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    14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2010 4:05 AM by Wholesalers

    VoIP phone system or regular?

    playaction Wayfarer
      Hi all
      Does anyone have any experience with VoIP business phone systems? I use a virtualPBX right now for my call routing, however we are getting ready to move into a real office and I was thinking about going with a VoIP system rather than the traditional phone lines. Any comments? Pro's/Con's?

      I'm only going to need 2 lines and 4 extensions at first, but will be expanding. Another thing I am looking into is that since I will be installing a T1 line for my internet connection, what options would I have there (I'm assuming voip, but I am a newbie at voip so any help is appreciated!!

        • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
          Bridge Navigator
          I work out of a home office and use Voip. We use a virtualPBX for remote employees.

          That said, if your business depends on calls and you will be in an office, I would use hard lines.

          Just my opinion.

          • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
            amspcs Ranger
            I have replaced a much more costly traditional business land line with a Vonage line. I did it'
            hesitantly since I have heard from some people who went VoIP, hated it, and switched back.
            Personally, I have no problem with it. The features are great, the cost saving is exceptional, and
            to boot I can now make calls to Canada without getting fleeced. I must admit the voice quality isn't always
            100% up to par with a land line, but it is more than acceptable.

            Cons: I don't think it will work with either our fax or alarm setup. Plus, as anyone with internet connection knows, there IS occasional down time (but there are buttons and whistles included that largly resolve these issues). For these reasons, we still maintain a land-line phone as well.

            I can't comment on multi-line Merlin and similar setups since I have no knowledge on that subject.
            Beyond that, I am a fan of VoIP.
            • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
              JulianaNKcpa Wayfarer

              I am not sure of the call volume for your business. I am using MagicJack. It has eliminated my long distance cost altogether.

              Check their site at

              For $20.00 a year and a DSL line ( depeneding on the area you live you can get a dsl without a phone line cost) you should have no problem with the voice quality. The only issue I have is not to use my audio while I am on the phone and everything is ok.

              I can call Canada and all USA for free(just $20 per year)

              For the fax, try - I have a dedicated 800# for my fax and i the fax comes as an attachment to my email from regular fax lines from my clients.

              I can also fax out by scanning the documents and sending it out through their control panel( very easy to do). The simplify fax line is about $13.95 per month(unlimited in/out fax).

              Just my opinion, others may have other opinions.

              Wishing you much Sucess.

              • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                LivinIT Newbie
                We use (and resell) a hosted VoIP service. I have done a lot of research and tried several vendors until settling with our current provider. With hosted VoIP, you only need to buy the phones and a router; no server or expensive software required. The service we use offers many features. Some of the most useful features is the integration with Microsoft Outlook. From my computer, I just select a contact and click call 'office' or 'mobile'. Also, when a call comes in, a pop-up recognizes the call from my Outlook contacts and I can choose to answer the call, divert it to voicemail, and open or create a contact record. I can also configure the system to simultaneously call multiple numbers, such as my cell phone, so that I never miss a call. Another great feature is the Remote setting. With this setting, I can place calls from a phone that I specify and the call will be placed using my VoIP number, so that it will appear that I'm calling from the office. With hosted VoIP, remote or home office workers can be tied into your office phone system. Of course, all the traditional features are available such as conference calling, hunt groups, auto-attendant, music on hold, to name a few. Also, depending on the provider you select, you can get free long distance with your monthly plan. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

                Hope this helps,

                • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                  ComTech Newbie
                  We use a Cisco Unified Communication solution for our small business. We have a few IP phones and 4 SIP VOIP trunks. I like the system because it gives us full PBX and unified communication in on box. It has auto-attendant feature which allows us to record prompts so that the caller can get to the person they need to talk to (we do not have a receptionist yet). I can VPN to my office from my laptop and use a softphone loaded on my laptop to make/receive calls just as if i was there. We also have cameras at every computer so we can video conference if necessary. Our phone system also integrates with our computer system so we get an e-mail of each voicemail that is left on the system. We can also right-click on a contact on our outlook contacts or any number and start a call on our phone. The system is so flexible and has so much potential. If we desired we could add special applications that integrate with the phones such as recording calls, time card management, patient management for doctors offices, etc.. There was an initial investment but the total cost of ownership is much cheaper than paying a phone company to provide those features. Plus the system is ours and it will grow with us. I am out of the office a lot and this system allows me to take my office with me.

