Voice over IP (VoIP) is a method and group of tools for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. Other terms frequently related with VoIP are IP telephony, Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service. VoIP sends voice information in a digital manner in discrete packets rather than by using the traditional protocols of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). A major advantage of VoIP and Internet telephony is that it avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone service and that in some cases it can be more secure. However, even as businesses attempt to reach out and connect with customers using multiple channels like social media, email and carefully placed advertisement; nothing has yet to fully replace the telephone. Being able to reach customers in real time and gather valuable information about their needs is still best accomplished by using voice. So, using services that allow keeping communication channels open and flowing is instrumental is making your business grow as well as your sales and your customer base.
There are a large number of VoIP solutions for business and also for your personal needs, some you pay for and some are actually free. Here we take a look at some of the best options you have, when using this emerging technology.
A feature-rich product that uses the latest technology on Private Branch eXchange systems (PBX) that feature HUD (Heads Up Display). Working with this type of technology, allows the use of interactive features that can be controlled from the screen of the computer, like the use of a mouse to drag-and-drop to transfer calls. Fonality also offers Fonality Hosted PBX at very competitive prices. Overall, the Fonality Hosted PBX solution offers a massive assortment of options; more than most small businesses will likely need. But they also have assisted installation, live tech support, and plenty of features to grow into as necessary.
Citrix Grasshopper http://grasshopper.com
Citrix Grasshopper is an excellent business VoIP solution for small businesses that need a basic phone system quickly. If you are a small business looking to set up a business-grade PBX simply using cell phones and landlines, Citrix Grasshopper is right for you. The features are basic and do not allow much room to grow, so this service is only recommended if you are not planning on expanding your operation and want to take advantage of the extremely fast and easy setup along with the low cost.
RingCentral is a company that started out in 1999 focusing on small businesses and has since developed into a serious player. For small to midsize businesses (SMBs), RingCentral Office provides the foundation for a hosted PBX system with some higher-end features. The service offers from three available plans depending on how many employees you have signed up at once and they include a new phone number (or a transfer), call management administration, functionality with mobile apps for Android and iOS, call log reports, unlimited calling, unlimited conferencing, and unlimited use of internet fax.
This is the app that made VoIP known as a serious alternative to online communications. Skype, owned by Microsoft, is one of the VoIP apps out there with the most features and available in almost all platforms. The calls amongst users are free and landline calling locally or internationally is offered at very low rates. Skype credit is one of the alternatives for paying for your services or the acquirement of plans that exist with many different features that will meet your needs for sure.
This is a great app for VoIP, although it may not be the best option for businesses, it does offer great features for personal use. Viber uses your regular phone number to communicate with others and if they happen to be Viber users as well, the calls are free. Viber is compatible with almost all operative systems and it can be used on your computer as well. It offers a lot of options for skin customization and stickers. One of the best features of Viber is their HD voice feature, which ensures you have excellent sound quality when using the service.
Google’s Hangouts Dialer can be integrated with your hangouts app to add calling feature to any landline or mobile number. While Hangouts is auto-installed on every Android device, you still need the dialer app to be able to make calls. The calls can be made over your Wi-Fi connection or data plan. This app is very easy to use and since it integrates with Google seamlessly, it is a great option to go with in order to have a good VoIP in your pocket.