VoIP phone services: – With the rapid growth of VoIP phone services, free VoIP software and applications are available that let you make and receive calls over the internet, including video calls. We use some of the best free VoIP services on the market on a daily basis, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, Google Duo, and Hangouts.
You can still use the above-mentioned free VoIP services if you run a small online-based business, but the main question is if they are enough to meet your communication needs. Would you be better off with a reasonably priced IP phone system that offers more features, or would you be better off with free VoIP phone services?
Let’s find out what you get with the existing free VoIP phone services before answering that question.
Advantages of Free VoIP Services : –
Anyone can Sign Up
Stay connected with free VoIP services
Anyone can get a free VoIP service because it is so simple. You can Google them or download and register for a free VoIP service through your phone’s app store with so many options.
You usually only need a valid email address or a Facebook or Twitter account to create an account. After completing simple registration and general verification and validation steps, you can begin making VoIP calls.
Most free VoIP services include personal and group chat, easy sharing options, and other features. Using these messaging options and applications, you can share links, photos, video calls, and files with other people personally or in a group chat.
Stay Connected Virtually
Video calls using free IP services
You can make video calls with most, if not all, free VoIP services. Facebook Messenger, Skype, and other free VoIP services make and receive video calls over the internet using the camera, speaker, and microphone on your laptop or phone. That’s something you can’t do with a traditional landline.
Group video calls
Conferee calling and video conferencing are both supported by these free VoIP applications. If you need to make VoIP calls for more than one party, free VoIP services can help.
To use a conference call, create a group and start a call from there. Instead of a regular group voice VoIP call, upgrade to a video conference. It’s a practical solution for people who can’t be in the same room but need to communicate.
Limitations of Free VoIP Services
Limitations of free VoIP apps
There are always some limitations with free VoIP apps, and for businesses, these limitations are significant because they make apps an unsuitable long-term replacement for traditional landlines.
Use the Same VoIP App
Use the same VoIP app
The main drawback of these free VoIP apps is that they only work when both the caller and the receiver use the same VoIP app. It is inconvenient, especially if you need to call prospects or customers who don’t use the same apps.
Users of the Viber app, for example, cannot call WhatsApp users and vice versa unless they have both apps installed.
Can’t Dial Phone Numbers for Free
You can’t dial phone numbers for free
Most of these services can only make calls from within the app, not to call phone numbers directly. Free VoIP apps like Viber and Skype have that feature, but you’ll need to buy call minutes to use it which means that VoIP services will be no longer free.
Can’t Get Phone Number for Free
You can’t get phone numbers for free with free VoIP services
Another disadvantage of the free VoIP app is that it does not link a phone number to the VoIP service. There is no way to make calls from landlines to free VoIP apps unless you are willing to pay. If you pay a fee, Skype will assign you a temporary phone number from various countries, which negates the free aspect of the service.
Highly Dependent on the Internet Quality
Highly dependent on the internet quality
Both paid and free VoIP services require an internet connection to function. Still, the quality of calls made using a free VoIP app is more easily influenced by the internet connection quality used by the caller and the person being called.
Paid versions, including one geared toward businesses, require less internet bandwidth to make a high-quality call. This is because it compresses your voice with high-quality codecs.
Consider this: putting your documents in a zip file makes it easier to send them via email because the codec compresses your voice into a smaller file size, allowing it to travel fast via the internet.
VoIP providers for businesses check the speed and quality of your company’s internet connection to see if it can handle VoIP calls before signing you up as a customer. The providers also use quality of service routers, which prioritize internal phone calls over other internet traffic.
No E-911 Feature
You can give the service a phone number, but it will not reflect your actual area code. That is, you can use a phone number to make it appear as if you are from a specific state or even country without actually being there.
As a result, federal law requires business VoIP providers to register the VoIP customer’s address. First responders will know where to send help during an emergency if the VoIP user’s address is registered. Furthermore, because it only works within the app’s network of users and has no business phone numbers, it cannot call 911 in an emergency, which is a significant disadvantage.
Do You Need Free VoIP Service?
Whether or not you require free VoIP service is determined by the purpose you intend to use VoIP. If all you need is a free service that allows you to stay in touch with loved ones, a free VoIP service will suffice.
Free VoIP services may not be adequate if you need a home phone to replace your traditional phone or landline because they do not allow you to communicate with people who do not use the same service app. Landline phones and other VoIP apps will not work, so opt for a residential VoIP service designed to mimic general landline functions at a lower cost.
Neither a free VoIP service nor a residential VoIP service will suffice to handle the large number of phone calls that businesses will have to handle. Consider investing in an advanced VoIP-based business phone system with advanced call management features to ensure that your company does not miss any calls.
Do you want to learn more about what a cloud-based contact center solution can do for your company? Why not give Free PBX‘s VoIP softphone for Android a try? Avaaz PBX, the all-in-one solution for all your business needs, will streamline communication for businesses of all sizes in any industry.