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VoIP

How Bandwidth Can
Negatively Impact VoIP Quality
…and How to Improve It

August 24th, 2014

Bandwidth Can Negatively Impact VoIP Quality

It’s widely-known that business VoIP phones rely heavily on your Internet speed. A High-speed Internet connection provides VoIP with clear, high-quality calls and is a necessity in any business with an implemented VoIP phone system. However, what most people don’t know is that network bandwidth plays a large role as well. VoIP needs a certain amount of bandwidth to be usable. Businesses rely on a number of other Internet activities and while you might have enough bandwidth for VoIP to remain clear, when traffic spikes in one area of your network, your VoIP call suffer a loss in sound quality, resulting in static… or even drop completely.

So how do I determine if I have enough bandwidth?
While there are a number of network speed and bandwidth tests available online, it can be difficult to determine the right amount of bandwidth to meet your specific business needs. Because of this, you may want to contact the experts.

How do I find the right network bandwidth provider?
Once you’ve determined what amount of bandwidth is required to meet your business needs, it’s important to shop around for a reputable provider. VirtualPBX makes it easier to shop around and takes the search out of your hands. Simply request a quote, and VirtualPBX will search your local providers for you in order to provide you with the best quote for the bandwidth that you need.

Hosted PBX vs. Standard PBX: Which Is Right for You?
August 12th, 2014

is Hosted PBX or Standard PBX right for your business

Choosing a hosted PBX service vs. a standard PBX service depends greatly on the needs of your business. But how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes the choice is easy – for example, a hosted PBX service would make the most sense for a company with employees who work outside the main office; a company where all employees are located at the same office location may find that a standard PBX system is more beneficial. Below are more details to help you decide which service is best for you and your business.

A standard PBX system makes sense when:

  • All employees are located at the same office
  • The company doesn’t mind high up-front costs in order to receive the lowest possible monthly costs
  • The company wants the cheapest solution available and capabilities are unimportant
  • The business is larger
  • Customers won’t benefit from a toll-free service
  • The company is not likely to change in size

A hosted PBX service is the best choice when:

  • Not all employees are located at the same location – some telecommute, work away from the main location, or need to be available outside of regular hours
  • There is not a brick-and-mortar location – the company is virtual
  • The business wants low up-front costs
  • Customers would benefit from a toll-free service
  • The business is smaller
  • The company is likely to increase in size
  • The business experiences a high number of incoming calls
  • System reliability and fault tolerance are important
  • The business would like to avoid dedicating employees to outsourcing for PBX support
  • The business would like a complete set of features

A PBX service helps save your business money, as well as offers additional features that simply can’t be had with a traditional phone system. Still not sure which is right for you? Call VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800 for more information on our hosted PBX service. We can help you decide what’s most beneficial for your business.

Which VirtualPBX Plan
is Better for Me?

April 30th, 2014

With VirtualPBX, you’re not forced into a payment plan that doesn’t match your business. Most companies will find our flat rate plans will provide the most savings, and give the peace of mind that comes from knowing how much your bill will be each month, regardless of usage. Other businesses, usually those that don’t use the phone a lot, will benefit more from our usage based plans – why pay for unlimited use when your needs are low?

FLAT-RATE PLANS

This is what most companies market as “unlimited”.  There is never any such thing as “unlimited” in the telecom industry.  Let’s just get this straight right up front.  Carriers charge each other on a price per minute basis when they hand calls off to one another, so at some point in time that cost makes it down to the consumer.  However, VirtualPBX doesn’t really push the “unlimited” as much as they push flat-rate.  It’s a flat rate under normal business usage.  Here’s what the flat-rate plan comes with:

Plan Overview

  • Anywhere from $39.99/mo down to $19.99/mo per user, depending on how many extensions are needed
  • Unlimited free minutes for typical business use
  • No charge for long distance any where in the continental US or Canada
  • 1,000 minutes of toll-free included in every plan

Best for:

  • Most companies with typical phone use
  • Employees who work in offices or home offices with broadband internet

USAGE-BASED PLANS

Usage-based plans basically means you pay for only the minutes you use.  This can be extremely useful if you don’t have that many inbound calls or make many outbound calls.  You don’t need to pay a higher flat rate per extension because your overall usage is low compared to the average office.

