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What Are the Advantages of VoIP?

This article was updated on June 8, 2024

Increased accessibility, portability, and scalability — these are only a handful of the advantages of VoIP technology. Generally, the incredible flexibility of VoIP is what makes it the true star of modern unified communications. Read on to learn how internet-based phone service can transform your communications.

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VoIP: Definition and Examples

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. As the name implies, VoIP business phone technology allows you to make calls using the internet instead of analog phones. If you’re comparing VoIP vs. landline for business purposes, VoIP usually comes out on top as the clear winner.

To understand why, you first need to understand how VoIP works. Here is a general overview:

  1. You speak into a VoIP phone, and your voice is converted into digital data.

  2. This data is sent in packets over the internet to the recipient’s destination.

  3. Once at the recipient’s end, the digital data is reassembled into the sound of your voice, which the recipient hears played back through their phone speaker.

  4. The VoIP system sends these little data packets back and forth, allowing you and the recipient to converse like you would over a standard telephone.

The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced how VoIP could benefit everyone, allowing people to easily maintain remote communications for work, school, and play. It’s only grown in popularity since then, with many people using VoIP while gaming online or to access remote learning.

When it comes to business, though, VoIP really shines. For instance, gone are the days when your sales team would have to schedule everything while in the office, and then dial in from a mobile number if anything happened while they were out and about. Now, your sales professionals can work from anywhere — and still have access to all the great call features they’re used to.

The Advantages of VoIP Solutions

There are several benefits of VoIP for small business and enterprise alike, but the main advantage is convenience. This takes many different forms, such as:

Flexibility

Voice over Internet Protocol solutions give you freedom with your business communications. Unlike traditional telephony, where you have to remain fixed in place with physical phone lines, VoIP allows you to make and receive calls from anywhere with a stable internet connection and from any device that connects to the internet. This makes it easy to work from home or other remote locations without sacrificing availability or call quality. This is great for organizations shifting toward a hybrid work model or looking to tap into the global talent pool.

Cost Savings

Choosing VoIP means more money in your pocket, because you avoid the hardware costs required to set up and maintain PBX equipment. These savings result from VoIP using existing internet infrastructure (such as WiFi or an Ethernet connection) rather than requiring a separate set of telephone lines. At most, you might want to invest in some dedicated desk phones (though you don’t need to, as you can use a softphone instead) or headsets.

Most VoIP solutions will involve a recurring monthly subscription, meaning you’ll never get caught by an unexpectedly high fee. Plus, it’s also cheaper per-minute than a standard phone call — especially if you need to call internationally.

Scalability

VoIP is highly scalable because you can add or remove lines whenever you like, with no need to manually install extra telephony equipment. It all depends on the package you’re subscribed to. That means you can easily scale — up if you get a sudden uptick in call volume, or down in an off-peak season.

You can also add new features, like a virtual receptionist or CRM integrations, when they are needed. This makes it ideal for growing businesses or those experiencing fluctuations in monthly call volume.

Global Reach

Internet-based phone calling means your business can project a broader global reach. For instance, you can select and switch between multiple international numbers, and your calls won’t be subject to the same international tariffs that you get when making voice calls over the regular Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Increased Accessibility

VoIP and UCaaS together make business communication more accessible for everyone, including your customers, partners, and internal team. Your team can pick up calls on the fly, rather than being tied to their desk phone all day.

Plus, it makes it possible for people with speech or hearing disabilities to communicate more effectively, thanks to features like text-to-speech, video conferencing, and closed captioning.

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What Is Unified Communications: An Overview
Cloud computing allows small businesses to leverage the same unified communications technology as bigger competitors. So what is unified communications? Why do small businesses need it? And how can it help your business grow? Dive into our article to learn more.

More Than Just Calls

A high-quality VoIP provider will offer additional features beyond their basic calling services. Some of these features include voicemail to email, call forwarding and blocking, and so much more. Here at Vonage, we offer a range of essential calling features, plus a desktop and mobile app for all of your users. If you’re running a bigger team, you can go for a package with extra call management add-ons, like virtual meetings, company-wide call recording and monitoring, and an integration suite to connect with your CRM software.

