Are you looking for a business communication service and considering VoIP? You are in good company. SMBs will grow more than 15% in the VoIP market by 2025. Simply put — plenty of businesses are making the switch. However, many businesses have a lot of questions regarding the performance of VoIP when using different networks like LAN, WAN, and other traditional networks.
Which is better? The answer is that it depends on several factors such as bandwidth, latency, packet loss, and jitter. LAN networks, which are local area networks, are typically faster and have low latency, making them ideal for VoIP. Meanwhile, WAN networks, which are wide-area networks, tend to have higher latency and slower speeds, which could affect the quality of VoIP calls.
Moreover, the performance of VoIP can also be affected by the quality of the network equipment being used. Factors such as the type of router, modem, or adapter being used, can also influence the VoIP call quality. As you can imagine, these are all crucial factors to consider when switching.
Follow along with this VoIP FAQ of sorts as we dive into how VoIP performs when using LAN, WAN, and other networks and what factors impact its performance. Whether you are a business owner looking to invest in VoIP technology or simply curious about the comparison, this article will answer your VoIP FAQs and help you understand the ins and outs of VoIP performance.
How VoIP Works
Have you ever wondered how you can talk to someone on the other side of the world using your computer or smartphone? That is VoIP at work. VoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol," and in simple terms, it allows you to make phone calls over the internet.
When you talk on your phone, the sound waves are turned into digital data, which is transmitted over the internet to the person you are calling. This is possible because the internet is now fast enough to handle real-time voice communication. In a modern-day setting, many people now use VoIP apps like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or WhatsApp to make calls and video calls.
To make VoIP calls, you need a few things:
While the process is quite simple, the quality of VoIP calls can be affected by factors such as the quality and speed of your internet connection, the amount of bandwidth you have available, and the location and equipment of the person you are calling.
So, having a good internet connection and using reliable VoIP providers for the best quality calls (which we willexplore in just a second; stick with us) is important.
Benefits of VoIP
VoIP is quickly becoming the preferred communication method for companies and individuals. Why? Here are some key benefits that make VoIP such an attractive option.
Improved Call Quality
One of the main benefits of VoIP is that it can provide a much clearer and more consistent phone call experience than traditional phone lines. Since VoIP uses digital data packets rather than analog signals, there is less chance of interference or distortion during transmission. This can lead to fewer dropped calls, less background noise, and overall better call clarity.
Another major benefit of VoIP is that it can often be significantly cheaper than traditional phone service. With VoIP, calls are made over the internet rather than through a dedicated phone line, which can result in lower costs for both domestic and international calls.
Additionally, many VoIP providers offer unlimited calling plans or other cost-saving features like call routing and virtual phone numbers.
VoIP can also offer greater flexibility and mobility than traditional phone systems. With VoIP, users can make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection, meaning they can bring their phone number when they travel or work remotely.
Additionally, features like call forwarding, voicemail transcriptions, and conference calls can help make remote work more seamless and connected. This is why they are a top choice for business phone systems
Alternatives to VoIP
While VoIP might be all the rage these days, it is always good to have some options as a business, right? Before exploring how to get the most out of your VoIP calls by choosing the right kind of network, let us explore some alternatives (to ensure you are making the right choice).
So, let us kick things off with an alternative that has been around for quite some time — a regular phone. Yep, good old reliable landlines still hold a special place in many people’s hearts. A landline connection usually comes with an excessive cost, and you do not have to worry about issues like dropped calls or poor call quality. Plus, it does notrequire a high-speed internet connection as VoIP does.
It is however important to note that many home phone services now offered by providers are simply their own VoIPsolution bundled with their other services. The traditional copper phone line is quickly being phased out by providers as the copper infrastructure is expensive to maintain.
Next up, we have mobile networks. With most people owning a smartphone these days, it is unsurprising that mobile networks have become a popular alternative to VoIP. Mobile networks offer great flexibility, allowing you to make calls on the go, but the downside is that you might experience poor call quality and dropped calls in areas with weak signal strength.
Another alternative worth mentioning is satellite networks. Despite being less common than other options, satellite networks can offer a reliable and high-quality connection, even in remote areas where other networks might not be available.
Lastly, we have good old-fashioned email. While email is not exactly a direct replacement for VoIP, it is worth considering as an alternative for certain types of communication. Instead of having a conversation in real-time as you would with VoIP, email allows you to craft your message and carefully respond at your own pace.
