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VoIP is a very reliable technology but there are always times when things go wrong, so we’ve put together some troubleshooting tips that cover the basic steps you should go through if things stop working as they should.
Check everything locally
You would be surprised how often something silly is the cause of problems,
- Check that everything in on and seems to be working, and that the lights are green (or whatever they are supposed to be). This includes the modem/router, any relevant computers, SIP phones , ATA units and connected analogue phones.
- If any equipment is connected by extension lead, wall plug etc. try attaching it directly into the router
- Reboot everything – it really does help in a lot of cases. Turn of all equipment (piece by piece so you can isolate the problem) and then turn it on again after a minute to so (to ensure the electrical current is fully discharged and the device is completely off)
- Are other devices connecting to the internet correctly? Checking this on different devices should help to identify the cause of the problem
- Problems with cabling are also common as cables can get quite a lot of abuse in an office environment. If a phone suddenly stops working, or works sporadically (very annoying!), then try replacing it’s Ethernet cable (you can just borrow one from another phone for test purposes) and see if it works
Check for network problems
Assuming you have checked that the internet is working at all, many network problems are caused by
- Latency – the delay it takes for a packet to arrive after being sent
- Jitter - if the latency between packets arriving is highly variable this causes an uneven experience for the end user
- Loss – what it sounds like, packets never arrive
To see whether any of these are occurring in Windows, click on Start ->Run (Windows XP) or Start -> mouse click in Search all Programs and Files (Windows 7 and Vista) and type cmd to bring up a DOS box. At the command prompt (>), type ping google.com. Various bits of information will come up, but what you are looking for is the last four lines. The Lost = % should be 0% or very close, and the average round trip time should not exceed 100ms. Greater figures indicate either a lot of congestion on the line (can occur at peak usage times) or a problem with the line (which could be related to line servicing etc.) If problems persist you should contact your internet service provider.
Hardware and Software problems
If the network seems to be ok, then it may be your equipment at fault. Common problems with handsets are:
- Buzzing – this is typically caused by interference. Moving the phone away from wires and electrical equipment can help. Radio interference e.g. from taxi radios on the street, can also occasionally be at fault, as can weak batteries in the phone (if it has any).
- Echoing – this can be due an issue at either end of a conversation, so both ends need to take steps to resolve the problem. A problem affecting long distance conversations in particular, this can sometimes be solved by simply reducing the handsets’ speaker volumes a little. If this does not work then there are two technologies, Echo Suppression and Echo Cancellation that can help, and are often part of your VoIP provider’s network infrastructure. You should contact them if the problem persists as they might be able to locate the cause for you.
All digital equipment (e.g. SIP phones and internet routers) have a core set of programing instructions that govern their operation. This is known as firmware, and in day to day use in chaotic office environments it is quite possible for it to get corrupted. In addition to this, manufacturers often regularly update their product’s firmware to improve performance or introduce bug fixes, and keeping your equipment up to date with the latest version can make a significant improvement to your devices’ performance. The user manual that came with your equipment should contain its firmware version number, and you can get instructions on how to download the latest version and install by visiting the manufacturer’s website or contacting your VoIP provider.
Service provider Problems
If you have checked all your equipment and gone through all the steps outlined above, then the problem may very well not be at your end, but with your VoIP service provider (VSP), either because they have suffered server or power outages at their server farm, or because the business is undergoing financial or contractual problems.
The only advice we can offer here is to choose your service provider with care. Large, well established businesses with a good standing reputation are likely to be the most secure in today’s rocky financial climate, and those that spend money on reliable back-up generators, mirrored data storage facilities etc. are more likely to get up and running quickly in the event of natural disaster, power outages or technical fault.
