Everything you need to know about VoIP phone systems and Wi-Fi
These days, everything is connected to the internet. Your thermostat, fridge, video game consoles – you name it, it’s connected to WiFi. And considering the worldwide VoIP industry reached $13.7 billion this year,1 it’s no surprise that many of our customers want to know if they can use their VoIP phone system over WiFi.
We consider this to have a somewhat complicated answer because the question can mean different things to different people. Regardless, let’s dive into the subject and look at how business VoIP phone systems work with WiFi.
Do VoIP Phones Work Over WiFi?
Currently, there is no such thing as a WiFi IP phone. Simply put, every VoIP device needs to be physically connected to the internet to work. IP phones work by converting analog audio signals into digital data to transmit over the internet. Without a hard-wired connection, calls sent over VoIP can experience significant performance degradation.
Do IP Phones Need a Wired Internet Connection?
Yes, VoIP phones always need a wired connection. You can connect your phone to a WiFi access point, but you have to physically wire it to the device. You can also connect it to a WiFi extender, network bridge, or computer connected over WiFi.
While these options are all possible, this isn’t a best practice. Regardless of the wireless device you connect your IP phone to, you may experience quality issues such as audio loss, jitter, or latency.
What Are the Challenges of Using VoIP Over WiFi?
Around 11% of businesses say they experience poor call quality when making calls with VoIP phones.2 As we mentioned above, connecting your IP phone to a wireless device can result in several call quality issues.
A few challenges of using VoIP over an unstable WiFi connection include:
Jitter - Jitter refers to the variation in the delay between when a data packet (such as your voice call) is sent and received. This can cause the audio to sound choppy or fragmented.
Packet Loss - Packet loss occurs when data packets are lost during transmission and can cause audio gaps, stuttering, and distortion.
Latency - High latency can cause an audio delay or echo, making it difficult for customers and employees to have a natural conversation.
To avoid these challenges, we recommend using a hard-wired connection from the back of your IP phone, plugged directly into your main router. If that’s not possible, make sure your wireless device has a consistent, high-quality connection to a router. Wireless card differences don’t make a huge difference since VoIP doesn’t tax your internet needs much.
Are There Wireless IP Phones?
Here’s where people tend to mince their words and get confused. Yes, there are wireless IP phones. But they’re similar to wireless phones you may have in your house, as opposed to something like a smartphone.
You still have to connect wireless VoIP phones physically to get an internet signal, and only the handset itself is wireless. Essentially, they’re connected to the phone via an ethernet wire and are not truly wireless.
IP phones work by using a cell phone to access your business VoIP phone system via a mobile application. You get all the critical features this way, including transfer commands, voicemail, and outbound caller ID, making it an ideal solution for work-from-anywhere employees.
Final Thoughts on WiFi and VoIP Phone Systems
There isn’t a truly wireless IP phone system today, but it’s only a matter of time before someone puts a WiFi card into the base of a desk phone for a truly wireless IP phone. When that time comes, it won’t be any different than a laptop, smartphone, or tablet computer connecting to the internet.
While there isn’t a WiFi IP phone quite yet, there are ways to get the wireless functionality you need to prepare your business for the new world of work with a cloud phone system.
Meet the New World of Work With a Cloud Phone System
Cloud phone systems use VoIP for internet-based voice calls, but they also offer advanced communication and collaboration features through the cloud. With a cloud phone system, your employees can make and receive calls from any device, including laptops, computers, and mobile phones. This flexibility means your teams can easily work outside of the office – a must, considering 80% of people worked remotely some or all of the time in 2022.3
TeleCloud’s flexible cloud phone systems are built to provide ambitious businesses with fully integrated solutions. We’ll help you support your remote and hybrid workers with dependable, app-based communication technology that enhances team collaboration with HD video, clear audio, file sharing, instant messaging, and more.
To learn more about the benefits of VoIP phones and cloud phone systems, please don’t hesitate to connect with our experts. Just click the button below, and we’ll happily answer any questions or explore your options with you.