Choosing Your Phone Service Provider in Harper, IA
Are you a business owner who is in need of putting in a phone line for your office or building? If you are, you have more options than previous business owners did years ago. While we all love the use of social media to promote our business services, most customers still use the phone to call in orders, ask questions and voice concerns, to name just a few reasons. You will need a reliable, dependable phone service provider when you own or operate a business in Harper, IA, so understanding your choices is important before you make your final decision. You can choose between a VoIP or analog phone service when you are looking for a phone company that will work with your company. Understanding the differences and similarities first will help you make an informed and educated decision that will benefit your company for years to come.
What is Business VoIP Service?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is the most advanced type of phone service available in Harper, IA. VoIP phone service offers business customers an alternative to using the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) with an analog line. VoIP has been around for over a decade. In the last few years, the service has become more popular as more businesses are making the switch from PSTN to VoIP.
The main difference between PSTN and VoIP is the way in which the calls are carried. A PSTN service offers an analog signal to carry the call, while a VoIP digitizes the calls and carries them through the internet. Before choosing a VoIP service you must make sure that your internet service can handle the bandwidth required. You can use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check this. Sending and receiving data from the internet is much cheaper than using the phone network, and if you make frequent long-distance or international calls your phone bill can rise very quickly. However, with VoIP service you will find that the cost of each call is significantly lower to that of a PSTN provider. As well as offering a significantly cheaper service, many VoIP providers also offer a flat-rate package that allows you to make unlimited calls to certain locations without worrying about per-minute charges.
There are many features regularly included in business VoIP service plans. Most Harper, IA providers offer the regular PSTN services such as multiple extensions and caller ID's, as well as offering other interesting features like remote access to voicemail, ring groups, fax-to-email, call forwarding and many other useful add-ons that will ensure that you get the best service for your business's needs.
VoIP service providers offer many different plans. Whether you are a small company with only five lines, or a large corporation with hundreds of extensions, there is likely a VoIP service provider in Harper, IA that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
How to Pick the Right VoIP Service Provider in Harper, IA
VoIP phone service plans are becoming more and more abundant in Harper, IA, so you will more than likely have your pick of the company you wish to choose. This can seem overwhelming at first, but don't let it be. You don't want to choose the very first company to come along! Use the different offers to pick and choose who will work the best for your company.
Before you pick a company, decide exactly what you will need for telephone service. Questions to consider are the number of lines that you will need for your business and whether that number could grow in the future, the features you will need to have and how much is in your budget to spend on phone service.
From there, you can browse through the various packages that many of the VoIP providers are offering. Look at the services they offer, the prices of their packages, and the overall reputation of each company. You won't want to choose a company just because they are the cheapest, as they may not be reliable. You'll always want to make sure that your customers can get ahold of you through your VoIP phone service, so choose a company that has great feedback.
What is Traditional Business Phone Service?
As stated before, PSTN has been around for years and is what many people think of when they wish to choose a company. PSTN, or public switched telephone network, was the first kind of phone service ever available. It is used all over the United States and runs over cables, telephone lines and satellites, as well as mobile networks. You may think this type of service would be less expensive since it has been around longer, but this isn't the case.
Since the infrastructure that PSTN runs on is older, it requires ongoing care and maintenance to keep it running. This causes the service charge to use it to cost more for business owners. Plus, the service is analog, making it more difficult to send data further distances. When you make a long distance telephone call in Harper, IA over PSTN, the data goes through numerous locations and stops along the way. Since the data goes through many different companies, the charge is more. The analog connection is the last step between the local office and the customer, known as the “last mile'. This is part of the reason the price is higher.
PBX and the Analog Phone System
Most Harper, IA businesses typically use a PBX, or a private branch exchange, that routes the calls that come into their office. The PBX is the system that allows the different calling features found in the analog system, such as call forwarding, voicemail, multiple extensions and conference calls.
With most traditional PSTN phone systems, the location of the PBX can be hosted from a remote location or found right at the user's premises. However, no matter where it is, an analog PBX can be very expensive. When you set up a complete phone system that needs a PBX, you will need different types of hardware that could cause your initial investment to cost at least $1,000. Remember, installation, configuration and future maintenance will not be part of your purchase price. If you have an in-house technical staff that can fix things later on, that would be beneficial to your finances. However, most business owners need to hire a professional, which usually costs at least a $100 an hour or more.
If you do decide to use a traditional PBX for your business phone needs in Harper, IA, remember that if you need to upgrade or expand later on, it can get expensive. Some PBX systems will only be able to support a small amount of lines. So if your business grows and expands, adding additional lines will mean paying for more hardware.
Unfortunately, a PBX system will also be subject to breakdowns and problems, just like any other electronic system. You may end up paying high repair and hardware bills if something happens to your system. Plus, if it becomes obsolete, you may need to replace it every couple of years, costing your company even more money.
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