Compare Business Phone Systems: A Look At Internet Lines Vs Traditional Lines And More

Efficient, cost-effective communication service is vital to a successful business. As business owners compare business phone systems, they find that new technology has welcomed alternatives to land lines. Internet lines offer many benefits over traditional ones, including a free business phone number. Seamless extension dialing between all locations on a private network, or even over a public computer, is typically much easier and less expensive. All offices can be connected together to serve as one large office, no matter how far apart they appear on a map. This new technology has started a communications revolution.

Various Types Of Internet Lines

The simplest and most common type of internet line is through an analog telephone adaptor (ATA), which allows a standard telephone to be connected to a computer or internet connection. It converts analog signals to digital ones by using the analog signal from a traditional telephone and transforming it into digital data to be transmitted over the internet. Most ATAs don’t require much set up, and can be easily done by the person who ordered it.

An internet telephone appears just like a regular version with a handset, cradle, and buttons. However, rather than utilizing the standard RJ-11 connectors, this option has an RJ-45 Ethernet connector. They connect directly to a router and contain all the hardware and software necessary to receive and make calls.

The last system only requires a computer, software, speakers, a sound card, and an internet connection. This ‘computer-to-computer connection’ makes a call through one computer to another, no matter the distance.

Telecommuting Employees Stay Connected

Along with providing a free business phone number, this type of system simply and inexpensively connects home-based workers to the main office. A telecommuting worker can directly connect to the office phone system via a high speed connection, such as a direct service line or cable internet. By having a telephone from the office at home connected to the internet, set up is complete.

Another option is for the employee to use a ‘soft phone’, software on their computer at home that operates like a telephone. The physical telephone, located anywhere in the world, becomes one of the communication points in the office system, including all the individual settings that worker has saved on their telephone at the office. When someone calls the office, the call automatically rings at the staff member’s home without the caller having any idea that the individual they are calling isn’t at the office.

Compare Business Phone Systems To Save Money

To compare business phone systems, getting a free business phone number and saving money must be listed as the major benefits. With an internet line, the cost of a home telephone is eliminated by sending calls over the internet instead of over the phone network. When a call is made through this type of connection, the voice is converted to a data stream that’s transferred over a broadband network. This service provides a free business phone number and doesn’t limit who can be called. Despite what some may think, a user isn’t restricted to sit in front of a computer to make phone calls. All systems include wireless handsets that work like cordless home telephones.

Long distance charges become obsolete with this setup. Local and national calls are usually all included in the monthly fee. Also, international calls don’t always incur additional charges, based on the provider and plan. Most come with additional features for no extra costs. Caller ID, call-blocking, three-way calling, and voicemail boxes that send e-mail alerts when you have a message waiting are just some of the included features.

Stay Connected While Traveling

With internet lines, traveling employees and managers can stay connected to the office by using the soft telephone on their laptop. Compare business phone systems to find that this feature is not available with land lines. The ability to be located anywhere in the world and receive calls just like you’re in the office is a big plus. A regular office telephone can even be added to the suitcase and set up on the traveler’s internet connection. This arrangement allows all of the employee’s settings and preset numbers to still be intact while on the other side of the world.

Don’t Skimp on a Phone System for Business

When choosing a business phone system, remember the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. If you put in the effort to start and grow your business, cutting back and using a free phone service will only cause you problems.

So you have a growing company, and you currently pay very little for your phone calls because you are using a free service. It might seem like a good idea now but what about as your business grows? Do you want people to continue to view your business as a one man shop? If not, then you need to upgrade to a professional phone system. And with all the inexpensive VoIP hosted PBX options out there (telecom in the cloud) you not only set yourself up as a professional business but are ready for growth.

VoIP hosted PBX systems normally offer many features that free phone systems do not offer like: call queues, call reporting, call recording, and transcribed voicemails (voicemail to text).

Now, don’t get me wrong, those free phone systems a lot of fans who rave about the features it gives them. But, it’s simply not a professional phone system that any size business should utilize for their day to day operations.

Here are the reasons why you should NOT use a free phone system as a business phone system:

1. It Isn’t a Phone System

No admin login, no separate user logins, no call reporting, no call queues, no unlimited phone numbers, no toll free numbers, no logs for different users, no logs for different numbers, no e911, no dial by name directory, no web faxing, no music on hold etc. etc. It’s just NOT a phone system.

