Does VoIP require Wi-Fi?

Does VoIP Require WiFi?

Clear and quick communication is crucial to the success of any business or charity, which is where Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) steps in to help.

As well as being reasonably priced, you’ll benefit from advanced features like call encryption, integrated team collaboration and auto attendant. In truth, businesses don’t really have a choice, even if you’re not convinced – traditional landline networks will be taken out of service altogether in 2025, forcing you to embrace this new technology!

However, before making the switch, there’s one important question to consider – Does VoIP require WiFi? Keep reading as we explain everything you need to know.

What is VoIP and how does it work?

Before diving into the details, it’s always helpful to define our terms. Quite simply, VoIP is a type of phone system that makes and receives calls via an internet connection. It’s a popular alternative to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) because you don’t need copper cables or complicated infrastructure.

The PSTN uses a circuit-switching method for connecting calls, meaning there’s a physical channel between two endpoints (which is why you need wires). When you make a call, you effectively rent this line – nobody else can access the channel while you’re chatting.

In contrast, VoIP uses a packet-switching method instead. “Packets” refer to the bundles of data that are converted and directed every time you speak. Here’s how it works:

  • You make a call via your device, such as a computer, tablet or mobile
  • A VoIP app converts the analogue waves into digital waves
  • Your internet provider sends the digital waves to the VoIP servers
  • The VoIP server reroutes the digital waves to the end user
  • The end user receives the digital waves as audio sound

While it might sound complicated, the process is pretty straightforward and happens instantaneously. You probably wouldn’t notice any delays or interruptions unless you had a poor internet connection.

Does VoIP require WiFi?

That leads us on nicely onto the next question – does VoIP require WiFi? In a nutshell, the technology won’t work without an active internet connection because packet-switching relies on internet providers sending digital sound waves to VoIP servers.

Of course, this presents some challenges. What happens when you’re travelling for work and can’t access the internet? Or forced to use hotel WiFi, which is notoriously unreliable and slow?

Luckily, there’s no need to panic. VoIP isn’t tethered to wired broadband, and you can always use mobile data when out and about. In our increasingly connected world, there’s really no reason why the technology shouldn’t work.

Does VoIP work with mobile data?

When you can’t access WiFi, simply switch on your mobile data. While the 3G of yesteryear wasn’t particularly up to scratch, today’s high-speed connections are more than capable of handling VoIP communication. Of course, the stronger the signal, the better the audio quality.

WiFi vs mobile data: which is best?

Is WiFi or mobile data best for VoIP? In truth, it depends. We’d argue the top option is whatever allows you to communicate effectively in your current location.

With that said, WiFi tends to be more reliable for businesses and charities, especially if they’ve upgraded their networks. On the flip side, shared connections, excess traffic and old routers can ruin the user experience.

As for mobile data, it can be a lifesaver if you’re travelling or subject to a poor internet connection. However, the call quality hangs on your signal and the number of people using the network. VoIP doesn’t perform at its best in busy crowded areas, where thousands of people are contending for their slice of coverage.

Overall, we’d recommend accessing VoIP through WiFi hotspots where possible and mobile data when pinched. Hopefully, roaming will become a more viable option with advances in mobile infrastructure.

Managed service providers or specialist providers

When thinking about VoIP and WiFi, you might be wondering whether to choose one managed service provider (MSP) or several specialist providers.

MSPs combine broadband and VoIP services, sorting everything you need into one tidy package. Alternatively, you can search for specialist providers and merge them afterwards. Both will get you to where you want to be – up and running with a super-fast VoIP framework!

However, MSPs are usually more expensive because you’re paying a third party to manage your services. Plus, you might not like the lack of control that comes with signing your business functions over to someone who’s far less emotionally and financially invested.

Another option is selecting specialist providers to meet specific business needs, such as a separate internet provider and VoIP provider. Although you might spend more time researching the best companies, you can rest assured they’ll be experts in their fields. A dedicated team will always be on hand to answer your queries and solve your technical hiccups.

What are the benefits of VoIP?

Now you understand the nuts and bolts of VoIP and how it works, you might be interested in the amazing benefits. We’ve already mentioned it’s cheaper than traditional landline networks, offering a lower monthly cost on domestic and international calls. Most importantly, you’ll gain tonnes of new functionality, such as virtual receptionists and video conferencing.

On top of this, VoIP is flexible, so you can make calls from multiple devices anywhere in the world – provided you have a good internet connection. With the boom in remote working, this is a valuable feature that’ll help businesses and charities stay ahead of the competition.

Finally, VoIP solutions also provide real-time analytics. You’ll be able to see how many calls are made and received, the duration and connection speed. The more information you have, the better your organisation will run.

Upgrade your communication technology with VoIP

Hopefully, you’re now a little clearer about how VoIP works and the benefits for your business or charity. Without a doubt, it’s the future – old methods of communication will gradually be phased out in 2025.

Need help installing a newer system? Contact our friendly team today for assistance. Call 0330 094 0170, email info@vsgcomms.com or complete our online form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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