It’s hard to imagine life without your phone. You rely on it to keep in touch with friends, dial into conference calls, and reply to emails. And as the way we use phones has changed, so has the underlying technology. Smartphones have been one of the greatest innovations of the past few decades, and they’ve radically changed the way we communicate.

There’s no doubt your smartphone is a major upgrade on the copper-wire landline you relied on 15 years ago. Landline phones that rely on copper wires are becoming a relic—an outdated communication tool that we’ll soon see in museums.

Phones have changed so much in recent years. But not all the developments have been on the surface. The communications technology that underpins how phones actually call each other has evolved a lot, too. These days, Voice over Internet Protocol Callers, or VoIP callers, enable individuals and businesses all over the world to communicate more easily.

But what are VoIP callers, and how do they work? In this piece, we’ll answer these questions. You’ll learn who uses VoIP callers, and why. We’ll explain how VoIP callers work, and share the reasons many businesses are embracing VoIP caller solutions instead of traditional landlines.

By the time we’re finished, perhaps you’ll be considering using VoIP callers in your own business. Let’s get started with a definition of VoIP callers.

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1. What is a VoIP caller?

VoIP Caller has two meanings:

  • A person who is calling you using a VoIP system
  • The VoIP system itself

Let’s explore these definitions in more detail.

A person who is calling you using a VoIP system

a person who is calling using voip system image

If a VoIP caller keeps calling you, there’s nothing to fear. It simply means that the person calling you is using VoIP technology, not a traditional phone system, to place the call.

All kinds of people and businesses could be VoIP callers. At Ooma, we provide VoIP caller systems to homes, small businesses and enterprise companies. That means a VoIP caller could be anyone. It might be your best friend or a local plumber returning your call. It could even be your bank or your kid’s school.

Most of the time, you won’t know someone is using a VoIP caller. VoIP callers often have local phone numbers or use caller ID.

The VoIP system itself

Ooma VoIP System - affordable and easy to setup image

VoIP callers are powered by Voice over Internet Protocol. In a nutshell, this means that the person calling is using the internet to make the call, not a traditional phone system.

VoIP systems are becoming more and more popular. Many people use VoIP phones. You can also upgrade an existing landline with special adapters. It’s also possible to make calls without a physical phone using web-based VoIP technology. This is called a softphone.

Many businesses are embracing VoIP caller systems and for good reason. VoIP calling technology offers flexibility, cost benefits and a range of powerful features.

2. VoIP caller on caller ID: What does it mean?

VoIP Caller ID - multiple devices ringing image

Seeing a VoIP caller ID is nothing to worry about. A call from a VoIP caller sounds like a call from any other number. In fact, it may actually be better. Depending on the provider, VoIP calls can deliver higher audio quality than standard calls.

You’ve probably received many calls from VoIP callers, even if it doesn’t show up on caller ID. More and more businesses are using VoIP callers to contact their customers. Often, your caller ID will show the name of that business. With that information, it’s easy to decide whether to answer.

3. What is a VoIP phone number?

VoIP phone numbers work the same as any other phone number. You can receive and place calls with them, just as you would make or take calls on a traditional landline or cell phone.

Not every VoIP system requires a phone number. With some VoIP calling technologies, people from within the same company can just select a colleague’s name to call them. This enables employees to easily talk to each other without keeping a list of phone numbers. It’s not necessary for businesses to have this kind of feature, however. It’s straightforward to save people directly to a contact list, removing the need to remember any numbers.

It’s possible to have one virtual VoIP number for multiple devices. This is particularly helpful for business users. It’s common for a company to have one public-facing number. This ensures that customers always know who is calling. Even better, they can easily find this number online to place their own call. Employees working anywhere – remote or in the office – can use this number to talk to customers.

When it comes to selecting VoIP phone numbers, businesses have two options. They are fixed VoIP phone numbers or unfixed VoIP phone numbers. Let’s explore the key differences.

What is a fixed VoIP phone number?

what is fixed voip number image - person on his desk is a voip desk phone

Fixed VoIP phone numbers are similar to traditional phone systems, commonly known as Public Branch Exchange (PBX) Systems. Fixed VoIP phone numbers are tied to a specific location, such as an office building. They are wired into the broadband network, which is connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This is the same network used by traditional phone numbers.

Pros of fixed VoIP phone numbers

  • Features: Fixed VoIP numbers offer users advanced features. These can include call recording and high-quality security protocols.
  • Emergency Response: Fixed VoIP numbers are tied to a physical address. This means 911 dispatchers can see the caller’s address, ensuring quicker response times.
  • Local Presence: Businesses get a local area code. This gives them more credibility in their communities.

Cons of fixed VoIP phone numbers

  • Cost: Using fixed VoIP phone numbers can be more expensive. There are monthly service fees, and the cost to make international calls tends to be much higher than non-fixed VoIP systems.
  • Installation: While not as complex as installing a traditional PBX system, fixed VoIP systems do require internal wiring. There are often additional costs associated with this.
  • Lack of Flexibility: With many fixed VoIP phone systems, it’s only possible to access fixed phone numbers at the location they are installed. However, it’s possible to get around this by working with a vendor like Ooma, which allows users to access their fixed VoIP number from any location.

What is a non-fixed VoIP phone number?

what is non fixed voip number image - person walking on street with voip mobile phone

Non-fixed VoIP numbers are not tied to a specific location or address. They can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Users can access non-fixed VoIP numbers from smartphones, computers or VoIP phones.

Often, the business can choose their own numbers, with any area code. This gives businesses the ability to use numbers local to their customers, regardless of where their business is located.

