Benefits of VoIP Phone Systems

By Sean Peek. Find the original article HERE

VoIP is a multifunction system. Here are the benefits of using these systems for your business.

A VoIP phone system can be a powerful tool for commercial and personal use. Every VoIP phone system on the market has different attributes tailored to the consumer’s needs. This guide will explore what a VoIP phone system is, the benefits of a VoIP, the trade-offs and top-rated systems.

What are VoIP phone systems?

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. This technology allows a user to place a voice call using a broadband internet connection. A VoIP system does not require an analog phone line. Many VoIP services offer various benefits to fit the customer’s exact needs.

Despite the differences in VoIP phone systems, they all use the same basic technology. A VoIP service converts a user’s voice into a digital signal, transmits it over an internet connection, and converts it back into audio. For the service to work, both the user and the recipient must have a broadband internet connection and the proper equipment. Depending on the VoIP service, a user will need either a computer, an adaptor or a specialized phone device. Before purchasing a VoIP phone system or choosing any other type of business phone system, consider how it will impact your business.

What are the benefits of VoIP phone systems?

Excellent call quality

The person you’re calling can’t tell whether you’re using VoIP or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) – there’s little difference in quality. While it’s true that there might be occasional hiccups in transmission, the technology has evolved to the point where service interruptions or interference are no more frequent than with a POTS connection, and call quality is considerably better than typical cell phone reception.

Low cost

Domestic calls are free, or at the very least, less expensive than POTS; while international calls are also much less expensive and, in certain cases, free as well. A VoIP phone number, sometimes called a virtual number, is not directly associated with the physical network of a landline, but appears to be so. Thus, people from another country could place calls to you at the local rate instead of the higher international rate because your virtual phone number seems to be within their local exchange, even though it’s not.

The cost of voice calls is lower, a cost savings multiplied times the number of employees and the frequency of calling. Also, VoIP integrates data and voice communications (including cell phones) in a more cost-efficient manner. Instead of trying to make two types of communications systems work together, the two are already bundled together. While the main point of VoIP may be to make inexpensive phone calls, it comes with added functionality, including high-fidelity audio, video and web conferencing; as well as file transfers, shared presentations and computer desktop control – all with tremendous capabilities for tracking, analyzing and reporting data.

Convenience and versatility

Virtual phone numbers can be assigned to ring on multiple devices: a landline phone, a cell phone or a work or home phone. You can also assign multiple phone numbers to ring on a single handset. At the most basic level, VoIP service is almost hassle-free. Myriad providers are available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. All you have to do is download the software, and in a few minutes, you can start making calls.

Multifunction system

SIP (Session Initiated Protocol)–enabled VoIP handsets can handle any kind of communication, whether voice or data: regular phone calls, faxes, voicemail, email, web conferences and so on. You could, for example, listen to your email or record a voice message that you could send to a fax machine. The handsets are also scalable – adding and subtracting features as needed without switching out hardware. The plug-and-play capability means that you don’t need a support team to reconfigure the network every time new extensions are added. All you need to do is plug the handset in and it’s ready to go.

Efficient and secure

Allowing voice and data communications to run over a single network greatly reduces corporate infrastructure costs; the larger the company, the greater the savings. VoIP already has the capability to use standardized encryption protocols for companies concerned about security, which is much more difficult to provide on a regular telephone connection.

Hardware is inexpensive and versatile

In addition, VoIP handsets are less expensive than traditional telephones and are simpler to reconfigure. Dual-mode VoIP handsets are capable of switching from a cellular connection to a building Wi-Fi even during a conversation, eliminating the need to provide employees with both a cell phone and a “regular” office phone. This not only reduces overall expenses, but lowers maintenance by half, as there are fewer devices to track, control and support.

Comes with a virtual assistant

Some other handy business features include auto attendant – also called a virtual assistant – which not only plays pre-recorded music or messages for callers on hold, but also routes calls to departments as well as individuals. This makes your company look bigger than it is – even if the “accounting department” consists of your father-in-law, this feature gives customers the impression that you have a larger organization.

Can be used as a tracking system

Another interesting feature is sometimes called Find Me, Follow Me, Call Hunting or Advanced Forwarding. It allows a handset (or a phone number) to move wherever the person goes, whether it’s in the office, at a convention center, or using a home phone or cell phone. A variation of this is Presence, which allows you to track where employees are, and defines rules as to locations where the handset should or should not ring.

