Compared with traditional telephones, VoIP not only has an advantage in price, but also has more complete functions. Now more and more enterprises are considering switching to VoIP. This article describes how to set up VoIP, reduce upfront costs, and get the most out of your VoIP phone system.
- 1 How is a Voice over Internet Protocol VoIP phone different from an analog phone?
- 2 1) Test Network and Internet Connection
- 3 2) Choose the right VoIP hardware
- 4 3) Find the Right VoIP Provider
- 5 4) Get a business phone number
- 6 5) Set up the VoIP phone system
- 7 6) Test the new VoIP line
- 8 7) Train staff to take full advantage of VoIP capabilities
- 9 Easily set up VoIP
What is the difference between a VoIP phone and an analog phone?
Analog phones are connected directly to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) through a dedicated landline, the phone is facilitated by the local telephone company and actually needs to be connected directly to the telephone jack.
IP phones connect to the telephone network through the Internet through a VoIP provider, convert the audio into data packets and transmit them using Internet Protocol (IP). The provider's data center then converts the signals to analog and transmits them to the PSTN.
- Cable Modem
- Computer & Hardware Phones
Since SIP telephony does not require a dedicated landline, it is easier to expand the office with VoIP. Using a traditional phone system, sharing phone service with multiple employees requires a local private branch exchange ( PBX ).
The following discusses how to set up a VoIP phone system.
Learn: how to track a phone number
1) Test Network and Internet Connection
Now the network speed can meet the VoIP requirements, so you don't worry about this. Another factor that affects the quality of VoIP calls is the stability of the connection. Jitter and packet loss are two metrics to check. A wired internet connection such as fiber optic or cable is preferred. Microwaves and other options are too unstable.
And network hardware can also be a bottleneck. If your router or network cannot handle peak traffic, you may experience choppy audio or other issues, such as dropped calls. Wi-Fi works fine in most situations, but a wired connection is better.
Run a VoIP speed test to stress test the network and identify potential issues. This gives a good idea of whether the connection can handle a VoIP installation.
Also, explore configuring Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize VoIP packets and data. This way, voice traffic is put on top of traffic like YouTube or Netflix, ensuring less latency and packet loss.
2) Choose the right VoIP hardware
In recent years, VoIP has become the standard for businesses, so there are now many high-end options on the market.
If you want to get high quality call sound then buy a high end VoIP Desk Phone. If you just need to make and receive calls, there are also cheaper options for these two desk phones.
VoIP headsets are perfect for business calls, moving around on the call, checking customer information, and chatting with your team on the go.
Use a VoIP adapter to keep your old desk phone
Existing office telephone equipment can be used with VoIP. Using an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), switch to VoIP and keep all analog calls. A VoIP adapter works between the phone and the network, digitizing the analog signal.
Since no equipment needs to be replaced, there is no need to train staff, which is one of the clear advantages of VoIP telephony and saves a lot of money and real time.
Use a softphone to minimize hardware costs
Another way to reduce costs is to consider using business phone app instead of desk phones, also known as softphones, which can be downloaded to a computer or smartphone. Because VoIP uses the Internet, there is no need for specialized hardware and no need to install an office phone.
A softphone is a software or mobile app that accepts and makes calls, handling calls like a regular phone. With VoIP service, you can make any call or numbers on your mobile network and efficiently handle calls with just a good quality USB or Bluetooth headset, and also works with any Android or iOS device, so teams can handle business calls from their phone.
3) Find the Right VoIP Provider
A good VoIP provider can help users avoid losing customers due to internal communication errors.
- Advanced Call Routing: Use flexible policies to route incoming calls to available agents in your business.
- auto attendant: Welcome incoming calls with recorded messages and options to help direct them to the correct department.
- call analysis: Access detailed reports showing individual agent and call center performance.
- Incoming call pops up: Automatically display the relevant information of the caller when answering a call.
- Built-in CRM: Support your customers and give your sales team a single view of your customers.
- IVR : Interactive Voice Response uses voice recognition to help customers find the right department and solve simple problems.
- voicemail to text: Receive voicemails via SMS to improve the efficiency of replying to voicemails.
- low cost international calls: Nextiva's international calling rates are as low as $0.01 per minute.
For enterprises, VoIP also provides unified communications and more advanced features, such as call encryption, redundant data centers, and more, which all provide the high reliability and performance needed to scale.
4) Get a business phone number
Local phone numbers are included in various VoIP plans, or you can port over a previous phone number; alternatively, choose a local number or choose a toll-free number.
Phone number type:
- Local phone number:Local phone numbers are ideal for small businesses and corporations with limited market areas. Local numbers are usually free, but can cost up to $10 per month.