Plan Overview

  • Prices start at just $9.99 per month
  • Pay only for minutes used
  • Unlimited users
  • Same system features as the flat-rate plans because it’s the same system
  • Toll-free is built into the plan minutes

Best for:

  • Companies with low phone use
  • Employees on cell phones or land lines

PLAN CALCULATOR

Still not sure which plan is best for you?  Not a problem.  To help make it a little easier, we’ve put together a little calculator where you input the number of users that need an extension and the rough amount of minutes that they use each month for inbound and outbound calls.

Please click to learn more about the plan calculator.

So, bottom line is that VirtualPBX has the right plan for you.  And even better is no matter which plan you choose, you can use the hardware VoIP phones with them, allowing you to cut all ties with your land line and traditional carriers.  This could save you a lot of money.  And that’s why VirtualPBX is doing what they’re doing.

3 Things to Look For When Choosing the Right VoIP Provider
August 28th, 2013

VoIP seems to be all the rage in various business industries and it’s important to do your research to choose a VoIP provider that is right for you before jumping right in. The most important aspect in choosing the right provider includes finding one that includes a secure telecommunication network, with call quality, and VoIP quality. Below are three things to look for in a PBX phone system and service provider.

Data Center
With a hardened, co-located facility, switches should be stored in a co-located datacenter that is part of a government-protected network for technology and communication. Multiple power and telecom sources allow the system to stay secure and functioning even if a telecommunication provider were to collapse with no risk of affecting customer calls. Carrier Class Switching allows providers to make their own changes, therefore providing you with virtually zero downtime.

Network
It’s important that all network points are firewalled and that full security measures are taken. Separate systems are ideal so that a web failure won’t affect calls. If calls are being placed to VoIP phones or soft phones, it is vulnerable to access through the internet, something copper wire calls are immune to. Therefore, VoIP calls must go through a secure backbone to ensure your VoIP calls are secure at all times.

Reliability
When searching for a reliable VoIP provider, it’s important to search for a company that promises no planned downtime. This means that no customer calls are affected, even if repairs are needed with the provider. Ask your prospective VoIP provider about the percentage of uptime you can expect.

As the most reliable virtual phone service in the market, Virtual PBX understands the importance of quality. Contact Virtual PBX today to see what we can do for you.

This “Technology of the Future” Can Save Your Business Money
June 3rd, 2013

You may have heard about “VoIP services astonishing growth”, “internet telephony tremendous success”, and “VoIP revolution” in the latest headlines of technology news. While VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is not a new service, more and more businesses are opting for this cost-effective phone system. There are two ways to take advantage of VoIP – you can get a complete VoIP phone system that includes business VoIP phones and inbound and outbound calling, or keep your existing phones and use our VoIP service to route callers and handle voicemail. As a third option, you can blend your usage and do both.

shutterstock_21824359Still undecided as to whether or not you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon with VoIP? Consider the following benefits:

Aside from saving your business money in startup costs and monthly maintenance costs, the benefits include a variety of added features that a traditional phone system simply cannot offer. A few of these benefits include professional greetings, music on hold, custom auto-attendant, fax with no fax machine, ACD queuing, call recording, conferencing, and more – the list is never-ending.

Users are able to access VoIP anywhere they go as long as they have access to internet connection. This is ideal for businesses with employees who travel often or work from home. VoIP can also help increase productivity among employees with integrated mailboxes and real-time videoing. Aside from lower setup and maintenance costs, businesses will see infrastructure costs reduced as well as lower facility costs without such a large number of wires running through the office.

A great VoIP provider will offer a plan that fits your budget and needs, while still offering the same great features that attracted you to shutterstock_95064232VoIP in the first place. However, before jumping on the bandwagon, it’s important to test your network to make sure it’s up for the task of handling VoIP. You can easily do this with a VoIP test, which will measure bandwidth, latency, and jitter, and check on the port status of your network.

