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Everything you need to know about VoIP internet telephony

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

VOIP logo and text over an  image of server cabinets

For their telephony needs, many SMBs and SOHOs are abandoning traditional phone carriers in favour of the Internet. They're transitioning from POTS (plain old telephone service) to VoIP (voice over internet protocol)

VoIP allows you to make phone calls via the Internet, which has several advantages over using a traditional landline. It offers affordable calling costs, particularly when calling abroad; superb speech quality, rather than the muffled squawk of a regular phone; and additional functionality (or easy access to the hard-to-use features you already have).

A VoIP phone differs from a typical phone in that it connects to a computer rather than an analog phone line. This computer is known as a VoIP gateway, and it serves as a connection point between the handset and other phone users.

The Different Types of VoIP

Cloud vs. Local

You can connect to the traditional phone network or to other VoIP users through the gateway. Your gateway could be on-premises or a hosted service (often known as "in the cloud") that you access through the Internet. If you have the knowledge in-house, running it yourself might be a smart alternative, but for most individuals, hiring a service is the simplest and least expensive option.

Which System?

SIP and RTP are Internet standards that are used in traditional VoIP. Vonage is the best-known commercial example of this type of service; the Cisco UCM Suite is perhaps the best-known in-house offering.

Asterisk is a separate standard that some newer systems use. Many suppliers, including Fonality, support this powerful, battle-tested system.

Without mentioning Skype, no overview on VoIP software would be complete. It's arguably best known as a free peer-to-peer service for consumers, but the company also has a solution for businesses of all kinds. It's not only a program you install on your computer; dedicated Skype desk phones are now available.


Increased security is one of the advantages of VoIP over traditional phone service. In the VoIP industry, voice scramblers are no longer just for the military.

Working with a protected website like your bank is similar. When you enable encryption for your business communications, you obtain privacy and authenticity (i.e., protection against call rerouting).

While we're on the subject of security, remember to stay safe. When your users connect to any Internet services, including VoIP, be sure they are protected with business-class security.

Also, contact your service provider regarding emergency dialing. Some carriers are better than others at connecting your call to the appropriate dispatcher for your location.

Equipment Types

With VoIP, you have three choices:

Regular, wired phones: A bridge device known as an analog terminal adapter connects each phone to a VoIP system (ATA). The most basic ATA has two sockets: one for connecting to your computer network and another for connecting to your phone.

Dedicated digital phones: These all-in-one devices connect to your network through the Internet. Because they're built to operate with your VoIP system, they typically have extra buttons for controlling specific features, such as a "call back" button that eliminates the need to memorize cryptic commands like *69.

Softphones: This is VoIP software for your computer, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. Although most people think of Skype, other VoIP systems can also be used with software-only phones. AOL Instant Messenger, Cisco IP Communicator, and Jitsi are other examples.

Other Lot to Consider About

A typical phone will continue to work if your power goes out because it is powered by the phone company, not your building's power. However, if you lose electricity, you'll most likely lose VoIP service. As a backup, consider retaining a regular phone and/or a mobile.

Your existing phone number may or may not be retained. Before committing, inquire about number portability with your prospective provider.

Other than voice calls, VoIP does not usually operate effectively with fax machines, security systems, or satellite TV receivers.

Separation from Apprehension

While VoIP offers low prices, clear communications, added security, and useful features, it can also be a confusing alphabet soup of jargon. Knowing your company's needs as well as your personal degree of comfort with acronyms and equipment can aid you in selecting the best alternative.

About Simplyfree

Simplyfree is confident that their phone systems and solutions will improve your business being one of New Zealand's leading and most mature VOIP Network providers.

Simplyfree's smart business phone solutions can be tailored to include any current phone function or setup. Simplyfree assures that any solution includes a lot of varieties to make your business communications professional, reliable, and affordable through their consultative sales process.

If you need help to migrate to VoIP PABX, call Simplyfree.

Simplyfree is based in Wellington, New Zealand and provides smart business phone solutions such as Fibre, Broadband, Toll-Free, 0800 numbers, Unified Communications, Conference Calls, Call waiting, Call queuing, Voicemail to email, call recording, video team meetings and more!

Discover Simplyfree today.

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