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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using VoIP at Home – MUO – MakeUseOf


VoIP has built a reputation for being helpful in the workplace. It has several great benefits, such as being an effective way to cut back on costs; yet, businesses aren’t the only ones that can reap the rewards.

Regular internet users who are simply looking for a preferable way to work from home can also use VoIP. However, if you’re looking to use VoIP at your home, you should consider its advantages and disadvantages before making any commitments.

What Exactly Is VoIP?

Here’s a simple explanation for those who have never heard of VoIP before: VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a way to make and receive phone calls using your internet connection instead of using traditional phone lines.

By using VoIP technology, you’ll be able to make voice calls using your PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Additionally, if you want to do away with your mobile network, you can use a range of apps for VoIP calls.

Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Discord, and Google Duo are a few popular, easy-to-use apps that allow you to make VoIP calls for free.

What Are the Main Advantages of Using VoIP at Home?

Happy woman using laptop and smiling at smartphone

We know there’s a buzz about how advantageous using VoIP at work is, but it also has advantages at home. At present, working from home is commonplace. In fact, many people say when they work from home, they work longer hours, and they’re more consistent. So why wouldn’t you want to boost your home office even more by using VoIP?

1. VoIP Is Low-Priced

VoIP is inexpensive compared to the typical phone bills you’d have to pay if you used a phone line. But why is it so cheap? Well, that’s because most people already have the internet to work from home, and you can just use your connection instead of paying separately for landlines, telephone bills, etc.

Additionally, you can make low-cost international calls, whether it’s to an important client, coworker, or friend. Overseas calls made using VoIP are cheap because it works off your internet connection, meaning no more massive telephone bills.

2. VoIP Is Easy to Maintain and Install

As previously mentioned, VoIP uses the power of the internet for calls rather than using those outdated things called landlines. So, without the hassle of telephone lines, just about anyone can easily maintain and install VoIP.

You don’t need anything fancy to get started; all you need to do is plug in the appropriate hardware, and it’s ready to use immediately. Plus, your VoIP provider will assist you with the setup if you need any help.

3. VoIP Makes Remote Work Painless

Did you know that VoIP not only lowers the cost of working remotely but also allows you to connect to your work phone system at all times? VoIP has exploded in popularity in recent years for that very reason.

So whether you’re running errands, driving somewhere, or stepping out for lunch for a few minutes, you can still answer your calls like you never left home. So, throw out that desk phone and enjoy the benefits of VoIP when you’re working remotely.

What Are the Main Disadvantages of Using VoIP at Home?

Angry woman holding smartphone

Many people at home are switching to using VoIP because of how cheap, easy, and efficient it is. However, aside from VoIP’s several great benefits, the technology does have a few downsides. Let’s take a look at the main disadvantages you need to know about before you decide.

1. VoIP Needs a Fast and Reliable Internet Connection

Compared to a traditional phone line, VoIP relies entirely on an internet connection to make calls. So, if your internet is down or incredibly slow, you won’t be able to use VoIP properly.

Regular power outages can damage your computer, but they’re also problematic if you’re using VoIP from home as it needs the internet and electricity to function. Besides that, a slow connection means you’ll have to deal with terrible, disruptive call quality when you’re trying to chat with someone on the phone.

2. Audio Quality Can Sometimes Be Poor

As mentioned above, you’ll need a decent internet connection to take full advantage of VoIP; otherwise, it’ll cause a handful of problems. The two most common VoIP problems are latency and jitter.

Latency, also called ping, is the time it takes for data to travel from one destination to another. Latency during a VoIP call above 300 ms can cause audio to lag and crisscross over each other.

Although often tied together, jitter isn’t the same thing as latency. In short, jitter is the term used to describe the variation in latency from one destination to another. Latency and jitter are typically caused by having a slow internet connection, low bandwidth, routing issues, and outdated hardware.

3. VoIP Could Be a Security Risk

Since VoIP relies on your internet connection to make voice calls, it has several online security risks. Unfortunately, just like anything you do online, VoIP can make you a target for phishing attacks, scammers, hackers, malware, and viruses.

These security risks can slow down your computer, mess with your latency, and give attackers access to your personal information. The security consequences of using VoIP can negatively affect you, especially if you’re working from home.

To protect yourself from security risks, always ensure you have trustworthy antivirus software installed, a regularly updated OS, and a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). Besides all that, you should report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.

Is It Worth It to Switch Over to VoIP at Home?

Using VoIP technology at home can make your life so much easier. Not only will it save you a lot of money in the long run, but you can also effortlessly install and maintain it even if you’re not exactly an IT specialist.

Currently, more and more people are working from home, and having a desk phone is becoming outdated and unnecessary. Yes, VoIP has a few disadvantages, but the advantages outweigh them, placing the technology in a class of its own.

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