The sometimes prohibitive cost of a communications network can make business VOIP a viable, less expensive option for small business. In this short article, I will be going over some of the pros and cons of using VOIP for your business communications.
First thing's first, what is business VOIP?
VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Basically, it means communicating verbally with others through an internet or intranet connection. Many people have used VOIP, for business or personal use, but have just haven't used the term, VOIP, to describe it.
Why would a small business consider VOIP?
For small business, VOIP can come in handy in terms of cost vs. benefit. For the same cost as a typical land line without any features, you can get a VOIP line for your business that has all of the benefits, including voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, and VOIP services often have very good pricing on add-ons like an extra fax line.
Some VOIP companies boast an even better voice quality than a phone line, which can be a nice added bonus for your business. Because the bandwidth for a broadband internet connection is greater than the relative bandwidth of a phone line, more data can pass through the pipes at one time, allowing for high-quality audio.
The cons of using a VOIP for business
One of the major downsides of VOIP usage for business is the lack of reliability. Phone lines tend to have less of a chance of failing than an internet connection. Also, if you use you internet connection for high-bandwidth purposes, you may suffer from some break-up in the connection. For business, VOIP is a great complement to a traditional line, but typically can't replace it.
Another reason business VOIP may not be a viable alternative to a land line is the fact that many phone companies require you to have a land line installed in order to have a broadband connection, as with DSL.
Some companies that do VOIP for business and the home
Vonage is a home and business VOIP comany that has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. They offer some great services at a really good price, and while they don't service the entire US, they're getting closer. Even if you're out of range, you can still get a Vonage line, but you might not be able to get the right area code.
Skype is a free VOIP with some pretty cheap paid services. Ebay recently bought Skype, so you will probably see it's use start to grow even more in the next few years.