A VoIP phone system can offer a lot to both small companies and international businesses, but it does have its weak spots. A VoIP redundancy plan offers the security in knowing that your business won’t falter when the internet goes out. But how does it work and what should you look for when searching for better business protection?
What is VoIP Redundancy?
Before you decide to implement a new phone system, you should make sure that there is enough bandwidth and no weak spots. VoIP phones run off the internet, so if you don’t have strong internet connections, you won’t have phone service.
Even with a strong network, there are many reasons for possible interruptions, and these circumstances are often out of your control (i.e. natural disaster). These vulnerabilities often make people doubt whether the whole VoIP phone endeavor is worth engaging due to the consequences, like a break in communication, the inability to talk to clients, and lost business opportunities.
While you can’t control nature you can reduce the dependency on your phone system on the Internet Service Provider. Imagine you’re driving and the road is blocked at one point. You don’t wait but switch your route and continue. It’s the same with data – it travels an alternative path. That’s called VoIP redundancy.
Choose the Right Features for VoIP Redundancy
If your internet service fails, call continuity and voip redundancy features automatically forward your calls to designated phone numbers. When you’re evaluating a VoIP system, ask the VoIP providers if they offer these features as they’ll help ensure that none of your VoIP calls gets lost.
A call continuity system enables you and your employees to access your VoIP system via a smartphone or tablet, regardless of whether your internet connection is online or not. All call features available on VoIP handsets (call forwarding, caller ID, the ability to transfer calls, and a second call-waiting feature) are available when calls are forwarded to a smartphone device as well.
If your internet connection breaks for whatever reason, with a mobile-ready VoIP emergency plan, your phone service can continue despite the circumstances.
For added protection we also recommend looking into UPS: Uninterruptible Power Supply system. While different than an emergency VoIP redundancy plan, it serves a similar purpose in providing protection during a power outage by giving you time to back up data and shut down your devices without losing important information.
Use an Alternate Internet Service Provider
Another popular solution to the problem of losing your VoIP telephone service is relying on two different internet connections from different internet service providers (ISP). Today, many businesses rely on more than one ISP because they know that internet downtime can cost them. Having a second internet connection in check will enable the staff to make VoIP calls if the primary internet connection goes down.
In a typical dual-Internet connection setup, the link is split into two separate networks – one provides service to the computers, and the other includes service to the VoIP telephones. Once the VoIP-supporting network goes down, the VoIP system can be switched to the other network, so there’s no interruption in VoIP communication.
A second internet connection will increase your internet connection costs, so it’s up to you to determine how significant this redundancy is to your company as well as how important it is to you to never lose your VoIP service.
For Rhode Island Telephone cloud-hosted customers, our recent data center upgrade provides a geo-redundant network. This means in the event of a physical event causing an outage in one region, customers are automatically provided with redundant capacity and uninterrupted service via another network.
Backup Connection Between Your Internet Cable and Private Telephone Network
The same way you use a secondary internet connection to protect from an ISP failure, you can establish a backup where your private phone network connects with your internet cable. That way, you’re protected from an internet service loss due to damage to the wire.
You’re connected with the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) via the internet cable that runs into your company premises. There should be more than one point of connection between the PSTN and your private telephone network to have a backup VoIP connection.
If you’re considering to switch to VoIP and are concerned about what will happen in the instance of internet failure, know that there are VoIP redundancy plans you can rely on. Implement one or more of these strategies, and you’ll ensure your business continuity and reap the benefits of a VoIP telephone system.
Feel free to contact Rhode Island Telephone to be informed about our VoIP redundancy plans and get a free quote.