VoIP Phone

What is a VoIP Phone?

A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone is a program or device that lets you make and receive calls using the internet instead of a traditional analog connection.

While both VoIP and traditional phones appear similar, traditional phones are hard-wired and can only be used from a fixed location. On the other hand, VoIP phones use the internet and aren’t location-bound.

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As such, you can make calls using the app on any device. Overall, a VoIP phone offers more interoperability, mobility, and connectivity.

How Does a VoIP Phone Work?

A VoIP service works by combining different protocols to replicate the telephony function. These work together, allowing you to communicate in real time without any lags. This system can be used as software or digital hardware like VoIP phones.

With a receiver and a microphone, a VoIP phone will transmit sound into data packets that travel through your broadband internet connection to your VoIP provider’s servers.

The Internet phone service will then route the calls to various telephone networks worldwide. Your VoIP phone will decompress the data and play it back to the other person’s phone.

What Does a VoIP Phone Look Like?

There are many types of VoIP phones. Here are the most common ones, starting with the desktop VoIP phone.

Desktop VoIP Phone — These are connected to the VoIP provider via ethernet cables:

An image of a desktop VoIP phone

USB Phones — They’re perfect if you’re looking for small business VoIP service. These phones can be plugged into your computer using a USB cable:

An image of a USB VoIP phone

Cordless phones — These come with a built-in WiFi or DECT transceiver that you can connect to an access point or base station:

An image of a cordless phone

Softphones — This explains a software app that you can download on your mobile or laptop, and it isn’t bound to a physical location:

An image of a softphone

Video Phones — These devices have a small camera and let you hold virtual face-to-face meetings anywhere in the world:

An image of a video phone

Conference Phones — These are used in large conference halls or offices. They usually have multiple microphones to improve call quality.

An image of a conference phone

Common VoIP Phone Features Explained

Almost all VoIP services offer basic features that are similar to traditional phone lines, such as call forwarding, holding calls, and call waiting. Here’s a list of others you’ll find:

  • 3-way calling — Add more than one person to a call at once
  • Auto-forwarding — Redirect incoming calls to another device
  • Call waiting — Get notified about incoming calls while on another call
  • Voicemail to email — Forward voicemail to your email inbox
  • Speed dial — Quickly dial frequently called numbers using shortcuts
  • Call queues — Put calls in a queue to answer when you’re free
  • Do not disturb — Automatically send calls to voicemail when you’re busy

The Pros and Cons of VoIP Phones

Here are a few pros and cons of using a VoIP phone:

Prospros

  • Cheaper than traditional phones and require less maintenance
  • Minimal call drops, connectivity issues, and jitter
  • Fraud detection and encryption protocols protect data
  • Make calls on PCs, tablets, or mobile on the go
  • Integrate with various other communication platforms

Conscons

  • Requires a stable internet connection
  • Vulnerable to threats — service and identity theft, viruses, phishing, malware, spam, and DDoS attacks.

The Bottom Line

VoIP phones are a versatile, cost-effective, and feature-rich alternative to traditional phone lines. Make calls on the go and enjoy features like call forwarding, auto attendants, and high-quality audio.

FAQs

Why would someone use a VoIP phone?

Can a VoIP phone be a cell phone?

What is the difference between VoIP and normal phones?

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Krishi Chowdhary

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.