6 Tips for How to Setup VoIP Phone Systems for Any Business
Do you want your business to have a voice and video communications that are mobile, first-rate, scalable, flexible, versatile, and affordable?
Then it’s time for you to upgrade or switch your phone systems to VoIP technology. This modern form of communication has taken the world by storm since its introduction about 30 years ago, surpassing the traditional landline systems that were widely used for over a century. The switch to VoIP services recently accelerated with the growing popularity of remote working and the continued high usage of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
One of the best things about VoIP is that it is easy to set up and use. It offers more phone features and is simpler to install than the regular phone network.
This guide will help you make a smooth transition to the VoIP platform and contains useful tips from start to finish. But first, let’s learn more about this popular technology, its history, and its benefits.
What Does VoIP Stand For and How Does It Work?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The Federal Communications Commission, the US agency that regulates all forms of local and international communications, defines VoIP as a technology that permits you to conduct voice calls with a high-speed internet connection.
Also known as IP telephony, VoIP is a means and collection of technologies for sending and receiving voice and video communications through the internet. Instead of using a public switched telephone network (PSTN) or the plain old telephone service (POTS) that landlines rely on to run, VoIP only needs a reliable broadband connection service to deliver the various communications, including voice, multimedia, video, fax, voice messaging and short messaging services.
A regular line or analog phone system is no longer needed to make VoIP calls. This latest communication service gives you room for flexibility. With it, you can call others with the same VoIP service or contact someone who has a phone number of any type, such as mobile, local, international, and long-distance numbers. Some VoIP services can either run on a computer and a VoIP phone or a regular phone attached to a VoIP adapter.
What Did Offices Use Before VoIP Phone Systems?
Before the introduction of VoIP in the 1990s, offices used a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone network to handle incoming and outbound calls within and outside of the organization. Adopted in the 1960s, a PBX ran using bulky hardware and was designed to manage large volumes of calls. This private telephone system consisted of communication hardware and equipment located at a physical location (on-site), in an office room or a big closet.
To better understand what PBX means, let’s define each initial.
The reason why “P” stands for Private is that the infrastructure is different from the system that came first, called the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Otherwise known as plain old telephone service (POTS), PSTN is the solution for public telecommunications that has continued since the inception of the telephone almost 150 years ago. This public infrastructure provides telephone services, mainly for the residential market.
The second initial “B” or Branch pertains to its primary function. Although the PBX network runs independently, it can connect to a PSTN that serves as the “trunk” line and delivers communication circuits. The endpoints linked to these circuits dividing the flow of network traffic are called “branches.”
The last letter X, meaning eXchange, refers to the connections occurring through a switching network that can send and receive a high volume of calls.
Pre-VoIP Era: The Evolution Of PBX
During its nascent stage, the PBX system was manually operated to send and receive calls. These human operators used public switchboards to relay calls internally or externally in a private office.
The switchboards made possible the distribution of central office trunks between multiple telephones across the company. PBX lines could also connect to PSTN so that daily communications outside of the organization could occur.
Businesses typically had several telephone devices, each having a separate phone line. Every call incurred a charge; even interdepartmental calls cost the same as outside calls. For that reason, phone expenses were regarded as a high business cost, especially for companies that needed many of these devices for efficient operation.
Through the years, the PBX system advanced with the advent of automated systems that made call switching simpler and quicker. Improved functions came in, including two-way calling, extension dialing, line hunting, and call forwarding, to name a few.
The growing acceptance of digital technology and the internet by the close of the 20th century led to the growth of packet switching and data networks This breakthrough in telecommunications technology set the stage for the emergence of a new breed of PBX called IP PBX, a phone system that operates on the internet.
Why VoIP Became Popular
What makes a VoIP system appealing to many is its simplicity – you only need a computer or an IP phone and an internet connection. A PBX platform, on the other hand, is somewhat complex to run because it relies on conventional copper phone lines to conduct calls. It also consists of multiple lines, a computer server, and a manual control board to connect to PSTN. The individual lines are linked to an internal switching network, routing calls to each phone line in your business.
