Includes 1 UK Number
VoIP has revolutionised cloud-based communications for businesses around the world. Giving them flexibility that just can’t be offered by traditional phone systems. We’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about VoIP, and why a VoIP phone system is the best option for your new business phone system
A VoIP service works a little differently from a PSTN. When you transmit your voice via IP you aren’t sending it down a phone line, you’re converting it into a digital packet then transmitting it via IP.
It’s a simple process of convert, transmit and unpack. It works something like this:
A codec converts your data into a digital ‘packet’. This compresses your voice signals and converts them into digital signals.
The packet is then transmitted via IP. This is either done locally over a Local Area Network (LAN) or else online via the internet. This transmission is instantaneous.
The data packs arrive at their destination. More codecs will unpack the data and convert it back into voice or audio signals.
The great thing about VoIP systems is that they can often work within your existing systems. The recipient doesn’t have to have a specialised device and nor do people who are calling you. The final packet, once it’s converted back, will run along a standard phone line. You can even get hardware that’s enabled with software for VoIP. These VoIP phones are just like other desk phones you may have had in the past, but with access to more features.
CircleLoop lets you access your VoIP phone system through apps on your computers, but still gives the option of physical business phones if you need them.
One of the best things about VoIP is its low point of entry. Not only do you not need a physical phone line and hardware, but the line rental costs are low and the installation costs are non-existent.
This means that business VoIP phone systems are incredibly affordable. Our own service, for instance, starts at just £5 per user per month and comes with a wide array of features that you have to pay extra for on a landline. Call charges can be a lot lower, and some packages come with inclusive minutes.
As there’s no need for an engineer to come out and install your phone system or a need for purchasing expensive hardware, VoIP is a cheap communication solution for any business.See our pricing
Setting up a new VoIP phone system is simple. As you don’t need an engineer or hardware to be delivered you can do it at the click of a few buttons. With CircleLoop all you need to do is sign up and download the app, then you’re good to go.
Before you switch though, it’s worth doing a few things:
Check you have a strong, reliable internet connection and that you can optimise your router for voice
Put aside some time to train your team on your new system
Test your new system with a free trial
CircleLoop lets you port your old numbers and, if you’re using an address book tool like Office 365 or one of the many CRO tools on the market, you can import all your contacts directly into your VoIP phone system. Check out our tool integrations for more information.
An Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is another form of digital phone system. But, unlike VoIP, it relies on a physical line. This makes it much more akin to a traditional landline phone system. You’ll have to lease your phone line, and while quality can be better than some traditional business phone systems, you’re still going to be hindered in many of the same ways.
What’s more, in 2025, we’ll be seeing the big switch off. This is where PTSN and ISDN systems will be removed and businesses that rely on them will need to switch. VoIP is by far the best solution for these businesses to switch to.What’s the ISDN switch off?
In reality, session initiation protocol (SIP), shouldn’t be directly compared to VoIP. SIP is a set of protocols that actually help enable VoIP.
SIP establishes the connection that VoIP uses to transfer its VoIP packets.You’ll not be looking to get SIP or VoIP, you’ll likely actually be trying to set up a system that uses both. When you set up a VoIP phone system your SIP trunking should be included.Learn more about SIP
While a VoIP phone system offers great flexibility, and doesn’t require a landline, there are a number of things you may need to get going.
No matter how you’re going to be communicating, the absolute essential is a quality broadband connection that offers enough bandwidth to make your calls clear alongside any other internet needs within your business. We’d recommend a fibre optic connection for best quality and unlimited downloads is important. So that’s:
Then you just need to work out what type of VoIP system you’re running. You’ll have three options; a physical VoIP enabled desk phone, a computer app or a smartphone app. Each will have different equipment needs.
You’ll need a VoIP adapter, a VoIP enabled desk phone and then a router that allows you to connect your phone directly to it using an ethernet cable.
You’ll need a laptop, desktop or Mac. For best quality possible we’d recommend an ethernet connection, but you may be ok with WiFi if your internet is good. Then you’ll need a VoIP phone app, like CircleLoop, and a headset for best call quality.
You’ll need a smartphone with your VoIP app installed. Ideally we’d recommend you use the app on WiFi where possible over 4G or 5G.
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At CircleLoop we understand how irritating all the acronyms and jargon can be. So we’ve put together a quick glossary so you can understand the VoIP technical terms at a glance.
The ‘internet protocol’ that provides the rules for transmitting data online. It’s these rules, which are standardised, that allow mismatching platforms to communicate. For instance, an app-based phone communicating with a physical phone.
Otherwise known as a private branch exchange. Essentially it’s an office phone network. It’s what lets you port calls around your organisation.
Short for (secure) real-time transport protocol. It’s the internet protocol that transmits your voice data packets. The secure version encrypts your data.
SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is a signalling protocol that’s used to establish VoIP communications.Learn more about SIP
Essentially a software phone. This means it’s either a piece of standalone computer software or an app that lets you make a call. They usually have a phone interface for ease of use.
Interactive Voice Response is the ability to make an interactive menu that uses voice commands.Learn more about IVR menus.
Port your old number over to CircleLoop, so you haven’t got to worry about losing key inbound prospects.
Codecs aren’t unique to VoIP. They’re a device or software that is used to compress, encode and decompress data. For VoIP systems, they are used to convert the voice data before and after transmission.
This is the technology that’s used to transmit data over a telephone line. It’s what lets you use both broadband internet and your phone line at the same time.
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At CircleLoop we’re confident that our VoIP communication solutions are perfect for any business or any size. We have experience working with organisations of all sizes across an array of industries and can help you set up VoIP for your sales teams, call centres or internally.
Not sure it’s for you? Find out about our business VoIP solutions for…