Once deemed technology of the future, VoIP has since become a reality and continues to aid businesses in saving money and increasing efficiency.

Using Hosted VoIP to Consolidate Communications in 2013 and Beyond
December 19th, 2012

As another year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the trends of the ever-evolving communication landscape that took place over the past 365 days and consider what may come in the new year.

Looking back, 2012 can be considered the year of mobile, but as we head into 2013, the year of hosted VoIP adoption may be among us.

Though existing for several years, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has been slow to catch on outside the enterprise. Whether it’s due to consumer patterns or lack of awareness, people haven’t been particularly interested in VoIP. This all may be changing; however, as the technology becomes more mainstream and people discover the benefits of a VoIP phone system.

As we head into 2013, more and more businesses will realize that when they want a great phone solution, they must turn to Hosted VoIP. It allows quick and inexpensive communication over pre-existing telephone lines and is easy to use. It also often comes with many features that traditional phone services don’t provide.

People in general want a better phone service; and as soon as they get a feel for all the benefits VoIP phone systems give them at their workplace, they begin wanting the same types of features and connectivity in their personal lives as well.

In 2013, VoIP integration will play a major part as old phone technology rapidly becomes obsolete. The proliferation of smartphones will hasten adoption as demand for better telephone service pushes users towards VoIP and away from outdated legacy phone systems.

The chasm of adoption may just be crossed in 2013, as more people discover what new phone technology like VoIP can do to improve their call quality and lower their total phone costs.

It’s an exciting time to be in the hosted telecommunications industry and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

Virtual PBX Offers New, Cutting-Edge VoIP Phones
November 6th, 2012

VirtualPBX is excited to introduce three new Panasonic models to our list of top-of-the-line VoIP Phone list. We have added the Panasonic UT 113 Desk Phone, the Panasonic UT 123 Desk Phone and the Panasonic TGP 550B Desk & Cordless Phone.

Panasonic, a global leader in business communications, has a long history of offering state-of-the-art advanced telephony products. Designed to complement your existing communication infrastructures, Panasonic phones are ideal for home office and business environments, providing outstanding voice quality and a wide range of productivity-boosting options all in feature-rich desk phone replacements. They provide functionality and flexibility for optimal business communications.

The UT 113 and UT 123 desk phones are great choices for almost any desktop, with large digital displays, high-quality speakerphones, hold and mute buttons, and more. The main difference between them is the added pass-through Ethernet port on the UT 123 that lets you “daisy-chain” to another Ethernet device. Ethernet connects a VoIP phone to the Internet, and some offices have only one Ethernet port. Using the UT 123, you can plug the phone into the Ethernet port on the wall and then plug your computer into the phone, so you don’t have to run another Ethernet line into your office.

Of special interest is the TGP 550B Desk & Cordless Phone. This set includes a desk phone that you can place where you work the most and a roaming, cordless handset that you can take with you as you move about your office. Both include the great features you expect, like speakerphones and backlit digital displays.

For more details, look at the VoIP Phone list on our website or call us at 888-825-0800, option 1. All of these phones are available for purchase now.

Panasonic SIP phones are a proven, cost-effective endpoint solution for any size business utilizing the latest in Hosted and Open Source PBX technology. Put your business on the cutting edge of communications, with a system that delivers value now… and flexibility for the future.

Virtual PBX Offers New Plans and Free VoIP Phones
July 26th, 2012

VirtualPBX has just made VoIP and hosted phone services more affordable than ever! Prices of VirtualPBX’s usage-based plans have dropped by up to 70% and they’re now offering convenient and cost-effective new annual rates for all plans. What’s more, if you sign up for an annual plan, you can get free VoIP phones, further reducing your phone system costs.

As always, you can still use any kind of phone with VirtualPBX – land line, cellular, or VoIP. And there’s never been any cost for PBX hardware when using our system. Now, you can even get started with Voice over IP (VoIP) technology without buying phones. Remember that using VoIP can eliminate the cost of expensive business phone lines from the phone company. You’ll save money and get better features – it’s a “win-win”.

