The right phone service provider can help make your Washington, DC business a great success. Most businesses, both small and large, have an online presence, but the telephone is still the first way that customers get in touch with a company they would like to do business with. Because of this, the right phone service is essential for anyone who owns or operates a business, so you will want to make sure you find a phone service provider that gives you the service that you need. The company you choose should be both affordable and reliable and able to provide you with different features. Before you make your final decision as to who you want to use, evaluate the service types available in your area. You'll find that analog service and VoIP service are the two types that are the main ones near you. Each one has different features and qualities, so it is important to compare the two before you decide which one is right for your business and for your budget.
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Understanding VoIP Phone Service in Washington, DC
Voice over Internet Protocol is a newer phone service type that gives users an alternative to putting in a traditional analog phone line. VoIP has been around for about ten years now but has just recently become more mainstream. Many businesses are finding that letting go of their traditional service and choosing VoIP is really helping their business communication needs. Using VoIP service gives you quality calls just like the traditional phone lines of old, but the calls are transferred through the Internet. Therefore, you must be sure that you have a strong Internet connection before choosing this type of phone service. If you are not sure if your current connection will support VoIP, use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check.
The biggest difference found between PSTN and VoIP is the way that calls are carried. With PSTN service, all calls are carried through an analog signal. VoIP uses the Internet and digitizes the calls you make and receive. A perk of this service is that sending your calls through the Internet is much less expensive than the traditional way, so making and receiving calls costs a whole lot less. This is a great choice for any business that deals with a lot of international calls because the rates are much lower. You'll also find packages that allow you to make unlimited calls to certain areas for one low price, eliminating the need to worry about per minute rates.
VoIP service in Washington, DC will come with any type of calling feature that you could need for your business. These will include caller ID, multiple extensions, ring groups and call forwarding. You'll also have remote access to your voicemail, voicemail to email and fax to email service.
VoIP providers in the Washington, DC area provide plans that are meant for small and large businesses alike. You may be a small company that needs just five lines or a large corporation who will require hundreds of extensions for your employees. Either way, there will be a VoIP service that can meet your business needs.
How to Choose the Right VoIP Service Provider in Washington, DC
Since VoIP has become more mainstream in Washington, DC, there are more and more companies popping up all over that offer their services to consumers. Use this to your advantage, as each company will have different features and rates that you can choose from.
You'll want to carefully consider what you want for your business first. Think about the number of extensions you will need, the features that your company will use the most, if you plan on expanding your company any time soon and what your budget for phone service is.
From there, consider the different companies in your area that offer VoIP phone services. Look at the features they offer and make sure they have what you want. Their prices and packages will be different, so make sure you find one that best suits your needs. However, you will want to make sure the company itself is reliable. Paying for cheap VoIP phone service won't be worth it if the company you choose has terrible customer service.
Traditional Business Phone Service in Washington, DC
Traditional phone service carries your calls over the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This system is available nationwide, comprised of telephone lines, mobile networks, satellites and cables. The PSTN network, the first type of phone network used for business purposes, has existed for almost a century.
Using a PSTN telephone service in Washington, DC costs more than VoIP. The PSTN infrastructure, being very old as well as large, tends to requires regular maintenance. It also has a more difficult time sending data over long distances.
When making calls traveling long distances over the PSTN, data stops at numerous locations along the way during the course of its transmission. Since the data flows through equipment owned by various companies, costs for PSTN calls can accrue expensive charges. Although most of the infrastructure being used to carry, switch and route calls is digital, the connection between the local central office and the customer continues to be analog.
Using a PBX and an Analog Phone System in Washington, DC
Coupling an analog service with a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is very common among Washington, DC businesses. A PBX is what allows an Analog Phone System to use different calling features like multiple extensions, voicemail and conference calls, since its main function is to reroute the calls received throughout the office.
If you are using a PSTN service, then the can be located within the office or hosted in a different location. Despite this, there is a big defect of an analog PBX: it is an expensive piece of hardware. From the beginning, it supposes a big investment as simply buying the hardware needed to set up a network can cost upwards of $1,000 without considering the installation and maintenance costs of the network. To keep everything running smoothly, the hardware needs to be maintained which means that you will either need to get an in-house technician or hire a professional service that can charge $100 an hour or more.
Another big drawback in using a PBX for your Washington, DC business is that expanding the service can be both difficult and expensive. Most PBX systems in the market support a limited amount of lines, this means that if you begin to branch out or otherwise expand your service you will have to pay for extra hardware to accommodate your needs.
As with all pieces of hardware, the PBX may become obsolete, meaning that it would have to be replaced every few years. This would be a continuous expenditure for your business. As well as becoming obsolete, the PBX can break down or develop faults that would have to be repaired and even replaced, meaning that in the long-run the PBX can become an expensive problem.
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