What’s the difference between VOIP and a landline?

More and more businesses are ditching traditional landlines for VOIP services – but what does that mean? VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol which basically means you get your telecoms services through your computer.

Luke Mead from Caelum Communications, said: “In a nutshell, VoIP takes the audio from your voice and turns it into data which can then travel via your broadband to where it needs to go. Your phone is connected to your computer using a VoIP adapter, so you don’t need a traditional phone line any more.”

So what are the advantages of VoIP?

VoIP can provide all of the normal features you would expect with any telecoms provider, including voicemail, videoconferencing and it also allows you to manage all your services directly online.

Landlines can be higher quality in terms of sound, particularly when communicating with teams overseas. VoIP can sometimes be crackly or echoing as its converting audio into data, so this is a slight disadvantage to VoIP sometimes, but the technology is improving daily.

You do need to have a reliable internet service for VoIP to work and if the power goes off, you will lose your phone line as well as all computer-based services potentially. Many businesses keep a landline or a mobile as a back-up phone in case of any power issues.

VoIP inevitably works out cheaper than a traditional landline with its monthly line rental, plus call charges, particularly if you work internationally. With international calls VoIP is always cheaper and many VoIP providers will throw in extras like free calls to the US so it’s always worth checking what packages they can offer.

With landlines, you might get some offers as a business but you should always compare the two to make sure you get the best price but also the best service possible. If you decide to convert to VoIP you can usually keep your phone number and VoIP services often come with long and discounted contracts to try to keep you.

If you are looking to cut the costs of phone calls within your business then a VoIP service could well be the answer, particularly if you make a lot of international calls. You can rest assured that you will still have all of the traditional landline features such as voicemail and switching over is relatively simple, even keeping the same contact number.

However, you just need to bear in mind that sometimes the sound quality is not as good using a VoIP system so if this causes an issue for clients or for your business reputation then it may not be the right choice for you.

Also, if you are really reliant on your phone then bear in mind that any problems with your broadband or your power, will result in no phone lines being available, so it’s worth bearing that in mind in terms of planning your business continuity and in case of any major issues it could cause to your business and clients.

If you need any advice on VoIP services or want to discuss options for your business, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Caelum Communications on 03333660058.

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