VoIP – 10 most commonly asked questions

10 most commonly asked questions about voip

By Kamila Cholko on May 18, 2016 in Communications & VoIP

Every now and then, technological advancements bring along a better way of doing something. As often the case with new technologies, it is difficult to understand at the start what they actually are and what benefit they might have for you and your business.

Here at Blueface, we specialise in VoIP phone systems ever since 2004 and we have combined a list of the 10 most commonly asked questions on the subject of VoIP. We hope that they will help you better understand what VoIP is, but if you have any questions that were not answered below, pick up the phone or drop us an email.

1. What VoIP stands for?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and it is the future of business telephone systems.
What is Voice over IP? It allows users to make phone calls over their broadband Internet connection, rather than traditional phone lines.

2. How does it work?

In order to understand how VoIP service works, it is useful to know how a traditional phone system – the one that uses analogue lines – works.
When you make a phone call from your landline phone, the analogue lines take an audio signal, which translates into electronic pulses, hence the need for phone lines that make up the public switch telephone network (PSTN). These copper lines have been the only way of routing telephone calls until IP telephony was recently invented.

So now, to the point – How does VoIP work?

Rather than converting audio signals, such as your voice during a phone call, to electronic pulses, VoIP breaks it into a binary code. Your voice becomes packets of data made up of a bunch of 0’s and 1’s.

These packets of data are transmitted over what is known as a packet switched network to the receiving device. Packets of data are made up of headers and payloads. The header contains the call destination information and this information is used by networking hardware to figure out which phone in the world you are trying to connect to. Payloads contain your digitised voice and are extracted upon arrival at their destination by the relevant software, contained in the VoIP phone on the other end of the connection so that your voice can be played. Read more on this subject in our previous blog post.

3. How is VoIP different from traditional landline?

Here are the main differences between a traditional landline phone system (PSTN) and IP telephony.

Dedicated Lines All channels carried over one virtual landline over the Internet connection
Features such as call waiting, Caller ID and so on are usually available at an extra cost Voip phone system features such as call waiting, Caller ID and so on are usually included free with service
Can be upgraded or expanded with new equipment and line provisioning Upgrades usually requires only bandwidth and software upgrades
Hardwired landline phones (those without an adapter) usually remain active during power outage Lose power, lose phone service without power backup in place


Can you see the benefit of switching to VoIP telephone systems already? Get a quote for your office phone system today.

4. What Equipment Do I Need?

All you need is a computer with a broadband Internet connection and an IP Phone.

A VoIP phone connects directly to your broadband connection. It comes pre-configured so once it is plugged in you can make and receive calls the same way you normally do, just dial and talk.

how ip phones work

If you don’t have an IP phone yet, check out our wide range of VoIP phones.

5. How fast does my Internet connection have to be?

The broadband speed requirement is dependent on the number of concurrent calls.
The following table highlights the typical broadband speeds required when using a dedicated broadband connection for voice. It’s important to note that this is the speed required purely for voice usage. If you have other data usage on the connection, you will need to factor this in.

Number of concurrent calls Speed required (upload & download)
1 85 kbps
2 174 kbps
3 348 kbps
8 696 kbps
12 1044 kbps

How to check your broadband speed test?

Using your computer, perform a speed test by logging into the dedicated speed test website www.speedtest.net. Please take note of both the download and upload speeds.

If you want to perform other quality checks to find out how VoIP will perform for your business, go to our help section 

6. How does the voice clarity of VoIP compare to traditional telephony?

Poor call quality creates a bad impression for anybody you do business with on the phone. It’s the last thing you want to experience with your telecom provider.
Blueface understands your business demands dial tone reliability with crystal clear conversations – so how do we achieve this?

• Tier 1 Irish call routes
• Two independent Irish data centres
• High-quality voice technology
• HD voice Panasonic handsets
• 12 years of perfecting our platform

Your own broadband and local network may represent a risk of causing bad call quality if not setup correctly. First check with a Blueface expert to find out if your business is ready for Blueface.

7. How reliable is VoIP?

It is only natural to have concerns regarding the reliability of any new service, especially the one that will provide your business communication solutions.

Blueface is the most reliable service on the Irish market. We have built our own dedicated core solution that adheres to 99.9999% uptime.

However, if something ever goes wrong with your own broadband connection, Blueface automatically fails over to another branch office or your mobile(s) to keep your incoming calls working. For bigger businesses, we provide bespoke disaster recovery options with dual connectivity and active DR sites.

8. How expensive is it?

Blueface plans depend on the size of your business – so you pay only for what you use. Whether you’re a new startup or a large enterprise, there’s a price plan for you.

9. Can I keep my phone number?

Blueface has an agreement with all major telecoms companies that allow you to port in and out numbers Blueface is regulated and you can take your existing number to Blueface.

10. Does my computer need to be turned on to use VoIP?

No, your computer does not need to be switched on to make calls.

IP phones plug directly in to your broadband router giving them direct access to your Internet connection. These look and feel like a more modern phone.
This means you do not have to turn your computer on to make and receive calls and you can use VoIP with the same simplicity as the traditional phone line.

If you have any questions that were not answered above, pick up the phone ( 1 524 2000) or drop us an email (sales@blueface.com).
If you want to move your business communications to the next level and want to talk to our experts fill in the form below or call us on 1 524 2000.

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