Home System list How to configure your VoIP system – Forbes Advisor

How to configure your VoIP system – Forbes Advisor


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Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has been a technology that we have been using for some time. If you’ve used a service like Skype or Google Voice before, you already know a bit about the technology. As the use and popularity of VoIP services increase, the industry may be worth up to $ 194.5 billion by the end of 2024. Many American households lack of fixed line and use cordless phones and Internet services to stay connected.

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From a business perspective, VoIP is a modern and affordable alternative to the more traditional landline system. Additionally, service providers often include add-ons and integrations that improve day-to-day operations in ways landlines can’t.

Read on to learn a bit more about the technology and a step-by-step guide on how to set up VoIP phone service.

Understand VoIP systems and how they work

Simply put, VoIP is a technology that allows you to make or receive calls using a high speed internet connection. Any phone can be used for this purpose. Internet Protocol (IP) phones convert analog voice signals into digital signals, which are then sent over the Internet.

Some VoIP configurations may require Power over Ethernet (PoE), or you may not need any hardware. This is because, by its very nature, VoIP is not only available through phones, but virtually any internet enabled device, including your tablet or laptop.

Now that we have discussed VoIP and what to do before getting service, we can move on to the step by step process of setting up your VoIP phone.

Step 1: Do Vital Research Before Getting Your VoIP System

Even so, before deciding how to set up VoIP phone service for your business or home office, there are a few key factors to consider.

Internet speed, quality and reliability

Before setting up a VoIP system, you should take the time to determine the quality of your Internet. You can test your internet speed or contact your service provider and ask about quality and reliability in your area. The devices themselves can also play a role in the speed and reliability of your online connectivity. Because VoIP requires constant, good quality internet, you want to make sure that your phone system can withstand the transition.

If you intend to purchase IP phones or other hardware

VoIP system configurations can look like traditional landlines, except that Ethernet cables replace telephone cords. Having said that, it is also possible to use VoIP without any phones or to have to purchase phones, headsets or other hardware.

When looking for a service, you may have to consider whether you will be connecting virtual numbers to existing devices or whether you will need to invest in the accompanying hardware. This answer will usually depend on factors such as the size of your business, its location, and your current budget.

911 improved

A rarely talked about complication of cloud phone service is that it is not always easy to contact emergency services. Indeed, the FCC requires VoIP telephone services interconnected to meet enhanced 911 (E911) regulations. This means making 911 service available to customers as standard. In addition, they must provide emergency services personnel with the callback number and location of the 911 caller.

It is generally a good idea to understand how E911 will work through your chosen VoIP service provider. In addition, you must ensure that the information you intend to provide is accurate and that it is updated as needed.

Step 2: Decide how many users and lines you will need

If you are a sole proprietor working from home, chances are you will only need one or two lines. It’s a different story for a company that employs hundreds or thousands of people in dozens of departments and subdivisions.

Yet even with a sprawling organization, not everyone needs a phone line. You may only need one phone line per department with a few extra lines for senior staff. The configuration of your VoIP telephone network should work according to the telephone traffic expected by your business. This means that you shouldn’t buy more phone lines than you need, even though discounts are involved.

Step 3: Calculate the service costs and additional charges

Monthly VoIP costs will vary depending on the number of lines you purchase. Of course, it’s common for cloud phone service companies to charge a flat fee if you buy a certain number of phone lines. Let’s say you need 10 VoIP phone lines; a provider can typically charge $ 50 per line, but lower the price to $ 10 per line if you buy between six and 10 lines. Instead of $ 500 per month, you will only receive a monthly plan of $ 100.

In addition to the per-line charge, you may be billed month-to-month for particular add-ons such as using free or international numbers or CRM integrations. When budgeting for VoIP service, remember to include installation costs or activation fees.

Step 4: Find a VoIP Phone Service Provider

There are plenty of options when it comes to getting VoIP phone service. If you are just looking for a virtual number for your business, you can get one for free through Google Voice. You can also upgrade your Google phone service by signing up for Workspace.

Google Workspace plans:

  • Entrance: $ 6 per user, per month
  • Standard: $ 12 per user, per month
  • More: $ 18 per user, per month
  • Business: Contact for a quote

Other popular VoIP options include:

  • RingCentral: Starting at $ 19.99 per user, per month
  • Nextiva: Starting at $ 23.95 per user, per month (with
  • Grasshopper: From $ 26 per month

If you want to learn more about VoIP service providers and the best brands we recommend, Forbes Advisor has compiled a list of the best VoIP services on the market.

After getting VoIP service

Once you have chosen and paid for the VoIP service, there may be things you need to do from time to time. For example, keep an eye out for potential price changes, especially if you signed up with a discount that may run out after so many months or in a few years.

Now that you know how to set up a VoIP phone system, you should also know that you are always free to upgrade to a new service if it offers better service options at a better price.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does VoIP mean?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a technology that allows you to both make and receive phone calls using broadband internet.

How to get VoIP phone service?

It is easy to get VoIP service as there are a variety of carriers, large and small. Popular options include Google Voice, RingCentral, and Nextiva.

How much does a VoIP phone system cost?

The average cost of a VoIP system is around $ 25 per month per user. Some system setups cost more than others, and it’s quite possible to pay a few hundred or a few thousand a month, depending on the size of your organization and the number of lines required.

Do I need a new phone to use VoIP?

The nature of VoIP means that as long as your device has an Internet connection, you can make or receive calls using their software. If you prefer, you have the option of purchasing VoIP equipment such as IP phones.

Can I get free VoIP phone service?

It is possible to get VoIP service for free using apps like Skype, WhatsApp and Google Voice. For multiple lines and more professional integrations, there are affordable options like RingCentral.

Can I use my existing phone with VoIP?

Yes, because the VoIP service does not interfere with the existing function. If you have an Internet connection, the virtual number provided must be usable through your old phone and any other compatible online device.


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