Integrates well with other systems

Many VoIP systems also integrate emails and calendar systems such as Microsoft Outlook. This lets you click to dial an Outlook contact and automatically record calls you make and receive.

To make VoIP calls, a person or business needs the following:

  • A high-speed broadband internet connection (at least 256 kilobytes per second: DSL, cable, newer satellite or anything that isn’t dial-up)
  • A modem
  • A computer equipped with a microphone (these days even the least expensive computer has one), or an adaptor to a regular phone (only necessary in lieu of a computer)
  • Software from a VoIP provider

In most cases, voice calls (whether made by regular telephone or another VoIP number) placed to a VoIP number can be received on the computer itself; or routed to a regular telephone, cell phone or smartphone.

While there are dedicated VoIP phones for consumers, most of these systems are aimed at business use. A hybrid approach – intended mostly for consumers without computers – is to sell an adapter that can be plugged into a regular telephone handset.

What are the downsides of VoIP phone systems?

If VoIP is such a great deal, why hasn’t it put the phone companies out of business? Well, because nothing is ever perfect. While it’s true that traditional phone companies are slowly going the way of the dinosaur – and VoIP is one of many factors leading to their final extinction – there are still a number of things the copper wire connections that date back to Alexander Graham Bell do well that VoIP systems do not.

>> Learn More: Need a Business Phone Number, but Not a Business Phone?

Can be unreliable

While you can get some kind of 911 service over VoIP, it is typically expensive, and not always as reliable.

If your internet goes down, there goes your phone system, not just emergency calls. The traditional phone company has backup power for all its circuits, which is why even in a blackout, you can still call for help on your corded phone, or talk to your neighbors if need be.

Limitations with international calls

International calling can be iffier on VoIP than a regular landline connection, particularly to countries where the phone network is more extensive than the internet, and especially so when neither is of high quality. (Take note of the list of countries covered by each particular VoIP plan.)

Contact MedCo Data today to learn more about VoIP and see if it’s right for you.

VoIP Advantages & Disadvantages: Everything You Should Know

By Rebecca Drew. Find the original article here:

VOIP Telecommunication concept. IP Phone connecting VOIP device.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that transports voice calls and other business communication data via the Internet as opposed to the copper wires of the PSTN. VoIP’s advanced features, high quality audio, and cost savings have made traditional landline telephones nearly obsolete,

Today’s VoIP providers offer far more than just voice calling alone. Functionalities like video conferencing, call routing strategies, Interactive Voice Response, and business process automations have helped make VoIP a 20-billion-dollar industry.

Should you make the switch to virtual telephony? Discover the top VoIP advantages and disadvantages below.

VoIP Advantages

Here’s the list of VoIP advantages:

Lower Costs

Significantly lower operating costs is one of the biggest–and the most talked-about–benefits of VoIP.

Legacy phone systems require expensive hardware and equipment, constant maintenance and upgrades, a lengthy setup and installation process, and lots of hidden fees.

Any business switching to VoIP will save 49-69% on monthly communication costs..


First, legacy (PSTN) phone lines cost about $40 per line while one business VoIP line costs about half that.

Additionally, traditional phone systems generally add on per-minute charges for long-distance calls.

With VoIP systems, free unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada is standard. Further, international calling is often available in bundled pay-as-you-go minutes or unlimited bundled monthly plans. Businesses that make regular international calls will be able to save even more by switching to VoIP.

While traditional phone systems require the end user to pay for costly in-house maintenance, VoIP providers are responsible for upgrading, monitoring, and maintaining the software offsite in the cloud. This means VoIP has little to no maintenance costs–and works with your existing desktop and mobile equipment.

Though some companies choose to purchase VoIP hardware like headsets, IP desk phones, or speakers, all you really need to operate a VoIP phone system is a working Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth, an ethernet cord, and/or a wireless connection.

Finally, traditional PBX phone systems come with very few features, (voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling) requiring businesses to purchase separate software to access business texting, web conferencing, and IVR.

On the other hand, Business VoIP and UCaaS solutions provide a plethora of advanced communication features at no extra cost.


Portability is another advantage of VoIP, especially for remote, hybrid, or highly mobile teams.