Furthermore,  the free phones offered by VirtualPBX are full-featured Polycom Soundpoint IP 321 phones, the most popular phones in the industry. With this incredible deal, VirtualPBX became the first major Business VoIP provider to offer all the benefits of a hosted VoIP PBX with absolutely no hardware costs, making it more affordable and accessible to everyone.

“Voice over IP telephony often offers reduced costs, which are extremely important in this economy,” said Larry Hettick, principal analyst with Current Analysis. “But up-front cost of buying new phones can be an issue, especially in the small business market. This move by VirtualPBX can help reduce the barrier to entry for their clients and make it easier for businesses to try VoIP.”

Changes to VirtualPBX’s pricing plans and offerings include:

  • Flat-rate Plans:
    • Unlimited-use plans now start as low as $18.99 per month per user.
    • Annual plan customers can receive up to 10 free VoIP phones, a value of $170 per phone.
    • No activation fees.
  • Usage-based Plans:
    • Plans now start as low as $7.99 per month.
    • New plans allow customers more minutes at a lower price with savings of up to 70 percent.
    • Annual plans include up to 4 free VoIP phones, a value of $170 per phone.
    • No activation fees.

“Our new packages eliminate many of the concerns and risks related to deploying a high-quality business VoIP system,” said Paul Hammond, CEO and president of VirtualPBX. “We’re confident that these new plans deliver the highest value available today.”

Small Businesses Convert to VoIP
July 10th, 2012

No matter the size of the company, good communication with customers and suppliers is a must and to have this, you must have an up-to-date telephone system. Many businesses are gravitating towards VoIP systems in order to save money, strengthen communication, and increase professionalism. A key component to owning a network phone system is the quality and capacity of your internet connection. To better assist you in evaluating your broadband connection, Virtual PBX offers tests that will provide feedback on your network bandwidth and line quality.

 

Testing VoIP is easy. From this test, you will find out the bandwidth of your internet connection. When calculating bandwidth required for the VirtualPBX phone system you should allocate 80-100 Kbps of bandwidth per active phone, however, please keep in mind that not all phones in a business are active at one time. In order for VoIP data to be received by your network, proper firewall settings must be made. The client UDP firewall check must be open.

 

Latency is another important factor in having good quality VoIP service. Latency refers to the measurement of delay or time lag between your phone and the server. Latency delays less than 50 ms. would be considered sufficient for good quality VoIP service. Voice quality can become fuzzy and unclear if there is too much latency and can be caused by many factors including router delays, number of routers in the path and congestion caused by insufficient bandwidth. Jitter also can lower the quality of your VoIP service and should not exceed 20 ms.

 

Testing VoIP is essential to see how our service will function with your location and business so the necessary changes can be made before installation to get the best out of your VoIP service.

Virtual PBX Complete is a Complete Success
June 7th, 2012

Nine Consecutive Awards and Huge Growth for VirtualPBX Complete

Called a “cream of the crop” service by its customers, the latest award wining service from Virtual PBX, Virtual PBX Complete, quickly worked its way to the upper echelon of VoIP solutions, delivering an unparalleled complete business phone service.

Unlike other hosted PBX services, VirtualPBX Complete supports the blending of analog and IP telephony while simultaneously incorporating open SIP peering. Eliminating the need for proprietary software and delivering the freedom and flexibility to carry business extensions anywhere around the world through a smartphone, Virtual PBX complete is becoming an essential element for running a successful business.

“The need for business VoIP solutions is high, and we’re excited to have been able to launch such a strong product,” said Greg Brashier, CMO of Virtual PBX.

Since its launch, VirtualPBX Complete has been recognized by several publications including Information Week, eWEEK and TMCnet receiving the following nine awards:

VirtualPBX announced continued strong growth in the 15 months since the launch of its award-winning VirtualPBX Complete business VoIP solution in February 2011, citing a 49.9 percent rise in traffic though the company’s hosted PBX system. With Virtual PBX’s expertise in technology and ability to create some of the most innovative products and services on the market, it is easy to see why they are so popular.