VoIP is a revolutionary technology that has tremendously changed the way we communicate. People are tired of landlines, which are costly in terms of maintenance, setup and monthly bills. VoIP on the other hand, which stands for voice-over-the-internet-protocol, relies on the internet for making calls. That makes it more affordable, more flexible and versatile.
How does VoIP work?
VoIP works by taking the analog signal and converting it to digital packets of data. The packets are sent online to the recipient, but not before they are strongly encrypted, so that your data is kept secure. VoIP is a versatile technology, as it allows you to make calls to landlines, computers or even your smartphone, depending on the provider.
VoIP is used primarily for business use, because companies need to make calls on a daily basis, some of them in various parts of the world, which would make landline telephony very unprofitable.
VoIP offers desk phones, wireless phones and IP conferencing calls and they can usually be purchased or rented when you sign up for a VoIP service provider. Another way in which you can use VoIP to make calls is through softphones. A softphone is a special software that has to be installed on your device in order to be able to make and receive calls through the internet. Softphones are also very popular for home use, as people can use them directly with their smartphones for instance. Some examples of free VoIP softphones you know and use already for years now are WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, to name just a few.
What do you need to set up a VoIP system at home?
The first thing you need to set up a VoIP system in your home is a reliable and fast internet connection, since VoIP works via internet protocols.
The next step is to find a good VoIP service provider to sign up for. When you sign up for such a service, you will receive a VoIP adapter that you have to connect to your router. Depending on the model, you will usually receive clear instructions on how to use the adapter, along with the item itself.
If you have a phone you want to use for your VoIP needs, you need to connect that one to the adapter as well, usually on the “Line 1” port (or Phone 1, depending on the model). You should of course take all these steps only after you turn off all your devices.
After you connect everything according to the instructions, you turn back the devices and wait for a few minutes for everything to sync. In some cases, the adapter comes with an outdated firmware and you may have to update it.
If you’ve done everything correctly, when you pick up the handset receiver, you should be able to hear the dial tone.
If you look at most VoIP service providers, you will see that all of them offer softphone support in the set of features. This simplifies the setup process a lot, because in this case, you don’t need a VoIP phone anymore. You can make VoIP calls using your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
As we’ve mentioned it above, a softphone is a software that you have to install on your device and that allows you to make and receive VoIP calls.
All you have to do is install on your device the softphone app that you received from your VoIP provider. As long as you have your device connected to the internet, you can start enjoying the benefits of VoIP without further complications.
Some benefits of VoIP
One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is the fact that it saves you a lot of money on setup, monthly bills and even set up. You no longer have to be careful when it comes to making international calls and depending on the setup you want, you might be able to use VoIP without any additional investments in terms of hardware. As long as you have your computer/smartphone (and who doesn’t have those nowadays…?!), a headset and internet access, you’re good to go.
Setting up the VoIP system is a DIY job, so you save some money there as well.
Another great thing about VoIP is that it is flexible, allowing you to make calls no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection available.
And the best part of VoIP is that it includes a plethora of useful features. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Voicemail to email (voicemails will be sent directly to your email)
- Caller ID
- Call forwarding
- Anonymous call rejection
- Conferencing call
- Simultaneous ring
- Do not disturb
- Call recording
- Auto attendant