Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a category of hardware and software helping people conduct telephone-like calls using the internet. A VoIP software enables you to turn a computer into a communication platform.
The birth of the internet brought in different innovative ways of communicating. In the beginning, it was email, but then businesses required promptness in two-way communication, so that brought in instant messaging. But, then the need to hear each other on a real-time basis brought in VoIP, as using traditional phone lines for communicating globally has always been expensive. To put it simply, VoIP came a long way to gain the popularity it is enjoying today. The below-given, infographic has highlighted the milestones throughout the journey of VoIP towards its success.
How Does a VoIP Software Work?
VoIP is a revolutionary technology that converts your voice into a digital signal and transmits it on the internet using TCP/IP (Ethernet) Protocol. It helps you to make and receive calls all over the world using a computer, VoIP phone, mobile phones, data-driven devices, or even traditional telephones connected to the VoIP adapter known as Analog Telephone Adapter.
Features Required in a VoIP Software
Besides enabling phone calls through the internet, a VoIP system should include the below-mentioned features, which can help businesses extensively in improving their communication processes.
To avoid missing important calls, you can use the call forwarding feature. Your PC VoIP software should enable you to forward all the calls to your mobile phone, enabling you to receive calls wherever you are.
Many times you are required to talk to the whole team at the same time instead of one person to sort out some issues. Your VoIP software should allow you to hold conference calls with the groups avoiding miscommunication and getting tasks done on time.
Receive and make calls from anywhere at any time. This is the main functionality everyone looks for in a VoIP software for business. You don’t have to be present in the office to receive or make calls.
Auto-attendant allows you to provide a customized menu for the callers, where they can choose the option they are calling for or the extension number they want to connect to. This would create a professional impression for your organization in the minds of your customers, suppliers, and associates.
Voicemail to Email Transcription
The VoIP system can convert your voicemail messages to text and send it through your preferred email id. It also helps you in systematically organizing your voicemails.
The VoIP system facilitates caller ID helping you to decide whether to reject or receive the calls.
Multiple Device Support
The VoIP software you select should support multiple devices enabling you to make and receive calls using VoIP through any device like a tablet, laptop, and mobile.
Your VoIP software should be able to integrate with other third-party tools like CRM, email marketing software, sales software, etc., to provide added functionality.
The VoIP software you select should be scalable enough to grow with your business. Adding users or geographical locations should not be a problem.
Now, let’s explore the features of the 10 best free and open-source VoIP software, which can help you in selecting the one that suits your business requirements.
The 10 Best Free and Open Source VoIP Software
Asterisk is a free and open-source VoIP software sponsored by Digium. It offers a perfect blend of PBX functionality and advanced features of VoIP. Asterisk is used by enterprises, call centers, SMBs, and Governments worldwide to power their IP PBX systems, Conference servers, and VoIP gateways.
Sipxcom is a feature-rich software for VoIP preferred by enterprises due to its standards-based SIP open architecture. It is highly scalable and suitable for middle to large enterprise environments. It is written using C++ and Java and executing RESTful APIs. Due to its open design for easy integration, it can be easily customized as per your business requirements.
Linphone is an open source VoIP system specializing in instant messaging and conducting voice/video VoIP calls helping businesses to communicate seamlessly with people at a low cost. It is compatible with most of the PBXs and SIP servers as it follows open standards from the telecommunications industry. Due to it’s easy to use graphical interface and advanced calling features, it is preferred by most enterprises for building their communication solutions.
# 4 Ekiga
Ekiga was formerly known as GnomeMeeting. It is an open-source VoIP, video conferencing, and instant messaging application supporting HD sound & video quality. As it uses SIP and H.323 telephony standards, it is compatible with standard-compliant software, hardware, and service providers.
Jitsi includes multiple open source projects allowing you to build and execute video conferencing solutions. Also, there are other projects in the community, which help in deploying features like audio, dial-in, simulcasting, and recording. Whether the audio/video conversation is between 2 people or 200, Jitsi is known for its amazing sound and video quality. All the tools provided by Jitsi are free, open-source, and WebRTC compatible.