As a business owner, you constantly fight to keep costs low without sacrificing service. When you looked at your business phone service, you may have felt stuck. The rule of thumb has always been, you either go with a land-line or you’re out of luck. Now, not so much! Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone service now offers you a viable alternative to the traditional phone companies.
VoIP business phone services offer a lot of advantages over traditional phones. The first one you’ll notice? VoIP is typically cheaper than conventional phone plans. Even if you got a good deal on your local and long distance, it’s still probably upwards of $75-$100 a month. You can get business VoIP for $20-$30 a month with unlimited calling in the US and Canada with most VoIP providers. As an added bonus, internet faxing comes as a stock feature in most VoIP plans. This lets you drop your dedicated line to send or receive faxes and many VoIP fax services can even integrate with a physical fax machine.
To increase the flexibility of their services, a number of VoIP providers also provide smartphone apps that let you access the system from anywhere you have internet access. If you’re near a WiFi hotspot, you won’t even need to rack up any data charges.
The disadvantages of VoIP continue to disappear as time goes by, but there are some things to keep in mind. All VoIP services depend on the quality of your broadband service. If your broadband package comes with a low level of bandwidth, you’ll face more problems with voice distortion, fade outs or dropped calls. If the power goes out, the VoIP service goes with it. To address that issue, business VoIP providers typically bundle in a call forwarding option, so you can answer those calls on a cell phone or landline in case of any connectivity problems.
Like any internet-based service, VoIP services remain vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks, which render your network unusable. It is also possible for your network to be hacked and the calls you make intercepted. While no level of network security can eliminate these threats, keeping network security up to date minimizes the risks.
Is VoIP Right for You
While VoIP systems are getting increasingly sophisticated, you should consider call volume. Businesses with a very heavy call volume, such as stock brokers and call centers, may want to stick with a traditional landline so they don’t overload their bandwidth. Businesses with low-to-moderate call volumes, on the other hand, will probably find VoIP an excellent replacement for a landline system.
With lower costs, flexibility, and fast-disappearing disadvantages, VoIP services offer a genuine alternative to businesses with low-to-moderate call volumes. If you’re not happy with the quality or cost of your existing landlines, you’re longer tied to traditional phone service providers. With numerous business VoIP providers in the market, you can pick the one that best serves your needs.