Pros of Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Numbers

  • Cost: Non-fixed VoIP numbers are less expensive to set up.
  • Customization: Businesses choose their phone numbers. It’s easy to set up numbers in new areas to establish a local presence.

Cons of non-fixed VoIP phone numbers

  • Used for spam: Non-fixed VoIP lines have been used by fraudsters and scammers to hide their identities.
  • Lack of emergency coverage: Because these numbers are not associated with a physical address, 911 coverage may be unreliable.

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4. Who uses VoIP callers?

Who uses VoIP callers image - receptionist with multiple different phone systems equipment

Recent years have seen VoIP caller technologies move into the mainstream. That’s true for individuals and businesses. It’s likely you’ve already used VoIP caller technology without realizing it.

Ever called someone over Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp? Then you’ve already used VoIP technology. As these services have become more popular, more and more people have upgraded their home phone service to a VoIP solution.

Upgrading your home phone service to a VoIP system is easy and affordable. You’ll get crystal-clear call quality, advanced features and can even keep your number. And you can dramatically reduce your monthly phone bills. The Ooma Telo basic home phone plan is free, plus applicable monthly taxes and fees.

But VoIP calling isn’t just for residents—it’s also being used by many businesses.

VoIP callers for businesses

In recent years, businesses of all shapes and sizes have made the transition to VoIP calling technologies. VoIP systems are easily scalable. That makes them the perfect fit for everyone from family-run businesses to the world’s largest companies.

As businesses have embraced remote work, the popularity of VoIP callers has exploded. In 2020, the VoIP industry grew by more than 18 percent. This growth is predicted to continue. One of the factors driving it is the number of ways that businesses can use VoIP technologies.

For example, businesses can handle calls from customers with automated call routing and a virtual receptionist. Or, businesses can use their VoIP systems internally to make it easy for workers to meet via teleconference or videoconference.

Every VoIP provider offers a slightly different set of features. But the best VoIP caller technologies have many premium features that make them attractive options for business users. These include:

  • Call management: Businesses can route, record, and transcribe calls automatically, saving employees time.
  • Virtual receptionists: Every business, big and small, can create a virtual receptionist system that helps customers get in contact with the right person.
  • Analytics: VoIP software comes with advanced reporting tools that help you understand call volumes and response times.
  • Conference call tools: It’s easy for your employees to meet virtually using VoIP video conferencing tools.
  • Instant messaging: Many VoIP callers for business function as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) systems. These come with a full range of communications tools, including instant messaging.

It’s important to choose the solution that makes the most sense for your business needs. If you’re evaluating different VoIP solutions, take the time to understand the features different companies offer.

Learn more about Ooma’s VoIP solutions for business.

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5. Why do businesses use VoIP callers?

why do business use voip callers - affordability - a person on her hand is a piggybank image

In a nutshell, VoIP systems offer businesses better communication solutions at a significantly lower price than traditional business phone systems. They’re more flexible, easy to use, and perfect for remote work environments.

Let’s explore these benefits in more detail:

  • Superior call quality: Provided you have a fast, reliable internet connection, VoIP callers deliver significantly better call quality than traditional phone systems. You’ll experience less static, disruptions and dropped calls.
  • Affordability: By switching to a VoIP system, businesses can save 40–60 percent vs. traditional business landline systems. Long-distance calls are much cheaper, and switching is simple. You can often get started in 15 minutes or less.
  • Flexibility: VoIP systems enable employees to access their phones from anywhere. Whether they’re working from home, traveling to a conference or at their desk, it’s easy to stay connected. Systems can be scaled as your business grows.
  • Ease of use: Many providers offer out-of-the-box VoIP solutions with a simple setup. It’s just as easy for employees to learn how to use VoIP systems. Most solutions come with intuitive cloud and mobile apps.
  • Breadth of features: VoIP callers come with powerful features that will unlock all kinds of efficiencies in your business. As a bonus, some providers enable you to fully customize your phone system. You can add cordless phones, conference phones and more.

Key Business VoIP Features

You can use this summary to determine how your business will benefit from the VoIP features.

Virtual Receptionist
Office Mobile App
Conference phones
Virtual Fax

6. Which VoIP callers are best for business?

which voip callers - softphone or hardphone?

If you’re considering installing VoIP callers in your business, it’s important to know exactly what to look for. There are two types of VoIP phones to be aware of: hard phones and softphones.

Hard phones for VoIP calling

When you think of a traditional phone you’d see on a desk or in a meeting room, you’re thinking of a hard phone. Many people have these on their desks, and they’re great for dialing in to a conference call, talking to customers or checking voicemail. Many large enterprises equip offices and meeting rooms with hard phones.

Need some help picking the right one for your business? Check out this article for a full breakdown: What is a VoIP Phone?

Softphones for VoIP calling

Softphones aren’t physical phones. They’re virtual phones that can be accessed through an app or web portal. These are the perfect match for remote employees or employees who frequently travel. They allow employees to access their phones from anywhere with internet.

Learn more: What is a Softphone?

Your phone service is your business’ lifeline. It needs to work really well. And it shouldn’t be expensive.

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link. By submitting your contact information, you are giving express written consent to receive on your telephone, mobile or other electronic device auto-dialed, pre-recorded, artificial or other automated telemarketing calls or texts (SMS & MMS) from Ooma, its marketing partners, or third parties acting on Ooma’s behalf, even if your number is a on a corporate, state or federal Do Not Call (DNC) list. Carrier fees may apply. Consent is not a condition of purchase. It also indicates that you agree to Ooma’s Privacy Policy.
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