Internet Phone Services Review

November 23rd, 2012 → 6:24 pm @

Sign up Your Small Business for a Virtual PBX

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Because of the low costs and high quality of Internet phone services, many local business owners are migrating from traditional phone systems offered by the regional bell operating company (i.e the local phone company).

So where are they going?

Small businesses are moving to Internet-based phone services. This simple step can greatly reduce small business monthly phone costs.

It is no wonder why the vast majority of new phone lines are now based on Internet phone services.

Internet phone services aimed at local businesses have expanded into unified communications services that can easily process voice calls, faxes, messaging (including voice and e-mail) as well as provide Web conferencing. All from the same Internet based phone service.

“Internet Phone Services are the way to go if you can find a service provider that you can trust. We have gone through this painstaking process and are now happy with our Internet phone services solution. Because of my background in telecommunications, I am often asked about how Internet phone services work, so I wrote this article to serve as a guide in setting up and configuring a virtual PBX for business…” — Colin Mack

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Figure 1: Internet Phone Services Subscription

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How it Works

  1. Recommended (Free Trial) – http://www.smallbusinessmarketingtipsbook.com/go/virtualPBX/
  2. Port your business line to an Internet PBX service
  3. Set up extensions for company departments, owners, managers and employees
  • Extension 1 – Sales
  • Extension 2 – Support
  • Extension 80 – Dan
  • Extension 81 – Buck

Internet Phone Service Benefits

  1. Customers dial only one number to reach your business
  2. Business owners and employees conference each other using the business line
  3. Business owners and employees update their own schedule using an easy online website and then the Internet Phone System finds them for routing incoming calls from customers (location independence)
  4. Business owners and empolyees log into an online website to call customers so that the Caller ID appears from “Your Business” along with your business telephone number (this is true even if you are calling from your cell phone or are roaming internationally) – Look like a big business and be 100% professional…

Automatically forward business calls to your cell phone or home office phones

  1. Forward calls to any number (locally, nationally or even internationally)
  2. Control the call forwarding schedule based on:
  • business hours (during or after)
  • Caller ID
  • or even based on vacation dates or travel schedule of the business owner or employees
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Internet Phone Service Reviews

  1. The Internet PBX solution that my company uses allows us to work from any location, including home offices
  2. We make outbound business calls in the name of our business i.e. with our business name and telephone number in the caller ID field
  3. We tested other Internet phone systems without success:
  • MagicJack Review:  Magic Jack calls were routed over the public Internet and call quality suffered greatly. Tin cans and twine would have sounded better…
  • Phone.com Review:  Very poor quality, stuttering and breaks that interrupted the conversational flow of business telephone calls. We were extremely embarrassed to take business calls using the phone.com service.  Phone.com rents a private network, but have elected to use Tier 2 network providers. Call quality is an issue because these Tier 2 providers deliver inconsistent service levels. You can not run a real business with this…
  • eFax Review:  We tried eFax long ago as an Internet FAX solution, but dropped them because they were only an Internet FAX provider and it made more sense for us to combine phone and FAX services under one service provider. eFax was pretty good while it lasted. Note that they might have later changed their telephone service business name to jFax and then j2…

Recommended Internet-based Phone Solution

My company has tested multiple Internet-based phone systems and I believe that we have now found the perfect solution using:

  1. Skype Review:  I use Skype to avoid paying per minute charges when I call people outside of my wireless network, which is T-Mobile.  I primarily use Skype for placing personal calls to family and friends living outside the US. I do not like using cell phone minutes for international calls as I have already been gouged by wireless carriers in the US when placing these international calls or when roaming outside the US. Skype call quality is pretty good and might be good enough for business calls. But I only use Skype for placing personal calls. While I like Skype for personal calling, I would only use it for placing business calls to someone who is using Skype themselves and would understand the occasional dropped call or two.
  2. RingCentral Review:  With RingCentral we have an Internet business line as our main telephone number, a dedicated Internet FAX line and a few dedicated Internet phone lines for sales and support.  Call quality is fantastic because Ring Central routes calls through the local phone company of the call originator, then over the RingCentral Tier 1 private network and then to the phone company of the called party (termination point).  Calls are not routed across the regular, public Internet like other solutions. So call quality is superb. A real Internet Phone Service provider for real businesses…

Internet Phone Service

International Rates to Call Costa Rica

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Figure 2: Example International Calling Rates for Business - Costa Rica

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