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Cloud VOIP Providers

VoIP technology has reshaped the landscape of business communications. It’s rapidly become the top choice for businesses, not just for its cost-saving capabilities but for the extensive array of features it offers, enriching daily operations. At its core, a complete VoIP phone service transmits “phone calls” via an Internet connection, bypassing traditional phone line costs and bringing substantial savings to businesses.

While cloud VoIP services have associated costs, the overwhelming advantages make it a game-changer for many businesses. In this article, we’ll delve into the wide range of offerings from leading Cloud VoIP providers, explore the ins and outs of setting up an open-source VoIP phone system, and weigh the pros and cons of such VoIP services.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best VoIP Provider

Choosing a VoIP service provider for your business or personal needs is a significant decision. So many options are available, and countless providers claim to be the best. VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, has revolutionized the business communications landscape, almost rendering traditional business phone numbers and systems obsolete.

Let’s explore the key considerations in choosing the best VoIP phone service and a VoIP service provider tailored to your needs.

Type of VoIP Service:

There are several different VOIP services available to meet various requirements.

  • Home VoIP Solutions: If you are looking for a home VOIP solution, this digital alternative to traditional phone systems utilizes your Internet bandwidth for communication and comes packed with useful features such as voicemail and caller ID.
  • Corporate VoIP Offerings: Crafted for the business world, this service goes beyond mere voice calls by seamlessly integrating video conferencing, sophisticated call routing, call forwarding and virtual receptionists, and can even be bridged into existing customer management systems or call centers.
  • Mobile VoIP: It’s not uncommon for large numbers of the workforce to have access to company cell phones. Mobile VOIP caters to this by offering specialized apps that turn smartphones into VoIP endpoints, channeling calls through an Internet connection using data or Wi-Fi, and sidestepping cellular charges.
  • Dedicated VoIP Devices: Certain providers offer specialized gadgets pre-tuned for VoIP service. Upon acquiring such a device, you can enjoy free communication with peers possessing similar equipment and an Internet connection. Some examples include Ooma Telol, Magic Jack, and the Cisco SPA112.
  • VoIP Application Suites: Platforms like Skype or Zoom are software solutions that convert PCs or mobile devices into video conferencing communication hubs. You can integrate these VoIP solutions with a PBX gateway which allows users to interact with the physical phone network, making it easy to phone mobiles or landlines.
  • Cloud-Powered Exchange Services: Moving away from the cumbersome on-premises hardware model, businesses can now opt for remote hosting of their PBX setup, granting them robust features without diving deep into hardware investments. These services are straightforward to set up but are more expensive than self-managed options.
  • SIP Connectivity: By leveraging VoIP solutions, SIP trunking utilizes shared resources, like your internet pipeline, to serve telephony needs, thus optimizing business communication channels.
  • Bulk VoIP Trading: Ideal for entrepreneurs, this package allows businesses to buy VoIP services in bulk and then resell them to others.
  • End-to-End Managed VoIP: Businesses lease the entire VoIP platform from a provider. These experts not only set up the entire platform but also manage it once live, overseeing the entirety of the VoIP ecosystem.

VoIP Service Reliability:

A reliable internet connection is paramount for a dependable VoIP system. The quality of VoIP calls, being Internet-based, hinges directly on the strength and consistency of the broadband internet connection and connectivity. Any inconsistency in Internet connection or speed reduction can lead to diminished call clarity, delays, or even dropped calls.

The bandwidth a VoIP system demands varies based on several determinants, including the codec employed for conference calls, the number of concurrent calls, and desired call quality. Different codecs and algorithms used for compressing and decompressing voice data have varying bandwidth needs, and the total bandwidth consumption scales up with the number of simultaneous calls.

Apart from codecs, other elements like video conferencing, call recording, and additional features inflate bandwidth requirements. Additionally, network overhead, such as the extra data required to route and interpret voice packets, can influence bandwidth consumption.

Many businesses, recognizing the critical role of voice communication, prioritize voice data over other types using Quality of Service (QoS) configurations.

Features Offered in a VoIP Service:

Apart from cost savings, the other major draw to VoIP telephony systems is all the advanced features available out of the box.

