Frequently Asked Questions
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VoIP - Voice Over IP FAQs
What is VoIP?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet.
What is Hosted VoIP ?
Hosted VoIP is where the VoIP equipment, servers and services are hosted by the VoIP provider, which manages calls and routes them to and from the subscriber's location. Other than your telephones, all equipment is in a remote location and the VoIP services come through your internet connection.
With a Hosted VoIP solution, you will need to contact the VoIP provider directly for service needs. These service calls are typically handled by a large Call Center which could be located anywhere in the world.
With a Hosted VoIP solution, you often purchase the telephone handsets, but rent the VoIP services from the provider with typically a 2-3 year contract. At the end of the contract, you are free to continue renting the service, or find another solution that fits your companies needs.
How is an Allworx VoIP system different?
With Allworx, there are a variety of options available.
- You can purchase the equipment, and the Allworx server will be installed along with the rest of your computer and network equipment. For some customers, this is the best solution because they are investing in a long-term solution and do not want to simply rent technology equipment. With a purchase, there are lease options available.
- Through the Allworx ABC rental program, you can rent all of the equipment with a 3 or 5 year commitment. We would wrap up the rental and your phone service costs into a single monthly payment. At the end of contract you are free to continue month to month. However, in the ABC rental program, the equipment is not hosted in a remote unknown location, rather it is installed on-site, and can be managed and serviced locally.
- You can purchase the Allworx phones yourself and we will connect you with a 3rd party who will provide your Hosted VoIP services.
What is included in an Allworx system?
A typical Allworx system includes the Allworx Server and the VoIP handsets. Depending on the size of your business and your needs, additional networking equipment is sometimes needed.
What are the Allworx telephones like?
The newest version of the Allworx telephones have full color LCD screens and come in 12, 8, and 4 button models. There are also 18 button expansion carts that can be added to the 12 button phones.
What are some of the features of the Allworx system?
- Auto Attendant
- Share personal contacts between your cell and business phone
- Hand-off calls to and from your mobile device
- Multi-site compatability
- Call recording options
- Call Conferencing
- Hot Desking
- Remote phones
Why should I consider a new phone system?
There are many reasons to consider replacing your phone system:
- Maybe your current phone system is not meeting the needs of your business.
- If your phone system is more than 10 years old, a new phone system may provide significant technological improvements that would benefit your business.
- If you are paying monthly long distance charges, a new phone system is likely to save your business money.
- If you are renting or paying for "hosting" services, a new phone system is likely to save your business money.
- A new phone system is more reliable than your best employee, will cost less than your least expensive employee, and its features will be working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and never take a vacation, call in sick or complain.
What is the difference between Analog and Digital telephones?
- An Analog phone works by converting voice and sound into electrical wave signals, which are transported over copper phone lines. On the receiving end, these electrical wave signals are converted back into voice and sound waves. A fax machine uses analog technology.
- A digital phone system, also known as a PBX, works by converting voice and sound into a digital signal (1's and 0's like a computer), which can be sent over copper wires or through the internet. On the receiving end, these digital signals are converted back into voice and sound waves.
How long can I keep my current phone system?
You should keep your current phone system as long as it fills the need of your business. However, you should keep the following in mind:
- The older your phone system is, the more you will be missing the benefits of newer technology.
- As your phone system ages, the cost can be significant to maintain and replace worn out equipment, or even adding to your system as your business grows.
Data Backup FAQs
What is a Backup System?
A Backup System combines the following:
- Backup Power
- Critical Data Backup
What is Backup Power?
Typically, Backup Power is achieved through the implementation of a Uninterruptible Power Source, or UPS for short. A UPS is designed to provide continued power for critical electric services during a power outage. The most common form of UPS is a small electrical device with an internal battery that is activated when there is a loss of power. A UPS can allow attached electrical devices to continue operation for a few minutes up to several hours during power loss.
Does a UPS provide any other protection?
Yes, one of the most important features of a UPS, is that it provides Surge Protection to attached equipment. When electrical power is lost, or during restoration of electrical power, surges of power can come through your electrical wiring. These surges can damage or even destroy electronic equipment like Computers, Networking and Telephone equipment. In most cases, this will protect your critical equipment from these harmful power surges.
What devices should be protected by a UPS?
Typically, you should be protecting any equipment that is essential to the function of your business. This would include Computers and Monitors, Networking Devices and your Telephone Equipment. Surge protection can prevent critical damage or even the failure of these devices, while the battery backup can often provide additional power that at a minimum will allow you to complete and save valuable work, but may also enable your business to continue operation even when the power is out.
How much does a UPS cost?
The price range for a UPS is quite wide, starting at around $50 on up to many thousands of dollars for large corporations.
How many devices will a UPS protect?
That depends on how much you spend. a $50 UPS is typically good enough to cover a single computer and monitor. You will likely spend a bit more to protect your telephone system, or the server and networking equipment for your business.
I have never had a UPS, and I have never had any problems. Why should I buy a UPS now?
A UPS is like insurance. You never know when you might need it. It is better to pay a price that is just a fraction of the cost of your equipment rather than risk the loss of valuable equipment or the loss of irreplaceable data.
What is Critical Data Backup?
This is the backup of important data that if lost, would cause critical harm to your business. Typically, this would include important customer or business records, or even valuable work information. Critical Data would even include the necessary programming that determines the proper functioning of your telephone system. Without proper programming, a telephone system is pretty much useless until reprogrammed.
If you lost the programming on your Server, Desktop Computers or Telephone System, would your business be able to recover?