Monthly Archives: April 2018

Best VOIP blogs list and comparison

The Top VOIP Blogs Out There

There are hundreds of blogs about VOIP and most of them are as bad as it can be. It is not an easy task to find to find the one that is really worth reading. Our blog is still small and we know  that you won’t find all the answers here so we offer you a list that could help you in your search for knowledge.

Here are all the VOIP blogs we deemed worthy of your attention:

Voipsupply

I’m still not sure if this blog should be first one on the list or last one in the prehistoric section. Since it is arguably the best in both sections I’ll let it sit here for a while.

About: VoIP Supply operates on North America’s soil for about 15 years now. It is the leading IP communications provider for NA and as such keps a good blog


Voipreview

The blog of voipreview consist of mostly well written news rarely mixed with poor quality articles. The Blog/news are  updated once a week and the generic trash articles are quite rare.

About: VoipReview.org is shopping and information website mostly for middle to small business VoIP providers. On the website you can can search for and compare different VoIP providers and plans, to find out which one is best for your needs. Also the information provided on communication solutions is quite impressive.


Voipinnovations

Company blog targeting mostly their clients and other VOIP providers. If you fit any of those categories, the blog is good and you can find a lot of interesting and informative articles.

About: Voip Innovations is a normal VOIP provider that offers nothing out of the ordinary. And they seems to do that quite well as they have grown a lot. You won’t find any Innovations as the name suggests, but a well working services might just be the thing you need.


Mixvoip

Might have been the best company blog on the list if it had some more articles. It has some self promotion but it is not that much. Good diversity of articles about VOIP and similar thematic. Not updated very frequently but you can still expect to find one or two good articles each month.

About: MIXvoip is a regulated  telecom provider and is one of the new players on the European market. As such they rely on innovations and unique proposals. Some of the features like VOIP for mobile that is not using any data connection are quite amazing. The aggressive innovative marketing and pricing tactics seem to be working as they are expanding fast. Lets hope they don’t forget to expand the blog as well


888voip

Good blog focused on both providing information and gaining clients in the process. A bit too many links in the articles leading to nowhere useful. And of course no signs of any navigation except the next page button. If you can live with that you should definitely check it out.


Net2phone

With the very first opening of the blog you say to yourself “Finally a nice looking blog with proper navigation”. If it was not for the naive “Why Music On Hold Makes Callers Happy” articles it would have been my blog of choice. Seriously no one and I mean NO ONE wants to listen to on hold music, no matter how many shitty excuses you make for it. It is a regularly updated blog about voip which authors seems to be pushed to place a bit too many articles per month, resulting in some plainly stupid articles mixed with the good ones.


Orbtalk

It seems someone is bringing that forum back. I would not have mentioned this blog if it was not for the few really good articles in it. All in all its lacking quantity and making up with quality. Due to poor font selection the readability is not the best there is.


Surevoip

Very good blog with lots of interesting and helpful posts. Vast amount of articles that show only the good side of VOIP. All of this wrapped in the ugliest interface available. Don’t even bother opening on mobile.


Getvoip

Half the articles are Top 10 clickbaits, while the other half seems to be news. Well there is enough info in there to get it in the list even if it is on the last position.


And that almost ends it.

 

Let’s finish  with the iconic trio. Here you can admire the dinosaurs of the voip niche, and as such the articles they write are kind of prehistoric too. Mostly row data, news and self service promotions, nothing really catchy or interesting. If you don’t identify yourself as voip techie just skip them and go to the real list


3cx’s Blog

3cx posts are mostly self promotional. Quite a lot about their (and their partners) services and promotions. If you have time to scroll 130+ pages with articles you might just find few interesting pieces. I would not waste my time there.


Onsip’s Blog

Onsip posts are quite a lot better than 3cx’s. They make phone reviews, show best practices, guides and so on. The diversity of what you can find in this primordial soup is amazing. The quality of the articles on the other hand is not. I have to admit that the blog is a tat more readable than the first dino in this list.


Asterisk’s Blog

Asterisk is quite unique. Everything is technical but very well written. Abbreviations and tech names take up to 50% of the text and it is still readable. Don’t ask me how it is done, go there and read an article or two. But as I said before, if you don’t identify yourself as techie, just skip this blog and check the others.

 

Why Always Use Call Recording

Call recording and VOIP

Monitor your conversations and diagnose arising problems.