Some of the most popular features of VoIP technology include:

  • Call Forwarding: This allows users to redirect incoming calls to another phone number. Call forwarding ensures you won’t miss critical calls even if you’re away from your primary workstation or office. It’s beneficial for business professionals on the move.
  • Call Recording: A crucial tool for many businesses, call recording lets users capture conversations for later playback. Call recording can be vital for training purposes, compliance, or quality control.
  • Call Routing: A feature designed to enhance customer service efficiency. Call routing directs incoming calls to the appropriate department or individual based on specific criteria, such as the caller’s selection or geographical location.
  • Unlimited Calling: A feature especially beneficial for businesses with high call volumes. It allows for an unrestricted number of calls, often local and international, for a set fee, aiding in budget predictability.
  • Virtual Faxing: Say goodbye to traditional fax machines. Virtual faxing lets users send and receive faxes via email or a specialized application, streamlining the faxing process and reducing paper usage.
  • Toll-Free Numbers: These numbers don’t charge the person making the call. They’re invaluable for businesses as they can encourage customers to reach out, providing a perception of a national or global presence.
  • Conference Calling Capabilities: This feature facilitates multi-party calls, essential for team collaborations, especially with the rise of remote work. It enables businesses to hold meetings, updates, or brainstorming sessions without participants in the same location.

Compatibility with Devices:

VoIP providers can integrate unlimited calls with a wide range of devices. You don’t need a telephone to use a VoIP service because of the generous compatibility options:

  • IP Phones: These are specialized desk phones made explicitly for VoIP services. They connect directly to your network, typically via an Ethernet cable, but they come in wired and wireless.
  • Computers: Both desktops and laptops, regardless of the operating system, can harness VoIP services. Your computer can be a virtual telephone with the appropriate software or application installed. All the computer needs is network connectivity.
  • Mobile Devices: Modern smartphones and tablets, whether iOS or Android, often support VoIP services. With the provider’s app installed, these devices can be transformed into mobile office phones, enabling calls on the go.
  • Analog Phones (with adapters): Traditional landline phones can also be VoIP-compatible with the help of Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA). These adapters connect analog phones to digital VoIP networks, breathing new life into older equipment.
  • Softphones: These are software-based phones that can be installed on any computer. They provide a user interface for VoIP calls, usually with features similar to IP phones. Softphones are popular in call centers because they provide integrated management suites for team leaders and supervisors.
  • Integrated Devices: Some modern devices, like smart speakers or unified communication tools, can be integrated with VoIP services, further broadening the spectrum of compatibility.


As your business grows, your phone system also needs to evolve. Business and VoIP, phone system solutions should be scalable, allowing for adding more users or features when necessary.

Unlike conventional telephony systems, which require physical installations for each new line or extension, modern VoIP systems can expand without requiring extensive physical adjustments. Onboarding a new user is as straightforward as creating a new account on the service provider’s platform.

VoIP systems are upgradable, making additional functionality integration simple. The primarily software-driven management of these systems allows for enhancements and integrations through software updates, ensuring minimal disruptions per user side.

The decentralized architecture of VoIP systems ensures no single point of failure. Because a business VoIP service is typically cloud-hosted, the infrastructure can scale up as the business grows, providing consistent performance even as the system grows.


As VoIP technology primarily utilizes internet protocols for data transmission, it is essential to consider the potential vulnerabilities and the security measures to counteract them. Given the critical nature of business communications, protecting against unauthorized access, data breaches, and eavesdropping is essential.

Here are some of the significant security facets you need from your next best VoIP service provider:

  • Encryption: One of the primary defenses against eavesdropping or interception, encryption converts voice data into coded messages. Only the intended recipient, with the correct decryption key, can revert the message to its original form, ensuring confidentiality during transmission.
  • Authentication Protocols: VoIP systems integrate authentication processes such as login codes and PINs to prevent unauthorized access. It’s also possible to isolate VoIP phone rules to specific departments or divisions. These protocols ensure that only verified users or devices can connect to the system, effectively blocking potential intruders or unauthorized users.
  • Firewalls and Session Border Controllers (SBCs): Firewalls are designed to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security policies. SBCs, on the other hand, specifically protect VoIP traffic by controlling voice traffic initiation, conduction, and termination.
  • Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware: VoIP systems often interface with computers and mobile devices, making them susceptible to malware and viruses. Comprehensive anti-virus and anti-malware solutions can protect VoIP software from these threats.
  • Rate Limiting and Traffic Analysis: By monitoring and analyzing VoIP traffic, unusual patterns or overloading attempts can be identified. WAF Rate limiting can prevent potential Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the VoIP system.
  • Physical Security: While much of VoIP security focuses on digital measures, it’s essential not to overlook the physical safety of VoIP equipment. If you are hosting an on-premise VoIP solution, access to servers and hardware should be restricted to prevent tampering or unauthorized access.
  • Regular Updates and Patches: Like all technology platforms, vulnerabilities in VoIP systems can emerge over time. Regular software updates and patches provided by the service provider can address these vulnerabilities, ensuring the system remains resilient against emerging threats.
  • Training and Awareness: Human error can often be a security weak point. Regularly training staff on security, safe usage practices, and recognizing potential threats can bolster a company’s overall VoIP security posture.

