10 Things You Can’t Do With VoIP
If you’ve been considering switching your phone service to a voice over IP service provider, you have undoubtedly heard all the different things you can accomplish with a VoIP connection. What you may not have heard is what you CAN’T do with a VoIP. In spite of all the advantages, there are a few things that still cannot be accomplished through VoIP.
- Talk without an internet connection. IP stands for Internet Protocol. So, you must have an internet connection in order to use the VoIP phone services. Therefore, even if the phone service itself were totally free, you still have the cost of the internet connection. In addition, if your internet service goes down for any reason, you have also lost your VoIP phone service as well.
- Talk when the power is out. You need electrical power to run your computer and you need it to power your router. When you lose power in your home and a VoIP phone is the only phone you have, your phone service will be out until your power is restored.
- Provide an accurate location to 911. This is a problem that is gradually being addressed by VoIP service providers. With a traditional analog service, a 911 call can be tracked to the location where the call originated and send your call to the 911 operator in your area. Since VoIP calls are being directed over the internet, a 911 operator from a totally different location in another part of the country may answer your emergency phone call.
- Use your standard analog phone without additional hardware. VoIP does not operate through your regular phone lines. Therefore, to use a standard analog phone with a VoIP service you must have a converter that connects your phone set to your computer. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on your provider, but the additional hardware cannot be avoided.
- Connect to a traditional fax machine. Actually this can be done, it just isn’t very effective and could cause you plenty of frustration as you attempt to send a fax through your VoIP connection. The issue involves the different type of data that a typical fax machine is trying to send and the difficulty in converting that data to a digital format. Scanning documents and saving them as pdf files for transmission is a better option.
- Transfer your phone number from your DSL provider. If your internet connection comes from a DSL provider, you will need to keep your phone number with that provider in order to continue receiving your internet service through them. This would be one of the situations where you would not be able to use your current phone number as your VoIP number.
- Call anywhere in the world for free. If you have gotten the impression from some of the VoIP advertising that you can call anywhere in the world for free, you are mistaken. It is true that most of these services do provide international calling as part of their service package. However, each of the service providers delivers service to only a limited number of countries and not every country in the world.
- Quickly switch your business phone system to VoIP. Business phone systems can be converted to VoIP systems to save money just like residential phones can be. Doing it quickly and simply may not be an accurate description though. Your current phone system and internal computer network would need to be analyzed to determine what all would be needed to make the conversion. What you currently have in place would make a big difference on just how complicated or uncomplicated the conversion would be.
- Use VoIP with a dialup connection. This would defeat the whole purpose of a VoIP connection. The point of a VoIP connection is to eliminate the cost of a phone line. You can’t do that if your internet is accessed through a dialup connection. In addition the bandwidth provided through a dialup connection is not adequate for the needs of a VoIP service.
- Control the weather. Even with the list above, it is easy to see that there aren’t many things that Voice over IP services can’t do. They are definitely quickly replacing traditional phone service providers. There was hope that they would be the answer to all problems, including inclement weather, however that has not been the case. Mother Nature remains on the lose.
Not all VoIP services are the same, so you must compare closely before making a choice and keep in mind the list above. There are a few disadvantages to a VoIP phone services, but most of those issues can be worked around with a little thought and planning.