Finding a business phone service provider in Maryland can be confusing at times. But it is a very important first step when you are a business owner, whether you are just starting up or have been in business for years. The telephone is still the first form of communication most customers and vendors go for when they want to get in touch with a business, especially if that business happens to be further away. You need a phone service that is both affordable and reliable, so before you make the decision of what company to go with, do your research. There are two main phone service providers that you can choose from, either a traditional analog service or the newer VoIP phone service. You should understand just what the difference is between the two before you make your final decision. You can compare below the difference between these two types of providers.
* Most providers offering unlimited calling and or other promotions have restrictions based on term contracts or promo periods. Rates shown do not include E-911 charges and taxes. Read providers terms and conditions before you purchase.
Understanding VoIP Phone Service in Maryland
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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Find a Business VoIP Service Provider in Maryland
In Maryland, VoIP has recently become very popular, as more and more business owners are realizing the benefits to this type of service after comparing it to traditional analog services. This means there are many providers that sell VoIP packages and who will compete for your business. This may seem confusing at first, but it is actually something you can use to your advantage, as you won't have to settle for just one company.
To begin, decide what features you absolutely have to have for your business. This may depend on how much you can spend for your phone service; if you think you will be expanding in the near future you will want to have the right add-ons. You'll definitely want to include call waiting and caller ID on your list, as these are basic features most companies need to use.
Look up the different offers from various VoIP phone service providers in Maryland. See what features they offer, how much they cost, and how well their company is doing. Consider their reputation before you make a decision. Having a working phone system in place is extremely important for your company, so you will always want a provider that has a good reputation and provides excellent customer service.
What is Plain Old Telephone Service in Maryland?
With a traditional phone service, your calls will be carried over the POTS, which is also known as a PSTN (public switched telephone network). This system exists all throughout the nation and is composed of many wires, satellite dishes, cellular networks, and landlines. POTS has existed for nearly 100 years and was the first telephone network created.
Having a POTS phone service costs quite a bit more than VoIP in Maryland, primarily because the POTS framework is incredibly sizable, creaky, and demands continual upkeep. Since POTS is an analog-based system, it's hard for it to dispatch information across distances of any length.
Whenever you call some long distance on a POTS line, the signal will pause at several spots along its path of transmission. Because the signal will move through machinery being operated by a number of businesses, long-distance calls placed on a POTS line are not cheap. Much of the hardware once used to transport, exchange, and direct calls has become completely digitized, but the final link (the bridge linking the regional office to the user) remains analog.
PBX: Private Branch Exchange in Maryland
Most Maryland businesses use a PBX, or private branch exchange, to route the calls that go through their office. A PBX system allows different calling features to function correctly, such as multiple extensions, call forwarding, voicemail and more. It is an important part of the phone system.
A traditional PSTN phone system can utilize the PBX either from the user's premises or from a remote location. But an analog PBX has a big drawback, and that is the expense. When you set up a complete business phone system that includes a PBX, you will need various types of hardware that you will be required to purchase to get started. This expense falls on the business owner and the initial investment can be anywhere from $1,000 and up. Other factors, such as installation and configuration, are also not included in the initial price. Any maintenance that must be done on the PBX will also be the business owner's responsibility. Hiring a professional to come out to look at any problems can cost at least $100 an hour, if not more.
A traditional PBX may also breakdown or parts of it can become obsolete, again a problem that can be very costly to fix. Many of these systems do not support more than a few lines at a time, so upgrading to more if your business grows will add on the expense of having to purchase additional hardware. You'll get stuck paying for costly repairs for years to come if you choose this type of phone system for your business.
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