Voice over Internet Protocol devices and services become more popular by the day. As a cheaper and more agile alternative than the regular telephone lines, VoIP extends its reach at the same pace of the world wide web. In Shopbot's buying guide you will be presented to the main advantages and features of this service and its devices, as well as more in-depth information about each different VoIP platform. This way, you will be fully aware of how useful they can potentially be for you, as well as the traits you should be looking for when you decide to acquire one of them.

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Buying guide

VoIPVoIp – a growing trend

With Internet becoming an indispensible part of human life, Internet Protocol has become a pivotal part of our existence. It is the IP that enables one to search, share and access all kinds of information on the internet and with innovation in terms of technology -- it has given way to the concept of VoIP, which refers to Voice over Internet Protocol, which comprises a group of voice communications and multimedia sessions. This system of VoIP has revolutionized the concept of communications, as this system allows users to voice, fax and message or SMS information through Internet rather than the regular Public Switched Network. VoIP sends information in voice form to the internet and therefore, allows for reduction in telephone costs and at the same time, it will integrate communications system. This buying guide discusses how small and large businesses or homes can have VoIP services.

Choosing your VoIP platform

In general, there are a couple of factors that have to be sensibly analyzed before sealing your VoIP deal:

Know what VoIP features

VoIP offers a long list of features. This includes unlimited calls, even long distance calls that are offered at a fixed fee. VoIP also offers emergency numbers and direct any such call to local answering point. They can block calls or send faxes. The current, technologically advance VoIP includes features like conference calls and caller IDs, logs for calls, calling employees in another branch of the company, call holds and transfer along with alert for waiting calls. Certain advanced VoIP products also offer integration of cell phones, taking every feature of the phone, PC support, call center and call monitoring support. Depending upon what are the requirements of one’s business, regular, common or advanced set of features of VoIP can be chosen.


The cost of hosted VoIP varies from provider to provider. But an increase in number of users and providers has led to significant fall in overall prices. After getting quote from different providers, one can compare prices and services before accordingly choosing a provider. Cost comparison ensures effective range of services at more affordable or competitive prices. On the other hand, on premise VoIP prices are determined from organization to organization. Mostly, these prices are determined by the cost of calls, along with upfront cost of the hardware, costs of maintenance and installation services, extra users and expansion costs along with final calculations and internal IT support staff costs. Several VoIP vendors are available in the market and offer wide range of products to choose from. The best way is to list down all the communication requirements of a company before undertaking VoIP services.

Which VoIP platform for which use?

Broadly, VoIP are divided into two types:

Hosted VoIP

Such kinds of VoIP are hosted or leased or rented by a VoIP provider, which rents them on annual or monthly basis. The hardware is present at the host or provider’s office and only the communication facilities are available at the clients’ office. This kind of VoIP is particularly good for small and medium business organizations. Some of its key advantages include:


• No requirement for Private Branch Exchange information and operating costs. These costs have been already paid by the VoIP provider.


• No need for calling IT department for maintenance and update of the VoIP system. The service provider directly handles them, ensuring peace of mind and fuss free operations. In fact, the provider also changes VoIP features.


• Host services ensure that one can have their VoIP technologies paced with evolvements in the sector. They are easy to install and cheaper on premise solution.

VoIP 2On Premise VoIP

Meant for larger businesses, this kind of VoIP has IT department that installs, maintain and updates one’s VoIP system. PBX has to be installed for the same and current broadband capabilities have to be customized in accordance to the internet speeds that the VoIP system requires. The system seamlessly integrates with communication systems of the organization. Some of its key advantages include:


• Customized VoIP services since the product is installed on premises.


• It helps keep full control of communication systems. On premise VoIP is also cost effective for larger businesses where more calls or other voice over communication systems are handled.

Analog Telephone Adapters

Meant for homes and smaller business, the ATA technology of the Analog Telephone Operator technology connects one’s current IP network and telephone jack. This method is extremely cost effective for those who are looking cheaper alternatives. Some of its advantages include:


• This is the introduction to the VoIP technology, wherein before hosted or on premises option, users can try and understand the whole concept of how VoIP works.


• It offers flat rate traditional services of a phone and makes everything simple and convenient.

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