If you haven’t heard of VoIP then you’ve been missing out. Short for “voice over internet protocol”, the idea is to transmit phone calls over the internet instead of through the phone lines.
There are a number of benefits to using VoIP, most notably the fact that you can essentially make calls for free instead of paying extortionate fees to a phone company every time you need to reach someone in a different country. In today’s interconnected world, there’s no reason why we should be relying on old technologies and charging people an unnecessary premium to communicate across borders.
VoIP saves money while offering flexibility and portability. It even unlocks video conferencing functionality, a feature that we’ve grown used to thanks to social networking apps but which is sadly lacking from our existing telecommunication systems. This video functionality is important because as much as 55% of communication is through non-verbal elements.
But with that said, VoIP isn’t some magic bullet that will solve all of your woes. It has downsides as well as upsides, and it’s important to take those into consideration before deciding whether VoIP is right for you.
The downsides of VoIP
VoIP devices are great when your internet connection works, but if you have slow speeds or a patchy connection then you’ll quickly get frustrated with the experience. And while there’s no need for you to pay expensive phone bills, you will still need to pay for line rental and your broadband connection.
There’s also the fact that you’ll need to purchase a VoIP device, although that’s a one-off cost that you can think of as an investment in the future. And while it used to be the case that VoIP technology was fiddly and largely used by early adopters, there’s been an explosion in the number of providers over the last five years that’s taken VoIP from a fringe technology to a must-have.
Ultimately, the downsides are more than offset by the advantages, such as the fact that you can make voice and video calls from any device, including your desktop computer, your laptop or your mobile phone. It all combines to ensure that VoIP technology is more portable and more versatile than traditional landlines, making switching to VoIP almost a no-brainer.
Switching from a landline system to a VoIP system is easy, and it’s a great way to future proof your home or your business. The biggest barrier to entry is the initial setup costs and the purchase of one or more VoIP devices. But the good news is that once you’ve completed the setup, you’re ready to start saving money.
Bear in mind that you might be tied into a contract with your existing phone company and so you may have to continue paying that until you’re able to cancel it. Alternatively, you can often pay a lump sum up front to free yourself from the contract. The good news is that once you’ve made the switch to VoIP, you’re unlikely to be tied into a contract because the vast majority of providers bill monthly instead of yearly.
This isn’t one of those technologies that will cause you to be left behind if you fail to adopt it. After all, VoIP devices and traditional telephone devices are intercompatible, and the chances are that you’ve already spoken to someone who was using a VoIP device without even noticing it.
So the perils of non-adoption are less severe than they can be with some other technologies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother. Instead, look at it as a simple change that you can make which will save you huge amounts of money in the long run. If nothing else, it gives you an edge and frees up some of your resources. And when there’s an easy way to cut your expenditure, why wouldn’t you?