What are the pros and cons of VoIP? Voice over internet protocol has proven to be the latest buzzword in technology circles in recent years, giving rise to the belief that Alexander Graham Bell’s wonderful invention, the old fashioned telephone, will soon become a relic gathering dust in a museum somewhere. What is VoIP?
VoIP technology lets us make phone calls over an internet connection. You don’t need any special equipment: all you have to do is download the necessary software, set up an account, and start making calls. Most of us are familiar with VoIP technology, and with the arrival of instant messaging programs, pricey long distance telephone calls are now a thing of the past. Skype is currently the biggest player in the VoIP market, but there are many others, so what are the pros and cons of VoIP and is it a viable alternative to regular telephones?
What are the pros of VoIP?
1. The biggest pro of VoIP is the savings you will see if you regularly make long distance calls.
2. Computer to computer calls are free, but even if you need to make calls to landlines and mobiles, you can still make significant savings.
3. With Skype, you can pay a small fee for a local number in a variety of different countries and then people native to that country can speak to you, but only pay the cost of a local phone call.
4. VoIP technology is very easy to use, even for the computer illiterate. The software takes minutes to download and setting up an account is simple, so in no time at all, you can start calling friends abroad for free.
5. Audio calls over VoIP are easy, but video calls over VoIP takes long distance calls into a whole new territory: catch up on how your grandkids are growing and enjoy face to face video chats across the internet for free.
6. You only need a computer to make a VoIP call, although you might want to invest in a microphone or USB VoIP phone for ease of use.
7. VoIP technology is great for remote workers or employees travelling abroad on business.
What are the cons of VoIP?
1. VoIP technology requires a broadband connection to function, so if you are still on dial-up (as some are), it will not work very well, if at all.
2. The quality of your internet connection pays a big part in the quality of the call. Slower ADSL will affect the call and you may suffer from poor sound quality or frequent dropouts if the connection is bad.
3. Calls over VoIP are only free if they are made to other users with the same VoIP software. To call a landline or mobile number, you will need to buy credits on your account.
4. Whilst VoIP can be useful for small businesses, it is not appropriate for large businesses to replace their analogue phone systems with a VoIP system as the call quality tends to vary considerably and the equipment can be a major cost up front. For most, a traditional PBX system for customers to reach you on is a better choice.