Confused WomanMost business owners know that a Voice over Internet Protocol system can save your business a considerable amount of money on phone bills, increase productivity and make communication easier. While VoIP systems are an excellent choice for most companies, it’s important to be aware of the drawbacks to using this type of system. If you’re currently choosing between VoIP and a traditional phone system, here are a few things you might want to consider:

Power Outages
VoIP phone systems require electricity to make calls. If your office has an unsteady or interrupted power supply, your phone system “uptime” might be compromised. Most vendors will assess power needs before installing a system, in order to minimize service interruptions. You can also install a backup landline in case of emergencies. Since power outages are often associated with emergency situations, many worry about the inability of VoIP to provide tracking information to emergency service providers when a 911 call is made. Most vendors now offer E911 services in addition to backup power plans or backup landlines to ensure you’ll always have a working phone in case of emergencies.

Packet Loss
Packet loss can occur when your internet connection isn’t fast enough to handle the additional traffic created by phone calls. Packet loss can result in dropped calls, a “static” sound during calls or a “broken up” sound on the other end of the line. You can avoid packet loss by upgrading your internet connection, purchasing additional routers or making other changes before the system is installed. Most vendors are able to run tests on your existing connection and make recommendations that will minimize packet loss.

Security Concerns
Many users that switch to VoIP are concerned about security or call eavesdropping. It’s true that VoIP phone calls are easier to “hack” than calls made using a landline. Ask vendors about security features that will prevent such breaches, especially if you will be relaying sensitive information over the phone, such as financial account numbers, personal data or medical information.

Have a question about VoIP? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!