VOIP advantages and disadvantages: the lowdown

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VOIP advantages and disadvantages: the lowdown


Are you thinking about ditching your landline and using VOIP to make calls instead? Here are the benefits and drawbacks of making calls over the Internet, whether you’re at home or in the office.


By Imogen Groome | 22nd November 2018
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VOIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a voice communications technology that is growing in popularity. Businesses in particular are increasingly using VOIP in their conference calls, especially when needing to speak with people in other countries.

Many people may be asking what benefits VOIP can give them, either in their personal or professional lives, and want to know if there are any disadvantages to using the system. Here are the main reasons for and against using VOIP instead of a traditional landline.


Advantages of VOIP:

It’s cheaper

The setup and cost of VOIP is much easier and cheaper than using a landline. VOIP works from your internet connection, so if you are using VOIP at home, you won’t need to have expensive phone bills. For businesses, the cost for making overseas calls will be much cheaper.

Furthermore, calling a computer from another computer using a service such as Skype for Business is free, which will save people and businesses a lot of money.

It doesn’t require a phone line

Many offices won’t want to deal with the cost of installing a phone at everyone’s desk, as the overall cost is much higher. Using VOIP means anyone can make a call using their computer or laptop, which is much simpler.

Additionally, people at home can log into a VOIP app on their phone using their internet connection at no additional cost, or use their laptop instead of a landline.

VOIP can be more effective than traditional landlines for making voice and video calls (Picture: iStock by Getty)
It’s easier to contact people around the world

Using a landline or mobile to call people overseas will usually mean your bill is higher, depending on how far away the other person is. However, this doesn’t matter when using VOIP, as you could call as far away as Australia from the USA using Ring Central and not need to pay an additional cost compared with calling someone in the same city.

This is useful in offices for calling HQ in another country, and people at home in long distance relationships could call their loved ones without worrying about the price.

Thousands of connections can be made

While a traditional phone network has limits when it comes to the number of lines that can be added during a call, VOIP is only limited by bandwidth. This means that thousands of connections could be made, allowing for large conference calls or large groups of friends to be involved in a call without having to repeat the same message to smaller groups of people like you may have to in a traditional landline call.

Office video conference calls are simple with VOIP (Picture: iStock by Getty)
Voice quality

Those with a reliable internet connection in their home or office can enjoy voice call quality that’s either equal or better than that provided by a traditional phone call. This adds to the enjoyment of the experience and makes for better communication. With the rise of reliable internet connections across the world, this means that VOIP services such as Dialpad will become an increasingly appealing option for many people.

Extra features at a lower price

Using a traditional phone service’s additional features could mean your bill costs more at the end of the month. But with VOIP, your staff, clients or friends can have video conversations, exchange files, share screens and more during the conversation.

This makes the experience much more interactive and saves time, as people will understand documents or presentations more quickly and not need to consult them in their own time after the call.

There are many options to choose from when selecting VOIP software (Picture: iStock by Getty)

Disadvantages of VOIP:

You must have access to the internet

If you are in an area without internet, or your office doesn’t have an internet connection, you won’t be able to use VOIP, as a reliable connection with enough bandwidth to handle the call is required.

Additionally, calls made without sufficient bandwidth will not be as successful and may be lower quality than calls made using a traditional landline.

Voice quality in rural areas

If your home or office is in a rural area, and your internet connections is not strong, you may find the quality of the call will suffer. It won’t be as effective if either your voice or the person you are talking to’s voice doesn’t transmit correctly, resulting in words being lost or distorted, as communication will become more difficult. In such cases, where internet quality is poor but you may have a better mobile signal or landline connection, the traditional method may be best.

VOIP won’t always work in rural areas (Picture: iStock by Getty)
Calls may be delayed or have lower quality

Making calls on an internet connection that isn’t high quality enough will result in delays, lags or even failed calls, as packets of information need time to reassemble for an effective call to be carried out.

However, this is becoming less of a problem as more sophisticated data algorithms are introduced.


Written by
Imogen Groome
Imogen is editor-in-chief of Hot5. She is also a lifestyle blogger, author and freelance journalist, with particular interests in music, politics, psychic readings and dating. She is usually found at home with her collection of animals, drinking iced tea. Read more.
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