Because VoIP operates online, users can access their phone systems from anywhere with a working Internet connection–ideal businesses with workers across time zones and locations. VoIP also works with any Internet-enabled desktop or mobile device, offering iOS or Android apps, web browser-based calling, and a softphone interface.

VoIP keeps teams, executives, and customers connected no matter where they are, allowing 24/7 instant access to contacts, files, and features.

Many VoIP providers also include robust team collaboration spaces for video chatting, instant messaging, file sharing and co-editing, and whiteboarding tools for seamless ideation.

Switching to VoIP helps meet the needs of today’s remote, on-the-go workforce–lowering operating costs even further without sacrificing communication.

Better Voice Quality

In the early days of VoIP, landline analog phones still offered a higher call quality and more reliable phone service.

Over the last ten years, however, VoIP call quality has advanced thanks to HD voice, global points of presence, partnerships with tier-1 carriers, and automatic bandwidth adjustment.

Now, VoIP technology delivers more consistent, higher-quality calling than landlines with an SLA-guaranteed uptime of at least 99.9%.

Voice quality and other common VoIP problems are usually due to a poor Internet connection. Issues like broken audio, jitter, and latency are often caused by overloaded bandwidth and can be fixed by an upgrade to higher-speed Internet of at least 5-25 Mbps.

Advanced Features

New, impressive VoIP features designed to streamline workflows and improve the customer experience are always in development –with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning taking the lead in recent years.

For example, live call sentiment analysis uses speech recognition and Natural Language Processing (NLP)  to scan all inbound and outbound calls for keywords and phrases that indicate a positive, negative, or neutral customer sentiment. Managers can review all call center activities in real-time, assessing call queues, agent efficiency, customer satisfaction rates to further optimize business communication strategies. Business VoIP and CCaaS providers such as Dialpad and Nextiva offer this feature.

Another great example is the Vonage AI Virtual Assistant, which acts as a digital receptionist. The Virtual Assistant can answer all inbound calls, converse with callers using conversational AI, offer relevant solutions, provide menu options, and forward calls–all without involving a live agent.

These are just two examples of many cutting-edge VoIP features designed to make businesses more efficient and productive. Not to mention standard VoIP features that are rarely (if ever) available with landlines such as IVR menus, call routing, call forwarding, video chat, SMS/MMS texting, efax, conference call, and many others. Access to advanced features is not just something nice to have–it’s something customers expect, spurs on business growth, and saves your team time and money.

Greater Accessibility

Because VoIP is wireless and portable, it’s much more accessible than traditional business telephony.

This lets managers expand their hiring pool outside of the business’ brick-and-mortar location, and connect with remote employees regardless of location. This level of geographic diversity makes 24/7 customer service and support feasible and affordable–and keeps employees happy. Many VoIP providers also offer live translation features and multi-lingual support so colleagues can communicate across language barriers.

Increased Security

Though VoIP security had a rough beginning, today’s providers offer high-level remote monitoring with real-time security alerts and access control.

VoIP has become just as–if not more– secure than traditional landlines because of security features like:

  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Spam blocking
  • Fraud prevention
  • 24/7/265 network monitoring
  • HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 3 Type 3, HITECH, PCI compliance
  • End-to-end encryption (E2EE)
  • Automated data backups
  • Meeting waiting rooms, meeting host controls
  • Call blocking
  • Live security notifications and reporting

Easily Scalable

Traditional PBX phone systems are difficult and expensive to scale. Adding in a new legacy telephone line or office location requires purchasing not only additional lines from your phone network provider, but also new hardware, wiring, and even phone jacks.

VoIP, on the other hand, is known for its quick and easy scalability. Additional lines–and user seats– can be added online instantly by buying only the new phone number–no complex setup or wiring required.

Plus, users can choose from multiple VoIP virtual phone numbers, including local, international, toll-free, and vanity options.

Add-on features like extra storage space, new communication channels, professionally-recorded greetings and more can be added by scaling up to a higher-tiered plan, or purchased individually on an as-needed, a la carte basis.

This level of scalability is especially ideal for newer businesses or teams needing a highly customized business phone system.

Supports Multiple Communication Channels

Though voice communication is still a popular way to communicate with companies, millennials and Gen Z customers are increasingly choosing to communicate with businesses via text, email, live chat, and social media–none of which are supported by traditional telephone systems. Consumers today expect to be able to connect with businesses on at least 3 channels.