- Toll Free Number:Toll free numbers are location independent 800 number, seems more professional and trustworthy to clients. Customers don't pay when they call your support line. The cost of toll-free calls is usually about $10 per month.
- Vanity Numbers:Vanity numbers are often memorable toll-free numbers that spell out specific words, such as 1-800-FLOWERS. These figures typically cost $10-50 per month. To obtain a recognizable number, it may be necessary to purchase a number from a third-party vendor.
Business Phone Number Type:
- Local (area codes)
- Toll-Free ( 800 )
- Vanity (memorable and phone number that describes or includes your business or product)
Keep your existing business number through porting
Number porting is a way of transferring phone numbers from an existing service provider to a new service provider.
Nextiva provides local business phone numbers in all US states, as well as toll-free and virtual phone numbers. If you don't want a new number, you can port it for free and keep your existing phone number without any additional cost.
Three steps to transfer your phone number to Nextiva:
- Choose a business phone plan
- Request a temporary number.
- Fill out the Power of Attorney (LOA): Provide all the necessary details so that their staff can handle the porting process with your previous provider.
Once the process is completed, it is processed within 10-20 business days with prompt notification for an easy and seamless switch to VoIP.
5) Set up the VoIP phone system
Once got provider and hardware, you can complete the setup, depending on the hardware and the number of employees.
How to Set Up a VoIP Desk Phone and Handset
It depends on the model purchased and network settings. Using a standard network switch, the setup process is simple. With Power over Ethernet (PoE), the electrical signal is carried over a single wire—there's no need for an AC adapter.
VoIP desk phone or handset without PoE:
- Plug the AC adapter into the outlet, and then plug it into the phone or handset base.
- Use a CAT5e or CAT6 cable to connect the IP phone to the switch or router.
- Wait for the phone to initialize, then check for a dial tone.
If the router supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), the process is slightly different, but faster.
VoIP desk phone to PoE capable router:
- Use an Ethernet cable to connect the phone to a PoE-capable switch or router. The maximum length is recommended for 328 feet of twisted pair cable.
- Once connected, the phone should turn on and automatically establish a connection with the VoIP provider.
How to Set Up a VoIP Headset
Not all headphones offer one-touch answering. If enabled, you will need a modern one-touch enabled headset connected using an Electronic Hook Switch (EHS) cable.
Wireless VoIP headsets and phones that support EHS cables:
- Plug the AC adapter into the nearest socket and the base of the headset.
- Connect the EHS cable to the base unit of the headset.
- Plug the other end of the desk phone into the headset network port and EHS port.
- Put on the headset and press the call control button to check the connection.
For wired headsets that use a regular phone jack, the process is simpler.
Headphones and Desk Phones with Headphone Jack/Port:
- Use a straight cable to plug the headphone jack into the marked headphone port. Many models mark the headphone port with a small icon on the left.
- Put on the headset and press the call control button to check for dial tone.
- Make a test call to confirm volume and call quality. If the headphone volume is low, you may need an amplifier.
6) Test the new VoIP line
If done correctly, the connection is fast and should not experience any problems.
Things to keep in mind when making calls:
- audio quality: Is the call clear and consistent?
- Delay:Is there a noticeable delay?
- Connection stability:Is it disconnected? Some firewall settings can cause calls to hang up completely after 11 minutes, so test for at least 15-30 minutes.
You should also try to test the line when there is a lot of other network activity. Network congestion can cause all kinds of line problems, from dropped calls to choppy audio and more.
Tip: A wired direct connection is always preferable to using Wi-Fi. To minimize latency and other VoIP issues, choose an Ethernet connection over Wi-Fi. Caller ID can also be confirmed by dialing the Diagnostic Services number at (800) 444-4444.
7) Train staff to take full advantage of VoIP capabilities
For many small businesses, it may be the first time that a meaningful business phone feature is available.
For example, you can integrate telephony directly with CRM, create custom routing policies, forward voicemail to email, transfer calls, record calls in the cloud, and more.
To ensure that employees use these features, it is necessary to set aside time to train the team.
Training is also simple, without having to create your own training materials or presentations, using a library of training videos , user manuals, and online guides.
You can also contact the customer support team if you need one-on-one guidance and assistance with any questions.
Easily set up VoIP
Setting up VoIP with Nextiva is as simple as plugging in the phone. And, simply assign a phone to an employee from the online interface and get to work right away.
Small and medium business VoIP plans start at just $20/user per month and have all the features needed to run a growing business. All plans include unlimited calling in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, perfect for remote Phone System for offices and homes.