How is VoIP Different from Regular Telephone Service?

Posted on: 2016-04-27 | Categories: VoIP Services

VoIP phone service has been around for some time as businesses and entrepreneurs switch from telephone services that use PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). VoIP phone service uses an internet connection to deliver voice calls using packet switch technology.

VoIP phone service is cost-effective, and the phone number that you purchase can be used from any compatible device, such as your desktop computer, laptop and mobile devices. The number stays with you wherever you are located as long as you have internet access, you can make a VoIP phone call. Learn more about the benefits of VoIP phone service today.

What Hasn’t Changed?

Before we look at how VoIP has revolutionized voice communication, it is important to know making a call has not changed. You pick up the phone and dial a number. This also goes for receiving the call. The phone rings and you pick up the receiver (or press the talk icon if you are on a smartphone). Behind the scenes however, a lot of things are considerably different.

Many of the features that we take for granted on landlines still work with VoIP phone service. Voicemail, putting someone on hold, forwarding calls to an alternate number and IVR systems, are all available on VoIP. Even faxing is a feature on VoIP systems! Nevertheless, the way these features are implemented, configured and modified has changed considerably.

The Differences Between VoIP and Regular Phone Service

Underlying Technology – Circuits and Packets

VoIP is not just an upgrade from regular voice calls. It utilizes completely different technology to send your call across to the next. Normally voice calls travel through copper lines over the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The PSTN utilizes circuit switching technology to accomplish this task. VoIP, on the other hand, routes voice calls over data networks such as the Internet or internal enterprise LANs. To do this, VoIP uses packet switching technology – the same principle underlying all forms of communication on the Internet.

Price of Using VoIP Phone Service

When a call is sent over a regular landline circuits are opened from the location of the caller up to the other person. The entire circuit must be kept open for the duration of the call. This is the reasoning behind long-distance called being expensive. The greater distance a call travels, requires more circuits to be opened and held up since no other call can travel the same route.

With VoIP, the human voice is converted into data packets and these packets are sent to their destination. These packets quite often take different routes to get there. Once received they are assembled in the right order and converted into sound.

Additionally, there is no separate infrastructure required for VoIP. This phone service utilizes the Internet connections that are already available. This allows VoIP operators to charge only a fraction of the price when compared to other telephone carriers.

The Distinction Between Consumer and Business Lines

Business and consumer lines have clear distinctions. It is too expensive for an individual household to purchase or lease a business line. Suppose you work from home as a freelancer or run your small business from your garage. You need certain business features to present a professional image to clients, but the cost ensured that they remain out of reach. VoIP has the solution!

VoIP phone service erases this distinction, or at least makes business features more affordable to small businesses and entrepreneurs. In many cases, the only difference between consumer and enterprise VoIP service is the price or portfolio of features offered. Vendors cater to small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups and contractors by offering a mix of business grade features at affordable prices.

Power and Internet Requirements

The biggest advantage of a regular phone service is the device does not require an external power source. Even if the power and Internet are knocked out, the phones will still work which can be invaluable during a disaster or emergency. Contrary to that above, VoIP phone service requires both power and an Internet connection to make or receive calls.

Silo Versus Interoperability

Landlines previously were silos, separated from other digital services like email or instant messaging. When the Internet first popularized this was not a problem but over time online connectivity or rather cloud technology became an integral part of workflows. It meant that phone calls remained outside the new Internet and app ecosystem. VoIP phone service bridges this divide by connecting calls to the same network as video, email, instant messaging, file transfer and more! Hosted VoIP systems are now integrated with many enterprise applications to enable data transfer and more efficient processes.

Calling From Any Device

With the landline, users were pretty much restricted to use a single device at a fixed location. The phone number was attached to the physical location (through area codes) rather than the user. VoIP does things differently. Any phone number that you purchase is assigned to you and can be used to make calls from any compatible device. It means any device – desk phone, computer, mobile phone, tablets – can be used to make or receive calls.

The number is not tied to a physical location, so you always have it even if you are traveling. This feature is useful for enterprises because there is no wait. Just remember calls can be made from any device with Internet access.

Switch from your regular telephone service to VoIP phone service easily with our award-winning VoIP systems today!