With so many innovations nowadays, even the way people communicate has changed drastically. Thanks to new gadgets, devices, computer systems, and various virtual platforms, people can now quickly contact a person. That’s why businesses also use different methods of communication to keep their lines reachable as much as possible.
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As they say, every client counts, and one missed call may result in losing a potential client. To avoid such problems, you can use telephone lines and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems in your business.
For some, using both systems is not a problem. However, when you need to choose what’s best for your business or personal use, you need to study your options. To pick the right one, you must understand the differences, advantages, and uses of VoIP and traditional phone line systems.
VoIP Vs Traditional Phone Lines: The Basics
Traditional landline phone systems are also known as phone lines or lines. These lines cannot receive outbound or inbound calls without physical wires, that’s why every office that requires phone services must have the necessary cords. However, landline phones can also be semi-cordless–the handset is wireless, while the phone base uses cords. However, you can only use the wireless handset or receiver within a short-range.
Although mobile phones and other modern communication services are more popular than landlines, these devices remain to be one of the best inventions the world has ever seen, and this is because even after centuries, high-quality phones can still work just fine.
But, nowadays, big or small business VoIP is now becoming more popular. Unlike traditional phone line systems, VoIP uses an Internet connection. Also, as opposed to traditional phone lines that require wires or cords for them to work, VoIP only requires ATA, IP, and other VoIP service providers.
By using an analog telephone adaptor (ATA), you can use your regular phone, computer, or Internet to connect to a VoIP service provider. The data is transmitted through the Internet when making VoIP calls.
As for IP phones, they have buttons, cradle, and handset, but, unlike traditional phone line systems, they use an Ethernet connector. Some even use WiFi phones to connect to the Internet.
Also, you can even use your computer with an Internet connection and VoIP software. That way, you can use it to connect with VoIP systems easily and more conveniently, especially for business purposes.
VoIP Vs Traditional Phone Lines: The Difference
When it comes to function, VoIP and traditional phone systems are geared towards effective communication with other people. However, people would usually choose the ones that fit into their budget. Especially for businesses, the lesser the cost, the bigger the profit.
Depending on the setup selection and system technology, VoIP systems averagely cost USD 20 per line. The reason behind this cheaper system is that it uses the existing Internet connection, and no additional hardware is required.
Moreover, when you choose one VoIP service provider for your company, you don’t need additional service providers to cater to other aspects of your firm. Unlike traditional phone services, you’ll need to get another service provider for your Internet at home or for your mobile data since traditional phone lines only cater to phone services. But, with just a single VoIP service provider, they can already provide you with an Internet connection for your office, home, and the likes.
As a result, you’ll only be paying one service provider for all your Internet and phone service needs. But, in order to fully enjoy the advantages of VoIP, you’ll need to choose a VoIP service provider carefully.
As for landline phones, the cost of each phone hardware can come as high as USD 250, while phone systems may reach USD 1,000. Imagine how many VoIP lines you can already purchase with such an amount.
However, the said costs only cover simple and standard phone line systems. If you’re in a business that involves sending and receiving calls, you may need other features, like call queuing, call transfer, intercom, and the like. With that being said, you may need to install an in-house and private telephone network called Private Branch Exchange (PBX). Such an option will most likely cost you thousands of dollars because repairs and fixes may need experts for them to be addressed properly.
Both VoIP and traditional phone line systems offer advantages in delivering and receiving calls. But, in order to determine whether you need a VoIP or traditional line system, it’s best to understand their features.
When it comes to advanced features, VoIP has the edge. Here are the many features that a VoIP system can give,
When you can’t be in the office because of an outdoor event or gathering you need to attend, forwarding calls to multiple or particular extensions can help a lot. Especially when you’re waiting for a VIP call, or when you simply wouldn’t want to miss a possible client, forwarding calls via VoIP is much better. You can use time-based routing to send or receive calls in a specific time or day to and from a particular number.
2. Multiple-participant Calls
You and your team can conduct meetings and conferences through a VoIP system. This feature is extremely beneficial when you’ve got a virtual staff, or you’re away from your office. As long as you have an Internet connection, any number of participants can join. Video calling can also be possible with such a system.
3. Call Waiting
With this feature, you will never miss incoming calls that may be as important as your current call. Call waiting allows you to let your current conversation be on hold so you can answer the most recent call. Then, you can return to the call on hold without hanging up. With VoIP, it’s easier to change and configure this feature as you’re using your computer’s control panel software.
4. Call Quality
Before, one of the biggest issues that VoIP was facing was the quality of calls. Many calls were unacceptable due to bandwidth allocation problems. But now, VoIP calls’ sound quality has improved and is now comparable to landline call quality.