With Business VoIP and omnichannel platforms, users can communicate with customers across multiple channels, switch channels in the middle of a conversation, and access customer information and communication history at any time. This prevents customers from repeating themselves and speeds up resolution rates.

VoIP Disadvantages

Now let’s have a look at the disadvantages of VoIP systems:

Requires Good Internet Connection

The biggest disadvantage to virtual telephony is that it requires a high-quality VoIP router and a reliable Internet connection. At least 5-25 Mbps is recommended for VoIP calls as well as other features such as video conferencing. Fortunately, the cost of Internet service has been decreasing as broadband connection speeds increase. The initial setup costs for Internet service are also much lower than those of a landline-based PBX system.

Needs Continuous Power Supply

Because VoIP operates via the Internet, an uninterruptible, continuous power supply is required.

While landline phones, which run on copper wires, will remain stable during a power outage or emergency, VoIP phones will not. VoIP users have to choose between having their business completely disrupted until power is restored, or investing in an expensive, somewhat bulky backup power supply.

Latency and Jitter

VoIP works by sending small packets of data across the Internet and then reassembling those packets at their destination/recipient IP address.

Packet loss occurs when these data packets fail to reach their destination, resulting in dropped calls. Jitter occurs when packets do reach their destination, but arrive in the wrong order, resulting in unintelligible calls.

Jitter and packet loss are usually a result of network congestion. Quality of Service (QoS) features to protect packet streams carrying VoIP data.

Latency is a lag in time between when you speak and the person on the other end of the line hears what you say. Latency can usually be fixed by ensuring that devices have the latest updates installed and that the hardware being used (headsets, IP phones, etc.) is recommended and supported by the VoIP provider.

Doesn’t Support Emergency Calls

The 911 emergency system was created when landlines were the only option, and the system is built for traditional telephony systems.

Landline phone numbers are associated with a physical address and devices are not portable, so it is easy for emergency services to know the location of a person calling 911 from a landline, even if they are unable to communicate their location.

VoIP service conversely is designed to be mobile and portable, so the caller will not necessarily be located at their “billing address” at the time of an emergency call. When you add in the fact that VoIP is rendered inoperable in a power outage, connecting with services in an emergency becomes complicated. Even with cell phones, emergency services have had to use GPS to locate callers.

Many VoIP companies provide a service called Enhanced 911, or E911, which allows users to provide a physical address to emergency services for every VoIP number.

While this doesn’t solve the problems of multiple/incorrect locations or a loss of power, it’s better than nothing.

Next Generation 911 (NG911) is an IP-based emergency services plan currently being implemented in some parts of the U.S. and Canada. NG911 uses WiFi, bluetooth, and other geographic information systems to locate callers, allowing the public to send in information via voice, text, and video.

Should You Make a Switch to VoIP?

If you’ve read this far and still aren’t convinced to make the switch, consider that copper wire telephony systems will soon become obsolete.

VoIP has few disadvantages–and those that remain are quickly being remedied–while its benefits continue to grow and evolve with customer and business needs.

For individuals, startups, small businesses, enterprises, call centers, and really, any business that makes phone calls or has business communication, VoIP is the way to go. It’s only a question of which VoIP service provider will best serve your business needs.

AT&T’s aggressive copper network retirement could be a mistake, analyst says

AT&T might want to reconsider a plan to decommission about half of its legacy copper network by 2025, as its wireline network still carries strategic value against AT&T’s mobile rivals, an industry analyst suggests.

AT&T believes the copper assets tagged for retirement carry a cost of $6 billion annually, but “[w]e wonder whether retiring copper assets could be a mistake,” New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin explained in a research note. “The single biggest advantage they have over the national wireless carriers is their large fixed footprint.”

At its analyst and investor day held last week, AT&T execs suggested that DSL subscribers tied into those legacy copper networks could be moved to other products, including fixed wireless. However, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin suggests that AT&T could instead ramp up fiber buildouts and upgrades to 45 million locations nationwide, and possibly back that strategy with the billions of dollars flowing out of government subsidy programs.

“An integrated fiber and wireless network would go a long way to curing their spectrum shortfall and improving their offering, in markets with fiber,” Chaplin added. “Cable has a place in the endgame by virtue of a nationwide terrestrial network today (far easier to attach spectrum to fiber than build a fiber network under spectrum). AT&T is the next best positioned because they have the largest terrestrial footprint that they can upgrade.”