Another reason for VoIP’s popularity is that it offers you multiple choices of equipment or phone devices to communicate. Let’s say you are comfortable with standard desk phones, then you switch to a similar device, which is the IP phone that connects online. If you prefer to make calls directly from a mobile device or computer, then you can use an application called softphone client provided by some VoIP service companies. By contrast, traditional PBX systems have limited options – analog telephone devices (landlines), headsets, corded phones, or cordless phones.
A VoIP system can be configured by your non-technical employees. Staff with a basic understanding of the programming language can use well-known VoIP-enabled platforms, such as Skype, Slack, or Zoom with an easy-to-use online interface. Conversely, PBX is less flexible because the system is dependent on an experienced technical team when certain configurations are required.
Mobility is also a factor that contributes to VoIP’s wide acceptance. The technology is not confined to stationary desk phones; anyone can use this communication service with their mobile devices, including laptops, softphones, or smartphones. On the contrary, phones running under a PBX network are designed for use only within a specific area.
Why You Should Switch To VoIP
One of the main benefits is lower business costs. A traditional phone system (landline) costs about $50 monthly per line for local calls with higher fees added for international calls. A VoIP service is priced lower by more than half, at around $20 per line on average. VoIP thus brings you direct and indirect cost savings.
Direct cost savings include PBX costs, calling and recurring expenses, and copper wiring charges. Indirect cost savings refer to savings with remote work, repurposed manpower, and free add-on features.
Another advantage is full portability. Since VoIP is a virtual number, you can use the same number if you move your office to another location or change your business address. Wherever you go, even when traveling most of the time, you can retain the same phone number, giving your customers and clients ready access to you.
Scalability is another factor that makes VoIP attractive for companies. The technology has the capability to accommodate your business growth at a minimum cost. You don’t need to buy additional expensive hardware and equipment or install another dedicated line to make room for expansion.
Additionally, VoIP’s advanced features, such as call transferral and auto attendant, will encourage you to switch to this system. These functions enable a startup or a small business to project a large image to potential customers. Even if your office is overseas, clients will perceive you as a local company because a VoIP service allows you to obtain the area codes of a specific location. The auto-attendant function also helps your office look more professional and bigger because it can manage multiple calls simultaneously.
Lastly, you can expect first-rate voice quality from VoIP. VoIP call quality relies on a stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to function. With a high-speed, robust connection being offered to most geographic locations at affordable rates nowadays, weak voice quality, latency issues, or call dropouts are things of the past.
VoIP And Call Flow
If your business is in the customer service industry, such as a contact center, then VoIP is the recommended system for you. The system provides features that optimize your customer service process flow.
Some VoIP service providers offer solutions that improve call flow, a vital tool that contact center agents use to effectively interact with customers. The call flow is important because it helps your agents handle calls from the minute they answer a call to its end. This guideline is essential to manage varied call scenarios, particularly the difficult ones while maintaining a great customer experience.
One of VoIP’s call-flow enhancer features is the interactive voice response (IVR), an automated phone system that communicates with callers. It collects information from a caller and takes an action according to the caller’s response, whether by pressing a phone keypad or by voice reply.
IVR enhances the parts of a call flow because it assists with directing customers to the proper department within your company, according to an article posted on the GetVoIP website, an online resource on communications technology. The blog notes that when performed correctly, an IVR can handle calls regarding bill payment, account balance inquiries, and scheduling, to name some of its abilities.
How Do I Connect My VoIP Phone System To The Internet?
Business VoIP operates best when using internet protocol phones or IP phones. VoIP phones come in different forms, including softphones, laptops, web browsers, desktops, tablets, or smartphones. They are designed to conduct calls over an IP network through the internet and offer features that traditional analog phones don’t.
