Benefits of a VoIP Phone System

VoIP, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, is increasingly popular with businesses spread across a multitude of industries. Placing and receiving telephone calls via the internet is often preferable to using traditional phone networks. The subsequent text will outline some of the essential benefits of a VoIP system and why it might be the optimum choice for your business or organization.

VoIP Systems Are Cost-Effective

Transitioning to a VoIP system is a financially savvy choice for many companies. Such systems have excellent potential to reduce the amount of money a business spends on telephone service. One reason that VoIP is cheaper is because it utilizes one physical network whereas traditional phone lines require multiple networks, particularly when calls are routed across networks overseas. The network administrator is encumbered with fewer maintenance responsibilities so the cost-savings can be passed on to the consumer.

No Boundaries

Another benefit associated with VoIP systems is that there is no longer a boundary as outlined by a geographical limit, for instance. This allows someone living abroad to subscribe to a U.S. phone number and pay a domestic rate for their U.S. based calls. This is immensely cost effective for companies that outsource their customer service departments to locations overseas.

Greater Access

VoIP systems allow greater access for your business employees. A decade ago, a company typically only had so many phone lines available for use. Today, professionals can access the VoIP system to talk when they need to without the limitations of traditional phone systems.

It’s Not Just for Voice

Today’s business professionals conduct business in a multitude of ways–not simply over the phone. VoIP systems nurture the multiple ways people communicate today. Such systems allow business employees to transmit videos, images, and text as well as voice communications. This type of platform is becoming an integral part of doing business or communicating with employees based all over the country as well as the world. Additionally, a user on a VoIP system can actually send files while talking at the same time. This allows for more effective means of communication between staff or staff members and clients.

Tele-Work Options

Business executives today know that work doesn’t merely happen at the office. People work from home, on the train, on business trips, and even while on vacation (sad but true!). Using a smart phone allows employees to connect to the office network and perform work via the system wherever and whenever they need to. They can easily connect with other staff members and share both files and communications throughout the day. This level of communication is transforming the way people work and where work can be accomplished.

If your business is considering a VoIP system, these are just a few reasons that might effectively nudge you in the right direction! It’s true that if all change was good, people might not dread it so much; however, this is one change that your employees are likely to agree upon and its benefits will be felt right away.

Tools for Testing VoIP Quality

When you have VoIP as your main means of telecommunications – as in many small- and medium-scale businesses – you would want to be able to constantly test and monitor your VoIP quality. The main purpose here is to plot expected quality fluctuations and perhaps plan crucial communications around these; or to assess VoIP service providers and switch providers when necessary.

For new individual users, especially those who use free VoIP accounts, testing VoIP quality can be a way to determine if VoIP is a good alternative to traditional and mobile telephony. It’s like dipping your toe in the water to see if you like how it feels.

Regardless of where you are in this spectrum of users, testing your VoIP quality is a good idea. You just need to keep in mind that the quality of your VoIP calls is not just about your VoIP service provider. It is also dependent on external factors, such as the quality of your network.

Here’s an array of testing and call quality monitoring tools to get you started:

1. Network Analyzer: This is also known as the packet analyzer or packet sniffer. The sniffer intercepts and logs traffic that passes through a network and analyzes this based on its RFC. For VoIP users, a network analyzer can be used to detect and analyze network problems. In VoIP, there is a minimum required consistency in network stability in order to conduct an audible conversation. Through analyzing your network, you can pinpoint where problems can arise. While this test is not strictly focused on VoIP, results can be indicative of whether or not VoIP works well on your network. End users can utilize this tool easily, with many offered as free downloads.

2. VoIP Analyzer: This is another testing tool that can be used by both end users, commercial users and service providers. It is similar to the Network Analyzer but goes a step further by decoding VoIP protocols and analyzing RTP streams. The VoIP Analyzer focuses on the packet loss, jitter and latency of network connections to determine its suitability for VoIP telecommunications. Several companies offer this service; albeit, with varying usability. Choose a service that can be used within seconds, and does not require complicated installations.

3. VoIP Probe: This VoIP testing tool is more suitable for service providers. Probes are implemented in key points of the network. Continuous testing and monitoring are done on call traffic to put together real-time call and stream audio quality metrics.

4. Voice Quality Tester: More a tool for service providers, the Voice Quality Tester is an intrusive testing tool that sends audio files through a network. It compares corrupted files against the original using either the P.862 or the P.OLQA

How to Improve VoIP Security

Switching to VoIP is an investment. It costs about $1,500 per employee to implement office-wide VoIP for a company with under 500 employees. It is necessary to implement measures that secure this investment. VoIP can save you on phone bills and comes with soft benefits like increased productivity and better internal

communications. But, like any new technology, there are still bumps that need to be ironed out.

For instance, your business VoIP needs to be monitored. VoIP monitoring ensures best performance. It guarantees that your business is always accessible to clients and members of your team. Dips in VoIP service performance can affect your profitability. When you know what going on, you can address issues or use the services of another VoIP service provider.

Another aspect of VoIP that needs to be considered is VoIP security. Like any data that travels digitally, VoIP voice and video packets can be intercepted and used maliciously. An unsecured VoIP network opens you up to call fraud, phishing and eavesdropping, among other attacks. When you fall victim to call fraud, your voice call identity can be used by the attacker. Your account is billed for the unwanted usage. In VoIP phishing, your account is spoofed to acquire information that can be used toward fraudulent ends. Eavesdropping, on the other hand, is good old-fashioned spying on your conversations. There’s absolutely no room for this in any business. In business, information is power.

Protecting your VoIP starts with choosing the right service provider. Remember that VoIP operates through protocols, such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). Signals are text-based in SIP while RTP does not have enough security to keep packets from getting intercepted. The better alternative is to use VoIP service providers that utilize Transport Layer Security (TLS) for their SIP and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) instead of basic RTP.