VoIP vs. LAN
While the above alternatives work great in a pinch, most businesses need a more robust communication service. However, VoIP only works as well as you allow it, meaning you need to choose the right network, or you will notexperience clear calls and other features you would find on any phone system features checklist.
So, let us explore VoIP vs. LAN, which is the incorrect way to look at it. Many people make the mistake of comparing VoIP and LAN. While LAN is a type of network VoIP can be used, they are not comparable. LAN stands for Local Area Network, which is a network that connects devices within a small geographic area, such as a home, office, or school.
The pros of using LAN for VoIP are that it typically offers higher quality and faster speed than other networks, resulting in better call quality and fewer dropped calls. Additionally, LAN is more secure than WAN (Wide Area Network), which is a network that connects devices over a larger geographic area, such as across cities or even countries.
On the other hand, the cons of using LAN for VoIP are that it may require additional hardware and setup costs, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Also, LAN networks can be less reliable if there is a problem with the hardware or network configuration.
VoIP vs. WAN
When comparing VoIP and WAN, many people also make the mistake of thinking they are the same thing. But the truth is, they are not comparable at all. WAN, or Wide Area Network, is just a type of network that you can use VoIP on.
In fact, a WAN is a network that covers a wide geographical area, like multiple cities or even countries! Its main purpose is to connect and communicate with other LANs (Local Area Networks) and other WANs (Wide Area Network) using the internet.
While WANs are great for connecting people and organizations worldwide, there are pros and cons of using them with VoIP. The good thing about using a WAN with VoIP is that it allows for voice and data traffic to be sent to multiple locations with minimal delay.
However, depending on the quality and reliability of the WAN, it could lead to poor VoIP performance, such as dropped calls or delayed audio. The solution is to use a higher bandwidth connection or implement Quality of Service (QoS) protocols to prioritize VoIP traffic.
So, while WANs and VoIP are incomparable, they can work well together when implemented correctly.
VoIP vs. WAN or VoIP vs. LAN
Let us first define both LAN and WAN.
LAN or Local Area Network is a group of devices connected in one physical location. The network that connects all your computers, printers and phones inside your office would be considered your LAN.
WAN or Wide Area Network is a network that spans wider regions and connects LANs together. Most commonly this is your internet connection.
It is important to understand that VoIP rides on top of both your LAN and WAN infrastructure. When a VoIP system places a call, the audio is transmitted over the network to the other participant in the call. If this is an external caller, that is, you are calling someone outside of your company or location, your audio will be sent over your LAN and WAN. If you are calling within your own location and organization, your audio may be contained to your LAN.
Because these two different networks are the metaphorical roads your calls travel, it is important that they areimplemented to best practice. This can include isolating your voice devices on their own VLAN, implementing QoS (quality of service), ensuring your audio takes the most efficient routes among other things.
Often these conversations around networks and best practices are important in the context of call quality. If the underlying network that your calls are travelling on is not operating efficiently this can drastically impact the way your calls sound and can even cause your calls to drop.
We told you this guide would act as a VoIP FAQ of sorts, and we are here to deliver on that promise! Whenimplementing a VoIP solution in your business, you might have some questions. Here are some of the most common queries and their answers.
Is VoIP reliable?
Yes! VoIP is exceptionally reliable if you have a stable internet connection. It can even be more reliable than traditional phone lines in some cases.
Can I keep my phone number?
Yes! You can keep your current phone number and transfer it to your VoIP provider.
Is VoIP cheaper than traditional phone lines?
Yes! VoIP is typically more affordable than traditional phone lines. It can also save you money on long-distance calls, which are included in most VoIP plans.
Do I need special equipment for VoIP?
You may need special equipment, such as a VoIP phone or an adapter, to use your existing phone. However, many providers offer equipment as a part of their service.
Get a Business Communication Service
Overall, VoIP services have shown great promise regarding enhancing communication in organizations. As you can see (hopefully, from this VoIP FAQ and breakdown), their performance is dependable and can compete with LAN, WAN, and other networks.
Are you ready to make the switch? At BCS (Business Communication Specialists), we are business phone specialists who understand that every organization has unique needs, so we offer VoIP services tailored to your communication needs. Our goal is to improve your organization by providing customized software and hardware to solve communication-related issues.
We care about improving your communication and can help you get set up on a network that enhances your performance. Contact us today and let us show you what we can do!