Based on the brand and type, VoIP phones provide a wider range of functions than traditional telephone devices. These include integration with customer relationship management (CRM) software, mobile, and desktop apps, recordings or logs of calls, text messaging service, easy conference call access, online faxing, speech-to-text transcription, call recording, video calling, call analytics, auto-attendant, and call routing.
VoIP phones can be software- or hardware-based. A software-based IP phone, commonly known as a softphone, is similar to a phone handset but includes a caller ID display and a touchpad. A headset with a microphone connected to your device is needed to begin making calls. A hardware-based VoIP phone is like your standard cordless phone with a speakerphone, microphone, caller ID display, and touchpad. This device provides extra features, including call transfer, video phones, and multiparty calling.
VoIP phones are typically attached to a computer network with cables that come from the communication room or straight to a router. They are connected to a cable and activated with a networking device known as power over ethernet (POE)
A VoIP phone is connected by ethernet to the system of routers, switches, and cables called a local area network (LAN), which links to your phone service provider through the internet. To set up a VoIP phone, only one ethernet cable is required per device. A VoIP phone has a 10/100/1000 built-in network switch that permits you to attach the ethernet cable from the wall. On that spot, you can install an ethernet patch cord from your phone port to the computer.
To turn on the VoIP phones, networking components are required for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to assign IP addresses to the devices. The DHCP instantly configures VoIP parameters and the network. For the phones to connect to each other, a domain name system is needed to include the IP addresses.
How To Setup VoIP Phone Systems?
Online technology resource PCMag.com says setting up a VoIP system in your organization or adapting the latest VoIP solution is at first a major undertaking. The company-wide effort will change the way your staff work and initially make them adjust their approach to doing things.
Whether it’s your first time implementing a VoIP platform or you have decided to switch to a new VoIP system, having a guide to help you from the beginning to the end of this significant project is essential.
Below are six (6) tips to make you better prepared.
1. Know Your VoIP Requirements
An article on The Business Journals (TBJ) website, an online media-solutions platform for business decision-makers, says one of the main steps to performing a VoIP network setup is to determine the number of employees or users who will use it. This will make the process less complex as you proceed. After getting the exact number of users, you can then find out how many phone lines are needed, the speed of internet connection required to accommodate the anticipated call volume, and the necessary VoIP features.
Review your own network
PCMag.com points out that it is important to assess your network platform to ensure it will match with the selected VoIP system. You have to get ready for any changes or adjustments in the process to make the most of the technology. Check all hardware and networking tools (router, firewall, security devices and programs, and switch) to determine if they are compatible with your chosen VoIP solution.
It’s also essential that your current network infrastructure can handle the call quality VoIP needs. Your existing platform should support the expected call traffic while maintaining high-level voice quality. Make sure your network system is large enough to handle voice traffic, which is prone to packet loss and jitter when subjected to high call volume.
Additionally, find out if your physical infrastructure can manage your upcoming VoIP solution.
It’s ideal that your VoIP phones operate on a dedicated ethernet, especially if you have a big network, instead of all phones being linked together in a linear series.
Test your own internet connection speed and network capacity
TBJ notes that after determining the number of users, check that your business internet connection is fast enough to support your requirements. Testing the speed to see if it can deal with your VoIP is not hard to do.
US-based business magazine Forbes says one way to identify if the internet connection speed suits your VoIP service is to contact your service provider. Prepare to ask them about their service reliability and quality in your location. Your online connectivity can also be affected by the devices you use. Phone systems should be able to handle the VoIP requirements that are dependent on stable and high-quality internet. You can check the internet connection speed and performance anytime for free by visiting a web service site, such as Speedtest.net.
You can also manually test the line capacity of your internet connection. Digital resource Fit Small Business (FSB) says the manual VoIP speed test provides you with correct, customized, and real-time results.