VoIP Phone System: The Way to Go for Businesses

We have discussed the advantages of VOIP technology, but what benefits does the best VOIP service bring to businesses? Cost is a major talking point; however, many VOIP service providers bring more.

Cost Savings and Value for Money

Traditional business phone systems come with an array of associated costs. These can range from maintenance fees to hefty long-distance call charges. In contrast, a VoIP phone service promises businesses the luxury of unlimited calling at a considerably reduced cost.

So, what should businesses and individuals consider when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of a VoIP service?

  • Subscription Models: Most VoIP providers offer a range of subscription models, often segmented by the number of features offered. Understanding what each VoIP service tier provides is essential to ascertain whether the pricing aligns with the business’s needs.
  • Per-User Pricing: Business VoIP services frequently adopt a per-user pricing model. This means businesses pay for the number of users leveraging the VoIP system. While this offers flexibility, especially for growing businesses, evaluating if the cost per user provides a comprehensive set of features is crucial.
  • Unlimited Calling Plans: Many providers offer unlimited calls, mainly for domestic calls. This can present significant savings for businesses making frequent or lengthy phone calls.
  • International Rates: If your business frequently makes international calls, examine the rates for international calling. While some providers might offer competitive domestic rates, their international rates could be higher.
  • Integration Costs: The ability to integrate the VoIP system with other business tools, like CRM systems or call centers, can be a boon. However, be wary of any additional costs associated with these integrations.
  • Equipment and Setup Fees: Some VoIP services might require specialized VoIP phone equipment or have associated setup fees. While the monthly subscription might seem affordable, initial costs can be substantial. Factor these into your total cost analysis.
  • Support and Maintenance: Reliable customer support can be invaluable, especially if issues arise. Some VoIP providers might charge extra for premium support. Similarly, consider any costs related to system updates or maintenance.
  • Contract Length and Terms: Some VoIP service providers might offer discounts for longer-term commitments. While this can lead to savings, ensure you’re comfortable with the contract’s length and understand the terms, especially concerning termination or changes.

Emphasizing Quality and Reliability

While cost-efficiency is a primary lure, businesses cannot understate VoIP technology’s quality and reliability. Nothing is worse than calling a company and suffering a lousy line, crackling call quality, and static noise.

VoIP can deliver voice calls that surpass the clarity and sharpness of traditional phone lines and calls. VoIP service providers prioritize service continuity, ensuring that downtimes are minimized. This emphasis on reliability ensures businesses can maintain unbroken and consistent communications during business hours for their customers and employees.

Unified Communications

Modern business VoIP solution platforms offer a Unified communication platform that integrates with many areas of your business. Businesses are demanding more from their service providers, and the best VoIP services can provide these key advantages to achieve unified communications.

  • Voice Calls: The basic functionality of any VoIP system allows users to make and receive calls over the Internet.
  • Video Conferencing: Enabling face-to-face meetings regardless of participants’ locations and the saving of videos with call recording tchnology.
  • Instant Messaging or Chat: Real-time text communication, often with the ability to see if the other person is online or typing.
  • Presence Information: The ability to see if a contact is available, busy, offline, or in a meeting.
  • Screen Sharing: Allowing participants to view or control another user’s screen in a call or conference.
  • Voicemail: Storing voice messages digitally, often with the ability to access them from various devices.
  • File Sharing and Collaboration: Tools that enable teams to work on documents or projects simultaneously.
  • Integration with Other Business Tools: Connect the communication system with other software, like CRM systems, so that all relevant information and communication tools are in one place.

How Much Does a Small Business VoIP Services Cost?

Since cost saving is a significant draw to the best VoIP services, let’s focus on the specific cost savings your business or personal computer can introduce with a VoIP provider.

Let’s break down the costs:

