One thing that has become a constant in a rapidly evolving high tech world is change itself. There always seems to be a new technology and a new approach to solving old problems on the horizon.
Communications systems have especially been subject to change as telephones have gone from rotary single land lines to smartphones in just a few decades.
Get ready for another change.
If you haven’t heard VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, communications systems yet, you will and very soon. The internet-based phone systems are changing the way businesses make long distance calls and conduct internal communications.
Voice over Internet Protocol is a method for taking the analog audio signals of a standard phone call and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. The result is that VoIP can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls. Put simply, VoIP software makes Internet phone calls and allows you to bypass phone companies and host of standard phone line installation and equipment.
Now, there are more choices than ever for business VoIP systems available. These systems not only handle all of your business calling, both in office and on the road, but also teleconferencing as well as keeping your employees connected to your business computer system from anywhere.
VoIP service come in three basic systems as outlined by HowStuffWorks.com.
The simplest and most common way is through the use of a device called an ATA (analog telephone adaptor). The ATA allows you to connect a standard phone to your computer or your Internet connection for use with VoIP. The ATA is an analog-to-digital converter. It takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data for transmission over the Internet. Providers like Vonage, AT&T, and CallVantage are bundling ATAs free with their service. You simply crack the ATA out of the box, plug the cable from your phone that would normally go in the wall socket into the ATA, and you’re ready to make VoIP calls. Some ATAs may ship with additional software that is loaded onto the host computer to configure it; but in any case, it’s a very straightforward setup.
These specialized phones look just like normal phones with a handset, cradle and buttons. But instead of having the standard RJ-11 phone connectors, IP phones have an RJ-45 Ethernet connector. IP phones connect directly to your router and have all the hardware and software necessary right onboard to handle the IP call. Wi-Fi phones allow subscribing callers to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hot spot.
This is certainly the easiest way to use VoIP. You don’t even have to pay for long-distance calls. There are several companies offering free or very low-cost software that you can use for this type of VoIP. All you need is the software, a microphone, speakers, a sound card, and an Internet connection, preferably a fast one like you would get through a cable or DSL modem. Except for your normal monthly ISP fee, there is usually no charge for computer-to-computer calls, no matter the distance.
Finally, a technology is emerging that could radically reshape the way we telecommunicate. Call us at 856-825-6000 to determine the system that best suits your business. And welcome to the new world of VoIP.