In order to make informed and considered decisions about which VoIP services and which VoIP options are best for you and your business, it is essential to have a least a basic understanding of how this new technology works. We have therefore put together this layman friendly and jargon light introduction to VoIP. It is impossible to get rid of all jargon (which you will need to know anyway), but we’ll keep it a minimum and explain it in easy to understand terms.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and, unusually for such acronyms, tells you pretty much about what it does – transfer voice over the internet! So what is the internet? Well, the internet is made up of millions of computers across the world connected to each other by high-speed data connections (whether copper ADSL lines, fiber-optic cable or microwave transmission). However, that is not what the internet is.
The internet is the data that that flows through all this hardware, and this data is transmitted in discrete segments known as packets.
What is a packet?
A packet is small, self-contained unit of digital information that is defined by the Internet Protocol (IP, as in the last half of VoIP). Each packet is unique and can be readily identified from the millions of other packets zipping around the internet, and is composed of the following elements:
- a header – identifies the packet with a unique serial number and contains information about who the sender is and where the packet is going (plus some other stuff that is not relevant here)
- a body – this is the information that is carried by the packet. Each packet contains a tiny fraction of any digital information (such as a voice) being sent
- a footer (also known as a trailer) – tidies everything up with an end of data marker and a checksum to ensure the integrity of the data
All digital data is broken down into lots and lots of these packets before being transmitted over the internet. In the case of VoIP, a microphone turns your voice into electrical pulses which are converted into 1s and 0s (binary) by a device called an Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC). Now that your voice is in digital form, your computer can turn it into packets.
We won’t go into the math here but to transmit 5 minutes of audio over the internet, it needs to be broken up into around 100,000 packets, depending on the quality (bit-rate) at which it was recorded.
So how do they know where to go?
Once the information has been converted into packets it is pushed out to the internet where it joins hundreds of millions of others that stream though the cables, servers etc. that make up the internet. Each time it encounters a router or switcher, that device inspects the information in the header of the packet and sends it in the right direction. Some devices, such as Wi-Fi repeaters and hubs are dumb and simply broadcast the packet to all connected receivers. As you can see, the information contained in packets can get spread about the internet quite easily, and this has security implications that we discuss in more detail on our VoIP Security page.
Eventually all the packets will arrive at their destination. Because they can take quite different routes, depending for example on how heavily loaded the routers they passed through were, they can arrive out of order so the receiving computer has to sort them into the correct order before removing the header and footer and fitting all the information back together again. For VoIP information, the digital data is then translated back into electrical pulses by a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) which vibrate the speaker in your handset’s receiver so you can hear the voice at the other end.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of how VoIP (and the internet in general) works. This brings us to the two major considerations that come into play regarding VoIP call quality:
- Bandwidth – difficult as it is to imagine, data is a physical thing that moves down physical channels. Each packet is made of electrons that that are carried over copper, fiber-optic etc. cables and these cables have a physical limit as to how many packets can be carried simultaneously. This is known as bandwidth.
All data takes up bandwidth, and the more information you send over the internet the more bandwidth you will need if you want to avoid your IP packets having a ‘traffic jam’. Video data in particular is very data intensive and uses up a lot of bandwidth so if your company, for example, uses a number of High Definition video surveillance cameras connected to the same network as your VoIP system, it is probably worth investing in more (known as faster because that is the net effect) bandwidth. Contact your internet service provider to discuss a bandwidth allocation package that suits you, but be aware that many providers quoting high bandwidth speeds are referring only to download speed. As VoIP is a two way process, it is important that good upload speeds are also supported, so it is advisable to check.
- Latency – as we have seen, the process of packets getting from their start point to their destination can be quite a laborious one, and some inevitably get lost on the way which means that they need to be re-sent. This can introduce latency – a delay between one person speaking and the other person hearing it. Fortunately in today’s world of high speed broadband this is rarely an issue, although it when connecting to locations with poor, out-of-date or underdeveloped internet infrastructures it can become a problem.
Now hopefully, armed with a little extra knowledge, you will be in a better position to take advantage of what VoIP has to offer!
How does it work?