Workflow Integration

One of the big advantages of VoIP is its part in the larger picture of United Communications as a Service (UCaas). UCaaS is a cloud-based solution that integrates various communication and collaboration tools into a single platform. Businesses use so many apps these days, so anything that can unify multiple responsibilities and functionalities is a welcome relief.

With Vonage, you can effortlessly add communications to your existing tech stack — with integrations for CRMs like HubSpot or Salesforce, as well as your productivity apps like Slack, Office 365, and Microsoft Teams. That means features like click-to-dial and automatic call-logging are built into the functionality of your CRM.

The Disadvantages of VoIP

Like every other business communication solution, there are advantages and disadvantages of VoIP. However, most of these issues are resolvable, especially if you’re well-prepared.

Requires a Strong Internet Connection

VoIP doesn’t require super-fast broadband, because it’s not transferring a huge amount of data (it only involves sending a few data packets back and forth between caller and recipient). That said, you will need your internet connection to be steady in order to keep your voice calls connected.

Luckily, if you're using a mobile device and your WiFi suffers a dip, the system automatically switches to mobile data, keeping your calls smooth. For stationary setups like laptops or desktops at work, plugging into a wired Ethernet connection is your best bet to maintain steady call quality. This way, you can enjoy all the benefits of VoIP without disruption.

Risk of Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss

VoIP works by transforming your voice into digital signals that are sent over the internet in data packets. On this journey, there are a few issues that can affect the clarity of your calls:

  • Jitter occurs when packets arrive at different times, causing audio to become jumbled or missing. To minimize jitter, Vonage uses a jitter buffer to ensure packets are sent out evenly.

  • Latency is the delay between speaking and being heard, which can cause overlapping speech or echoes. You can help prevent latency by using a high-quality router that prioritizes voice data, such as a VoIP router.

  • Packet loss happens when packets are lost or arrive late and are discarded, leading to gaps in communication. To avoid this, you need to ensure you have sufficient bandwidth on your internet package.

If you’re experiencing voice call quality issues or just want peace of mind before signing up, use this network test from Vonage to identify what issues you could be facing. Please contact our support desk if you require assistance in this process.

Issues with Calls to Emergency Services

VoIP's flexibility can be a double-edged sword, especially in emergencies. Since VoIP services can be used anywhere with an internet connection, pinpointing the exact geographic location of a call can be challenging for a 911 dispatcher.

Thankfully, VoIP providers are required by the FCC to provide emergency services as a standard feature. Here’s what you need to know to set up emergency services locations and assign devices to these locations, so help is available when needed. With Vonage, you can also set up alert calls or emails to notify management when a 911 call has been made in your organization.

On top of this, it’s a good idea to have a back-up power source or alternate phone calling method in case of an electricity outage.

Is VoIP Right For You?

Deciding if VoIP is the right choice for your business all comes down to your current needs and future goals. Here are some key questions to help determine if VoIP fits your operation:

  • Do you have a hybrid or remote team? VoIP is ideal for flexibility, allowing team members to connect from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Are you planning to scale your business? You can easily scale with a VoIP system by upgrading your package without significant infrastructure changes or upfront investment.

  • Do you need advanced communication features? Most VoIP platforms come with super productivity features like voicemail to email, call forwarding, and video conferencing.

  • Is cost-effectiveness a priority? Generally, VoIP tends to be more cost-effective than traditional telephony, especially when it comes to long-distance and international calls.

What Is an Example of a VoIP Provider?

Vonage is a leading VoIP and UCaaS services provider, offering a reliable, all-in-one solution for businesses of any size. With Vonage, you can enjoy high-quality voice and video calls, instant messaging, and a host of advanced features, all integrated into one easy-to-use platform.

Whether you're looking for a flexible and scalable solution for your remote team or an efficient way to manage your business communications, Vonage has you covered. Our robust network and 24/7 support will ensure that you stay connected with your customers, employees, and partners — no matter where you are or what time it is.

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