You can make the sound quality better on your own. For instance, when making a call using a VoIP system, you need to make sure that there’s not much traffic on the line, an issue that usually stems from programs or apps that use much bandwidth, like video streaming.
Another way to ensure the quality of a VoIP call is to employ software or technologies that increase VoIP sound quality. For instance, compression software can help remove many data bits that can impede the sound quality of your VoIP calls. With a compression software, unrelated noises during your VoIP call can be removed. As a result, only the information necessary for your VoIP call is retained, which makes your calls generally better.
VoIP enables mobility especially for entrepreneurs who work mostly outside the office. Since they can use their smartphones and other handheld devices, they can accept or make calls using VoIP as this system can route the call to its extension. As a result, entrepreneurs can do business even when they’re on the beach or a cruise.
Also, with mobility, people can be productive wherever they are. As long as they’re connected with the company’s cloud, they can interact with their team even outside of their offices.
Another issue that’s been hounding VoIP has to do with its reliability. Since it uses the Internet, many business owners think that they will not be getting a high-quality service, especially with a spotty WiFi connection.
But, the Internet industry has been upgrading since time immemorial, and business Internet connection is far different from home Internet connection as the former is of higher quality than the latter. So, your professional router can handle the bandwidth that a VoIP system requires.
You don’t even need to worry when the power runs out as you can use your mobile data as your backup Internet connection.
7. Software Integration
Because most companies use computers for their daily tasks, software integration in VoIP is even possible. That way, you can use third-party apps like CRM software, which you can use to track, record, and organize all calls.
By doing so, you can use the same computer while taking calls and performing other tasks.
Although technological advancements have been sprouting like mushrooms throughout the years, landlines are still in the market and are standing strong. Although they’re a bit pricey, their features are still deemed cost-effective.
A landline also has forwarding features that you can use whenever you’re away from your office. If you want more advanced forwarding features, you may need to hire a separate call forwarding service.
2. Multiple-participant calls
Although landlines can cater to three-way calling, it’s only via phone calls. Meaning, you can’t see each other’s faces, unlike VoIP. With a landline, you and your team can only hear each other’s voices.
3. Call Waiting
A landline’s call waiting for the feature is similar to that of how VoIP works. You can hold the other line to cater to another call. However, you’re not using your computer but only your handset and phone base.
4. Call Quality
Landlines are known to offer excellent sound quality during calls except during specific circumstances. For instance, handsets may be overused, which can deliver bad sound quality. But, during weather strikes or natural disasters, you can still rely on your landlines as they’re easy to fix over Internet connections.
Also, since a landline system uses wires or cords, calls sound better and not spotty. As a result, you may avoid dropped calls from potential clients as you can hear and understand each other clearly.
Unlike VoIP that uses the Internet and cloud to forward calls, landline systems use specific and different numbers for every phone line or mobile phone. As a result, it will not be possible for people who are on-the-go to accommodate calls outside of their offices. While you can use your mobile device to answer calls while you’re on a train via a VoIP system, you can’t do so with landlines. It’s because they’re not portable enough for you to carry everywhere.
Moreover, if you’re moving your office in another state, you’ll need to get a new landline phone number as phone service system providers may differ for each place. On the other hand, you can utilize the same cloud or VoIP service provider wherever you decide to go or transfer, thanks to the Internet.
Landlines are reliable as they have separate connections, which results in consistent performance. And, even during power outages, you can still use landlines.
However, more people have been abandoning landline subscriptions due to their costly service.
Although some businesses still use landline phones, more and more companies are seeing VoIP as a better option in keeping their phone services better.
7. Software Integration
One of the disadvantages of using landlines over VoIP is its inability to use CRM. That’s why when recording and tracking your business calls, you might have to do it manually. Or, you’ll be needing separate tools for your phone system to be able to multitask.
VoIP vs Traditional Phone Line System: When To Use?
Now that you already understand how VoIP and traditional phone lines differ in terms of functions and features, it’s time to know whether VoIP can help your business.
When you’re operating a large business locally or internationally, using a VoIP may be the best choice for your phone services. Well, if you have international-based clients and staff, you’ll need to communicate with them regularly. When you use VoIP, you can cut down on costs while making and receiving real-time calls to and from your team. Especially when you travel a lot, VoIP is best for your business.
On the other hand, if your business is situated locally, then a landline may also be the right choice. Especially when your location is in rural areas with a poor Internet connection, traditional phone lines should be your choice.
To sum it up, VoIP systems offer greater and more advanced features for modernized businesses compared with traditional phone lines. That’s why you first need to understand the basics of a VoIP system, how it works, its features, and differences between traditional phone systems to fully understand its advantages.
Also, having in-depth knowledge about the VoIP system enables you to decide how it can effectively help your business.
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