 1990s. In addition to editing two consumer tech blogs, TechDigest.tv and ShinyShiny.tv, he also regularly contributes tech/business articles to various publications including The Daily Telegraph, Tech Radar, IFSEC Global and AI Business. A passionate outdoor swimmer, Chris is also a qualified lifeguard.