The Disadvantages of a Voice Over IP (VoIP) Telephone Service

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The Disadvantages of a Voice Over IP (VoIP) Telephone Service

Staff Writer · Nov 20, 2009

The technology of Voice Over IP (VoIP) has helped to connect people around the world who cannot use a regular phone for financial or other reasons. VoIP telephone service is also popular among entrepreneurs and individuals who want to save time and money by making their calls online. However, there are some disadvantages to be aware of before you switch over to VoIP. Here are just a few:

Broadband Internet

There are still individuals on the planet that use dial-up for free or low-cost access to the Internet. If you want to switch to a VoIP telephone service, you’ll have to upgrade to broadband Internet. This means higher monthly fees to pay for your Internet, which may not translate into savings on your telephone bill. Factor the costs of getting broadband Internet service as you compare the costs of switching telephone services. Even with high speed Internet access, you can face a loss of connection from time to time, which means you won’t be able to place any calls. If you lose Internet connection, and VoIP service is your only source to place calls, you could be without a phone for a few days.

Not Ideal for Emergencies

If there’s a natural disaster or other emergency that causes your power to go out, you can’t use your VoIP to call for help. You can’t get online to make the calls, and you won’t be able to receive calls from family members or others who might be trying to reach you. This is not a problem with your land line. When the power goes out, you’ll still have a dial-tone and can make and receive phone calls. You might think that your cell phone can solve this problem easily, but you can get stuck if the emergency happens on the one day you forget to charge your phone. Also, you might not be able to get a signal. Finally, you won’t get the benefit of a 911 dispatcher tracking down your location when you place a call on your home phone. They can’t find you when you make a call over the Internet.

Poor Sound Quality for Long Distances

Talking over a wireless phone with a VoIP telephone service sounds a lot different than picking up the phone and calling someone long distance. The sound quality is noticeably different, the further away the recipient of the call is. This may not be a problem if you’re calling an old classmate, but it may not sit well with clients or customers. Consider how you’ll use the service before switching over, especially if you work from home. VoIP may be fine to use in some cases, but it may not work well for business or employment.

You might decide that you can overcome the disadvantages of a VoIP telephone service and go with it. The important thing is to develop a plan to compensate for each disadvantage, especially for the times when you may find yourself in a medical or other emergency.

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