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What is VoIP?

Have you heard the term ‘VoIP’ before, but are unsure what it means? We’ve created this short guide to help...

What is VoIP?

What is VoIP?

VoIP is short for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in less technical terms, an internet phone system. It’s just another name for a Cloud-based phone system too. All you need to set up a VoIP phone system is an internet connection which will allow for calls to be routed, rather than using a traditional phone line from a local phone company.

VoIP generally offers lower call rates, as well as reduced maintenance costs and downtime should any issues arise. The reduced rates are especially helpful as you are not charged for calls based on distance, which country you’re in or how long you spend on the phone!

How does VoIP work?

In short, a VoIP phone system works by taking your analogue voice signals, converting them into digital signals, and then sending them as data across an internet connection.

You can use the following devices with most VoIP phone systems:

VoIP desk phone
VoIP desk phones look like normal desk phones, but are configured to work specially with VoIP services. They are also capable of delivering the advanced call features of a VoIP phone system, where standard landline phones can’t.
Standard landline phone with a VoIP adapter
Using a special adaptor, you can make VoIP calls from any landline phone. These adapters plug into either a phone socket in the wall or into your router. This allows you to transform your existing phone system into a cloud-based phone system.
There are dozens of programs that let you make voice calls to anyone who also has it installed, including Skype, Google Talk, and Apple FaceTime. Some, such as Skype, can be used to call a regular landline or mobile numbers too. Our Horizon system also lets you do this, allowing your team to communicate without even having to answer a desk phone.
You can use your smartphone to make voice calls using certain apps such as WhatsApp and Skype. Again, Horizon also lets you access your office phone system from your mobile device, so your team can work from anywhere.

Is there a difference between VoIP and Hosted VoIP?

Only slightly. The overall principle is the same, it is just a case of where your equipment is located. With on-premises VoIP, the hardware for your phone system is kept on-site whereas with hosted VoIP, the system is just connected to your internet connection and the equipment is located in a data centre.

Hosted VoIP does reduce the risk of downtime for your system, as data centres have backup systems should anything go wrong and have teams specifically ensuring that everything is working as it should. It also means that you don’t need to pay maintenance call-out costs too.

How could VoIP help my business?

The main advantage of switching to VoIP for business use is the reduction in cost. Not only are set up and maintenance costs minimal, but you will also enjoy reduced call rates no matter who you may be calling, wherever they may be.

Another huge benefit is that members of your team are able to make and receive calls at the same time, without having to install several phone lines. This simplifies the installation process and again, cuts costs!

A VoIP for business phone system is also able to grow as quickly as your business with minimal effort or cost. With a regular phone system, you are likely to need another phone line installed, whereas VoIP allows you to just connect another phone to the network.

For more examples of how a VoIP phone system could help your business check out our Top 10 reasons to switch to VoIP.

Are there any downsides of VoIP?

It used to be that you may have suffered poor quality calls by migrating to a VoIP phone system. However, with connections being more reliable than ever before, this is rare. We will also advise you of any issues prior to committing a VoIP contract and we will do our best to solve them too. Once you have a strong, stable internet connection the benefits of implementing a VOIP for business system far outweigh the steps needed to improve your call quality.

Once upon a time, the features of VoIP were fairly limited, but with systems such as Horizon, they have many more features than will ever be possible with a traditional landline system.

Is VoIP suitable for a small business?

Yes! We will work with you to create a package that suits your business perfectly. Our VoIP phone systems for business are completely scalable, no matter whether you have a team of 5 or a team of 50.

Large companies often want to cut down on IT costs, and smaller businesses rarely have in-house IT teams to manage their tech. A VoIP system is perfect for both, with reduced costs across the board and an external team on hand to help with management.

How could Nortelco help with a VoIP phone system for your business?

Our VoIP phone system, Horizon, is a market leading solution which is already helping lots of businesses reduce their communication costs while increasing the capabilities of their system. We work with businesses across Yorkshire, County Durham and in fact, right across the UK to help them create bespoke solutions which meet the needs of their business, no matter how many people are in their team or where they are.

We will always try and help you streamline your communications with the best solution that suits your business. Our focus is providing exceptional customer service and establishing relationships with our customers so they know we are always on hand to help.