To the end user, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) works like any other phone service. You dial the number, get connected and start having a conversation. But behind the scenes things are a little different, and those differences can help you save money on your monthly phone bill.
The first difference, of course, comes from the nature of VOIP itself. As the name implies, the system uses the Internet to create a connection, rather than a traditional phone line. Calls can even be exchanged between two PCs, rather than over the phone. However, you can use VOIP with a traditional hand-held device as well.
And don’t worry. The person receiving the call doesn’t need to have VOIP for you to use it. You can make any call you want as long as you know the phone number.
VOIP calls move through the Internet just like email does. The technology transforms your voice into a data file. It’s sent on to its destination where it’s unpacked and played for the recipient. This all happens so fast neither you nor your conversational partner experience any delays.
However, this does mean every VOIP user should be at least a little bit aware of potential security issues. In theory, a good hacker could exploit the technology to listen into your calls. Thus, it’s smart to make sure all of your VOIP calls are made on a private IP network to keep both parties safe.
Flexibility for Businesses
If you’re a company who has employees working in remote offices around the world, or love the idea of having a cheap, hassle-free way to add and change extensions, then VOIP is for you. It even offers an inexpensive way to set up local phone numbers in cities far from your physical location, all without forcing you to spend a bundle.
With the right VOIP set-up you can expand your audio/visual capabilities to support all manner of business functions. Web conferencing and the collaborative technology that makes remote communication truly powerful become both a simple prospect and a cost-effective one.
Of course, to make the most of this technology you’ll need other equipment as well, from monitors to microphones.
More than a Phone Service
While many cheap VOIP services exist, many are geared towards home use. Businesses who want to reap all the benefits of the technology will want to consult with audio-visual engineers who will listen to what you’re trying to accomplish and who will custom-design a solution capable of meeting all your needs.
Video conferencing with crystal-clear clarity, collaboration, total security and flexible set-ups will all be within reach when you take this route. By working with the experts, you’ll start to see real returns on investment that a DIY “Skype”-style solution simply can’t provide.
Intrigued? Talk to an AV Engineer who can answer all your questions and give you an even better picture of what VOIP can do for you.