Knowledge is power! Understanding the principles behind VoIP technology will help you decide how to best use to your advantage. For this reason, we have put together a run-down of how it all works here.
What is the single killer reason why my business needs VoIP?
As has been discussed on this site at length, VoIP is both cheaper and offers more features than traditional telephone solutions. Together, these provide the single killer reason – flexibility! It is almost trivially easy to scale a VoIP system up as your business expands, or down to decrease costs as there is no expensive infrastructure that needs to be modified. It is also easy to add extras to your VoIP package as and when needed, and to re-configure how the system on-the-fly, without the need for outside expertise.
So how much is it going to cost me?
It varies a great deal from provider to provider of course, and we provide side-by-side comparisons on our VoIP services page. However, in general terms it runs from about $10 per month for a single home user to $25 – $30 for a typical business package.
What equipment will I need?
You will need a broadband router connected to the internet and some kind of phone. This phone can be software based, running on your desktop or laptop computer (or even tablet or smartphone), a SIP Phone or a regular phone attached to an Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA). These adapters are often supplied as part of the VoIP package, so you will not need to buy any new equipment.
Is VoIP Reliable?
VoIP works over your broadband internet connection, so it is as reliable as your internet service provider.
Can I use VoIP Wirelessly?
Any WiFI capable computer (almost all laptops) or phone (etc..) which connects to the LAN network that the VoIP is set up on can use VoIP wirelessly. In addition to this, there are wireless SIP Phones available that also connect via WiFi. So yes.
What kind of internet service do I need?
Any kind of broadband connection (not dial-up) is sufficient to run VoIP services. The faster the connection the less likely problems with call quality or transmission errors is to occur.
Speaking of which, what is call quality like?
As long as sufficient bandwidth is available (we do not advise running a large company’s entire VoIP system over a 1Meg connection), then call quality is as good as that on a conventional phone. In fact, because there is no possibility of interference on a digital network, it can be higher.
Can I keep my existing phone and extension numbers when I change over?
Generally speaking, yes. However this varies depending on both your current telephone provider and the VoIP provider, so it is best to check with them first.
Here are some handy hints on how to successfully set up your own VoIP system so you have all the functionality of a fully featured office telephone suite, but without the cost. Remember that to use VoIP you must have a high-speed (broadband) internet connection in place.
As each system differs, this is the bit we can help you with least so read the instructions that came with that box of hardware! VoIP systems are usually very easy to set up, with the hardware simply needing to be plugged into your internet router or sitting between the router and WAN wall plug. If you run into any difficulties, try following these steps:
- Read the instructions! – yes, I know we mentioned this before but it is always worth going over the documentation that came with your VoIP package. You would be surprised by how many people don’t! There is usually a FAQ or Support section that may help solve your problem
- Write down any serial numbers and model numbers of the supplied hardware, along with the VoIP company’s support contact details. Even if you do not need these immediately, they should be stored in case they are needed later
- Search online – if the answer to your problem is not in the documentation that came with your package then it may be available on the provider’s website. Providers typically have FAQ and Support pages that may be of help. It may help to search the site using the model number you noted earlier
- Contact your VoIP provider’s Support team – this can typically be done by email, online chat or toll-free telephone number
If by this point you are still having problems and your VoIP supplier can’t or won’t help you, then you should be well within your rights to send everything back and get a refund! If for any reason this is not possible (or you are just plain stubborn!), then you can also try the manufacturers website. Not only might they offer their own support services (although this is unusual), they might have more up-to-date documentation which you can download than your provider gave you.
You might also like to refer to our Troubleshooting page, were we take a look at some common problems.
Using your normal handset with VoIP
While specialized VoIP digital handsets are usually quite a lot cheaper than their analogue counterparts, companies that have invested heavily in the older technology may quite sensibly not want to get rid of all their expensive and perfectly serviceable equipment. Fortunately, they don’t have to! An Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) lets you connect standard analogue telephones to a VoIP system, with common setup and function tasks performed by pressing different key combinations on the handset.
