Voice over IP, or VoIP, is technology’s answer to traditional telephone service. Rather than transmitting signals over copper telephone wires, they are sent digitally over the internet. Are you considering switching out your traditional telephone lines to a VoIP service? Here are some answers to frequently asked VoIP questions you may be asking yourself.
How does it work? How do I make a call using VoIP?
VoIP works by changing your voice into a digital signal that can be sent over the internet, rather than by traditional phone lines. Though the technology is different, from the user-perspective nothing needs to change. You can still pick up your phone and dial a number to place a call, and it will still ring and be answered the same way your phone always has. In short, VoIP changes how your phone works, not how you use it. Additionally, you can make calls over VoIP using your computer or mobile phone, using an app to connect to your service.
Can I call any phone, or only others with VoIP?
For most providers, you can use your VoIP phone to call any number in the world, just as with a traditional phone. However, there are some services that limit you to only calling other subscribers, so it’s important to check with your service provider for any limitations.
What about calling 911?
Again, this depends on your service provider. Some VoIP services do not seamlessly mesh with your local 911 service. However, you can access “enhanced 911” services, which you should set up when you set up your service, to ensure the 911 operators can link your phone number to your physical address.
Can I keep my number?
Most providers will let you port your old phone number to your new VoIP service, so you can keep your number. This change may take several days, or come with a fee.
Many providers will also let you use your VoIP services anywhere you have an internet connection, via an adapter or an app. This means not only can you keep your number, it can travel with you.
How is the quality?
In many cases, VoIP call quality is equal to, or better, than most landline connections. However, because VoIP is tied to your internet connection, the quality may be compromised if your broadband connection is poor.
Are there other features I should know about?
Your VoIP service may come with a variety of other features similar to traditional phone service, including voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and conference calling. However, VoIP also offers enhanced features, like voicemail that’s sent to email or text, conference bridges, find/me follow me auto-rerouting for calls, and more. Contact your provider for details.
What about security?
VoIP calling is very secure, with very few breaches being reported since its inception. To enhance security, you can enroll in encrypted calling, ensuring your phone calls are safe and secure.
VoIP is new technology for an old communication medium. If you have questions or would like more information, contact us to learn more.