If you work from home, you probably already know just how vital a good VoIP connection is. If you’re unfamiliar with VoIP phone service, you might wonder — what is VoIP? VoIP — short for voice-over-internet protocol — is a tool that allows phone calls and video calls via an internet connection. It emerged in 1995 as an alternative to the high costs of long-distance phone calls. The first VoIP phone service was subsequently born, and VoIP phone providers today still use the same technology.
VoIP can be a valuable tool for anybody, but it benefits small business owners seeking an affordable communication solution. In addition to its affordability, it offers simple scalability, allowing users to add and remove lines at will. Learn more about this technology and how you can find the best VoIP solution for your small business.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP is also sometimes called IP telephony. Since its origins in 1995, it’s emerged as the most widely used web-based communication technology, and its popularity continues to grow. In addition to serving countless small businesses, this technology is popular with major corporations worldwide.
VoIP has now evolved to the point that it does not lack anything that a traditional phone may offer. Users can enjoy features such as call waiting, multiple phone numbers, caller tones, and call routing, all from within a VoIP application on their computer or mobile device.
How Does It Work?
VoIP is relatively complex but easier to understand when broken into smaller steps. First, when a user places a call using a VoIP platform, it gets routed to the VoIP adapter or app, which will convert a voice into a soundwave and digitally transmit it. This digital signal is then forwarded to your local internet router to send to the VoIP server.
At this point, it arrives at the servers of the VoIP provider and gets routed to the call recipient. When they pick up the phone, they’ll be able to hear your voice just as they would on an analog phone call. The sound that they are hearing, though, is a digital soundwave.
Why Does Your Small Business Need VoIP
Investing in VoIP is a wise move for any small business, but you might question whether or not you need it. If you already have a sustainable communication infrastructure, you might not need to add VoIP to the mix. If you are looking for a phone solution adaptable to your business’s needs, though, VoIP can provide the service you seek.
VoIP is an especially great option for any business that has plans to grow. Suppose you will eventually expand into new locations or your company already has multiple locations. In that case, VoIP allows you to manage all communications in a single streamlined application while still offering different phone numbers and tools for each part of your business you wish to establish as separate. VoIP offers incredibly low prices on international calls, so if you regularly call outside the U.S., it can help you save considerably.
Remote Work & VoIP
Although VoIP has always been widespread, it’s seen another recent surge in popularity thanks to the emergence of the work-from-home revolution. This is primarily thanks to how easily a VoIP system can integrate into a customer relationship manager or any other application you use for work throughout the day. Rather than constantly toggling between a landline and your software, you can use your VoIP program alongside your CRM application to get work done seamlessly.
It’s also an effective solution to the collaboration quandary that faces many remote teams. If you’ve been struggling to work with other remote team members, VoIP programs can facilitate video calls to make things simpler. Applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams are some of the most popular VoIP-enabled meeting platforms that work-from-home professionals commonly use.
Best VoIP Options for Your Business
There are many VoIP providers that you can choose from for your business or work-from-home setup. When considering which one to invest in, consider criteria such as price and features. Of course, you don’t want to choose a program that will strain your budget — and in most cases, you don’t have to. Unless you manage a major corporation and you’re shopping for a complex communication solution, the majority of VoIP systems will be affordably priced.
The price will ultimately depend on the breadth of features you require. Some applications may charge more if you need call recording and video conferencing capability. These features may come standard for other programs and incur no additional charge. Regardless of what provider you choose, though, you should invest in a customizable meeting background to use with your new VoIP phone service.