What is really great is that these adapters are often included as standard with VoIP accounts. Setup is usually easy, but if you encounter any problems then follow the steps outlined above. You may also want to refer to our Glossary, which explains some of the jargon you may come across.
Using SIP Phones
SIP Phones (basically just handsets designed for use with VoIP systems) are the easiest way to use VoIP. They range from very basic units to fancy multi-line and video display devices, but are usually fairly easy to set (plug-and–play). As always, you should check the instructions to understand all the built-in functions and any user-configuration that is required.
Additional help can be found on our Troubleshooting page, and we have a page dedicated to VoIP security that we recommend visitors have a look at.
ATA Analogue Telephone Adapter – a unit that lets connects traditional analogue telephones handsets so they can be used in a VoIP system
FXS Port – see Phone Jack
LAN Local Area Network – your Ethernet or wireless (WLAN) home or office network. LAN ports are provided on your router to plug Ethernet cables into.
PBX Private Branch Exchange – a company telephone exchange used to connect internal telephones, and to connect them to an outside line. Traditional analogue PBX systems could be very expensive, often requiring a room with its own cooling and heating, and requiring specialist engineers install and maintain. Despite all this, most medium to large businesses have found them essential, but they are now being phased out in favor of VoIP PBX systems
Phone Jack (also known as an FXS Port) – where you plug a traditional phone into (e.g. on an Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA)
SIP Phone a handset that uses Session Initiation Protocol – basically these are handsets designed to be used with VoIP systems. They may be very basic, featuring just a simple number-pad, or may include sophisticated LCD menus and/or video screens. Often just plugged into internet routers, some feature WiFi capability so they can connect to VoIP systems wirelessly
WAN Wide Area Network – in contrast to your LAN (Local Area Network), this invariable refers to the Internet and is what your router connects to when you plug it into the wall socket (with a WAN port referring to the outgoing socket on the router)
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network – devices connected wirelessly to your LAN via a Wi-Fi enabled router
One of the two primary reasons for choosing VoIP over traditional telephone solutions is that it costs less at almost every level of investment. The other reason is the extra (and usually low cost) features VoIP services provide. For more details on these, please go here.
Low Set-up costs
One of the great things about VoIP is that you can get up and running with minimal initial financial outlay. It is, in fact, possible to set up a surprisingly sophisticated VoIP system with no up-front costs whatsoever.
Depending on a business’ telephone requirements, setting up a traditional proprietary PBX system can be a very costly and time consuming exercise, as a professional hardware company will need to physically install the wiring (which may require knocking holes in walls, pulling up carpeting etc.), configure the system, and perform any programming tasks. Such a system is also quite inflexible and if anything goes wrong, or you want to change or expand the system, you’ll have to call in the PBX engineers again.
A VoIP system is different because it’s likely that any internet connected office already has the infrastructure in place. Anywhere that a computer is connected to the internet can be used as VoIP access point, as VoIP works over existing Ethernet LAN lines. Generally, all it takes is plugging a VoIP phone into an internet router and you’re ready to go! Some phones offer WiFi functionality so they don’t need any wires to work! They just connect to your existing wireless network. There is usually a little extra hardware that needs to be installed next to the office router, but this can be done discretely and does not need any additional wiring.
VoIP software can be installed onto computers (a microphone and speaker is required of course, but these are integrated as standard into all laptops and tablets) and smartphones to allow you to start using VoIP services without purchasing any specialized equipment.
While this can be a very workable solution for residential users and even small to businesses, more demanding users (or those that just prefer a more traditional telephone experience) will find the VoIP hardware (such as handsets) cost much less than their traditional analogue equivalents.
