Small Office Phone System – Hosted VoIP or In-house VoIP Phone Server?

What is Hosted VoIP and In-house VoIP Phone Server?

When Small Business owners think of VoIP, they typically think of service like Vonage or service offered by many of the circuit providers these days.  These services are called Hosted VoIP service which means that the provider hosts your server and basically provides you with phone data through one of your connection to that company.  Usually this connection is through the open internet or through a dedicated circuit and simple to implement.

Let’s review these options and their Pros and Cons:

  • Hosted VoIP over the open internet:
    • Pros for Hosted VoIP over the Open Internet
    • Easy to install as it involves installing a pre-configured device where your analog telephones plug into
    • Easy to maintain as the server and all programming is done by the provider
    • Install time is short as long as you have existing Internet connection
    • Able to transfer your current phone number to the new provider
    • Usually compatible with your current telephone system
    • Relatively inexpensive and usually has an option for unlimited long distance minutes
    • Easy to cancel service or contract if the service level is not up to par
  • Cons for Hosted VoIP over the Open Internet
    • Reliability suffers as the phone system relies on your existing Internet connection which could be marginal
    • Call Quality could fluctuate depending on Internet traffic on your ISP’s network

 

  • Hosted VoIP over a Existing Dedicated Internet Circuit:
    • Pros for Hosted VoIP over a Dedicated Circuit
      • Easy to install as it involves installing a pre-configured device where your analog telephones plug into
      • Easy to maintain as the server and all programming is done by the provider
      • Install time is short as long as you have existing Internet connection
      • Able to transfer your current phone number to the new provider
      • Relatively inexpensive and usually has an option for high number of long distance minutes
      • Usually will have a dedicated Account Rep who can handle some of the grunt work for you
    • Cons for Hosted VoIP over a Dedicated Circuit
      • Reliability is better than over the Open Internet as circuit providers usually offer this in conjunction with their Enterprise class Dedicated Internet circuit but still prone to failure
      • Call Quality is more consistent as the Dedicated circuit usually has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) ensuring better overall experience but still prone to failure
      • You must have an existing Dedicated Internet Circuit with a data provider such as XO, Level 3, and Integra for this to work
      • Sometimes require you to purchase new IP Phones
      • More costly as the Dedicated Internet Circuit is Enterprise class and could be quite expensive

As you can see, there are Pros and Cons for both types of circuits.  It really depends on your requirement, what you already have now, and of course, the budget.

Of course there is the Non-Hosted VoIP Phone System, which is what we recommend if you want to take advantage of advanced calling features and flexibility of PBX systems.

  • Non-Hosted VoIP over a Dedicated Phone Circuit:
    • Pros for Non-Hosted VoIP over a Dedicated Circuit
      • Full feature set of a more expensive PBX system at fraction of the cost
      • Easy to maintain as the server can be programmed remotely
      • Able to use Video phones for Video conferencing
      • Able to transfer your current phone number to the new provider
      • Relatively inexpensive and usually has an option for high number of long distance minutes
      • You do not need to have an Enterprise class Dedicated Internet Circuit to implement as all calls go through a separate Phone Circuit
      • Call Quality is more consistent as the Dedicated circuit usually has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) ensuring better overall experience
      • Less costly than Hosted VoIP  over a Dedicated Internet Circuit
      • Usually will have a dedicated Account Rep who can handle some of the grunt work for you
    • Cons for Non-Hosted VoIP over a Dedicated Circuit
      • Complex installation as it involves a IP PBX dealer to configure, program, and install the server
      • Installation timeframe is longer as the Dedicated Phone Circuit will need to be installed in your office which could take from 3 weeks to 2 months
      • Reliability is better than over the Open Internet as circuit providers usually offer this in conjunction with their Enterprise class Dedicated Internet circuit but still prone to failure
      • Requires you to purchase new IP Phones to take advantage of all features

 

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About Express Interconnect: We are a Portland, Oregon based Small Business VoIP Phone Consultant specializing in implementing quality VoIP PBX system based on Asterisk IP PBX. We can be reached at 503-820-3513 or via email at: support@ExpressInterconnect.com and can help with any questions you might have.

Due to Demand, we have finally branched out into Hosted VoIP Phone Service for Small Businesses.  Our Hosted VoIP Service provides full Asterisk IP PBX functionality in a simple Plug and Play system.

Also, please make sure to visit our on-line store at VoIP Phones Direct for all of your IP Phone needs. We carry Grandstream, Polycom, Snom, Aastra, and Yealink IP Phones with a 14 day money back guarantee and FREE UPS Ground Shipping.

Finally, please join the conversation on Facebook AND Twitter

 

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