Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP in short, is a means of digital communication. In the past, analog phone systems involving PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) were in use. However, due to advancements in communication systems, VoIP has taken over homes and offices. While analog phone systems are still in use, VoIP systems are quickly becoming the norm. VoIP phone systems are cheaper to implement and provide more features than an analog system.
However, voice quality is a consistent issue VoIP systems face due to poor internet connections. This is why traditional phone systems are robust and still in use. Despite this, with the current wave of 5G technology, it is expected that VoIP systems will wipe out analog phones.
Requirements for a VoIP phone system
The internet connection available in your house determines the voice quality. This is why a VoIP phone system for residents need to have a minimum bandwidth of 100 Kbps. In a residential setting, you don’t receive too many calls. So for one call, the recommended speeds of 3 Mbps up and down. In addition to this, the hardware requirements for a VoIP service include an IP phone, router, modem, and ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter). You also need a VoIP service provider. Most VoIP service providers offer the ATA device free of cost. However, you need to purchase a router and modem.
Residential VoIP systems are easy to install, so switching over to a VoIP service shouldn’t be a problem. To switch a traditional phone to a VoIP service, an ATA is essential. It is provided by the service provider, free of cost. The ATA is connected to the phone on one side and to the router on the other. It performs two functions. Firstly, it converts the analog signal to a digital signal. Secondly, it establishes a connection between you and the caller/receiver. It also terminates the connection when a call ends.
Advantages of VoIP services
A VoIP phone system for residential can provide you several benefits. These are listed below:
Range of features
A VoIP system offers many features when compared to a traditional phone system. These include call forwarding, do not disturb, conferencing, auto-attendant, call recording, and much more. You can also send and receive faxes. While most of these features are beneficial for businesses, they can come in handy for a home too. If you have a home office, these features can be of use.
International calling through landline is expensive. However, international calling rates with a VoIP system are cheaper. So if you have family members and friends residing in another country, you don’t have to worry about international calling rates.
A VoIP system saves on hardware cost. You don’t need anything other than an ATA device, which is usually provided by the VoIP service provider. Apart from this, the monthly cost of VoIP service is economical. Many service providers offer a Pay as You Go plan, so you only pay for the calls you make.
A service provider may also offer a softphone, which is a software or an app installed on a smartphone. This way you can conduct calls from anyplace and at any time you want, as long as you have an internet connection. A softphone offers convenience to the user so that you can attend calls on the go. If you use a softphone, you save on additional costs because you do not need hardware.
Many users do not want to change their number when switching over to VoIP services. The good news is that you don’t have to. VoIP service providers allow you to port your number to their services. You can use your existing number while availing the services offered.
VoIP features provide an additional layer of security. Features such as blacklisting and call rejection ensure that you don’t receive calls from anonymous and unauthorized callers.
Disadvantages of VoIP
Even though people are switching over to VoIP, the communication system is not without its flaws. When compared with a traditional phone system, a VoIP system has the following disadvantages.
Unreliable voice quality
Because of an unpredictable internet connection, a VoIP system suffers from unreliable voice quality. Various VoIP service providers offer low-bandwidth codecs to deal with this problem.
Latency and jitters
Latency in a VoIP system is caused due to delay in receiving a packet from the source. This results in a delay in the voice.
Analog signals are converted to digital signals and then transformed into packets. Due to a poor internet connection, packet loss can occur. This can cause chunks of data to be lost. Hence, the person on the listening side cannot hear what was said since the voice cuts off unexpectedly.
During a power outage, you cannot use a VoIP phone system. For a business, this may cause issues. To avoid this problem, you need an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to receive calls 24/7.
If you are planning to switch to a VoIP service, AxVoice is the best residential VoIP service you will find. It offers more than 30 features for incoming and outgoing calls. Moreover, it is the most economical VoIP plans for residential.
When you purchase a VoIP subscription plan, voice quality is a primary concern. Although internet speed is the main factor in this, AxVoice offers multiple codecs so that there is no compromise on voice quality. In the case of a faulty internet connection, data is compressed to another codec. Moreover, the service provider offers different subscription plans, in keeping with the needs of different customers. This ensures that you only pay for the calls you make. AxVoice offers a web-based account for users as well so you can manage incoming and outgoing calls effectively.
In addition to offering VoIP services for home, AxVoice also provides services for home offices, small-scale, and medium-scale businesses. The best thing is that you do not require additional hardware to switch over to the service offered by AxVoice.
The features offered by AxVoice are divided as follows:
Outbound Call Features
For outgoing calls, users can experience three-way calling by adding another member. The call is not dropped even if the member leaves the call. Other features include blocking callers based on ID or international calling, E911 support, music on hold, alternate caller ID, etc. The alternate caller ID feature allows you to keep multiple phone lines, using one account. You don’t have to set up different phones for multiple phone lines. This feature is essential for a home-based business.
In addition to these features, the service provider offers various codecs such as G.729, GSM, G.711u, and G.711a. In the case of a low-bandwidth, the connection switches to a low-bandwidth codec such as the ones mentioned above. This ensures that the call stays connected and that you can have a proper conversation. Instead of dialing the 10- or 11-digits in a phone number, you can dial the 7-digit number by skipping the area and the country codes.
Incoming Call Features
These features allow you to handle incoming calls efficiently. Features such as do not disturb, call filter, simultaneous ring, and distinctive ring allow you to attend calls that are important to you. With the do not disturb feature, you can redirect calls to your voicemail when you are unable to pick a call. You can also filter calls by redirecting them to your AxVoice line. For each number you add to AxVoice, you have unique ringtones, so you know on which number you received a call. Furthermore, you can receive multiple calls on a line and switch between them without hanging up. If you want to block specific numbers, simply add them to a blacklist. You can prevent incoming calls from an unknown number by automatically rejecting them.
Call Forwarding Features
You don’t have to worry about missing an urgent call because the Find Me Follow Me feature redirects calls to the number you specify. In the case you are out of the house, you can redirect calls from the existing number to a different number. You can also switch the calls back to your original number.
The advanced features are perfect for a small office or a home office (SOHO). With these features, you can keep track of phone calls by viewing call logs. You can also check voicemails from your AxVoice web-based account. In addition to this, you have the option of softphone support. By downloading softphone software, you can receive and make calls using your smartphone. If you have friends and family using AxVoice, you can make free and unlimited calls to them.
These features are optional and depend on the user. You can add virtual numbers and toll-free numbers to your AxVoice account. A virtual number can be from any area code you specify. However, you need to pay a small amount for this. The prices are listed in the following section.
AxVoice offers 3 subscription plans for its residential VoIP service:
- Unlimited calls to anywhere in the US and Canada
- Equipment is included
- 200 minutes to anywhere in the US and Canada
- Equipment is included
- Free incoming minutes
Pay as You Go
- Call at 1.5c/minute to anywhere in the US and Canada
- Equipment is included
- Free incoming call
The optional features, including virtual and toll-free numbers, have an additional amount. These are listed as follows:
- $3.99/month, 4.99 cents per minute in the US
- $5.99/month, 4.99 cents per minute in the US and Canada
For a residential home, a VoIP phone system offers many benefits. It provides a range of features and is cheaper when compared with a traditional phone system. However, due to limitations of current technology, VoIP systems have not replaced landlines. But as improvements in internet speeds and communication systems, VoIP will soon takeover landlines.