Basics of Voice over IP

Basics of Voice over IP

Voice Over IP (VoIP) has been around for many years.  However, it’s only in the past 5-7 years that high speed affordable bandwidth has been widely available to most businesses in the US where it makes financial sense to move to VoIP.  Additionally, with the introduction of fiber to the building, latency has decreased and speeds have significantly increased.  These two things are needed for successful VoIP operations.

How it works:

Voice over IP phones are basically computers that serve a specific function.  They take your voice and compress it into a data packet.  That packet is then transmitted from your phone to your VoIP provider as data and then it is decompressed when it gets to the destination phone or phone provider if the person on the other end has a non-voip phone system.

Since the calls are transmitted as data, your internet provider and quite often your local IT Support staff have a say in how it works.  If your network is not maintained properly, you can end up with voice quality issues.  However, with a few simple tweaks to your network infrastructure, your quality can be significantly enhanced.  In addition, since your network and internet routers allow for logic to be programmed into them, your IT person can create multiple routes for your calls to take to ensure that it gets the bandwidth it needs.

Cloud vs On-Premise

This is always a decision customer struggle with.  Most people believe that having a system on-premise is the best option.  In the event of an internet outage, the phone will still have dial-tone and calls can be made between extensions. If you have a 4G backup or land line backup, you can still make and receive calls. However, you may end up with customers having issue dialing in during these outages as fail-over to these devices doesn’t always occur real-time.

Running on a cloud server has quite a few advantages.  If your local internet goes down or even worse, your power goes out then customers will still be able to reach your phone system.   You and your employees have a number of options at this point.  First, your employees will be able to connect their cell phones to the phone system via the 3cx app and calls will complete as expected for the customers.  If you don’t want employees to connect via the app, calls can fail-over directly to their cell phone service when their extension is dialed.  Another option is to configure 4g backup on your network router. If all that doesn’t work for you and you want to let your customers know that you’re experiencing issues then you can dial into your phone system and create an alert message that’s presented to the customers upon dialing in.  This work great for those weather delays that hit those of us in the north.

Cloud hosted has another feature that is very important. Your local infrastructure only needs an internet connection to work.  If you host your own server on-premise, you’ll need a quality router/firewall and advanced rules built into it to ensure that security is locked down and calls get through.  A poorly configured network router can calls all sorts of issues for you when it comes to VoIP.

Leave it to the experts and take advantage of cloud hosted voice systems.  Not only is it the most secure route to take but it’s also much simpler.

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