But… if you need more reasons:

2. Most free phone systems are not Based on SIP (Session Internet Protocol) and therefore Lacks Features

Systems that use SIP have many advantages over a POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) in that they can utilize many of the programmable features that only calls sent over SIP can provide. As an example, Asterisk is a programming language based on SIP and is constantly coming out with new features for VoIP providers. Asterisk is an open source software and therefore available for free. Some of the features free services are lacking that a business will need include: Call Queues, Conference Bridges with a Pin Number and email reminders, Call Reports, Administration and User level logins for managing lines/extensions, web faxing, a dial by name directory, music on hold, e911, and much, much more.

3. You Cannot Use Free Services on a Soft Phone

Since most free phone systems are not based on SIP, users of the system cannot use a SIP based client like a soft phone. Soft phones are software programs that run on a computer that enable users to make/receive calls over the internet. An example of a soft phone is Skype. Soft Phones are used by many companies for call centers and in place of a company phone. Soft phones are free to start and then can cost a small one-time cost for a lot of extra features. One company that sells soft phones is Counterpath.

4. Most Free Phone Systems Only Offer One Local Number

With most of these free phone services you are only given one local number. With the advent of VoIP, businesses can finally get local business numbers for any location in the U.S. without having to have a physical location there. So, many businesses are seeing the benefit of maintaining multiple local phone numbers. For example, if your business is located in Austin, Texas but you have vendors in New Orleans, Louisiana, you may want to give them a local number that they can call instead of having to make long distance calls or using your toll-free minutes on your toll-free number. If you have a VoIP hosted PBX system, you can purchase as many local numbers from as many local U.S. destinations as you want. And, you can forward these numbers to any location you want including your cell phone, an extension at your business, or your VoIP phone (wherever that might be located).

5. Free Phone Services Usually Do Not Work with Powerful VoIP Phones

Many of the features that are making businesses more successful when using VoIP are only accessible using a VoIP phone. Polycom, for example, has a entire line of VoIP phones used just for conference rooms. There are also phones used by secretaries that show who is on the phone, as well as basic VoIP phones with buttons like ‘hold’, ‘mute’, ‘headsets’, ‘conference’, ‘forward’, ‘Contact Directory’, ‘Call Lists’, ‘Messages’ and much more. And with a VoIP phone, you can use your phone anywhere in the world you have a dedicated internet connection.

6. HD Voice (wideband audio) is Not Available with Free Phone Services

Wideband audio is an audio technology used in telephony. It extends the frequency range of audio signals transmitted over telephone lines, resulting in higher quality speech. With HD, Voice calls sound clear and crisp, almost like the person is standing right next to you. HD Voice is available with most VoIP hosted PBX providers and with most VoIP phone providers but not with free phone services.

7. Free Phone Services – Voicemail to Text Service is Crummy at Best

Perhaps one of the free phone services coolest features is also currently among its weakest. The transcription service can give you some less-than-literal translations. Voicemails may or may not come through perfectly when transcribed to text. “I hope to see you soon” may come through as “I love your friend June.” Ouch.

8. Privacy Can Be An Issue for Free Phone System Users

Preston Gralla of Computer World says “Lost in all the hooplah about the release of — is this disturbing fact: The service will give (Internet Browser Company) — enormous amounts of information about the intimate details of your everyday life, including recordings of your voice mail and possibly your phone calls. Combined with what (Internet Browser Company) — already knows about you, it could mean your privacy is at an end.” Gralla goes on to say: “— will be offered for free. (Internet Browsing Company) —, though, will certainly be looking for ways to make money from it. One of the most obvious ways is via targeted advertising, particularly because the company recently announced that it’s going to figure out new ways to target ads based on your interests. It already does this with — So don’t be surprised to see ad targeted based on who calls you.”

9. Free Phone Services Do Not Offer Phone Support

Okay, this has to be the biggest problem with relying on a free phone service for your companies phone system needs. Have you, or anyone you know, ever been able to actually talk to their support for anything? I doubt it. Go with a provider you can talk to any time since having a working phone system is most likely a crucial factor in your businesses success.

10 Free Phone Services Do Not Look Professional

Bottom line is, when you are trying to get a new customer to trust you, the fact that you are using free phone services instead of paying for a better phone system shows that you just don’t care. You don’t care that your phone calls are possibly being monitored, don’t care that your phone calls are breaking up and sound terrible, and you don’t care about having reliable business telecommunications.

