What Is a VoIP Phone and How Does It Work?

A voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) phone is an internet-based alternative to a traditional landline telephone system.

For small businesses, VoIP is an ideal option because it's affordable, flexible, and adaptable to your business's unique needs.

Our What is a VoIP Phone and How Does It Work? guide explains more about VoIP phones and how they work.

Recommended: RingCentral offers VoIP phone service and VoIP phones, which are discounted to save you money.

VoIP Meaning

VoIP is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.

VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal that travels over the internet. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is converted back to an analog signal before it reaches the person you are calling.

A VoIP system can be used with either a computer or a VoIP phone. A VoIP phone looks like a regular telephone, with buttons and a handset, but it uses an Ethernet connection instead of an analog phone line.

If you have broadband internet service and want to save money on your monthly phone bill, VoIP may be right for you.

A business VoIP phone system from RingCentral can save your company money on communication costs.

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Recommended: Read our Best Virtual Phone Number Apps for Business review.

VoIP Phone Characteristics and Features

VoIP phones are a type of telephone that uses an internet connection instead of a traditional phone line.

VoIP phones have many beneficial features for both business and personal use. Some of the most popular VoIP phone features include:

  • Conference calling
  • Auto attendant
  • Call routing
  • Call forwarding
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Call waiting
  • Three-way calling
  • Instant messaging

VoIP phones are also more affordable than traditional phone lines, offering a higher-quality sound for both local and long-distance calls.

What's more, VoIP phone services purchased through a provider like RingCentral can provide your LLC or small business with both local number and toll-free number capabilities.

The Technology Behind VoIP

VoIP phones work by digitizing analog audio signals and sending them over the internet rather than through traditional telephone lines.

This allows for much more flexibility in terms of call quality and features, as well as cost savings since voice calls made through VoIP providers are often cheaper than traditional calls.

To make VoIP calls, you'll need a few things:

  • A broadband internet connection
  • VoIP adapter or IP phone, computer, or mobile device
  • A VoIP provider

Types of VoIP Phones

VoIP phones have come a long way in recent years, and there are now several different types to choose from.

The most common type of VoIP phone options include:

  • Softphone: A software-based phone that runs on your computer or mobile device.
  • IP Phone: A physical phone that connects to your network using an ethernet cable.
  • VoIP Adapters: These can be used with regular landline phones to allow them to work over a VoIP connection.

Whichever type of VoIP phone you choose, you'll enjoy clear call quality and many features that traditional phones lack.

Should You Use a VoIP Phone?

Advantages of Using a VoIP Phone

A VoIP phone system can save your business money, offer more flexibility, and be easily scaled as your business grows.

A VoIP phone system uses your internet connection to make and receive calls, rather than a traditional phone line. This can lead to significant cost savings, as you’ll only need to pay for one internet connection instead of two.

VoIP systems are also much more flexible than traditional phone systems, as they can be easily integrated with other software applications. This means you can use your VoIP system to make calls and send messages directly from your CRM or accounting software.

Finally, a VoIP system can be easily scaled up or down as your business needs change. This makes it a great option for small businesses that are expecting to grow in the near future.

Disadvantages of Using a VoIP Phone

A VoIP phone has a lot of great features, but there are also some disadvantages to using this type of phone.

One of the biggest disadvantages is that it is internet dependent. This means that if your internet connection goes down, so does your phone service. This can be a big problem for businesses that rely on having a working phone system at all times.

Another downside to using a VoIP phone is that the quality of the call can sometimes be lower than with a traditional phone line. This is because VoIP calls are made over an IP network and require a reliable internet connection, which can be more congested than a private cell phone network or telephone network.

When to Use a VoIP Phone

It is important to know when to use a VoIP phone and when not to.

First, you need to have a high-speed internet connection. A VoIP phone will not work with a dial-up connection.

Second, you need to consider the quality of your internet connection. A VoIP phone will sound choppy if you have a slow or unreliable connection.

Third, you need to consider the features that are important to you. Some VoIP phones come with features like caller ID, voicemail, and call waiting. Others do not. Be sure to choose a VoIP phone that has the features you need.

Here are some guidelines for when to use a VoIP phone:

  • If you make a lot of international calls, VoIP can be a great option since it is often cheaper than traditional phone service.
  • If you have a home office or run a small business, VoIP can be a cost-effective way to manage your phone needs.
  • Need advanced features like call forwarding and caller ID, then VoIP is a good option.
  • If you have a high-speed internet connection, you'll be able to take advantage of all the features that VoIP offers.
  • If you're comfortable using computers and don't mind learning a new interface, VoIP is definitely worth considering.

Best VoIP Providers

If you're looking for a VoIP provider that can give your business the features and flexibility it needs, then you should definitely check out RingCentral, Phone.com, and Grasshopper. All three of these providers offer a wide range of features, including call forwarding, caller ID, voicemail, desk phone, and more.


RingCentral arguably has the most reliable VoIP phone service, given its virtual PBX in the cloud. You're all but guaranteed to make crystal clear VoIP phone calls each time you dial out through one of your IP phones.

Speaking of IP phones, RingCentral works with just about every VoIP desk phone on the market. They even have an app for mobile phones and an adapter that will work with your traditional phone system. Most VoIP phone providers don't offer everything that RingCentral offers.

