Voice Over Internet Protocol (commonly known as VoIP) is a technology that delivers voice communications and other multimedia through the internet. With VoIP, calls can be routed completely through any internet connection (including wifi) and can also be routed to other commonly used phone systems including landlines or cell phones.
How VoIP calls work
When you make a VoIP call, your voice is transmitted from the phone and is then digitized into data packets. Each data packet is sent over the internet to a specified destination, and reconverted back to voice to complete the call.
In short, VoIP calls are essentially voice data transfers, but sound exactly like a traditional landline call thanks to advancements in digital and telecommunications technology.
Different uses for VoIP
VoIP technology can be implemented in any location where there is an internet connection, allowing for a wide variety of uses.
In the home, VoIP subscribers can use the broadband internet access to place calls just like they would with a standard landline service, including inbound and outbound calling.
Companies like Ooma go a step further, often offering free unlimited calling nationwide (all you pay are applicable taxes and fees). Thanks to advancements in technology, VoIP can be implemented in several ways:
- VoIP phones: These are designed like digital business phones, but are instead connected to your home's hardwired ethernet or wifi connection.
- VoIP adapter: Homeowners can also use a VoIP adapter that converts their standard analog phone into a VoIP phone.
- Smartphone: VoIP providers like Ooma allow homeowners to place calls through a downloaded app, giving mobile VoIP access wherever there is a wifi connection.
Both small businesses and enterprises have also implemented VoIP technology into their offices over the years due to its increased bandwidth, scalability and ease of use. Companies use similar technology you would find in home phone service, with a few key differentiators designed for business:
Single network use: Both data and voice controls can be run over a single network, which helps companies of all sizes to cut down on infrastructure costs.
Softphones: You can also use software for business VoIP use, which is usually done with a dial pad and dashboard on a networked computer.
Unified communications: More recently, VoIP solutions have allowed businesses to treat all communications under one handset. This can include phone calls, fax, voicemail, web conferencing, email, and more. However, this type of framework is typically split up to target SMB companies and enterprises separately. Ooma also follows this model, offering solutions for both small businesses and enterprises based on their specific communications needs.
Dual mode phones: As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, VoIP technology has bridged the gap between smartphones and desk phones with wi-fi networks. This simplifies communications with less devices to oversee, and less maintenance and upgrades to plan and execute.
Customer Feedback and VoIP
Both homeowners and business owners cite two major reasons why they have made the switch from traditional landline phones to VoIP: affordability and more features.
VoIP reduces monthly phone bills
Saving money on expensive phone bills is perhaps the biggest reason why both business owners and homeowners switch to VoIP. In general, VoIP services like Ooma cost far less compared to traditional landlines, especially when you factor in Ooma's free unlimited calling. All you pay are taxes and fees.
For both home and business, you don’t have to pay for a lengthy or costly installation process, either. Most of the systems include a DIY setup, meaning you pay less and can have your phone service up and running in minutes.
VoIP offers more features
There are simply more options with VoIP phones compared to traditional landline phones. Here are a few common features you can expect with Ooma's VoIP technology:
Works with iOS (Apple) and Android devices
Low international rates
Free number transfers
Modes for business hours and after hours
Powerful call blocking features
To learn more about VoIP services for home and business, visit Ooma website to see how you can reduce your monthly phone bills and still enjoy all of the great calling features that you love.