When configuring a phone system for business, there are two types of VoIP that are available. One type is VoIP incoming lines from an Internet telephone service provider. This provides your telephone service via the internet. If your internet connection goes down you will also lose your telephone service to the outside world. The other is VoIP Extensions connected to a phone system via your existing computer network or as explained below via the internet.
Telephone service connected through the internet can be buggy if you have a poor internet connection. The call quality will suffer and as explained earlier if your internet connection goes down you will lose all connection to the outside world. Also be careful as we have heard numerous complaints about Hosted IP Service. The most common complaint is you have no call appearance. For example, since multiple line phones first came out, a receptionist would answer a phone call, the caller would ask for "Joey", the receptionist would place the caller on hold, and yell out "Hey Joey line one", then Joey would go to the nearest phone, press the line one button, and answer the phone call. This feature may not be available on Hosted IP Services. Instead of placing a caller on hold, you would have to park the call by dialing a code on the dial pad of the phone and Joey would also have to dial the same code to answer the phone call. This makes the phone harder and more confusing to use, especially if you have to train new employees. Also you will have to purchase costly phones that are not usable for anything but VoIP, and you have to sign a contract for a year or years.
Regarding VoIP Extensions connected to a phone system through your computer network. Depending on your budget the only way the cost of VoIP extensions are going to be cost effective, is if you need to have telephones connected to your phone system in off-site locations, like a second small office, at a home, or home office. This can be achieved affordably using affordable digital phones in the office and using VoIP Extensions in the offsite location.
Which ever scenario you use you need a high speed internet connection with good upload and download speed or you will experience poor call quality. When connecting offsite phones to your phone system via the internet using VoIP, it is best to use what is known as a VPN connection (Virtual Private Network). If a VPN connection is not used, you run the risk of being hacked, as you will have open ports to your computer network. What usually happens is a Bot searches the internet for open ports on your network, once the Bot finds the open ports, it then floods your network with computer packets slowing the phone system and your computer network to a complete stop. The way to cure this problem is to log on to your router and close the open ports.
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Hosted IP is the service provider has the phone system equipment on their site.
ITSP (Internet Service Provider) is phone service provided via the internet.
Offsite Locations is what is know as location such as a second office, a home office, or a home miles away or on the other side of the globe.
VoIP Extensions are phones connected to a phone system or a switch via a computer network or the internet.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is phones connected via a computer network or over the internet.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is connecting two or multiple locations via an internet connection together for transmitting voice and data securely.