What makes a VoIP service worthy of being considered the best? We review, cover and compare the best VoIP providers tips and tricks.
We regularly check and compare the leading voice over and services available on the market by overall performance, cost, ease of use and customer support.
New providers now added (as of July 15th 2017) due to several recommendations and feedbacks.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a group of technologies that work simultaneously to deliver voice communications (phone calls) and multimedia (video calls) over the internet.
This is much more complex than it sounds, as it involves sending large amounts of data quickly and efficiently enough to have a direct and smooth conversation. If you have ever used the popular online service Skype, you have used a VoIP service.
Choosing the right online phone for you is subjective, however certain companies are better equipped to handle your needs than others. Be sure you know your personal or business needs prior to signing up for a VoIP service, or request a free trial before making a commitment.
Internet phone services are not a new thing, but they are part of a rapidly growing market where the improvements in technology are profound and noticeable year after year.
Simply put, VoIP is not a trend, but rather is expected to become the standard method of telephony in the years and decades to come (similar to the VPN industry).
Market experts estimate that more than 28 million individuals enjoy internet protocol phones and voice services, with an upward trend that indicates the figures will triple in the next 10 years, mainly due to corporate use.
Leading internet phone service providers and other online software caters to different needs, so be sure to take a look at our reviews.
Don’t hesitate to contact us in case you need further help. The list above represents our current choices and might change in the future, depending on how reliable and trustworthy each company remains. See our recent Mitel review for an example of in-depth product review.
VoIP Providers and Why You Need These Anyway
There’s a reason why thousands of businesses are saying goodbye to traditional phone lines in favor of voice over internet protocol alternatives and that’s because of the sheer versatility offered by providers.
Whether you are brand new to business and are hoping to make yourself easily available to clients, or you are an avid company owner in need of a support team to handle customer inquiries, there’s nothing quite as versatile as VoIP.
With the internet being such an expansive database, it’s no wonder why people are turning to it for all of their communicative requirements. It’s not just businesses that stand to benefit from the features of an internet protocol service, either.
Individual users also have the ability to use VoIP to keep in touch with friends and family members around the world – all without needing to pay hundreds of dollars a month on long distance phone bills or mobile phone charges.
What Can Such Services Offer that Phone Lines Cannot?
One of the main benefits relates to the ability to call via the internet, over a Wi-Fi or ethernet connection. Now that over half of the world’s population has access to the internet, the ability to stay in touch with friends, family members, colleagues, and clients is something that Voice Over Internet Protocol providers prioritize. It is easier now than ever before to enjoy correspondence online.
From audio to video conversations, being able to get in touch with someone anywhere in the world at the press of a button is as simple as it is affordable. Many providers offer a variety of features that can’t be found on other services.
Thanks to the latest advances in technology and state of the art software, these services can now be enjoyed by PC, Mac, smartphone, and tablets users alike.
With certain providers, it’s entirely possible to log into an account on a smartphone, take part in conversations that can involve two or more individuals, and keep in touch with loved ones around the globe. As each provider will offer their own unique types of packages, it’s easy to decide on the right level of service for your needs, too.
There is also nothing keeping you tied to a specific provider, and if you decide to switch to a different one, or even use two or more simultaneously, you can now do so quickly, easily, and without the obligation presented by phone line services.
In recent years, the natural appeal of using free services has become apparent. After all, the internet as a whole supports the use of VoIP systems. Free services sprout and support IP calls using desktop computers, tablets, and personal phones.
The main use for IP calls remains on the business and corporate level, although we are all utilizing VoIP using applications and even free software on day to day basis.
A traditional phone call is placed by dialing a phone number, which then sends a call through a private branch exchange (PBX), down an integrated services digital network (ISDN) or copper analog line, and finally to another traditional telephone.
Hosted PBX lines are limited by their capacity, however, and without an alternative option, a telephone network would have an extremely limited call capacity.
Enter SIP trunks. SIP (short for session initiation protocol) trunks pick up the slack where ISDN lines fail to meet demand and carry phone calls over an internet connection.
Simply put, when a PBX is at capacity, new connections are created through a SIP trunk, sent to a service provider, and finally, end at a traditional telephone.
Trunking is not a new concept, however. The term dates back to the early days of telephone service. A trunk was a way for a large number of users to share a single communication path. Office buildings, for example, would feature trunked phone connections, where all of the cables were bundled together and distributed through the structure. SIP trunking merely represents the modernization of the concept and a natural extension of the concept.
SIPs can also make SIP-to-SIP phone calls. When a call is placed to another SIP line, it goes through the PBX, to your SIP, through a service provider, to another person’s SIP, through their PBX, and finally to their SIP phone.
The process may seem intensive, but it happens in split seconds. SIP trunks can even place direct phone calls to VOIP users.
When placing a call to a VOIP phone, you can dial from your SIP phone, from which the call is routed through your PBX to the SIP trunk from where the service provider can simply route the call to the VOIP router where it will create a connection with a VOIP phone.
The biggest benefit of SIP trunking is that SIP-to-SIP calling is less expensive than traditional ISDN calling. Businesses looking for a way to cut their phone bills often choose SIP trunks for their efficiency and money-saving qualities. Phone-reliant services like call centers can reduce their phone costs substantially using SIP trunking.
Online Fax Services
Fax, short for facsimile, refers to a machine capable of transmitting copies of scanned materials between two phone numbers. Although the technology had existed in some form for several decades, it was only first modernized and standardized into the device we know today by the Xerox Corporation in 1964. Their version of the modern fax machine was an enormous device that took six minutes to send a complete fax via a telephone line.
As the world leapt into the digital age, so did fax machines. Their timing improved, their size decreased, and they became standard in homes and offices across the globe. Once the internet became popular and individuals could send files at the speed of light, the need for fax machines in homes waned.
Although many think of the fax machine as an outdated technology – and there is no doubt that it is past its prime for individual users – there are still many services, institutions, and governments that rely on fax to transmit carbon copies of documents. In Japan, for example, fax machines are still popular for cultural and graphemic reasons.
Online fax services work by providing users with a way to send or receive faxes without the need for fax equipment. This means that you can send a fax from your computer to a phone number, which will receive a copy of your file on paper, or even digitally through their own digital fax service.
Internet faxing has many benefits. Aside from the ability to reduce costs on fax equipment and phone lines, users can enjoy increased mobility, safety, and confidentiality. This is achieved through encryption techniques, the likes of which were only a pipe dream in the original era of faxing.
One might not normally associate a fax with feature richness, but online faxing offers several great options that bring it into the 21st century. They include scheduled deliveries, group faxing, international faxing, number blocking, electronic signatures, and mobile alerts. Who knew the fax could be so handy?