Everyone has called a customer service at some point in his life and been greeted with a message of this sort: “This call MAY be recorded for quality assurance purposes.” Its a white lie as it is not based on a chance. All the conversations get recorded and for a good reason. Call recording is being used to ensure customer satisfaction and monitor employee productivity. And while it can hardly be used as evidence in court it can help refresh the memory of an employee or stubborn client. Today, more and more businesses know the true value call recording and are using it to some extent. The truth is that most Apps for call recording are not integrated in the dialer. And most dialers insist on saving all data on the phone limited memory.

Dispute Resolution

When a customer calls support, he is usually trying to convert, seeking help or reporting a problem. The reason for the call can be from unclear information to customer mistake or simple lack of knowledge or information. Of coarse it can also be because of defect product or simple misunderstanding. In many cases the person conversing on the phone can’t comprehend the root of the problem right away or simply misses some of the provided information. Having a call record allows the tech team or managers to listen to that conversation and diagnose the specific problem. The process slow, time consuming and often neglected but can improve the overall work flow if used for similar cases.

Fosters Growing Businesses

As businesses develop, its not uncommon that they establish offices in multiple locations or start to outsource part of their tasks. It becomes more difficult to manage multiple locations and offices that are located abroad. Call recording than steps in to ease the diagnosing if conversation and conversion problems as well as monitoring of customer satisfaction. It can be done at any location without need of much or any investment.

Productivity

When recording calls the business can make customized call reports based on different factors. Call length, call scoring, and number of calls per employee, time to answer, calls peak hours and even customer satisfaction can be measured. It is even possible to highlight personal calls, leading to better interconnectivity in the company or weeding the employees that tend to make excessive personal calls. Just knowing that you can listen on the conversations your employees will deter from making personal calls, will pay more attention to how they are addressing the customers and refrain from sharing sensitive company information. Overall, the business achieves better productivity and optimizes the use of time and resources.

Where VOIP kicks in

Apart from all the other benefits of VOIP we have already discussed it can really shine when it comes to call recording. VOIP providers have it hard as VOIP is harder to sell and has to bring more to the table. Voice recording is one of those things and it is easier and better than because of the Internet nature of VOIP. Voice recording is provided as free feature and in most cases is embedded in the VOIP servers. That means that the calls are saved a remote server and the you get a link to the media that you can open from any device at any place and any time you wish. As a bonus it does not clog your phone memory and if done right can be used from both office VOIP phones and mobile applications.

Better pay attention – Identity and Security

What happens when you get a letter in the mail and it appears to be tampered with?  I don’t know about you, but I either think that it got mangled in the postal sorting machines, or someone has been tampering.  I don’t immediately assume that it’s tampered with, as I am not that important of a person. But there are a few “less than desirable” folks I have come across in my travels that necessitate thinking that way at times. If I suspect that it is tampered, I have the ability to complain to the US Postal Service (or whoever the carrier is) and start an inquiry.  There’s a certain level of accountability.

Telecommunications accountability

With telecommunications, accountability is less effective.  Say your phone rings – do you assume that someone is listening in on your phone call?  Probably not unless you are in a similar profession as Tony Soprano.  The fact of the matter is this – people’s historical sense of security, or assuredness regarding source and point-to-point communications must be questioned.  I don’t mean to sound like a harbinger of doom, but this questioning comes as a result of modern technology.  Let’s take the simple example of the receiving a phone call.  Your phone rings.  The name of the person calling you is displayed on the phone’s screen.  It’s your Mother’s name, or her phone number.  Most of us would proceed with answering the call expecting the person on the other end to be our Mother.  Now, this leap of faith may be questioned if the masses understood the ease of “spoofing” this data. Мeaning, people can pretend they are your Mom just to get you to answer the phone.  Telemarketing companies are very savvy employing some techniques.  They realize if the caller ID displays “ABC Telemarketing Company” the odds of the phone being answered decreases tremendously.  But what if the caller ID were something more ambiguous, like “out of area”?  Well they did just that, then the FTC mandated they had to stop the “out of area” practice, and start displaying their phone number, and if possible company name.  Frankly, that didn’t do much as most people just lumped the “out of area” calls as telemarketing calls anyways.  At least that’s what I did.  This is really just a ‘cat and mouse’ game between the FTC/FCC and the telemarketers.  To keep things ambiguous, most telemarketers elected to just provide their phone number to display.  While not ideal to conceal the identity, it’s better than having “ABC Telemarketing Company” displayed.  In fact, because I am from Michigan, I usually accept most phone calls from any area-code in Michigan because I don’t know who’s phone might have changed – so I elect to answer rather pass the call to v-mail.  The constant balancing act our governing bodies must play between protecting free markets interests (read as commerce/business) on the one side, and protecting constituents on the other side, necessitates that we be more vigilant.

