VoIP: Taking the Decision

If you’re wondering whether or not to switch to VoIP, reading this article might make things a bit clearer. We’ll have a brief look at what you have to gain by making the leap from PSTN services to voice over Internet Protocol.

Before we have a look at the actual reasons that might persuade you to make the switch, we should keep in mind that VoIP is no longer a newcomer in the world of technology. Many businesses, especially IT companies, have already chosen VoIP for their telecommunications needs. Many residential customers are following suit and giving up their old telephone lines to get a VoIP subscription. There are federal laws regulating VoIP and major telephony service providers have already added it to their offer. All these facts should indicate that VoIP is well beyond the experimental phase and it’s going to keep winning over more and more people. Here are a few possible explanations for this.

First, VoIP allows better integration of different services such as e-mail, faxing, and conferencing. Since it doesn’t require as much bandwidth as other applications, it saves money over the long haul. There’s also the option of going wireless - if you like gadgets, the miles of wiring in your home may at some point become annoying. With the help of wireless VoIP phones, you can enjoy increased mobility – you can practically take your phone with you and use it anywhere as long as there’s a broadband connection available.

The subscription fee charged by VoIP providers is most of the times much lower than what you are paying for your regular phone now. Within the monthly fee, you can enjoy irresistible amenities such as unlimited local and long distance (even international) calling. Even if you only have a certain number of calling minutes covered by your monthly fee, the cost of long distance calling will be far lower than the one normally charged by PSTN carriers. This is the main reason why many business prefer VoIP – especially those where telephone communication with customers is required or those whose employees need to travel a lot. Make sure you have a careful look at the details of the service offered by different VoIP providers, so that you can come up with the best plan for you. Also, look for a provider that gives you additional services integrated in your VoIP package, such as voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, e-mail, etc. Do some shopping around - just because you know from the start that VoIP will enable you to save money, it doesn’t mean you have to take the first offer you come across.

Another VoIP attraction is the possibility to talk with two or more persons simultaneously. Telephone conferencing is available with landline phones too, but you’ll have to pay extra for it. With VoIP, this feature is included in your subscription, so you won’t have to pay a higher monthly fee to enjoy it. For a home user, it might be simply an interesting option, but for business that use telephone conferencing on a regular basis, it can be a major money saver.

We’re living in an age characterized by mobility and flexibility – two features also reflected in the VoIP technology. You can travel anywhere and still remain reachable at the same number. If you have a VoIP phone or a laptop, you just have to connect it to the Internet. There’s also the option of having a converter that you can use with a standard telephone (the converter will be programmed with your phone number). This is very useful for people with an active lifestyle, but most of all for businesses whose employees need to stay mobile (no more need for cell phones or worrying about roaming charges) and for companies who employ people living in different locations in the world.

Finally, when you choose your VoIP phone number, you often have the freedom to select the area code of your choice. That can prove very useful if you have friends or family living far away: when they call you, they will be charged the same as if they were making a local call.

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