How it works

There is a huge amount of technical and confusing information available on the internet regarding VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), which for most users is completely unnecessary when deciding whether to switch to a VoIP service. How much of the technical information really matters? What we really want to know is, the basics of how it works, is it secure? What do we need? Costs? The benefits in switching. But of course if you do require the technical detail too, please do get in touch and speak with one of our experts.
How Does it  Differ to a Conventional Phone System
Although you can use various devices the look and feel can be exactly the same as a conventional system with a desk or DECT phone, but instead of connecting to a phone socket on the wall or on premise PBX, VoIP phones connect to your network and inturn to the internet. From there your VoIP phones connect to your VoIP provider (that's us!) and your your VoIP provider connects your outbound calls to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and of course routes any inbound calls to your telephone numbers back to your phones. Yes of course there is a lot that goes on in between to achieve this, but in a nutshell that is how it works! The diagrams below show in the simplest form the setup of both a conventional and VoIP system.

Simple Examples of Business Phone Setup

a. Simple PBX (or no PBX) setup
b. Simple  VoIP Setup
Security
Anything that uses the internet needs to be secure, our platform uses the very latest security methods to protect your data and our platform from attack. Within your control panel account with us you have the option to enable encryption to and from your phones to the platform.

What do you need

1. An internet connection
Of course the first thing we need is an internet connection of some sort, wired is preferred, but wireless, 3g,4g, 5g and even satellite will do the job. Stability of your internet connection is important, if your connection drops out your call will of course drop out, but generally speaking this rarely happens in most businesses these days. The internet speed required for your connection depends wholly on how many phones are likely to be making calls at the same time. So for the purpose of keeping things simple, lets assume the VoIP phones are using a common standard such as g.711 (most phones uses this as standard, but also have other standards that will reduce the required bandwidth even further). With the overheads that VoIP needs to control a call, you'll need just short of 80 Kbps for each part of the call, the outgoing and incoming; the two parts of a conversation. So in bandwidth terms, that means you will need to have at least 80 Kbps of upload speed and at least 80 Kbps of download speed per concurrent phone call. 8% of each leg of a pure uncontended 1Mbps upload/download broadband connection.

In reality we regularly see VoIP bandwidth usage at substantially less than 80Kbps on each leg of the download/upload as most phone conversations don't have two people talking constantly at each other - they are a conversation and not all the bandwidth is consumed at once. However, this is a max figure that you should budget your calculations on.

Concurrency is key in your calculation. You may have say 30 users, but its highly unlikely you will see that many on a call at once. In fact, from our stats we see an average of 1 concurrent call for every 3 users. So for 30 users, we would suggest your bandwidth requirement would be 10 x 80 Kbps (800 Kbps) upload and 10 x 80 Kbps (800 Kbps) download for the large majority of your run rate business. the average business connection speed at the time of writing this is 60MB down by 11MB up, that's enough for nearly 140 concurrent calls with no other network traffic!

2. A VoIP Phone (s)
As detailed earlier a VoIP phone can look and feel like a normal desk phone and simply connects to your network rather than your on premise PBX or socket on the wall. However, one of the benefits of VoIP is that you can use various devices to make a call, you could use a soft phone on your computer or desktop device, this is a bit of software that simply installs onto your device and allows you to use it like a phone. Alternatively, you could use your mobile device or tablet etc along with an app which will also allow you to make and receive calls from your system. As all of these devices can access the internet and in-turn your VoIP system, which means you can access and use your phone system from wherever you are, whether at the office, home or just simply out and about, in fact anywhere you have an internet connection! We use the very latest technology in our apps and you can use them free with our platform or use third party apps if you prefer.

Costs
As you do not require multiple telephone lines to deploy a VoIP system (IE only one internet connection required) the cost savings here alone can be huge, then when you take into consideration that your business does not need to deploy an expensive in house PBX and service costs associated with it, the savings are very big. Add to to that low cost of calls, when considering the costs of a conventional phone system verses a VoIP system the cost saving really does make it an easy decision to switch. Each user on the Hosted VoIP 4business platform costs £1.99 + VAT each (based on 2 or more users). You can view our prices (and order) by visiting clicking here.

Benefits
As mentioned in the previous section one of the major benefits in switching to VoIP is the substantial costs you can save your telecommunications, call costs are a fraction of what you would pay using a conventional system. But there are many other benefits such as no expensive on premise hardware required, which normally has to be maintained by an engineer, the Hostedvoip4business platform is simple to use and can be configured by us or you via our intuitive web interface which is always available no matter where you are! As you are not tied to any telephone lines you and your staff can use your business phone system from anywhere that you have an internet question, so whether working from home or another remote location you can use your phone system seamlessly and the same as you would if you were sat at your desk in the office.

There are a huge number of features on the platform that can benefit your business, you can see the main features by clicking on the feature button below.

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