Is VoIP Reliable and Secure?
The short answer is yes to both.
Here are the long answers:
Though VoIP call quality was not as high as traditional phone call quality when the technology first became commercially available, it certainly has a come a long way. Today, VoIP call quality is on par with plain old telephone service (POTS). The only things you have to consider to ensure optimal call quality are 1) whether you have enough bandwidth and 2) whether your network is setup properly to prioritize VoIP calls over less important web browsing activities. Your service provider can help you ensure that you have both of theses bases covered.
Some businesses have stayed with their POTS for fear of losing service during a power outage. In fact a full 31% of decision makers cited this as the main reason for keeping their POTS service intact. This is a perfectly valid reason to stay with POTS, but it’s possible to get the same reliability from VoIP in a few ways:
- Ask your provider to route calls to mobile devices during outages
- Keep a hybrid system of POTs and VoIP
- Invest in an IP (hosted) PBX system with PSTN backup
- Install backup power sources (a generator or a battery)
Of course, for many companies power outages are few and far between, so this might not be a huge concern. However, by following any of the steps above, you can make VoIP just as reliable as POTS.
The truth is that any phone call – whether made on a cell phone or a landline – can be monitored or ‘tapped’. VoIP is no exception – but the techniques used to monitor calls are a little different (for example, old-fashioned wiretaps don’t work for digital signals).
Eavesdroppers would need to intercept your data packets as they travel between your network and your Internet service provider (ISP). However, there are reasonable precautions that you can take to maximize security. And if you’re already using the Internet to transfer other types of data, chances are you have already taken reasonable steps to secure your network.
Certainly, a virus can be used to monitor your VoIP activity. Keeping your corporate firewall intact and your anti-virus software up-to-date is the most effective way to keep your data safe. It’s also important to avoid suspicious websites and to refrain from clicking links in phishing emails.
Encryption can help keep your data safe while it’s in transmission. There are many third-party encryption products on the market, including the newly developed open-source product Zfone. You can also ask your service provider about secure phone sets, gateways, and proxies with built-in encryption. However, no amount of encryption will prevent security threats at the source of your VoIP calls, which is why virus and firewall protection are so crucial.
VPNs add another layer of security to VoIP calls carried out through wireless/mobile networks. But equally as important as the technology-based security protections is education: communicate your phone’s built-in security features to all users and make sure that they understand your device security policies. Be sure to:
- Use strong passwords and change them often
- Delete sensitive messages promptly
- Report strange activity to your service provider immediately
Want to learn more about VoIP?
You’ve come to the right place.
To learn more about our VoIP services, visit our website and download our Risk-Free Roadmap to VoIP to see how you can make the switch to VoIP without getting rid of your traditional phone system. BullsEye Telecom is one of the only service providers in the US that offers a hybrid VoIP-POTS system.
Questions? Contact us to learn more today.