Looking for a cost effective way to communicate with employees, business partners and customers anywhere on the planet?  Consider Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).  Many small business owners are. In fact, Global Industry Analysts (GIA) announced this week that the global market for VoIP Services is projected to reach $20.8 billion in 2018, primarily driven by ‘the robust demand for mobile VoIP services and rapid adoption among SMBs.”

Small business owners are replacing traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)-based voice services for VoIP because of its flexibility and cost savings, especially for long-distance calls. VoIP, which converts voice signals into digital packets and sends them over IP networks, saves the average small business 20 percent to 25 percent of its telecommunications bill. (See: Why SMBs are making the call to VoIP).

Despite the growing popularity of VoIP, whether software based that runs on your computer and you use with a headset or hardware based that requires an adapter and phone set, there still are many myths about it. Let’s dispel five common ones now:

Myth #1 Voice quality of VoIP is bad

The quality of your calls depends on your Internet connection, not the VoIP system itself. The bandwidth of your broadband connection, whether it’s DSL, cable or Ethernet, is the key to quality. As long as you have a good Internet connection, the voice quality of your calls can actually be better.

Myth #2 VoIP systems are unreliable

Your broadband connection affects the reliability of your VoIP system. If your Internet connection goes down, you will lose your call. However, today’s VoIP systems have backup features to ensure that you don’t. Many systems have a call forwarding number so you can forward calls to your mobile phone. VoIP systems also have voicemail and convert voice messages to text to send them to your email inbox.

Myth #3 You can only call other VoIP phones

You can call any domestic or international land line or mobile phone just as you would with any other phone system.  In fact, some service providers offer free calling to other phones on their VoIP network.

Myth #4 Systems are not secure

VoIP systems can actually be more secure than standard telephone systems. Many broadband data communication networks add encryption to their data links. Also since voice data  packets take different routes through the Internet as they travel to their destination, it’s difficult to eavesdrop on VoIP calls

Myth #5  VoIP systems work differently

VoIP systems work the same as traditional phone systems. Anyone who is trying to reach you will dial in – and you’ll dial  out – the same way you did before. It will all be the same to your callers.

Ready to make the switch to VoIP? Maybe you already have? How has it improved your small business communications?