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Can You Use VoIP Without Internet?

This article was updated on May 30, 2024

If you’re interested in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) as a business phone solution, you’ve probably got questions. For example, you might wonder what your options are should your employees lose internet in the office or while working remotely. Keep reading to learn all about it.

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VoIP and Customer Experience

It’s safe to say that business communication, whether it’s internal or external, is mission-critical these days. For example, Qualtrics XM reports that 73% of consumers believe that customer experience is a primary differentiator in their retail purchasing decisions. In other words, if your customers, or potential customers, struggle to connect with you, you may face an array of challenges. You might find your customer service ratings slipping, your customers churning, or even your revenue decreasing. One way to maintain excellent customer experience is to ensure you have a reliable, stable telephone service.

That’s exactly where Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone systems come in. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to VoIP phone service or you’re already using it, you may have some questions about how it works. Do you need the internet for VoIP? And, what happens if you lose service?

What Is VoIP, and How Does It Work?

VoIP is a telephony technology that allows users to both make and receive calls via the internet. It differs from traditional phone systems, which rely on copper cables, wiring, and circuit switches to transmit calls. In other words, if you’re wondering, “Does VoIP use the internet?,” the answer is yes! Here’s how it works.

As you speak, your audio is converted into a digital signal, compressed, and then transmitted via the internet to the person you’re talking to. On their end, the digital signal is uncompressed so that they can hear exactly what you’re saying. While this might sound like a lengthy or complex process, it happens in a matter of moments. Assuming you have a reliable high-speed internet connection, you and the person you’re speaking with won’t experience a delay — it’ll feel just like any other phone conversation you’re used to having.

That, of course, begs the question: Does VoIP work without the internet? And while the answer may seem like an obvious no, the truth is that it’s more complex than that. Let’s take a look at what happens to VoIP when the internet is down.

How Does VoIP Work if the Internet Is Down?

Contrary to what you might think, most providers of VoiP have features and benefits that can help you successfully navigate an internet outage. When your internet goes down — whether it’s as a result of an unexpected outage or a natural disaster — there are a lot of moving pieces to take care of. Your phone system doesn’t have to be one of them. Here are two of your options.

  1. Invest in a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform that offers call continuity features. Call continuity is fairly simple. If your internet service goes down, your VoIP provider will automatically reroute your calls to a backup phone number, which is typically a designated cell phone or landline. This means you won’t have to worry about missing calls — your business communications can continue as normal. And that’s not all. Vonage offers 50+ UCaaS features to help you get the most out of your phone system.

  2. Use a softphone or mobile application through your VoIP provider to make calls through a mobile device. If your internet goes down due to an issue with your internet service provider (ISP), it’s likely that mobile data may still be accessible, especially in geographic regions with excellent cellular coverage. At Vonage, our VBC Mobile App, available on both iOS and Android devices, allows users to make and receive calls right from their device. It’s important to note, however, that when using a mobile app for VoIP, data usage and charges might apply, depending upon the mobile plan.

Many VoIP providers also offer voicemail and email-to-voicemail services, which can also be used should you lose internet connection. As long as you partner with a VoIP provider that has services such as these, you won’t have to worry about what happens if you lose internet access — your customers will still be able to connect with you.

Vonage: Empowering Better Business Communication

Your customers and employees are what make your business successful. It’s critical to ensure that they can seamlessly and reliably connect any time, from any device. With a 99.999% reliability rating, based on uptime averages from July 2021 through February 2022, you can count on Vonage.

Trusted by over 100,000 businesses worldwide, Vonage is dedicated to helping companies provide an excellent customer experience across the entire journey. With our Unified Communications as a Service solution, you can access voice, messaging, SMS, video, and phones all in one location. Make it easy for your employees and customers to communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere.

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