HOW DO SOFTPHONES WORK?
These days most people use their softphones to make calls abroad. With its ease of use and reduced rates it is a great choice. It can be used as an app on a regular smartphone or as a separate phone so there’s also a lot of flexibility that comes with the use of softphones.
Most people use them – but how many people actually understand how they work and how they let us make cheap calls?
This is what I will try to explain here, what softphones and how they actually work
- What are softphones?
Softphones, also called dialers, are phones designed to work with VoIP, allowing you to make calls through the internet. It basically works by transmitting data (voice signals) over the internet to the recipient. This results in cheaper calls especially when calling internationally. Softphones exist both for mobile and desktop. In the case of desktop dialers, calls can be made directly from a PC saving the user much needed desk space as no additional phones are needed. To use a desktop softphone a mike and earphones or a headset is need.
There are loads of different softphone providers on the market each offering different prices and services so there’s something for everyone.
- Softphones becoming popular
When VoIP started being used, people were looking for an option to use VoIP on the go, wherever they may be. This is when the idea for softphones was born. Using a softphone means you can make VoIP calls from your mobile phone meaning you are not limited to your home or office.
When mobile VoIP started out, it was as the word says it – VoIP calling from a mobile, nothing more. Now there are loads of features available in addition to calling, like video calling, messaging, group chats, sending location, sending multimedia attachments and much more.
VoIP call quality has also become much clearer over the years making calling via VoIP more enjoyable and of course because there are so many vendors around there is more choice and users can choose the plan that will suit them best.
- How does it work?
In order to make calls from your mobile (or pc), you will need a mobile VoIP provider. They will provide you with the actual phone or a link to download the softphone onto your smartphone.
Some countries don’t allow the use of VoIP. Therefore, VoIP calls will be blocked there – people will not be able to make and receive VoIP calls in those countries. Some mobile VoIP providers offer a solution to this called tunnel. This enables VoIP even when it is blocked by a firewall.
VoIP softphones are a great option for most people but mainly people that are abroad or call abroad will benefit. These include travelers, people with family and friends abroad and students studying abroad. Softphones can be of great advantage to telecommuters, as they can be working from home but they can get calls as if they are in the office by connecting their softphone to the business ip pbx system. They also have advantages for small businesses and call centers wishing to save money on long distance calls as well as save much needed desk space as all calls can be made from a PC or mobile.
All you need for VoIP calling is internet and a mobile VoIP provider to make free or cheap calls. VoIP is also super easy to maintain and upgrade. Plans can be upgraded without the need of adding wiring or hardware.
- How much does it cost?
Most VoIP providers will allow you to make free calls to other users on the same network. This is great for calling friends and family. Just decide what network you want to be on and make sure the person you call has an account with that provider. You can usually check your contacts and see which of your contacts is a user of that network. Is someone not a user? No problem, most providers will allow you to send invitations to your contacts, inviting them to join the network. You could also have several different networks and call different people through different providers depending on where they have an account.
In addition to free calling, many providers offer free messaging, free video calling and many other features. Take advantage of these to stay in touch with friends and family for free.
If you want to call someone that does not have an account on your network, there will be a charge. Many providers allow you to check their prices on their websites so you can compare different prices and see what works for you.
Just remember that not all call quality is the same. It would be silly to use a provider whose quality is so bad you can’t hear the other person, even if they are cheaper.
Do some research and see what people have to say about different providers or try them out first for free and if you are happy then you can add money to your account and call people on different networks.
Many providers also offer the option of buying packages to certain continents or countries. If you call often to a specific place, then it may be worth it to go for a plan. They can save you a lot of money.
- Extra features
Different providers have different features. Some of them make communication more fun and some of them more efficient. If you are interested in extra features, then check out what the different networks provide. These may include call forwarding, call transfer, greeting messages, texting, group chats, video call, group calls, sending multimedia, echo cancellation, sending location and more.
- The future of softphones
More and more people are getting smartphones which means that more and more people have the option of using softphones to make their calls. People are also looking for easy ways to save money and VoIP is a good place to start. Chances are big that VoIP will take over most of the calling market in the future. VoIP has also made dramatic improvement in the past years and it will only get better with time.