Plus, RingCentral provides you with a phone number, local or toll-free, with the option of porting your number over your existing business phone number or having an existing number forwarded to your new number or personal cell phone.

RingCentral Features

RingCentral offers a wide variety of features, more than most, making it an ideal choice for businesses.

RingCentral's features include phone numbers, auto attendant, unlimited calling, faxing, and conferencing plans. RingCentral also has one of the most extensive IP networks and works with a broadband connection, wireless phones, or traditional landline phones using an analog telephone adapter (converting analog voice signals).

You can also add additional features such as call forwarding and voicemail.

RingCentral Pricing

RingCentral offers a variety of plans that are reasonably priced. The starter package is only $19.99/user/month.

RingCentral Customer Service

RingCentral offers excellent customer support and has a wide range of resources available to its customers.

With RingCentral, there are no contracts and no hidden fees. You can cancel anytime with no penalty.

Get RingCentral

Recommended: Read our RingCentral review to learn more.


Phone.com is one of the leading VoIP providers on the market today. They offer a wide range of features and competitive prices alongside a user-friendly interface. Plus, their customer service is excellent.

Phone.com Features

Phone.com is a VoIP service provider that offers a variety of features to its users. These features include free calls, low-cost international calls, voicemail, call forwarding, phone number, and more.

Phone.com's features are designed to make communication more convenient and affordable for its users.

Phone.com Pricing

Phone.com offers a variety of business VoIP plans at different price points. Their most basic plan starts at $12/user/month, and their most expensive plan is $24/user/month.

Phone.com's pricing is very competitive, and they offer many features for the price.

Phone.com Customer Service

One of the best things about Phone.com is its customer service. They have a team of knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives who are always willing to help. Whether you need help setting up your account or have a question about using one of their features, they will be more than happy to assist you.

Phone.com is perfect for small businesses and entrepreneurs who need a professional phone system without a high price tag.

Get Phone.com

Recommended: Read our Phone.com review to learn more.


If you're looking for a VoIP service that's simple to use and packed with features, you'll want to check out Grasshopper. With Grasshopper, you can get a professional phone system for your business without spending a fortune.

Grasshopper Features

Grasshopper offers all the features you need to run your business efficiently, including call forwarding, caller ID, voicemail, phone number, and more. Best of all, Grasshopper is easy to set up and use, so you'll be up and running in no time.

Grasshopper Price

Grasshopper's pricing starts at $26/user/month and tops out at around $80/user/month with its highest-tiered plan.

Grasshopper Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, Grasshopper VoIP is committed to providing the best possible experience for its customers. From 24/7 live support to a comprehensive online knowledge base, Grasshopper has the resources and expertise to help customers with any issue they may have.

Grasshopper offers a variety of features that are perfect for small businesses, including call forwarding, caller ID, voicemail, and more.

Get Grasshopper

Recommended: Read our Grasshopper review.

VoIP Phone FAQ

What is a VoIP phone?

A VoIP phone is a phone that uses the internet to make and receive calls.

What is a VoIP phone system?

A VoIP phone system is a type of telephone system that uses the internet to make and receive calls. VoIP phone systems are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes because they offer many features and benefits that traditional telephone systems cannot match.

How does a VoIP phone work?

A VoIP phone uses an adapter to connect to your broadband internet connection. The adapter converts your voice into digital signals that are sent over the internet.

How to make phone calls with a VoIP phone?

A VoIP phone is a telephone that uses voice over IP technology to make and receive calls over an IP network instead of the traditional public switched telephone network. VoIP phones can be used with any VoIP service, such as Google Voice, RingCentral, Phone.com, Grasshopper, Skype, Vonage, magicJack, and more.

To make a phone call with a VoIP phone, you will need to connect the phone to your home broadband router using an ethernet cable. Once the connection is made, you will need to configure the VoIP settings on your phone.

Most VoIP services will provide you with a list of settings that need to be entered into your phone. These may include the server address, port number, and authentication information. Once you have entered all of the required information into your phone, you should be able to make and receive calls using your VoIP service.

Can I use my existing telephone with a VoIP service?

Yes and no. You can make phone calls on a cell phone using VoIP technology and your VoIP service provider app, but for landlines, you'll need to purchase a VoIP adapter or IP phone.

Can I make phone calls through VoIP service providers on my mobile phone?

Yes, many VoIP service providers offer VoIP technology and VoIP services through their mobile apps. This means you can take your VoIP phone system with you to make phone calls anywhere you go using multiple device types. You can use a cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, Apple Watch, and more without needing IP phones or physical phones.

Which are the best VoIP phone services?

The best VoIP phone providers are those that offer the most reliable service, the most useful features, and the best price. With quality VoIP technology, you'll be able to take incoming calls and use VoIP phone features that you can't get using traditional phone systems.

What are the benefits of using a VoIP phone?

Some of the benefits of using a VoIP phone include lower monthly costs, no long-distance charges, enhanced features, and increased flexibility.

Does Google Voice offer good VoIP call quality?

Yes, Google Voice offers good VoIP call quality. The calls are clear, and there is little to no lag. Plus, you can use Google Voice to make calls from your computer or mobile device.

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