Internet Telephony – Pros and Cons

If you are thinking of using VoIP for the first time, a brief list of pros and cons can help you decide if VoIP would be convenient for you.

Pros

  • The financial savings of using VoIP is, without a doubt, the greatest benefit.
  • If the receiver is also connected to a VoIP service, you can usually place the call for free.
  • There is a wide variety of services and providers available.
  • Basic packages offered by many providers often include features that would be charged extra in a traditional telephone. The quality of the sound is usually much better, too.
  • Whereas the emergency number used to be presented as an issue for VoIP lines, this is not longer the case: some providers offer 911 service itself, and others E911 (enhanced 911)
  • You can often make more than one call per line.

Cons

  • A conventional telephone will continue working even during a black-out (except wireless phones) while your connection to the internet will do so unless you have power back-up.
  • The quality of the service will depend on the quality of your internet connection, so that in some cases you might need to upgrade your access to the internet. You must take into account both the downstream and upstream capacity. It is not an easy evaluation for low capacity connections (like 125 kbps or less)
  • You might need specific hardware or software that is not always free, or that is offered at no cost by some providers but comes together with a fixed term agreement.
  • If you lose your internet connection, even temporarily so, the VoIP line will not work.
  • The time delay of telephone lines is more noticeable when using VoIP. If you plan to call landlines you want to make sure that you will not hear too much echo or delay in the reproduction of the sound.
  • If you use a fax machine, you must make sure that it will work well with your VoIP line.

Now that all the main factors were illustrated, here goes a final piece of advice: if you are planning to get a second telephone line, try a VoIP service and compare one against the other, while enjoying the best of both worlds.