The flip side of the coin for VoIP
Nowadays, more and more businesses are shifting from traditional analogue phone systems to a hosted VoIP solution as it has numerous benefits, from money-saving advantages to a variety of unique features. VoIP stands for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’; even if you have not heard the term before, you may be using it without realising it. Skype and Microsoft Lync are the best known examples.
In simple terms, VoIP is a technology that allows you to make and receive telephone calls over the internet. The voice is converted into a digital signal that travels over the internet, before it is converted back to voice signals at the other end. VoIP is often being called the “future of telephony and voice communication”, but is still an emerging technology and issues still exist.
Bandwidth is a measure of the quantity of data which can be transmitted. A useful analogy is a pipe with water running through it – the wider the pipe, the greater the strength and the volume of data flowing through the pipe. Your internet ‘pipe’ can therefore be used for web browsing, sending and receiving email, point-of-sales systems, and so on, at the same time you are talking on the phone. However, if you have multiple bandwidth-heavy operations running simultaneously, such as video streaming websites, you may notice that there is poor sound quality and calls being dropped.
While traditional phone networks work during an outage because they have backup generators to keep systems up and running, VoIP phones do not. VoIP phone systems are vulnerable to electrical outages as they rely on your internet connection and thus, power supply.
To be able to place or receive calls using VoIP, you need a hardware setup that will allow you to speak and listen to your interlocutors. VoIP normally requires an analogue telephone adapter, a router, a telephone set; however, if one of these items breaks down, you will not be able to communicate with the outside world.
Even though there are a few negative issues associated with using VoIP, it is inevitable that eventually VoIP will replace the traditional phone service completely.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will explain how to thwart VoIP issues and vulnerabilities!