To do this, multiply the upload speed by 1,000. Then divide the result by 445 to show how many VoIP phone lines the connection can accommodate. For example, assume your upload speed is 10 megabits per second (Mbps). Multiplying 10 Mbps by 1,000 equals 10,000, which you divide by 445. The result is 22.47, meaning the suggested number of VoIP lines should not be more than 22. If there are no other VoIP lines to use, only regular lines, then divide 10,000 by 100. The result is 100, which means your connection can support as many as 100 standard lines.
2. Choose Between On-premise PBX or Cloud PBX
FSB recommends that you should decide the type of VoIP system to implement. It’s either cloud-based PBX or on-premise PBX.
Startups.co.uk, an online small business advice website, defines cloud-hosted PBX as a system where a provider hosts the PBX on their own site and away from your office. This system typically has no setup or installation costs. The service is only accessible through the cloud.
An on-premise PBX, on the other hand, is hosted in your own location and entails initial high installation and hardware costs. This network becomes more affordable to maintain in the long run, however. Since it is physically situated on your site, it gives you greater control than a hosted PBX.
On-premise PBX’s pros and cons
Online technology publication TechRadar says the primary benefit of adopting an on-premise PBX system is higher control. The networking devices, servers, desktop phones or handsets, and other equipment included in this platform are located inside your office.
The cost-saving benefit that you will reap over the long term is the other advantage. This system is ideal for those who have the funds to invest in an on-site PBX system’s expensive hardware. The equipment and the phone lines that come with it are immune to future price fluctuations or increases and can bring down communication costs over the long run.
The PBX system’s main disadvantage is the high upfront and maintenance costs. Apart from the initial purchase of telephone devices, servers, and networking equipment, to name a few, you will also have to prepare a budget for maintaining and updating the on-site system in the near future. Since it consists of large equipment, this network is not feasible for small businesses that have limited space and financial resources.
Cloud PBX’s pros and cons
One of the main benefits of a cloud PBX system is the low investments and affordability. You don’t need to buy pricey hardware since the service provider will shoulder the financial costs for the equipment housed in its data center. The only expenses to carry are the provider’s periodic service fee (monthly or annually) and the desk phones your staff will use. The provider’s dedicated team will take charge of the system’s regular maintenance.
If your organization has to make changes, the cloud-hosted platform is designed with flexible functions so you can adjust the communication system. It can easily adapt to many business situations, such as when you have to transfer your office to another location, increase or decrease your staff, or shift to a remote working environment. Its flexibility can improve your access to customers and suppliers because they can contact you from any location with a VoIP phone, desktop computer, or smartphone.
Moreover, the cloud PBX system does not need a physical location because its hardware is placed away from your office. As such, the space that is reserved for the equipment can be turned into a more productive or value-added purpose, such as adding more workstations.
Like any other system, the cloud PBX solution has its own shortcomings. Among them is its heavy dependence on the internet. If your internet connection is erratic, your VoIP phone calls will encounter technical issues, such as dropped or patchy phone calls.
Choosing a cloud PBX platform means less control over your phone system and requires a substantial amount of time for your workforce to get familiar with it. This system runs differently from conventional telephone devices and involves employee training or upskilling for effective usage.
3. Identify The Most Critical VoIP Features
TBJ notes that determining which particular features are helpful to your company is an important part of the initial setup. If your home-based business keeps you always on the go, then choose a VoIP system that offers rich mobile features. If your business requires more than 10 phone lines, then implement a platform that has extensive call routing rules.
Below are some of the most important features of VoIP phone systems to support business operations and productivity. These are:
- Voicemail is crucial for allowing team members or customers to leave messages when one person is unable to reply to the call.
- Some industries, such as business processing outsourcing, depend on call recordings. The feature is a vital tool to enhance the customer-employee relationship and help train agents or service representatives.
- Auto-attendant, an automated answering service, is needed to greet callers using programmed messages that direct them according to their calling needs and preferences. For instance, “Press 1” is to check their balance, “Press 2” is to speak with an agent, “Press 3” is to pay their bills, and so on.
