VoIP Phone - The Pros And Cons
By Kevin Erickson
You've heard of the latest technological miracle and you're thinking of having a VoIP phone at your disposal. Great... but do you actually know what it is or are you just going with the flow? Either way, this article aims to help you with all the FAQs that are attached to the VoIP phone phenomenon. And without further ado...
1. What the heck is a VoIP phone?
Good question but some people wouldn't even bother asking. Pride and vanity... such a sin. A VoIP phone (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is simply a fancy technical term for an Internet phone. In a nutshell - that's it.
2. How does a VoIP phone work?
Ah, such curiosity. Haven't you heard of the saying that curiosity killed the cat? Okay, just kidding but please keep on reading. A VoIP phone works by converting your analog signals to data packets and vice versa.
3. What do you need to make a VoIP work?
First and foremost you need an internet connection. If you currently live in an area that still doesn't have internet access, although the odds of that is pretty slim then your out of luck and the VoIP phone is just not for you. In addition, the type of internet service provider or ISP can affect the probability of a VoIP phone working in your neighborhood. Usually, a VoIP phone goes hand in hand with broadband internet (DSL or cable). And although your VoIP phone may work with other types of ISPs like prepaid, dial up, satellite or wi-fi, the quality of voice reception isn't always what it should be if you don't have a broadband connection.
4. What are the advantages?
Actually, there's really just one but it's a major advantage. It's really simple, VoIP phone services cost less than traditional phone services whether it's a cell phone or traditional phone service from home. And the more long distance calls you make the more you'll save because the way a VoIP phone uses the Internet the location of the speaker and receiver are inconsequential.
5. What are the disadvantages?
A VoIP phone does have some disadvantages but fortunately, they're just minor. Poor voice reception quality – similar to cellphones in poor reception areas, is the biggest disadvantage but as the technology evolves even that issue is becoming less and less of an issue.
A Voip phone is vulnerable to power shortages: If the company providing you with VoIP phone services gets hit by a power shortage, your call would naturally get cut off.
Higher probability of dropped calls: Similar to cellphones once again, there's a higher probability of a call being accidentally dropped or cut-off because your VoIP phone relies on signals.
Technical Political/Legal Issues: Some companies are complaining that they aren't able to bill their clients with the correct amount or usage due, because it's hard to accurately determine because VoIP phone services are provided by the Internet. Consequently, if you're planning to use VoIP phone services for your company, don't think that your long distance calls would remain cheap forever. Change is definitely in the air, my friend.
Phone Number Portability: This is rare because most VoIP phones support phone number portability but it's really dependent on your local phone company. If their services are not VoIP compatible then chances are, you may have to use another phone number.
Security: Since VoIP phones work because of the Internet, then it's more vulnerable to hackers and wiretapping. Not a high chance of this happening but something to think if you plan on using VoIP phone services in a company situation where classified transactions are done over the phone.
Locking in Broadband Phone Service: If your broadband company doesn't currently support VoIP phone services, you may have to wait for your contract to reach its termination date before you can switch companies. Cancelling your subscription before the end of the current contract period normally results in high early termination fees.
Network Design: If you're going to use VoIP phones for your company, make sure that you've got a smart network design. Hire a network administrator to oversee the maintenance of the network. VoIP phone service is still a new technology and prone to glitches. If you don't have a well designed network or one that's not properly maintained, a power shortage may result in everything shutting down.
About the Author
Kevin Erickson is a contributing writer to the following websites: http://www.eyeonvoip.com and http://www.eyeonalaska.com. This article may be reproduced only in its entirety.
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