Is it time to lose the landline?

Few web-based services hold greater promise than Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows you to place and receive phone calls via the Internet. This technology provides all of the advanced calling features you could ever want – with monthly costs well below typical landline rates. If you’re tempted to make the switch, here’s what you need to know.

Advantages

You’ll save money. Landline service is very basic, and if you want calling features – such as call waiting, call forwarding, and three-way calling – expect to pay extra for them. With VoIP, these are included at no additional charge, along with business-oriented features such as auto attendants, find me/follow me, conferencing, and voicemail to email. Plus, you’ll generally find that international calling rates are ridiculously low.

You can take it with you. Unlike your landline, a VoIP virtual number is completely portable. With most setups, you can take your hardware with you to make and take calls anywhere there’s a broadband Internet connection. This is ideal for any business requiring extensive travel, since you can just pack a headset or Internet phone, and stay in touch from any location.

You’ll enjoy greater flexibility. Communicate more effectively by merging VoIP with other modern communication services, such as video conferencing, messaging, and file exchange. If your business has multiple locations, multiple site calling is handled seamlessly. Should you ever relocate to another state, you can even keep your service provider and phone number.

Disadvantages

Your sound quality may suffer. With adequate bandwidth and good equipment, you will get very good voice quality out of a VoIP system. However, if bandwidth is lacking – or if the system is running on antiquated hardware – garbling, delays, and dropped calls may be a frequent annoyance. VoIP sound quality has improved dramatically in recent years.

You’ll lose phone service during power outages. Your landline service will continue to function during a power outage, since the phone company transmits electricity over the phone line to power devices. However, a VoIP system requires external power in order to function, making it useless during an outage. You can mitigate this risk by installing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or a generator, but that won’t help if your Internet connection is also down. Cell phones can serve as an effective backup for your VoIP system during those rare power outages.

The Internet is changing everything – including our telephone calls. While the technology isn’t perfect, the right VoIP solution can deliver significant savings on your phone bill, making your communications system more flexible and portable than ever before. If you would like to learn more about how a VoIP system can enhance your business or are ready to get a system installed, call JFG at 910.378.3868.

Quincy is a retired Master Sergeant (USMC). He has 27 years of experience and is a Master and Chief Instructor. He received a B.S. in Information Technology and also holds CompTIA A+, CCNA 1, and CCNA 2 certifications. His knowledge and experience make him effective in assisting people and problem solving in the IT field.