Pros and Cons of Using VoIP Phone Service

Considering all Web based applications, it must be acknowledged that one of the most remarkable innovations is Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone service. The biggest advantage of VOIP is the enormous saving of money on the phone bills as phone calls are routed through the Internet.

This is not to say that VoIP does not have its share of disadvantages. Therefore, before you choose to avail VoIP phone services, it is necessary to understand both the pros and cons of VOIP.

Pros of VoIP

The foremost advantage of using VOIP is the colossal cost savings. Of course, there is a variety of VOIP systems available and the quantum of money that you will save depends on the system you choose. Some VOIP systems will only enable you to make calls to others who are also using VOIP, while other VOIP systems will enable you to call anyone who has a phone.

PC to PC VOIP calls come free except for the initial cost of the software and a likely nominal monthly subscription. But PC to phone calls will understandably cost more but still much less than the cost of phone to phone calls.

Next big advantage is the plethora of features such as call forwarding, call waiting, and three-way calling with their VOIP service. These features are standard features most VoIP service providers offer. But VOIP has a host of extremely useful features than the standard ones. Few of these appealing features are like Speed Dialing, Find-me-follow-me, Do not Disturb, Call Transfer, Toll-Free Numbers, Caller ID Blocking, Multi-Ring facility, Distinctive Ringing, Enhanced Voicemail, Area Code Selection, Anonymous Call Block etc.

Some VOIP services are computer based where you speak using a microphone connected to your computer. Computer-based VOIP are highly collaborative and you can transmit video in addition to voice - which means you can see the person you are talking to. Further, computer-based VOIP systems will enable you to share data and other applications with the person/s that you are talking to.

Yet another advantage of VoIP is portability. A VOIP phone has an address built into it that is unique to your phone and this means you can carry your VOIP phone wherever you go and use it if a broadband Internet connection is available at that place.

This is a major advantage for businesses that field staff employees who travel a lot on business. Though this facility service may not be as convenient as a cell phone, it is usually a lot less expensive and it also works in certain areas where a cell phone may not.

Cons of VoIP

The main complaint of VOIP is the sound quality. However, with sufficient bandwidth and reliable equipment, it is possible to get fairly good sound quality from a VOIP system.

It is reported that latency issues can cause some major problems for VOIP systems. Data must be able to travel to the receiving end quickly enough so that it can be reassembled before anyone notices a significant pause. But a lack of available bandwidth can cause problems for VOIP systems.

VOIP manufacturers have taken suitable measures to reduce bandwidth requirements. But the fact is bandwidth requirements have been reduced by means of various compression algorithms and these compression algorithms have caused their own problems.

There is one more major disadvantage of VoIP system and it pertains to compatibility. When it comes to PC to PC VOIP calls, there is no one uniform or universal standard. As some VOIP systems are proprietary in nature, they will only allow calls to others who are using the same software and not to others.

The next disadvantage of VoIP system is due to compression and decompression. Compression of data consumes extra processing power and also the sound quality gets deteriorated. Some compression algorithms also cause echo problems. Echoes are filtered out, but again filtering consumes even more processing power. Of course, compressing and filtering data is more of a problem for computer-based VOIP than for VOIP phones.

If you are considering a computer-based VOIP system, then the disadvantage is you will not be able to send or receive calls unless the computer is turned on, and the VOIP software is running. More than anything else, a VOIP system (computer or VOIP phone based) will become defunct during a power outage unlike a traditional phone. Finally, the 911 service does not work well over a VOIP phone system for certain technical reasons.