                  Terran Jones
                  • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                    DomainDiva Ranger
                    Contact Best Buy for Business and get set up with SpeakEasy, absolutely the best service there is.
                    • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                      hongtian Wayfarer
                      I would like to suggest you to try miniSipServer. It is a VOIP server for windows platform and it is very easy.

                      There is a simple document to guide how to establish a voip network for small business.

                      • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                        nealdbert Wayfarer
                        The choice between a traditional phone system and a VoIP phone system comes down to price and features. While I think price is important, the features offered by the system will have a tremendous impact on how you business functions. The telephone is the primary means most business communicate with their customer's, vendor'ss and internally. You phone system has to allow your employees to communicate easily and effectively.

                        Voice quality and reliability of service are a must, if these are not there, don't even consider a specific service no matter how cheap the price is. Without top quality voice and reliability, I would not even use a free service.

                        You need to take an inventory of your specific telecommunications needs. Ask yourself, if money were no object, what features would I want in a phone system? For example, you may have a company made up of people working out of a main office and home offices, in this case you would want a phone system that could in incorporate the home based employees into your primary phone system. Or, you may have tech support people in several locations spread out across the US and you would like to bring them under a single phone system. Or, you have several separate businesses that operate out of a single office location and you would like a single phone system for all business but create separate phone systems for each of your businesses.

                        VoIP makes all of these things possible at a price point that even a small business owner can afford. Another really important feature if you do choose VoIP is the customer service of the VoIP Provider. This cannot be over emphasized enough. Most small and medium sized companies do not have an on-site telecommunications department and will therefore need to rely heavily on the Business VoIP Provider. Even if the VoIP Provider offers a great Web Interface that allows you to manage your system, you still are going to rely heavily on the Business VoIP Provider unless you want to spend a lot of time learning about their VoIP system.

                        Conclusion, VoIP is definitely the way to go for a small business, but you need to do your home work up front because it is a real pain to switch companies.
                        • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                          willisgrn83 Newbie
                          Thank you so much for the post. It's really useful.

                          <a href="">telephone system</a><br>
                          <a href="">voip system</a>
                            • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                              famhtech Newbie
                              As a field engineering service company that services all types of phone systems, From a repair standpoint... ( cost is also an issue depending on the size of your company)

                              We have many more calls to repair hard lines and PBX systems than we to VOIP>
                              Once we install VOIP the main issue seems to be with training the end users .. ( operator error)

                              Cost to maintain would appear to be higher with PBX.
                              Features are good on VOIP, main issue being the limitation of your router and cabling....
                              Cat6 needs to be ran and you need the fastest router/switch combination you can afford..

                              VOIP is also awesome for all the reasons listed above..

                              Bad news.... If the router or switch goes down, EVERYTHING in your office goes down...
                              As long as you keep your IT closet cool and dust limited, have battery backups for all your equipment and a dial out backup system for your ISP circuit ( in case it goes down) you'll be u p 24 - 7

                              Hope this helps...
                            • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                              mturner Newbie
                              VOIP is the way to go.

                              Pots also refered to as plain old telephone service is way over priced and the quality is not as good as VOIP.
                              Avoid vontage like the plague and stick to a smaller VOIP provider, preferable a company that is local to you.

                              A good way to find determine if the VOIP provider you choose is going to meet your expectations with quality customer servicer or support is to simply call their tech support and see if you are routed to India and are put on hold forever.
                              Simple put. Make sure the customer serrvice is good before you sign up.

                              Whats really nice about VOIP are all the additional features and not being nickel and dimed to death for long distance calls.

                              Hope this helps.

                              • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                                DataAnalyzer Newbie
                                It really depends on your budget, the call volume and the need for reliability.

                                The pros:
                                • VoIP is usually more cost efficient
                                • VoIP provides you with more flexibility
                                • Once it has been setup its easy to manage, compared to an PBX system
                                The cons:

                                • VoIP is not as reliable as traditional phone systems
                                • If your Internet goes down, then so will your phone service
                                • If you do not have QoS in place then VoIP and your computer could be fighting over internet bandwith, leading to slow internet access or downloads on the computer or bad quality on your phone lines

                                FYI, We use a VoIP system for our office and we also have a regular phone line as backup.


                                Best regards,
                                • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?

                                  The VOIP phone system is great opiton for small business, if you would like to use a Skype PBX phone system as your primary phone line, you may check out
                                  • Re: VoIP phone system or regular?
                                    Wholesalers Wayfarer
                                    VOIP is a better option than the regular specially for the business most of the business are having benefits of VOIP