Some businesses may be scared of trying out VoIP for themselves. There’s no reason to fear VoIP, though. Many companies are using these phone systems every day and have been able to demonstrate an excellent track record. Even so, we’re here to dispel some common VoIP myths and fears, including these:
- MYTH – It just sounds terrible. In the beginning, way back in 1995, VoIP was hugely limited by the technology of copper wires and modems that connected computers to the Internet, but today’s VoIP is nothing like its grandparents.In fact, you’ve probably connected across many VoIP systems and not even realized that you’re doing it because the call quality is as crisp as any copper telephone line. As phone lines fall into disrepair and older Internet lines are increasingly being replaced with fiber optic cables, we may find that VoIP actually sounds more and more like real life.
- MYTH – VoIP is hard to install and configure. Nothing could be further from the truth. VoIP is designed from the bottom up to be easy to DIY, often with simple point and click interfaces.These are not systems that require telephony specialists to setup or maintain, you can handle it all from your home office with a few clicks of a mouse. Your VoIP provider will handle any major hardware problems on their end, making it one of the easier things you’re bound to be asked to do in your day as a small business owner.
- MYTH – It’s very unreliable. Like with any good rumor, this one might contain a hint of fact. In some areas, some Internet providers are still fairly unreliable. If your Internet comes from a source that can’t be counted on for uptime, your VoIP will be unreliable—this is true. However, since most always-on Internet providers boast 98 percent or better uptimes, VoIP can be expected to be very reliable for most customers. Small businesses in very remote areas or underdeveloped locations may still need to hold on to their copper wire systems a while longer, but once your Internet provider is solid, your VoIP will be, too.
- MYTH – There’s nothing different about VoIP. VoIP is actually very different than a copper wire system, not just because it uses the Internet to transfer voice calls. Unlike a plain copper wire that can only send and receive basic call information, VoIP can handle very sophisticated data about your calls and allow for system integrations that would require lots of extra hardware and software for your computer systems to capture from copper, if it could be captured at all.For example, it’s much easier and faster for your system to detect the phone number of an incoming caller and pull up their accounts with VoIP than it would be with copper wire, allowing you to serve these customers even better.
- MYTH – There’s no security with VoIP. Your VoIP is only as secure as your Internet data, that’s for sure – but if you’re running a business, you should have both a physical and software firewall installed to protect yourself from unwanted digital visitors. Even if you don’t, though, even as long ago as 2006 VoIP companies were dispelling myths about a lack of security by boasting about their internal security protocols. Like anything transmitted over the Internet, be it your checking account information, your business passwords or your telephone calls, you have to take an active part in protecting the data – it’s not going to magically protect itself. Copper wires can be tapped, Internet lines can be hacked, but if you take care to protect your lines and encrypt your data, your efforts plus those of your VoIP provider will make quick work of anyone trying to gain access to your calls.
There’s nothing scary about VoIP, although it’s always a little frightening to try out a whole new type of technology. You can rest assured that VoIP has been tested by your business peers for many years, though, and will be highly reliable, hugely helpful and increase your bottom line without creating an enormous headache you don’t need.