Low Running Costs
Service provider fees
While the details do of course vary between providers, the fees that VoIP providers charge are generally a great deal cheaper than those of traditional telephony companies. In addition to this, many features that are considered a standard part of VoIP packages, such a voicemail or call forwarding, are typically charged extra under the traditional PBX model (for more details on the features VoIP offers, visit our page here). As a rule of the thumb, you can get a complete VoIP office system for the price of around two traditional phone lines.
As we touched upon under Infrastructure above, traditional dedicated PBX systems are hardwired into the building (often using proprietary technologies), and require specialized expertise to modify and maintain. This means that any changes or problems will incur additional (usually quite high) expense. In addition to system maintenance, PBX hardware is expensive, and usually needs to be covered by a service agreement to ensure smooth office operation.
VoIP systems on the other hand, do not even need any specialized infrastructure or hardware, so maintenance costs can be non-existent! As noted above, if hardware does need changing it is relatively cheap, and works with simple plug-and play functionality so outside help is not needed. Even sophisticated tasks that in the past would have required expert programming, such as setting up auto-attendant options, can be easily performed by anyone through web-browser based online account management.
One last consideration is that the VoIP is the technology of the future. Investing in more traditional telephony systems is to invest in (costly) technology that is rapidly becoming obsolete.
A digital ‘cloud’ based telephony solution, VoIP services typically offer a great deal more options and features than are regularly available on conventional telephone systems. Not all these features are self-explanatory, so here is a run-down of the most common services on offer.
Please note that for many people the greatest advantage of using VoIP is the lower costs. To find out more about how you can save money, please click here.
Residential (basic) VoIP features
While these features are common, not all of them are supported by every VoIP provider so you will need to check with your chosen provider to find out exactly which services they offer:
- 3 way calling – allows an extra person to join in your conversation
- Call blocking – uses Caller ID to decide how to handle a call (send to voicemail, appear busy etc.)
- Call forwarding – incoming calls are routed to another phone or voicemail service. This routing can be quite sophisticated, with calls filtered by a time schedule or Caller ID. It can, for example, be to set up so that calls out of office hours are routed to the company voicemail service unless the caller is a family member, in which case the call is routed to your private cell phone.
- Call recording – can usually be set up to record all calls that meet your specific requirements e.g. from a particular number or extension, within certain set times, based on Caller ID etc.
- Call return – normally activated by dialling *69, this tell you who called you last, and when (and can call them back automatically)
- Caller ID – as is common with mobile phones, you can see who is calling you. Can also be used to automatically perform some other operation (e.g. call forwarding). This service also lets you personalize your outbound caller ID (great for adding company descriptions to your calls!)
- Do Not Disturb (DND) – similar to call blocking but instead of programming a response to incoming calls you just press a button (or flick a switch etc.)
- e911 emergency dialing –VoIP lines are not automatically set up to dial the emergency services on 911 calls, and to do so the service usually needs to be specially configured. Contact your VoIP provider for details.
- Free in-network calling – free calls to other users of the same VoIP company as yourself
- Free international calls – each provider has its own list of countries that it provides this service for, so please check carefully that the counties you want are supported
- Free second phone line – a very useful feature that gives you a second phone line that can be used in parallel with the first so you can use two phones simultaneously, have one line dedicated to a fax machine etc.
- Network unavailable call forwarding – routes a call to your mobile number (for example) in the case of a system or network failure by your VoIP provider
- Online account management – lets you configure your VoIP system (including the features mentioned here) using a web-based control panel
- Softphone – software based VoIP solution that turns your computer into an online telephone (needs an internet connection)
- Unlimited local and / or long-distance calling – pretty much what it says, but do check for restrictions (e.g. on international calls)
- Voicemail – standard automatic telephone answering service where callers can leave a message
- Voicemail to email – voicemail messages are emailed to you as .wav files
Business plans typically include all the features available to residential users, plus adding features that businesses are likely to find useful (or even invaluable!)
