Find out more about VoIP Software
What is VoIP Software?
You can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software to make calls using the internet. This solution reduces the cost of phone calls because you only need to pay for internet access and there are no extra charges. Top VoIP software vendors offer mobile apps to enable you to make and receive calls anywhere. Important features of this system include video, screen sharing, chat, file sharing, and web conferencing. Sophisticated solutions also offer automated attendants, call queues, and email integration. Popular VoIP platforms include Skype, Viber, Avaya, and 8x8. You can read our in-depth reviews of these solutions and also check out RingCentral which has been given the highest score in this category by our team of B2B software experts.
Most Popular VoIP Software
Best VoIP Software
How To Choose The Best VoIP Software
VoIP is a revolutionary, cord-cutting approach in business telephony, expected to be ramified in the near future, and replace phones completely on the long run. In fact, the steady growth of VoIP providers around the globe is already proving that having stable and rapid online connections will impose Voice over Internet Protocol in our everyday communication much sooner than we think.
Why would we ditch conventional landlines for VoIP? The answer is simple: Because the best VoIP software for enterprises and SMBs is ubiquitous, full-featured, configurable, and way cheaper! The merits of software-based VoIP tools differ from one provider to the other, but what is common to all of them is that they transmit voice calls using IP networks, making all components of your business work in favor of a more streamlined customer communication.
VoIP: The things you need to know first
Leaving the wish to make your business more advanced aside, you should really think whether your business can benefit from a VoIP system or not. There are two criteria to be met in advance: the VoIP being able to subdue the mess of calls you receive per day, and you being able to subdue the mess of preparatory measures the VoIP requires.
A solid broadband connection and bandwidth are just the beginning: the load will be a bit heavy for the internal structure in general, requiring all routers and switches to function impeccably. VoIP calls consume a lot of data, which imposes the need to prioritize traffic, and to choose service providers that offer bandwidth caps, rather than having to worry about them yourself. You need to ensure that you have the right hardware (phones, faxes, adapters, etc.), and to deal with potential security threats in advance: predetermining the call volume, install DDoS to prevent security risks in your database, controlling passwords to keep the network from being compromised, etc.
Most of the time, VoIP is not self hosted, which means that all the heavy lifting is handled by someone else, and you get to avoid the hassle of redirecting calls without installing additional hardware. The other option is to purchase a private, VoIP friendly PBX system which will use a PSTN gateway to convert public signals into calls. This option costs less, but it is much more complicated to install.
Business-wide, the most fascinating component of VoIP is diversity. VoIP technology is based on three smart principles, all of them leading to the same result: placing calls at no cost:
The first way to use VoIP is via IP phones, apparently conventional devices which don’t use the standard RJ-11 connectors, but a RJ-45 Ethernet one, meaning that calls are redirected to your router for you to handle them online. Basically, wherever there is Wi-Fi, VoIP will do the job.
The second way is to use an analog adaptor, once again requiring a stable internet connection to relate the phone to the router. The adaptor functions as a converter of digital data, in this case phone calls converted into analog signals. Sounds complicated, but it is in fact the simplest way to set up and to start using within hours.
The third way (which handles long-distance calls too), is to connect multiple devices using low-cost hardware and a DSL modem. Monthly ISP installments will be the only contribution by your side, which highlights the payoff character of VoIP once again.
Get to know each product with free trial
It is a good idea to start your search for the best VoIP software by using the free trial plans of popular apps. This can help you understand how the software can boost your employees’ productivity. You can register for the free trial plans of the following apps in the VoIP software category as they have received a high SmartScore and user satisfaction rating: RingCentral reviews, Phone.com, and Talkdesk.
- Small businesses and medium-sized organizations can use VoIP software to save costs.
- Large enterprises can make use of higher-end business-grade VoIP services for their greater requirements.
What are Examples of VoIP Software?
- RingCentral: RingCentral is a cloud phone system that users can utilize for voice communications, online meetings, business conferences and more.
- 8×8 VoIP Phone Service: 8×8 hosted VoIP phone service for small business and large enterprises offers advanced features such as web conferencing, smartphone integration, and internet faxing.
- Skype: Skype is a web-based communications app that offers international calls, video chat, and texting.
- ShoreTel Sky: Shoretel Sky is a suite of cloud-hosted phone solutions that unify all business communication processes including standard phone calls, video conference calls, mobile communications, and web sharing functionality.
- Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts is a communications platform developed by Google to help users use a range of communications channels including voice, text, and video chats.
Types of VoIP Software
There are four common types of VoIP software:
- Integrated access – This is a beginner’s VoIP system that resembles traditional phone systems. Users can use their old equipment to avail the benefits of VoIP as the software can integrate with legacy systems.
- SIP Trunks – This type is ideal for companies that want the whole VoIP experience. Enterprises can use it to communicate with fixed and mobile phone subscribers globally.
- Managed IP PBX – This service is similar to SIP Trunks, but all the details are managed by the provider. Businesses receive all the equipment from the service provider, who also maintains the technology and charges for the services.
- Hosted IP PBX: In this type, companies do not receive the equipment from the provider who hosts all IP PBX functions using cloud-based systems.
Key Features of VoIP Software
- Find me/follow me call routing – This feature is meant for mobile workers as it allows them to post a list of numbers where they are available before the call get sent into voicemail.
- Voicemail to email transcription – Transcribes voicemail messages to text and sends them to your email inbox.
- Music on hold – Callers on hold can listen to music as they wait.
- Call screening – You can look at the number of caller and then decide how to treat the call.
- Auto attendant – Callers can interact with a menu to select an apt extension.
- Conferencing – You can organize a conference floor monitor, and manage invitations, “hand-raises”, and muting participants.
- Do not disturb – You can use this feature to temporarily block incoming calls when you are busy.
Benefits of VoIP
VoIP doesn’t drain the budget
VoIP can cut up-front costs for companies from all scales and industries, especially larger ones that can provide a solid broadband connection to maintain multiple calls and instant messaging at the same time. Most of the time, you won’t have to purchase expensive hardware to support it, unless you choose to subscribe to providers with standardized technology such as SIP. Most providers, in any case, offer contract-free packages, which means you’ll only pay for what you’ve actually used. The low-cost attraction can be an invaluable advantage for decentralized companies which do business internationally, especially if you consider that internal conversations are absolutely free.
VoIP redirects calls on mobile devices
Another distinctive benefit is that you get to call/receive calls on the go, using your personal mobile device where you’ve installed an app or a standalone extension to receive calls straight from the office.
VoIP comes with a robust feature-suite
Further on, the VoIP magic is far more than calling and being called: while some businesses think they could do fine with a single line, others tend to go further than traditional telephony, and require all bells and whistles that are either way associated to business communication. Therefore, consider providers that offer services such as voice mail, instant notifications, recording, transcription, etc.
Risks Associated With VoIP
VoIP is absolutely dependent on your internet connection
No internet means no VoIP, and there is nothing you can do about it. If running a hosted system, you might get something alike redirecting voicemail to your mobile phone, but all of it requires paying unplanned fees. Besides, your service may be disrupted and you might miss important calls. Needless to say, poor internet connection can affect the quality of calls terribly, and cause delays that would never happen via traditional phoning.
Special calls are not included, unless you pay for them
To start, emergency calling is disabled. You can only find it in the highest subscription plans, or keep your traditional phone by hand in case something happens. Calling abroad may also be an issue, especially if you’re directing a call to less prominent regions with higher rates. There might be free-minutes packages too, but you should still consider this issue if planning to call abroad more frequently.
Internet bound traffic is not the most secure one ever
Let’s be honest about it: How safe is it to route critical business data traffic towards the internet? Hackers are out there waiting for unencrypted corporate phone calls, and hunt them down in seconds unless you have a private VPN network to protect you. The truth is that even with a VPN there is little you can do about it, because one doesn’t know to which extent one can rely on gateways and firewall security before one actually faces an alert. Another thing to be taken into consideration is wireless security, since not dealing with it during installation will expose each and every VoIP vulnerability.
Due to the large number of VoIP service providers out there, the price of such a system can vary from ridiculously low numbers to ridiculously high ones. There are many decisive criteria that round up the final figure, as for instance hosting, installation, purchase of specialized hardware, and extra services. Some providers define the amount before you start using the system, while others offer annual contracts based on which you’re supposed to pay monthly fees. These contracts list clearly the number of calls you’re supposed to make/receive, and prescribe prices for additional services. Overall, you can find a VoIP all the way from $15 to $5000, but we advise you to avoid making huge investments before being sure that you’ve chosen the right VoIP (use a trial instead), and before you’ve considered the internet costs which have to be covered any way.
List of VoIP Software Companies
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