  • Subscription Fees: This is usually the most straightforward part of the cost structure. VoIP providers generally offer monthly or yearly subscription plans. For small businesses, these fees can range from $10 to $50 per user, per month, depending on the service level and features included.
  • Setup and Installation Fees: Some VoIP providers may charge an initial setup fee, especially if they offer onsite installation or require specific hardware. Each VoIP provider is different, and each installation varies in size and scope; it’s hard to estimate these costs, but expect to pay several thousand dollars for a small business installation.
  • Equipment Costs:
    • VoIP Phones: While VoIP calls can be made from a computer or mobile device, many businesses prefer dedicated VoIP phones. A VoIP phone can cost anywhere from $50 for a basic model to $300 or more for high-end phones with advanced features.
    • Adapters: If businesses wish to use traditional phones with their VoIP system, they might need adapters, which cost between $20 and $50 each.
  • Features and Add-Ons: While many providers include features in their basic packages, specialized services or add-ons can increase costs. For instance, video conferencing, advanced call analytics, or integrations with CRM systems might come with hefty additional fees.
  • International Calling Rates: If your business frequently communicates internationally, you must consider the cost of international calls. Some VoIP providers offer international packages, while others charge per minute.
  • Number Porting Fees: If you’re transitioning from a traditional phone system and want to retain your existing business phone numbers, there might be a fee to port those numbers to the new VoIP provider.
  • Support and Maintenance: While many VoIP providers include customer support in their subscription fees, some might charge extra for 24/7 support or dedicated account managers. Additionally, consider any costs related to system updates, security patches, or maintenance.
  • Scalability Costs: As your business grows, you might need to add more users or access more advanced features. While VoIP systems generally offer easy scalability, there may be costs associated with expanding your system.
  • Internet Costs: VoIP systems rely on a stable internet connection. If you need to upgrade your current bandwidth to accommodate the VoIP service, this can result in higher monthly internet bills.
  • Training: There might be a learning curve when transitioning to a new system. While many providers offer free online resources, formal training sessions might come at an additional cost.

Is Implementing an Open Source VoIP Phone System Possible?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to create an open-source phone system. However, open source does not always mean free because you will still need to pay for certain premium services should you opt for them. This is simple because a third party provides the service and often comes with a charge.

That is not to say the features in open-source solutions are inferior; that is not the case. You get access to voicemail, video conferencing, and integrated unified communications, just a few essential services.

There’s no shortage of excellent open-source options for those considering crafting their own VoIP business phone system. For instance, Asterisk, developed by Digium, stands as a stalwart in this domain, providing platforms ranging from rudimentary business phone systems to intricate call centers. Similarly, FreeSWITCH offers a cross-platform solution designed to interconnect various communication protocols. Then there’s Kamailio, a SIP server ideal for expansive communication networks, and the list goes on with offerings like OpenSIPS, PBX in a Flash, Elastix, and 3CX, among others.

Setting up and maintaining an open-source business VoIP system requires technical expertise. While the software might be free or low-cost, hardware, additional modules, plugins, and potential consultation fees can incur expenses. Still, an open-source VoIP system can be a transformative investment for businesses prioritizing customization, flexibility, and control.

Steps to Implement Open-Source VoIP Using Atlantic.Net

  1. Infrastructure Setup: Set up a virtual server on the Atlantic.Net cloud platform. Our award-winning user-friendly interface and extensive documentation make this a straightforward process. Choose a server configuration that aligns with your business size and call volume expectations.
  2. Installation of VoIP Software: Once your server is operational, install your chosen open-source VoIP software, like Asterisk or FreeSWITCH. Atlantic.Net’s platform supports various operating systems, ensuring compatibility with most VoIP solutions. You will most likely need to choose Linux, but if you look around, you can find Open Source telephony software for practically every operating system.
  3. Configuration: Configure the VoIP software to suit your business needs after installation. This involves setting up phone extensions, voicemail, call routing, and any other features you require. This is where you will need to delve into the documentation for your chosen software. Make sure you grab a coffee because you must read a lot.
  4. Security Measures: Atlantic.Net virtual private servers are renowned for their security. Utilize their built-in firewall services to protect your VoIP setup. Regular backups can also be scheduled to ensure data integrity and availability.
  5. Integration and Testing: Integrate the VoIP system with other business tools once configured. Conduct comprehensive testing to ensure call quality, connection stability, and the functionality of integrated features.
  6. Maintenance: Atlantic.Net’s cloud platform offers monitoring tools that can be used to keep an eye on server health, usage statistics, and potential threats. Regularly update your VoIP software and monitor the system to ensure optimal performance.

Elevate Your Business Communications with Atlantic.Net!

Traditional phone systems just don’t cut it anymore in today’s connected world. With the rise of remote work, video conferencing, and the need for seamless call forwarding to any mobile device, it’s clear that a robust VOIP phone system is essential.

Why settle for less when you can have the best? Atlantic.Net offers top-tier VOIP hosting services, ensuring that your business phone system is efficient and HIPAA-compliant. With our VOIP hosting solutions, you can enjoy unlimited calling, crystal-clear call recording, and the flexibility to receive phone calls on mobile and desktop apps.

Ditch the limitations of traditional phone lines and embrace the future with our VOIP phone service. Whether you’re looking to integrate with Microsoft Teams phone, utilize session initiation protocol, or want the best business VOIP hosting services.

And the best part? Our VOIP technology goes beyond just making and receiving calls. Experience advanced features like virtual fax, internet protocol-based communications, and seamless integration with your existing internet connection.

So, why wait? Upgrade your business communications today with Atlantic.Net, the leading VOIP provider. Experience the difference between a business VOIP service built for the modern world.

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