VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) isn’t new, with one of the earliest releases being Skype way back in 2003. Fast forward two decades and a large number of VoIP options and providers now exist. More and more small businesses are getting VoIP systems installed, both for the huge range of features they offer but also because traditional landlines will soon not work. Zoom and Facebook messenger also use VoIP.
What is VoIP and how does it work?
VoIP phones basically use the internet (instead of copper wires) to digitally transmit sound when you make and receive a phone call. Sound is essentially sent down fibre optic cables in ‘packets’ offering much better sound quality.
Who can use VoIP?
Businesses and individuals can use VoIP to make and receive voice and video calls over the internet. When you switch to a bOnline VoIP phone system you can even keep your number. You can also access your VoIP system from anywhere in the world as it’s completely cloud-based. All you need is an internet connection. This is ideal for businesses in particular as you never need to miss a customer or supplier call again.
Getting your VoIP phone set up
VoIP is really easy to set up and doesn’t require any specific technical knowledge - it just needs a reliable broadband connection (fibre is best if possible). If you’re running a business, even from home, then business broadband is also highly recommended for bandwidth. But generally it’s pretty much “plug and play”.
There’s all sorts of information about things like bandwidth, assigning phones to new users and how to configure your broadband router in our online help centre.
Don’t forget, you can also access your VoIP phone system from any internet-connected device. This could be your laptop or PC, your phone or a tablet. All you need to do is log in with your username and password.
How do I choose the right VoIP provider?
There’s a large number of VoIP providers out there, so choosing one might feel a bit daunting. Some (like us at bOnline!) specialise in working with small businesses, whilst others work more with larger businesses or private households. The pricing and features each VoIP package comes with will also vary, so it’s well worth doing your homework. This is where signing up for one of our 7 day free trials can be really helpful so you can try it out before committing.
An important step here is in understanding what features you really need. This varies a lot from business to business. For example, our prices start from just £6+VAT per month, which includes things like video calling, call divert, call analytics and hold music. However you can also add extras like international calling for an additional £5 a month.
You may also have your own fibre internet connection set up already, or want to sign up for our unlimited business fibre instead. You can also discuss with our team whether you’re happy to simply access your VoIP system on your existing internet-connected device - like your mobile phone or tablet - or whether you’d also like to have a physical VoIP phone to use too.
Essentially, it’s about balancing features and needs with cost. bOnline is proud to have won a range of awards for the quality of our products, matched against some of the lowest prices around.
You can read up on the features our VoIP systems offer on our VoIP phone systems page.
Where can I get help if I need it when setting up my VoIP phone system?
Although VoIP systems have been around for quite some time now, making the switch can be a little daunting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sole trader working by yourself or a bigger company looking for something new. And of course, with the 2025 landline switch off coming, VoIP is something individuals will also need to be clued up on.
The good news however is that when you sign up with bOnline we can make the switch for you remotely - quickly and easily and with no downtime. In fact, many of our customers have been switched over either on the same day as signing up, or the following day.
If you have any questions or issues at all, you may well find the answer in our help section. Alternatively, feel free to call us on 0203 617 9950.