- Assignable extension numbers – you buy extension numbers which can be assigned to your members of staff
- Auto office / auto attendant – “If you would like service A please press button 1, if you like service B please press button 2, or if you would like to speak to one of our personnel please hold the line” - an automated telephone exchange which, when calls are answered routes them appropriately. Usually comes with a selection on stock options you can configure in your account options, although some plans let to record personalized responses.
- Call Queuing – callers are put on hold until there is an extension free to handle their call
- Company directory – used by auto-attendants to help direct customers to the correct extension, they are configured by filling in a few simple fields
- Conference calling – allows multiple callers to talk simultaneously
- Day / night scheduling – allows you to schedule how the VoIP system handles calls based on time of the day
- Dial by name routing – an advanced auto attendant feature where callers respond to routing questions by voice (with the answer usually reqiring a yes/no confirmation before proceeding). This can be very useful when dealing with large numbers of routing options e.g. asking for caller’s national zip code so the auto-attendant can route the call to a local office
- Follow-me / find me routing – similar to simultaneous ringing, but your different phone numbers will be called in turn until you are found
- Holiday / weekend scheduling – allows you to schedule how the VoIP system handles calls based on day of the week
- Message on hold – plays messages to callers on hold. Good uses for this are to entertain people as they wait in a long call queue, or to provide useful information
- Music on Hold – entertains callers on hold (if they enjoy the music!) and lets them know they are still connected
- Send / receive faxes to desktop – simply put, incoming faxes are recognized by the VoIP system and stored as computer files (usually .tiff or .pdf) while outgoing fax functionality can be achieved in various ways. We have a page dedicated to discussing Internet Faxing.
- Simultaneous ringing – if you have more than one alternate phone number this will ring them all at the same time (rather than sequentially) which can speed up finding you
- Voicemail boxes – voicemail, usually connected to assignable extension numbers
Despite its steadily increasing popularity for both residential and business use, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding VoIP thanks to the variety of services on offer, the range of pricing plans, and the sometimes impenetrable jargon used. Our aim is to cut through this confusion so you can make informed choices about the service that is best for you.
What is VoIP?
Simply put, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lets you talk to people using your high-speed internet connection. You may come across the terms Internet Phone, IP Telephony, Cloud-based PBX, SIP phone, Hosted VoIP and Virtual Phone System, which are all more or less synonymous with VoIP.
Why use VoIP?
VoIP offers a number of significant advantages over traditional phone based solutions:
- Lower setup costs – because VoIP works over your existing internet infrastructure you do not need to pay for expensive telephone lines to be installed, or pay for leased phone lines in addition to your internet connection
- Lower hardware costs – VoIP hardware is generally significantly cheaper than for traditional business phone systems, and is often included in the VoIP provider’s plan
- Lower service costs – pretty much what it says. VoIP companies usually charge a lot less for their services than traditional telephony companies
Residential users can save over $500, while small businesses can reduce their costs by up to 80% by changing to VoIP services. The following chart gives residential users an at-a-glance look at the saving they can make.
Insert residential services comparison chart
Business users should contact us for a free quote.
Insert contact form (or number etc.)
- Ease of use – VoIP systems are usually plug-and-play. Simply plug a handset (or connect wirelessly) into a router and you are ready to go! This simplicity also means that you can set up complex systems on your own without the need to hire expensive PBX specialists to install and program your business exchange
- Additional functionality – because VoIP systems operate over the internet, VoIP providers are able to offer a range of features at a low price that have traditionally been the exclusive preserve of big businesses. See our VoIP features section for more information.
- Scalable - you need only pay for what you need, but can quickly and effortlessly expand your communications capabilities as your needs grow without incurring much additional cost
- Flexible – With low initial investment costs, often short term (monthly contacts) and ready scalability (see above), it is easy to change your communications strategy to best suit your current needs.
How do I…?
So you’ve decided that VoIP is for you, but don’t know where to start? No problem! We’ve put together some guides to help point you in the right direction, and to answer some common questions we get asked.