- The “Do Not Disturb” function stops incoming calls when you’re on the line taking a critical call with the main client or supplier.
- An app or software with top-notch conferencing features that can conduct video calls while performing other tasks, such as transferring files and sending emails.
Other VoIP features that can benefit your business.
- Call forwarding – a common telephone function that ensures that no customer call ever goes unanswered. When activated, incoming calls are instantly rerouted to another phone number or extension. This is a recommended choice if you want to avoid lost potential sales by diverting calls to a cell phone number if nobody replies from a desk phone.
- Caller ID – a feature that offers basic information on callers before you or your employee answers the phone. It shows the essential information, such as the caller’s name, phone number, city, and state where the user is calling from. This option, a default feature of many VoIP providers, is effective in blocking unknown or unwanted calls and is best to use with your personal phone.
- Call park – this common and widely available VoIP feature allows you to put an active call on hold so you can continue speaking with your current caller on another line. This option gives your team members time to answer the phone, transfer a call, or swap devices.
- Call flip – a VoIP function that lets users transfer calls from one device to another by pressing a button without cutting off the line or counting on call parking. This is useful when your smartphone or a mobile device is low on battery. You can quickly change to a desk phone or computer. Employees who are always mobile or travel and want to stay in touch with clients benefit the most from this feature.
- Business tools integration – this feature allows you to link data with external business tools, including email, support ticket systems, and chat to centralize conversation records. Employees who work from home will find these tools handy. Advanced features provide sales teams with tools that combine caller data with customer relationship management software. Such capability permits team members to check previous conversations with a call tracking record.
- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – this feature permits callers to connect to the most appropriate agent or customer experience personnel who can assist callers based on their specific needs.
4. Prepare A VoIP Budget
A VoIP system likely provides various features, add-ons, and bonuses, some of which are not necessary to your business needs. Making a budget at an early stage is crucial to keeping you focused on the essentials and ensuring that you have sufficient funds to spend on the features and plans suitable for you.
An article on the website for the job-oriented online service LinkedIn says finding the best VoIP pricing and plans is important to minimize unneeded expenses. It is advisable to do research on several plans, review them, and decide what is the most ideal for your business. Consider pricing plans that suit your current needs and budget as well as the long-term pricing structure that you can avail yourself of.
According to Business 2 Community, an online business publication, VoIP providers should match your business needs. You should also check their plans. Take into account important elements, such as the hardware and software offered as well as fees for maintenance, support, installation, return policies, usage limits, and cancellation. Make sure to review the plans and pricing structures of the VoIP providers you shortlisted and ask as many questions as you can about security and reliability, among other factors.
FSB notes that the price of a new VoIP system is a significant business consideration. Before choosing VoIP providers and plans, evaluate your budget. You should take note that most providers offer their rates per user and per month while add-ons or extra features cost more. When you determine the amount that you can spend, you can figure out which plan and provider are appropriate for your budget.
It is recommended that you go for an annual payment plan to save money and maximize your available budget. A yearly payment for a provider is about $20 monthly per user whereas its monthly charge per user is almost $30. A simple computation shows that you’ll be able to save roughly $240 annually when availing yourself of the yearly plan. Some providers’ annual packages, particularly their high-tiered or premium plans, also allow you to get more features.
TechAdvisory.org, a technology advice blog for small businesses, says that knowing about your VoIP’s total cost of ownership will help with your budgeting. It lists the types of direct and indirect costs for acquiring a platform. These are:
- Upfront costs – refers to costs for you to obtain the system, whether you purchase the network outright or lease it from a third-party provider. The outright purchase has a high upfront cost or investment but is fixed and definite. Renting/leasing incurs a low periodic subscription cost. Also, included in the upfront costs are costs for webcams and headsets as well as a high-speed network connection for high-quality calls.
