You have heard of VOIP – an acronym for Voice Over IP. You have also heard of VOIP phones and perhaps wondered what they are. While regular mobile phones use a wireless cellular network and regular landlines use a public. S witches telephone network, a VOIP phone (also an IP phone) converts your voice into a digital signal that is transmitted over the Internet and the. Converted back to voice at the recipient’s end.
What is a VOIP number?
A VOIP number is the number assigned to you when you setup or sign up for a VOIP service. It often looks and works exactly like a regular number would.
Can I call a regular number with a VOIP phone?
Yes, VOIP phones are able to reach regular phone numbers. When calling a regular number, a VOIP call signal is converted to a regular telephone signal before it reaches the destination.
Why use a VOIP phone?
VOIP phones come with a few benefits that regular telephone lines do not have.
For starters, with VOIP, you can use a single number across multiple devices. That means you can I itiate a call from that number from any one of those devices and calls to that line can be answered on any of the assigned devices.
Not only can VOIP lines be used across multiple devices, multiple users can make and receive calls on them simultaneously.
This makes VOIP phones ideal for business phone systems used for customer services by businesses. When you call you network operator’s customer care line, chances are that you are calling a VOIP line.
Secondly, because VOIP calls are transmitted over the Internet, they are a cost-effective means of voice communications – far cheaper than. Traditional calls. This is true for both local and international calls.
Thirdly, VOIP numbers are not tied to a location, so you can pick an international or area code different from the one you are in. For example, someone in the UK can sign up for a VOIP service and be assigned a US or Canada international and area codes.
Next, you can carry your VOIP phone around and use it wherever there is an Internet connection. It doesn’t matter what international code or area code is assigned to it, you will be able to use your VOIP number anywhere you can connect to the Internet.
Lastly, you can also setup toll-free lines on a VOIP telephone system, so your customers don’t have to pay to reach you.
Disadvantages of a VOIP number
As with all things that have benefits, there are also disadvantages to using a VOIP call. The major one is that you need a stable, dependable Internet connection, otherwise the call becomes patchy and noisy. If you are using a wireless connection, it is susceptible to the weather as well.
Latency is another problem with VOIP phone calls. During calls, you will notice a small delay in the voice of the person at the other end. It is the same at their end, too – there is a often a delay in your words to them.
Lastly, unlike traditional telephone calls whose locations can be determined in an emergency, the location of a VOIP phone cannot be determined that easily. Your IP address can give away your general location, but rear h and rescue teams, or police teams, won’t be able to determine your precise location.
What does a VOIP phone look like?
The appearance of VOIP phones differ. Some come in the shape and form of a landline. Others look like mobile phones. Some run on a PC connected to a microphone and headset. Some have a keypad while others have a touchscreen. All of them make calls over an Internet connection.
How much is a VOIP phone in 2023?
It depends. You can find some really affordable ones for as low as US$90 and for as high as US$900. It depends on your budget and your specific needs.
In addition to your Internet costs, there is usually a fixed monthly fee for VOIP service. If you are porting an existing number to VOIP service, there is a few for that, as well.
Also, if you are assigning your VOIP number to multiple devices, that will attract an extra cost for multiple call paths.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.