Conclusion

Free phone systems are not meant to be used to run a business’s telecommunications system. The “fun” little features that they tout are just that, fun. They won’t help you run your business more efficiently and in fact will most likely slow you down. I mean who has time to set up different voicemail greetings for different callers when you are trying to run a business?? And do you really need that?? So stick with what works and grow your business without having to worry that your phone system will drag you down. Choose a VoIP hosted PBX system and you can’t go wrong.

Cell Phone Tracking Software

With the today’s technology, locating your loved one or simply someone who is important to you is possible through a cell phone tracking software. Call it spying or stalking but truth is this phone trackers could really come very handy especially in cases of emergencies. Whether you have valid reasons or not for tracking somebody’s mobile phone, fact remains that tracking software is available and hopefully will be put to good use.

There are several alternatives available to track a cell phone, study and decide which one is the most efficient to do the job. First option would be to install GPS tracking to a mobile phone. A GPS chip has to be placed at the back of the mobile unit; it is fairly small and is barely noticeable. As soon as the chip is positioned on the phone, power will be provided by the mobile phone itself. Read the instructions on how to install the GPS trackers to the phone carefully. The program GPS tracking you downloaded on your computer will be the one monitoring the signals. Most cell phone tracking software has to be activated after installation, just follow instruction prompted by the software. The precision of this software varies on the distance of the phone, it could be anywhere from a hundred feet to a couple of miles.

Other cell phone tracking software is available in the internet. Some offer 30 day trial period, giving you enough time for you to decide if it is useful or not. There is software that instantly starts tracking as soon as downloaded.

You probably have tons of queries about the cell phone tracking software and its capabilities. Mobile phones have to have a GPS feature for the software to work. Aside from tracking the mobile of a particular person, it can also be useful for photos and videos sharing with family and friends. Different cell phone tracking software can be downloaded for free, some requires license key activation which means you will have to pay for it and there are some that doesn’t cost anything. Before you proceed, make sure that your mobile phone matches the software. The software you will need depends on the operating system your unit requires; it could be Symbian or Android platform. Be aware of those important details.

The GPS cell phone tracking software is considered the best primarily because of the use of the satellites. This particular application is known for its correct and exact information with regards to the position and whereabouts of the cell phone device being monitored.

There are software programs who is said to be impossible to detect while monitoring information about the other person. Aside from the location trackers by GPS, this program’s added features are full access to the phone’s events, SMS text messages, both sent and received, web browsers and call logs. Read the comments and check the positive and negative feedbacks from people who have experienced using the particular cell phone tracking software would be helpful in making a choice. Be certain about the program you choose to download, there are several bogus programs going around the internet. Choose wisely.

Key Benefits of VOIP Phone Systems for Your Business

The advancement in technologies has certainly provided much greater functionalities than the traditional methods. These improvements have increased the productivity of the business organizations, by enhancing customer services with simple cost-effective solutions. One of the wonderful blessings of information technology for the development of business organizations is the use of VOIP business phone systems. With the help VOIP phone systems, you can have seamless extension dialing between all your business locations on your own private network. You can also avail the benefits of hosted VOIP on the public Internet, which is comparatively easy and much more cost-effective than traditional methods.

With the help of hosted VOIP phone systems, all the branches of your office can be tied together to act as one large office irrespective of their locations. No matter where in the world your office is located, you can have contact with them without bearing the expense of long distance charges between your locations.

With the help of VOIP business phone systems you can efficiently connect all your home-based workers. The wide technological options of VOIP will allow you to economically connect all your workers to your office phone system with a high speed connection such as DSL or cable internet. All you have to do is to connect your phone with a internet connection or install a soft phone named software on the systems of the workers at home that exactly functions like a telephone. This software will allow your workers to connect with your office from anywhere in the world.

VOIP phone systems are not only an economical option for connecting home-based workers, but are also an effective way to connect remote workers. If your business organization has workers that need to travel for working purposes, then VOIP is certainly the best way to connect them to office while they are traveling. Through soft phone software on the system of your remote employee, he/she can contact the office. All the employee has to do is plug a handset into a USB port of the system, which will act just like the handset on your phone at the office.

With the help of this, you will be able to receive and make calls through software just like on your traditional phone at the office. The advantage of having VOIP business phone systems is that, it allows you to make calls just like conventional phone, but the person you call or calls you won’t know where you are located. If you are going away from your business organization for an extended period of time, then setting up a VOIP phone is an ideal way for you to connect with your employees easily and economically. This will allow you to keep track of your business operations, in spite of the fact that you are not physically present in your office.