- Implementation costs – pertain to the professional fees of IT consultants or service providers that implement and structure your VoIP network. You should also include employee training or upskilling costs when setting up an entirely new phone system for efficient use.
- Operational costs – include monthly recurring expenses for voice and data plans. Some VoIP providers charge you unlimited local calls for a fixed fee per month but charge international calls per minute. You should also consider the maintenance monthly costs when handling your network on your own. If you choose a third-party service company, then your expense is for maintenance only.
- Upgrade costs – refer to the expenses you need to put aside in your budget for future VoIP upgrades. If you decide, for instance, to integrate your system with CRM software to boost customer relationship services, that will be an additional cost you will incur from your service provider.
5. Look For And Choose A VoIP Phone Service Provider
Make sure you have made a handy list that includes the number of users, VoIP features you need, and budget before deciding to choose your service provider.
An article on the business-to-business phone provider Atlantech Online website offers advice on how to find the right VoIP service provider and change from your previous one smoothly. Here are some:
- Go after VoIP vendors with a quality of service (QoS) guarantee. Make sure your potential service provider offers QoS that guarantees first-rate call quality, ample bandwidth, and high priority to your organization’s call traffic. The QoS guarantee minimizes poor internet connectivity and low bandwidth that leads to low call quality and call delays.
- Ask for and check references. As a VoIP customer, you should also ask your prospective service provider for case studies, testimonials, and references. Beware of vendors that can hardly give you references, which is the most important source of information for determining their reputation and service quality.
- Find a third-party vendor providing redundancy. Include in your VoIP provider shortlist companies that have their own built-in redundancy to ensure continuous calls if temporary connectivity loss is encountered. Ask if they can connect you and your staff’s mobile numbers to their VoIP system to avoid call interruptions or delays arising from connection problems.
- Check their reviews and ratings. LinkedIn notes that looking into the reviews and ratings online of your VoIP provider candidates is recommended. This is one way of uncovering how content their past and current clients are. If they have a fairly large number of subscribers and reputable companies as customers, then those are plus factors. Reviews and ratings can establish your initial trust and influence your final service provider selection.
- Find out their customer support and service availability. You should ask third-party vendors about their support level and quality. Ideally, they should be accessible anytime and any day, particularly on weekends. Ask references and existing clients about the responsiveness and reliability of their support.
Business 2 Community notes that VoIP providers should have dedicated customer support that is available round the clock to handle issues, such as problems during the VoIP implementation and third-party integrations.
VoIP vendors should also provide post-sale support services in maintaining, fixing, and upgrading hardware and other related equipment. Those with timely customer support should be considered on your shortlist.
LinkedIn points out that you should look for a provider that delivers unlimited training and support when setting up your VoIP. Customer services, such as live chat support, helpful technical consultants, and phone support should be readily accessible to optimize your VoIP system.
6. Ensure The Security Of Your VoIP System
Business 2 Community points out that your planned VoIP system should have robust security features because not all data that travels via the internet is completely secure. Your potential provider should not only offer stable end-to-end encryption but also the latest security options, such as highly secure data access and multi-factor authentication.
Get Safe Online, a web resource on information security and online safety lists the factors to include to make your VoIP network secure. Some of them are listed below:
- Network monitoring. This is a vital component of VoIP security. It ensures QoS and offers traffic data and anomalies. Cyber intruders can take advantage of your business by conducting expensive international calls using your system. They launch their attacks on weekends, at night time, or during periods when you least expect it. Your service provider should have the plans, logistics, and technology to deal with hackers. On your part, designate a team to monitor activities during vulnerable periods.
- Staff training. It is crucial that you organize training periodically to equip your employees with the knowledge to protect your VoIP system and keep it safe. One of the reasons for weak network security is users’ carelessness. Some users fail or forget to follow security protocols, such as proper handling of passwords and detecting unusual network activities.
