Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a relatively new form of communication technology that has turned industry trends on their heads. The ease and convenience they afford to consumers seem to challenge the use of regular landline phone systems. This has enhanced how people interact and do business over long distances. Of course, with any new technology, there will be detractors ready to point out its shortcomings.
The debate between using landlines and VoIP rages on, with neither side seeming to concede defeat. Both technologies have their advantages and drawbacks. Better functionality, for example, is a key feature of using VoIP. Where some people see convenience in using such features, others see complications that are unnecessary.
Making a fair comparison requires understanding both sets of communication technologies.
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an integrated system of software and hardware used for making phone calls over the internet. As the name suggests, it broadcasts the “voice” over the internet by special transmission circuits, involving the conversion of voice into digital signals. Voice is broken into packets which are then sent separately to a particular internet protocol (IP) address. All these sound packets are reassembled at the target destination to produce an intelligible message in the form of coherent sound.
Several options exist when trying to use VoIP, including:
i)A dedicated VoIP phone. While this may have an almost identical appearance to a regular phone, it is synced directly to a computer network to enable the VoIP call.
ii) A computer. Commonly referred to as a “softphone,” this utilizes applications like Facetime and Google Voice, which are all designed for the express purpose of VoIP calls.
iii) A Phone and a VoIP adapter. Such an adapter is designed to repurpose a regular landline phone for VoIP calls. All you have to do is plug such an adapter into a router or wall phone outlet before initiating VoIP calls.
iv) A smartphone. A regular smartphone’s capabilities mean that it can almost function like a regular computer. Downloading applications like Skype can enable VoIP calls on a regular smartphone.
Equipment Needed for VoIP Communications
A strong and reliable internet connection, the right adapter, and a personal computer are some of the things you’ll need for VoIP calls. In this case, you’ll be using the computer for the sound output, either through its built-in speakers or by plugging headsets into the audio jack.
If you’re planning on using a smartphone, a reliable internet connection is also needed.
In both cases, any one of several applications like Skype can help to facilitate VoIP calls.
Phones, as we know them today, can be traced back to the origins of the landline phone system in the 19th century. Using copper wires and physical switch boxes, this system can conduct voice messages between two points using satellite to complete the “loop” of a call between two individuals. This has largely remained unchanged since its invention.
Advantages of the Landline System
A landline system is reliable because it uses wires and physical switch boxes instead of the internet. Unless an internet connection is very strong, networks can be quite spotty and unreliable, resulting in poor sound quality during calls. Using physical conduits like wires means that a landline system is ideal for business communications, where unreliability can cause costly misunderstandings.
Useful in Emergency Situations
With a landline, you can always call emergency services even when there’s no phone credit left. This ensures that eventualities are better addressed.
As a side note, there is also increased efficiency because this system can’t be hacked.
How VoIP Systems Compare to Landlines
Many businesses are now switching to VoIP technology. Reasons for this include:
i)Cost: On average, using a VoIP system is more cost-friendly compared to using a landline. When setting up a traditional landline system, you often have to install all the necessary hardware and get a technician to set up the system, all of which are quite costly. VoIP is cheaper because there is no need for switch boxes and all the other equipment that is characteristic of landline systems. The installation of a landline is also time-consuming. In addition to the expertise of certified technicians, regular maintenance may be required.
Your geographical location may affect the convenience with which the landline system is set up. Fiber-optic cables are the most reliable and effective. Power outages, for example, can disrupt landline communications as some of the critical hardware needs electricity to operate. Areas that are susceptible to power outages may, therefore, be more suitable for a VoIP system instead of landlines.
ii) Portability: The nature of landline phone systems is that they are set up to serve one specific location. This can present problems when that location suffers a natural disaster or some other event that can cause a disruption in communication. For example, if a landline cable is inadvertently cut by workers digging a tunnel at a roadside, it can lead to disruption of communication. Such disruptions will require technical assistance for their repairs, resulting in additional costs and inconveniences.
VoIP systems have no such issues. Unlike landlines, you can use VoIP while traveling from one location to another.
iii)Functionality: While landline phone systems can virtually guarantee good sound quality, that is about all they can do. They are very limited in their range of functionality. VoIP has a host of features that ensure convenience. In addition to video calls, several features also enhance the range of communications. Auto-attendants, for example, are a part of the VoIP setup that enables the transfer of calls to several extensions without the need for a call operator. This is just one of several features that makes VoIP more enticing than landlines.
At the end of the day, a business wants better communication to facilitate its dealings. VoIP can enable this convenience of communication. Cleod9 Voice can provide all your VoIP needs. With extensive experience, our technicians can set up your business communications in such a way that location becomes irrelevant when conducting your business transactions. Contact our experts at https://www.cleod9.net/cleod9-voip/
2500 E Randol Mill Rd # 204
Arlington Texas 76011
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