Chaplin called AT&T’s expected buildout rate of new fiber locations of 3.5 million to 4 million “a little disappointing,” noting that the company had once alluded to accelerating that pace to 5 million locations per year.

AT&T has been open to broadening its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) deployment under certain conditions, but so far the company has resisted altering its current plan to deploy fiber to 30 million locations by 2025.

Copper retirement plan is ‘non-trivial’

Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant suggests that AT&T’s copper-killing plan ultimately will cover about 15 million locations after accounting for the company’s FTTP buildout program.

“Currently, [AT&T] serves approximately 60M locations with copper, and 16M with fiber. By YE25, the company expects to bring down those copper passings by 50%, or 30M,” Jayant wrote. “As fiber passings are expected to rise by ~14M over the same time period, it implies ~15M copper passings to be decommissioned, to be served with 5G wireless instead.”

Jayant noted that the good news is that AT&T subscriber numbers in the decommissioned copper network areas should be relatively small. Customers there, at best, are getting low-speed DSL, and perhaps about half in that footprint are not receiving any sort of high-speed Internet service from the company at all, the analyst surmised. That would make traditional copper voice the only active service in some of those areas.

“As such, subscribership is likely very low, so the number of customers who would need to be migrated is probably quite small,” Jayant wrote. “Even so, the regulatory challenges for getting approval are non-trivial, so we don’t expect the process to be completed rapidly.”

With that complication factored in, he said the actual network shutdowns will likely come in 2024 and 2025, with the most significant cost savings to surface in 2025 and beyond.

At the investor event last week, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh noted that this year’s pace of copper shutdowns represent a 10x increase over 2021. He expects the overall copper decommissioning program to reach a peak by 2024.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Original Article:

Security Tip: Impacts of a Breach – Company

Security Tip: Impacts of a Breach – Company

When an organization is involved in a breach, large or small, the consequences can be severe. Financial damages, reputational harm, and even job cuts are all possible outcomes.

In this week’s Micro Training, learn about the impacts of a breach for the company involved.

Security Tip: Facts and Tips for Cyber-Safe Travel

Security Tip: Facts and Tips for Cyber-Safe Travel

Traveling should be fun, not stressful. Knowing what cyber threats are out there and how to avoid them can help ensure your travel plans run smoothly.

In this week’s security tip video, learn some facts and tips for ensuring cyber-safe travel.

Security Tip: Deepfakes

Security Tip: Deepfakes

The evolution of technology used for cybercrime is fascinating, but scary at the same time! Deepfakes are the latest trend and can be used to craft a realistic scam when used maliciously.

In this week’s security tip video, learn about deepfakes, the threats they pose, and how to spot one.

The Future of Fraud

Security Newsletter – The Future of Fraud

Technological advancements are helping to change the way we see and interact with the world. With these improvements, however, new cyber threats are emerging that could spell out danger in the future if we are not prepared.

In this month’s security newsletter, learn more about deepfake technology, cybercrime in the future, and an analysis of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

Quick Tips

Unnatural eye movement or irregular blinking patterns may be the sign of a deepfake.
Protect your home Wi-Fi network by updating the standard router password.

The post The Future of Fraud appeared first on ProCareIT.

Security Tip: Travel Scams – During Your Trip

Security Tip: Travel Scams – During Your Trip

As you’re enjoying your hard-earned vacation, be sure to keep scammers out of your travel itinerary.

In this week’s security tip video, check out some simple recommendations to keep your vacation scam-free.

Security Tip: Impacts of a Breach – Employee

Security Tip: Impacts of a Breach – Employee

Many parties feel the negative impacts of a data breach. Often, the employee at fault is impacted in more ways than you might consider.

In this week’s Micro Training, watch a story about some of the tumultuous events that could occur after a breach for the individual at fault.

On Cloud Nine

Security Newsletter – On Cloud Nine

When you save something to the cloud, where does it go, and is it safe?

In this month’s security newsletter, we break down how the cloud can be configured like a fortress to keep your information safe.

Quick Tips

Beware of posting any of your vaccination details on social media.
Watch for tax scams where threats and impersonations of authority figures try to deceive you.

The post On Cloud Nine appeared first on ProCareIT.