How softphone works: What you should know about it

Hardly anyone in the present generation has seen or used one of those old landline phones with a circular dial. Today, it is all about pushbutton phones and, now, softphones you can use on your desktops, laptops and smartphones. Tap or click, connect, talk to whomever, wherever and at any time. So, what exactly is a softphone and what are its benefits?

What exactly is a softphone?

No, it is not made of soft plastic, fabric or rubber. It is a software based dialer you can use on your computers or smartphones to make use of VoIP to talk with anyone anywhere in the world and pay nothing more than cost of internet usage. The softphone’s main interface features a dial pad that resembles a push button phone. You tap or click on buttons to dial a number. The softphone can be a standalone app or it can be tied to your VoIP business phone system. Softphones may require a SIP server in the background and are also known as SIP softphones. Apart from a standalone app you may make use of the VoIP SIP softphone through a browser.

How does a SIP Softphone work?

Your SIP Softphone needs a SIP server in the background and makes use of VoIP technologies for audio transmission. The SIP server starts a session. The software in your phone or computer takes care of dialing as well as conversion of audio to digital IP packets. These packets travel over different internet routes, arrive at the destination and are assembled to audio stream. The called party can receive your call if you both use compatible codecs and support for the VoIP protocol.

Lots of features

Why should you switch to a VoIP SIP softphone when your mobile or landline can do the work? The answer is features.

  • Capability to carry out conference calls
  • Put the softphone on “do not disturb” and yet receive notifications that someone is trying to reach you
  • Call waiting, caller ID, Voice mail, Call forwarding, call logs and call records
  • One click calls
  • Intercom features, call hold/resume
  • Video call and conference capability
  • Integrate with CRM for better access to data and customer service

Benefits of SIP Softphone

The features alone are worth the switch to SIP Softphone. There are added benefits:

  • You can be reached anytime through your office or home desktop or your smartphone
  • The softphone can become part of your office IP PBX and the number can be kept distinct from your own smartphone number.
  • That business number makes you accessible regardless of your location.
  • The greatest benefit is cost savings. You can make local or international calls at a very low cost with a range of flexible plans.
  • You can put yourself in available or not available modes and, likewise, know about presence of other parties.
  • You can send an instant message through the VoIP SIP softphone or leave a voicemail.
  • Transferring calls to colleagues is easy – just drag and drop the call to the colleague’s name

Now that you know about softphones and their advantages you may want to know which one to choose.

Top softphones

You have plenty of choices with dozens of SIP softphones you can use on desktops and smartphones. Here are a few:

  • RingCentral: Rated as one of the finest SIP Softphones, RingCentral offers a host of features and is used by over 350000 businesses with plans starting at $ 19.90 per month.
  • OnSIP: This is a cloud based service offering unlimited calling and free Polycom phones, all at $ 18.95 per month.
  • Bitrix: You get an automatic dialler with an included CRM with Bitrix in addition to IVR, voice mail, domestic and international phone number and robocalling.
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager: If you want extensive feature list, robust systems, voice, mobility and web conferencing then this one is for you.
  • Smartline: This is a mobile app you can use on your smartphone to make and receive calls at a very reasonable rate.
  • Tragofone: The newest SIP Softphone with about 100 features, this app works on Android and iOS, is easy to use and offers extreme customization in addition to white label, making it ideal for third party VoIP service providers.

Now you know about VoIP SIP softphones. It is time to make the switch, save money and do a lot more, particularly if you have remote work model.

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