- Firewall. A secure and dependable firewall for your VoIP platform is a must-have. Every time you make a call, the communication session known as Session Initiation Protocols (SIP) builds the connection with the receiving device. SIP also ends the call when you close the phone. A firewall will secure the SIP and update its software system, both of which are vulnerable to hacking.
- Virtual private networks (VPNs). If you and your staff depend on VoIP phones for remote access or voice-over LTE (VoLTE) that works for mobile phones, VPNs have the capability to protect you from distorted connections. They are designed to establish virtual tunnels for transmitting data and secure access to onsite systems. Ask your VPN provider if they have enough bandwidth in the tunnel to maintain your system’s high-quality calls.
- Hard-to-know passwords. Your VoIP system needs strong passwords that should be frequently changed and updated. Design passwords consisting of at least 12 characters with lower and upper-case letters, special characters, and numbers. Place a password as soon as you implement your network for added security. If possible, each network device should have its own password.
- Steer clear of overseas phone calls. You should deactivate your VoIP’s international call feature if your business only serves customers local to your area. Anonymous cyber intruders who don’t reveal their locations can exploit the security of your VoIP network. Most of them are reportedly located outside of the United States and will make expensive international calls at your expense.
How Do I Set up A VoIP Phone System At Home?
TechRadar explains how to set up a VoIP phone system at home. Acquiring the right hardware is the first step. Getting started with VoIP doesn’t require complex equipment. You only need to buy a few things to help you set up your system.
One of them is a VoIP phone. As mentioned earlier, this IP device normally connects to computers via an ethernet cable. Although it is possible to operate VoIP using a wireless connection such as Wi-Fi, wired connections are said to be more reliable and faster.
For a VoIP phone to work, you need a modem and router, which are parts of the current internet setup. When you download the IP phone’s calling software, you can conduct calls from the VoIP phone or from any device.
Other types of hardware also need to be taken into account, including VoIP desktop phones. These are meant to function with IP technologies for transmitting calls. Unlike landline phones, these wireless devices don’t need an outlet to connect. They are likewise equipped with features that are the same as those of most business phones, such as conference calling, call waiting, and “do not disturb.” These gadgets are simple to set up, allowing you to use them right away in the office or at home.
Purchasing your own VoIP headset is recommended. This device lets you and your employees talk with ease without the need to hold a phone or rely on external audio from the computer. A headset has a built-in microphone and comes in two types of connections, wired and wireless. The wireless type uses Bluetooth technology to link in the same way smartphones do.
Another version to consider is the USB VoIP headset, which is a combination of headphones and a microphone. This type of headset requires a USB connector to link to computers or similar gadgets.
Prices of VoIP headsets range between $20 (basic set) and $400 (high-end set), depending on the features, version, and model.
TechRadar says that finding a VoIP provider is the next step. Before making a subscription decision, spend time comparing the services, features, and offerings of your shortlisted service providers.
Also, take time to research the different plans and packages available from each provider. Third-party vendors offer their service rates per minute or per user, or a mixture of both. Weighing each VoIP feature against its cost should not be disregarded.
When you have gathered and organized all the equipment and software required to set up your own VoIP, you are now prepared to install and activate the network. The steps to implement will depend on your setup. You either need to connect your current landline phones to VoIP adapters or replace them with VoIP phones. Some VoIP phones and routers need power over ethernet to enable you to connect through the internet and activate the said devices.
After installing, immediately test your VoIP. When making calls, you should check the audio quality to determine if it is weak or static. In the process, try to spot latency, which is a delay between when you talk and the listener hearing it. You should also pay attention to connection stability and dropped calls. Network congestion can likewise result in certain phone line issues, such as choppy audio, so test your system under high network activity.
If you come across technical issues or problems you can’t solve, contact the product manufacturer or the shop where the purchase was made. They can help you with troubleshooting and give you additional instructions. It’s also recommended that you carefully read hardware and software manuals. Many vendors provide detailed and easy-to-follow guides for setup and use.