Whether you work from home or work remotely, VoIP services can make your life so much easier. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a great alternative to landline telephones. VoIP allows you to make voice calls over the Internet instead of a traditional telephone line.
You can use VoIP when you have Internet but no cellular service, or just to save on long distance calls. There are many different VoIP providers to choose from. To help you decide if Skype is enough for you or if you need a more advanced provider like Grasshopper or MessageBird, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to get VoIP services for work from home.
What is VoIP and how does it work?
Before choosing a suitable VoIP provider, you must learn how VoIP works and what makes it better than traditional phone services.
VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal and then sends it as data over the Internet. When you use VoIP to call a standard cell phone, the digital signal is then converted back to sound at the other end.
What you need to get started
If you want to switch to VoIP, you need to set up your own VoIP system. This could be your smartphone or computer. In this case, you will be able to make voice calls using certain VoIP applications. You can also use special IP telephony software on your computer.
Some VoIP programs, such as Skype, even let you call regular landline or mobile numbers. However, free calls are usually only available to those with the app. You have to pay to call a real phone number.
Alternatively, you can use a regular landline phone and a digital VoIP adapter. The adapter plugs into a wall outlet or router and turns your phone into a VoIP system.
Where to get VoIP services
VoIP is more efficient because it is cheaper than using regular telephone lines. In addition, you get additional features not available on a regular phone, such as video calls, call recording and call forwarding over the Internet. These are all useful features when you work from home.
Depending on the VoIP setting you intend to use, you can choose a different service.
Best for Computer Use
Most VoIP services designed for use on a computer also have mobile apps that you can install on your smartphone. However, to get the most out of these programs, we recommend using them on your computer.
Skype – for calls to landline phones
Skype today is all about things, from a robust chat app to a screen sharing tool It is also one of the oldest and best known VoIP services. You can use it to make free video and audio calls to any other user who has the application installed on their computer.
Skype is also one of the VoIP applications that has the ability to call regular landline phones. You can purchase a subscription to call any phone number in the United States, throughout North America, or use World Skype Credit to call worldwide.
Zoom – for ease of use
Skype’s direct competitor, Zoom, offers excellent and stable VoIP service and promises a connection that “outperforms other services.”
Zoom comes with a number of standard features such as free and unlimited video and audio calls, live chat, the ability to record your calls and forward them to members later, and a mobile version of the software.
However, the big difference between Zoom and Skype is that with Zoom you can call people who have never signed up to the site and installed the app on their computer or phone. When you work from home and need to call external clients, this is very helpful.
Discord – for superior sound quality
Discord offers free communication via text, video and audio. Your opponents also don’t need to register or download the program. They just need to follow your link to join the meeting.
Discord was originally created specifically for the gaming community. However, it also proved to be an effective VoIP service. The main reason you would like to choose Discord as an alternative is because of the voice quality – it is clearer and clearer compared to other services.
Best for Smartphone Use
If you’re looking for a VoIP app to use primarily (or exclusively) on your phone, check out one of the following services.
Viber is a great mobile solution
Viber is an excellent multipurpose software that combines the attributes of a messaging app and VoIP service. Some of the features on offer include unlimited audio and video calls, private and group chats, and calls to landlines as part of a subscription.
If you are not a big fan of Skype and, in particular, the mobile version of the service, Viber is a great alternative.
Signal – for privacy features
Signal is considered one of the safest messaging apps out there. It is a great choice for those who value privacy most of all.
With Signal, you can be sure that all your communication, be it audio, video or text form, will be confidential and secure thanks to the encryption mechanisms used by the software. There is also a desktop version of the app. Both mobile and desktop apps are free.
Best for Commercial Use
All apps on our list are suitable for both home and commercial use. However, if you are a freelancer who works from home and does a lot of phone calls, or if you run a small business that rely heavily on communication channels, you may want a VoIP service that offers value-added services.
Depending on your goals, you will need to choose the VoIP provider that suits you and your company best. For freelancers, Ooma is a great choice. It’s easy to set up, comes reasonably priced, and provides excellent customer support.
If your job or business requires you to be on the move, try Grasshopper You get reliable calls wherever you go, 24/7 support and a selection of toll free numbers that are easy for your customers to remember.
For those looking for a complete solution, check out MessageBird This allows you to combine all your communication channels in one API platform. Message Bird comes with a free trial, so you can test the service before paying.
Change your calls using VoIP
Moving to VoIP has many benefits, including unlimited calls and text messages. However, be sure to check your internet connection before making any changes. Since VoIP services depend on your broadband access, the quality of your calls will depend on how fast (or slow) your Internet is.
Do you prefer VoIP over traditional calls? What VoIP services have you used to work more efficiently from home? Share your experience with us in the comments below.