VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is an alternative way to make telephone calls, using the Internet to connect calls instead of the PSTN.
What is the PSTN?
- Complex old-fashioned phone system
- Uses multiple networks to complete calls
- Very expensive
The PSTN (public switched telephone network) has been in place for as long as there have been phone calls and, as a result, it has aged significantly and has remained expensive.
The PSTN system is a system of telephone wires, cables, fibers, cellular networks, and satellites. It is an analog system, while VoIP is a digital system. This means that the PSTN transmits by translating sound into electronic pulses, while VoIP transmits by turning sounds into binary code. The problem with an analog system is that it can’t transmit sound over a very large distance.
Because an analog message can’t be sent as far, many intermediate stops are needed to send an analog message. So, the PSTN is a large set of complex interconnected networks and this complex infrastructure contributes to its high cost. A cheap VoIP system will help you avoid many of these extra costs.
To place a call to a relative in Japan from the United States on the PSTN, your call has to be transferred over a network of physical telephone addresses. Each stop that your call must make along the way contributes to its high cost. And there are many different networks between the United States and Japan.
The PSTN works this way because all PSTN calls have to have a continual and sustained network connection. Though the PSTN now uses some digital adaptations, the network is still structured the same way. So, the same direct point-to-point network structure (and high cost) remain.
Why is VoIP better than the PSTN?
- Technologically-advanced phone sytem
- Uses fewer networks
- Less expensive
Cheap VoIP systems are ideal for anyone who makes regular phone calls from any home, office, or mobile number: basically, if you use a phone, you should look into a VoIP system.
VoIP keeps cost low by simplifying how calls are sent. VoIP systems send calls over the Internet, so your call doesn’t need to make any extra stops on its way to its recipient. Calls can take the most efficient route to the destination each time, instead of a predetermined and more expensive route.
Because every VoIP call is sent over the Internet, most calls are treated just like a local call (because they use a minimal number of telephone networks). Cheap VoIP providers have low rates for as long as you use them, and you won’t find any unwanted and hidden long distance costs in your bill.
In addition, VoIP works with any device that can connect to the Internet. This includes devices that are not desktop phones but have WiFi capabilities, like tablets and computers.VoIP can also work over a smartphone, saving money on your cellphone plan.
An example of how VoIP is cheaper than traditional PSTN phone service:
If you made that call your relative in Japan with AT&T, you could end up paying $2.29/min. That same international call, made with the VoIP provider RingCentral, would cost $0.039/min.
Why choose VoIP for your business?
A cheap VoIP system in your office will make managing your business’s phone lines easier while also saving money. Most systems offer hosted PBX to manage your company’s incoming and outgoing calls.
PBX, or Public Branch Exchange, routes calls to extensions within a company’s phone system. This means you can have conference calls, call forwarding, call hold, and many other services, all included automatically by your hosted PBX.
Businesses have used PBX systems for years, but with old technology, a PBX system had to been manually operated and repaired. This required a lot of time and energy on behalf of the owner, and a lot of money spent on maintenance. A typical PBX installation could cost a company upwards of $5000 (plus $100/hr for maintenance technicians).
With most VoIP systems, the PBX is computerized and hosted by the VoIP service provider. This means that call routing occurs quickly (because of the computerized PBX) and there is no high cost for additional software or updates (because the VoIP service provider takes care of that).
The best VoIP systems also offer special services to help you stay connected. Some providers have a voicemail to email option, a feature that allows you to check and listen to your office voicemail from anywhere by email.
Some providers also have a Find Me/Follow Me feature, an option that enables your VoIP system to call a sequence of different phone numbers to reach you.
Options like these are especially useful for a business owner or salesperson who will need to be out of the office many times during the day, but still need access to their incoming calls and messages. Services like these can save a lot of time, energy, and stress by quickly and easily relaying your calls and messages to you.
Why choose VoIP for your home?
The simple answer is that by switching to a cheap VoIP system, you can reduce your phone bill by a significant amount.
Many VoIP providers have a flat rate price with no long-term contract, so you won’t be surprised by your expenses each month. Also, residential VoIP service tends to be less expensive than traditional residential phone service:.
AT&T charges around $50 for unlimited local and nationwide calling; a VoIP provider like Phone Power charges as little as $8.33 a month for the same level of service.
Homes make fewer calls and have fewer phones that businesses, so most residential options from VoIP providers tend to be cheaper than business options (from $10 to $20 for residential service to $20+ for business service).
Also, residential services don’t offer all of the same features and promotions as business VoIP. As a homeowner, this saves you money because you probably don’t need to use Hunt Groups or an Auto Attendant at home. (Hunt Groups allows you to set certain rules to distribute calls in your office; an Auto Attendant greets callers and offers them prompts to get to the right extension. Both features are standard with most business VoIP providers.)
However, if you work from home, you may still want to consider choosing a business VoIP provider, even though they are more expensive than residential VoIP providers. You will likely benefit from the additional business features included. Also, most residential providers prohibit business use of a residential system (since it uses more resources than they were expecting).
In addition, there is a difference in customer service offered to each of the providers. Generally, business VoIP providers offer more advanced customer service options to their customers. If you are a residential customer, you probably won’t need as much customer support as a business (not it the least because you probably won’t be trying to set up a PBX).
The bottom line: do you need to make phone calls?
Do you want to make calls at a reasonable price? If you answered yes, then a cheap VoIP system is the right choice for you. And CheapestVoIPCalls.net can help.
Wondering about a specific VoIP feature? Check to see if it is explained below.
What is VoIP?
So now that we have go over the features of VoIP, you can choose your provider from various reviews on the site. VoIP is new technology that slowly will be integrated into everyone’s home. Why not be the first to try it?