Comparing the benefits of VoIP to its disadvantages

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A manager reviewing the benefits and disadvantages of using VoIP
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What’s stopping businesses from getting VoIP?

VoIP is rapidly replacing traditional telecom carriers as the telephony solution of choice for businesses. However, not everyone is familiar enough with the technology to make the shift because there are still some questions about it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP?

To give people a better understanding of why many are switching to using this solution, this article aims to compare the benefits versus the disadvantages of VoIP: Why is it worth it to shift to a modern VoIP company from traditional telecoms for your business communications needs?

What are the benefits of VoIP?

VoIP lets you save on long-distance and international phone calls.

One of the ways VoIP provides business savings is by treating long-distance calls similar to the way it treats local calls. Instead of charging businesses for calls made outside their area code, a lot of modern VoIP providers offer unlimited US-to-US calls—as long as you are using a US-based business phone number.

Furthermore, most VoIP providers also offer lower international calling rates compared to traditional telecoms, adding another layer of savings for businesses.

VoIP can connect multiple locations and a distributed workforce.

VoIP phone numbers are not tethered to a single telephone, whereas traditional telecoms are. This means VoIP calls can be made by users from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.

This also means you do not have to get a separate business phone number for each branch/location you have for your business.

A single VoIP phone number can be used for multiple offices, especially when combined with cloud PBX technology. Instead of getting separate business phone numbers for each location, people can call a single VoIP phone number. The cloud PBX component routes the call to the right department or person regardless of location, including people working remotely or outside of the office.

VoIP can scale up or down based on your business needs.

VoIP can also adjust to the needs of your business. While a single phone number can unite multiple locations and a distributed workforce, it does not mean that businesses have to limit themselves to just one phone number. Based on their needs, organizations can easily order new phone numbers and assign them to departments or people. In the event that the company needs to scale down and cut back on some resources, deactivating or reassigning phone numbers can be done just as easily. This is usually done through an online dashboard that business owners and their admins can access online.

This is unlike traditional phone services. Adding new phone numbers in that setup requires the installation of new cables by specialized manpower, which could take days or weeks to complete.

VoIP gives your business flexible, mobile, and remote working options to offer your workforce.

In the past, employees had to stay in the office just so they could use their business phone numbers. If you had to go out, you’d need to use your cellular minutes to communicate.

That changed with VoIP. Now, employees are able to stay connected to their company wherever they are as long as they have an internet-connected device.

This also allows for businesses to expand their talent search. Because their communications solution can be used from anywhere, organizations can now hire people outside their city, state, or even country. As long as the person has an internet connection, they can stay connected to the company they work for wherever they are.

VoIP lets you enjoy other communication tools like internet fax, business SMS, and audio and video conferencing.

The way VoIP is able to replicate telephony functions has led to different types of online communication tools as well. Via IP transmissions, businesses are also able to send faxes and text messages using their business phone number.

In addition, the same base technology also allows for audio and video conferencing solutions. This allows multiple people to hop on a conference call from anywhere.

Colleagues doing video conferencing on work

What are the disadvantages of VoIP?

While there are a lot of advantages, when you look into how VoIP works for business, it is not a perfect solution. Like any technology out there, it has its own limitations. These include:

No internet means no VoIP phone service

The main disadvantage of VoIP compared to traditional lines is that it is totally dependent on the strength of your broadband connection. No internet equals no VoIP phone service.

It does not end there either. Poor internet connection can also affect call quality and lead to problems like jitter and latency.

Thankfully, there are quite a few workarounds you can apply here.

  • First, get a reliable internet provider. A lot of operational tasks right now use the internet anyway, so it is an investment you should not scrimp on in the first place.
  • Second, have a dedicated internet network solely for VoIP (if possible) so it does not compete for bandwidth with other online-based business tasks.
  • Last, you can also use QoS routers so VoIP transmissions are prioritized over other internet-related activities like downloads and streaming.

Not all VoIP providers offer secure transmissions.

The internet is a public network, so there is a possibility of data being intercepted during transmission. This includes voice data during VoIP calls. The danger of private voice calls being breached is very real and should not be ignored.

Fortunately, when you take the time to discover what VoIP service providers are and how they help businesses, you will also find that the top companies implement security measures to protect your voice data during VoIP calls. This includes high-level encryption during transmission from end to end.

Determining the actual location of people during emergencies can be difficult when using VoIP lines.

One of the advantages of VoIP is that you can purchase a local number from any state, with any area code, even without a physical address. That gives you the chance to establish a virtual presence anywhere. The problem is that during emergencies, responders typically use your phone number to identify your location. With your phone number and actual physical location not necessarily matching, emergency responders will have trouble finding you when you need them to.

Fortunately, this is where an e911 emergency address comes in. This allows businesses and users to implement changes to the physical address connected to a digital VoIP line. This same address will be used by 911 to trace the origin of a VoIP call within the US. The best VoIP providers give their users access to this feature.

As you can see, the advantages of VoIP far outweigh the disadvantages. The disadvantages themselves are not really deal breakers, as there are workarounds to the problems ensuring they do not become big issues.

So if you’re asking whether businesses should shift to VoIP, the answer is a big YES.