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Six factors to consider when VoIP provider shopping

So, you’ve finally decided to make the switch from a traditional phone service to VoIP to meet your business’s communication needs more effectively. You might be feeling overwhelmed by the huge number of VoIP providers out there. VoIP is a booming industry and there is no shortage of providers out there. 

Here are six factors to consider when narrowing your options as you shop providers.

Reliability

Businesses rely on their phone service every day to be productive and successful. Though superior to traditional phone service in many ways, there are still several ways that your VoIP service can run into problems. When that happens, your employees can’t communicate with each other or with customers. To maximize the time that your phone lines are up, a good VoIP provider should be prepared for these situations and have a backup plan.

Quality

There are several factors that will determine call quality over VoIP but your internet connection is by far the most important one. You should ask prospective providers how much bandwidth you’ll need for their services and what hardware configurations you might need to get the required bandwidth.

Equipment

After internet, the phone equipment is probably the second most important factor in determining call quality. If the VoIP provider supplies the equipment, find out which brands they use and how old the equipment is. If they use inferior brands our outdated equipment. Steer clear. Some providers can work with existing equipment to save you some money.

Maintenance

No matter how good your service, every VoIP system will eventually require some maintenance. Some VoIP systems require your business to house and maintain the equipment including the server. This makes maintenance very difficult and costly. Businesses may even need to hire their own IT people to handle maintenance. A hosted VoIP service, on the other hand, houses and maintains the servers offsite and has their own 24/7 support team monitoring the system.

Security

When a business is doing all their communication via an internet connection, sensitive information is floating around in cyberspace where it can be taken. An unsecured VoIP line could lead to calls being intercepted or could be eavesdropped. Ask prospective providers about their security measures to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

Cost

Some VoIP providers offer a flat rate while others let you choose from a variety of services and set your own price. Some will charge more to begin service but less from month-to-month while others will charge more month-to-month but will charge little, or nothing at all, for installation.

Equiinet’s VoIP service is hybrid with a PBX that manages quality of service at the business premise. Equiinet partners with the top brands when it comes to phone equipment and our service works most existing equipment. To learn more about Equiinet phone service visit: http://www.equiinet.com/voip

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