Arrgh! Things aren’t working and I need help! One of our troubleshooting tips might be just what you need.
When it comes time for you to consider an online fax service for your business, the first thing you’ll notice is the large number of choices. Since there are so many companies to choose from, the best way to proceed is to take advantage of the free trials that most online fax companies offer. This will give you the opportunity to see what a particular online fax company has to offer and if it’s a good match for your business before you sign a monthly or yearly contract. Even so, there are some considerations that you should be aware of, prior to signing up for a free trial. Here are some tips that can help you get the most from your free online fax service provider trial.
The Information You’ll Need In Order to Sign Up
The first thing that you need to know is that when you sign up for your free trial, you are actually setting up a monthly account. This needs to be done so that the service provider can either transfer your current fax service or assign you a new fax number. You’ll be required to provide the standard information; name, phone number, email address and you’ll be asked to create a password. You’ll also be required to provide your credit card billing information. This is required in order to begin your paid service, if you decide to continue your service membership or if you go over the number of fax pages allotted for the free trial.
Understand How the Trial Period Works
Most free fax service trials last for a period of 30 days. However, this can vary among different online services. But no matter what the length of the free trial, it’s always important to read through and understand the terms and conditions prior to signing up for your free trial. One of the most important aspects of your free trial has to do with what occurs at the end of the trial. Just about every online fax service requires that you get in touch with them, before the end of the trial, if you decide not to continue with the service. If you don’t, then they will assume that you wish to continue the service and your trial will automatically roll over into their regular monthly plan. So make sure that you get in touch with the fax service provider, before the free trial is over, if you don’t wish to continue with the service.
Look Closely at What’s Included in Their Free Trial
In most cases, an online fax service provider will provide access to their entire compliment of features during their free trial. But there is usually a limit to the number of faxes you can receive and send during the trial period. For example, the free trial might limit you to 100 pages that are either received or sent. You should also be aware that international faxing is usually not included in the free trial, as well. Since each free trial period restrictions can vary among different online fax providers, it’s important to look carefully at the terms of the trial. It’s generally an easy matter to look up the terms prior to signing up for a free trial. Online fax service providers want to be clear about their terms in order to ensure that potential customers are not disappointed with their free trial offer. Now you’re ready to take advantage of those free online fax service trials.
Compare fax providers at sendonlinefax.net or onlinefaxservice.com.
VoIP is one of the most popular ways of communication today. Companies and corporations use it for various purposes, while ordinary people use it for communicating with their relatives from other parts of the world. VoIP, like other technologies, have made our lives much easier.
However, every piece of technology has its own advantages. Let us enumerate the various advantages and disadvantages of VoIP:
- VoIP is low-cost / free of charge. This is why VoIP connection is so popular; compared to the exorbitant long-distance bills (when you use ordinary phones), VoIP charges very little, and sometimes none at all.
- VoIP is portable and easy to use. While phones have become portable as well (mobile phones and smart phones), they are still charged with the same exorbitant fees when making calls abroad. VoIP, however, is accessible as long as you have a good Internet connection.
- VoIP has many useful features. Not only can it make calls, it also has access to various technologies such as tele-conferencing, unified messaging, and even fax!
- Should there be a power outage, VoIP will be inaccessible. VoIP, like Internet servers, depend wholly on electricity. If a blackout suddenly occurs, all VoIP services are instantly shut down, while phone services are always up even if electricity is unavailable.
- VoIP is not advisable when making emergency calls. When making emergency calls, such as 911, they usually trace your location with the help of various telephone companies. This is not possible with VoIP, as VoIP can only be identified through IP addresses, which can be hard to track seeing that there are people who use same IP addresses or use proxies.
- VoIP services’ quality. This is both an advantage and disadvantage of VoIP. Communication largely depends on your Internet connection quality. So if it is good, VoIP services will be good as well. If your Internet connection is poor, then your VoIP services will be poor as well.
Compare VoIP providers - Compare online fax services