I was born in a time when landlines were the order of the day. I remember as a child, spending hours on end sitting by the phone so that I could be the one to pick it up whenever it went off. It was one of my earliest introductions to the awe of technology.
However, I think that it is safe to say that for the past decade, the landline has been steadily losing its wonder, thanks to the emergence of mobile phones but also because of Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, which provide a superior level of service and reliability at a much lower cost.
Many people who still have traditional landlines only keep them in case of emergencies or because they've had the same number for a long time; many consumers replaced them with VoIP phones at home and in the office for more affordable regular communications, the ability to keep their old number and integrations with smart home devices consumers love.
A few months back, while searching for a new VoIP phone company to replace my traditional landline, I came across the name Eric Stang. Eric Stang is the CEO of Ooma, a consumer telecommunications company. After extensive research on this company, I decided to go with them and I have seen a marked improvement in my service delivery. This move inspired me to write this post.
So what exactly do VoIP phones have over the conventional landline that we have trusted for more than a century? Put simply, the world was ready for something else; something smarter.
1. Ability to integrate with services that keep families safe
From smoke detectors to refrigerators,we consumers increasingly expect our appliances to be smart. A traditional landline can only receive calls and record a voicemail, but a smart home phone integrates with services like Nest to send automatic alerts to consumers if smoke is detected or a child or elderly parent didn't make it home when expected. Smart home phones also allow consumers to dial 911 from their home phone remotely without having to provide details about the exact location, saving precious time in the event of an emergency. Since home phones are registered to the home address, dispatchers know exactly where to send help, down to the floor and apartment number.
Additionally, a smart home phone can also provide internet security capabilities such as blocking malware, viruses and phishing attempts, protecting those most vulnerable, like children and older consumers, from objectionable web content and scams.
2. More effective call transmission and routing
I am sure that we have all experienced that frustrating break in transmission when making calls with a mobile phone. A smart home phone delivers superior voice quality even under extreme conditions using a collection of advanced technologies such as HD voice, advanced voice compression and encryption. That is why they have become common place in today's world.
Calls routed over the internet are usually smoother without the occasional annoying sounds that cut or interrupt communication between you and the person at the other end. It also usually gives better sound quality than you would get with a traditional landline.
3. Cost of installation and maintenance
Traditional landlines are more expensive because they require professional installation, maintenance to the grid, support, configuration and upgrades.
Smart home phones are cloud-based, therefore updates can be carried out via point-and-click software. Less hassle, more efficiency. Also, traditional landlines can cost you up to $60 monthly, while most VoIP phone services will set you back around $10 monthly. I am sure you can figure out which is more efficient.
4. Endless features and services for the smart home phone
The analog phone usually comes with four basic features: hold, mute, redial and speed dial.Smart home phones are more versatile and offer many more features that make your communication a breeze.
As I stated earlier, I installed an Ooma Telo, one of the top ranked cloud based telecommunications system, which has extra features such as call waiting, caller ID, a call log history, voicemail and of course the essential 911 service.
Other additional features and services such as call screening, call blocking capabilities, access to voicemail via email, free mobile app and call forwarding come with the premium service package (which is about $10/month).
5. VoIP phones free you to move around
Some VoIP phones will free up your secretary from handling your calls whenever you step out of your home or office. You do not have to worry about who called and who did not. Most VoIP phonescome with a companion app (such as that of Ooma, MagicJack and Invoxia Voice Bridge among others) that is compatible with your smartphone, whether it runs an Android, Windows or iOS operating system.
What these apps do is that they afford you mobility by allowing you to forward calls to your smartphone when away. This ensures you never have to miss an important call or have your secretary take a rain check on your behalf. You can make outgoing calls as if you were at home or at the office.
6. Cheap call rates
With traditional landlines, the farther the destination you are calling the more money you will have to shell out (in addition to the monthly cost). I used to dread making long distance calls when I had a traditional landline. The call rates were crazy and was actually one of the reasons that drove me to seek other alternatives.
None of us can argue the peace of mind this brings knowing that you can talk for longer to someone halfway around the world and at a cheaper rate too.