Phone calls (not only VOIP)

Back to the comparison of receiving a parcel versus a phone call.  If I get a package from my friendly postal working in the mail, I know for certain that the package was carried from the sender to me by the courier. UPS, FEDEX, etc.  When it comes to phone calls, the only thing we can be certain of is that the last part of the call was carried by my phone company.  The reality is that mostly phone calls, regardless of the technology, are carried by multiple phone companies.  Out the window goes any accountability.  Say I received a call, and heard some someone other than the person calling me starting singing a song (rare I know, but definitely possible), how can I determine where or how this intrusion took place?  I would start with my phone company, for sure, and if the breach into our conversation happened within the administrative domain of my phone company, there might be something that could be done.  The odds would that being the case aren’t great, though, and pinpointing where the breach occurred could very well be impossible.  The routes or paths that phone calls take over the telephone network change so frequently that oftentimes placing, say five simultaneous calls to the same destination might take five different paths through the network.  It’s the way things are.  Add to this situation the different technologies used, like VoIP versus TDM, any end-to-end reconstruction is arguably impossible.
 
At the end of the day, what this means to “Joe consumer” as a politician would put it, is that you can’t trust the source, or the path phone calls take through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) with any level of certainty.  This is an unfortunately truth of the world we operate in today.

Ten Easy Steps to mobile VoIP (For Dummies)

Here are ten easy steps for going mobile with VoIP.

You will need a cell phone that runs on IOS or Android with data plan.

Almost any cell will do but you will need data plan and durable battery with most VoIP providers. When you are comparing and choosing VoIP service providers, take special note to see if they run their Apps on Android or IOS. Don’t just assume that all VoIP providers will have your needs in mind. Technology advances everyday, and this includes cryptography and safety masseurs that usually require better hardware. If you have a “dinosaur” of a mobile, there is a chance that the application used for the connection won’t work with your outdated specs. You can check with the company’s requirements for Android/IOS version but if you already know your phone is in need of change don’t expect the App to run miracles on it.

You must have high speed data plan

In most cases it is required that you have high speed Internet before purchasing VoIP services. Most mobile providers are offering 3G or better data plans so it should not be a problem. If you can’t afford good connection or are working in remote locations there is still a solution (check here). A good data plan produces a higher quality audio sound and better overall experience. When it comes to transmitting data, audio, and video files, nothing beats High Speed.

Evaluate your Needs

You must decide why you want to switch to VoIP. A good idea is to make a list and write down your reasons for wanting VoIP over normal calls. If you are lets say a residential homeowner and are fed up with paying high fees for local and long distance, then by all means, write that down. If you are looking for business solutions and want to incorporate all of your data, audio, and video needs, then add that to your list. By composing a list, you can clearly see what your needs are and what service is best suited for you.

Choose between Private, Business, or both

Many people opt to keep their business needs on standard connection, while testing VoIP for private calls. Not soon afterwards, they come to realize the potential benefits for their businesses as well. There are not many differences between private and business needs but some VoIP providers have “basic” and not “unlimited” plans, and some companies even throw in amenities such as free yellow book advertising. Again, writing a list down of what you want in a VoIP service will help you better determine what your telecommunication needs are.

Compare Service Providers

Now it is time to compare various service providers. There are many sites on the Internet that will let you review and compare different plans. Also, word of mouth is always a great form of advertising. If you have friends and relatives who have switched to VoIP, find out from them how they like their service provider, and also inquire about any providers that they may have had a negative experience with. If you are on a budget or cant use good data plan there are companies offering VoIP almost without the use of any data.

Select the plan that is Right for You

Now that your list is complete and you have compared service plans, it is time to decide on a service provider. Choose the provider that you feel best meets your needs stated on your list. You will also have the choice of purchasing monthly or yearly contracts, so know which option is best for you ahead of time.

Choose your Area Code and Phone Number

Many providers will give you the opportunity of selecting your own area code and phone number. This is great for those who have family and friends in a specific area, and who would like to save them money on their long distance bills. It is also an effective marketing tool for businesses that are targeting a specific region.

Configure your Phone’s features

Your VoIP app will come with a variety of features. You may configure them to achieve greater freedom. You will typically set up your, call block numbers, and other features the same as you would on your cell phone.

Spread the Word

Now that you are enjoying your new VoIP service, spread the word and let others know how they too can save money.

Problem Solving:

  • If you have slow or no Internet at all there is a solution. An App called Pindo can be used to with most VOIP providers. It can run with very little or no data usage at all. The drawback is that it makes a local call to make the connection.
  • If you are visually impaired you can check my article on Team Talk 5