Ditching the Jargon: Basic VoIP Terms to Understand
If you’ve just begun to look into a business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system as an alternative to your traditional landline, then chances are you’ve come across many new terms and acronyms in your search.
For beginners, these terms can be confusing and overwhelming, and might even discourage them from learning more about the system. But while technical jargon can seem overwhelming at first, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with them so you can make an informed decision about moving to VoIP. Fortunately, the terms surrounding VoIP are fairly straightforward. Below we’ll help you understand some of the most common VoIP terms and acronyms to help you get started.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP is the technology that enables us to send and receive voice communications over the internet. Unlike traditional landlines, VoIP phones do not transmit calls through dedicated copper lines, which is one reason why VoIP calls are much cheaper than those made over landlines. Your VoIP system converts your phone conversation into data packets, sends them over your broadband connection, and then reassembles them on the receiving end.
This refers to the volume of data which can be carried over a connection in a certain amount of time. This is one of the biggest factors that can affect the quality of your VoIP calls. When you have insufficient bandwidth, it may result in delays, jitters, and dropped calls. It’s important that you speak to your internet service provider as well as your phone system provider to determine the amount of bandwidth you would need to make high-quality calls.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
A PBX system is a multi-line telephone system used within an enterprise. It switches calls between internal phone extensions in the office, and provides access to shared phone outbound lines for outbound calling.
This is a software program or application VoIP users can use to make or receive calls through their PC, laptop, or mobile devices. You only need a microphone and speakers (or a headset if you’re using a laptop or smartphone) to connect and make calls. This is a great option for users who are constantly on the go or for individuals who don’t have space for desk phones.
Quality of Service (QoS)
This refers to the ability of your network to deliver traffic with maximum efficiency and minimal delay. Many users configure their QoS settings to give priority to VoIP traffic over other types of data to avoid congesting the network and keeping less-important types of traffic from competing for bandwidth. By prioritizing VoIP traffic, you can ensure crystal clear calls, while other functions such as data transfer can still proceed although it may become slower.
Unified Communications (UC)
This is the integration of various communication tools, (such as voice, instant messaging, video, desktop and data sharing, email, and fax) into a single product or service. The goal of UC is to give users access to all important tools no matter what device they’re using in order to streamline communications, encourage collaboration, and increase productivity.
Find me/follow me
One of the most important mobility features, Find me/follow me helps businesses make sure they don’t miss important phone calls. Basically, it sends all of your incoming calls to a specific set of numbers or devices that ring in sequence. If someone calls your office phone, for instance, and you aren’t able to answer it, the call will be forwarded to your mobile phone, and then to your home phone.
One of the enemies of VoIP, latency refers to the amount of time it takes for an audio signal to get from one designated point to another.