VoIP phone systems are a modern alternative to the traditional, ISDN, on-premise telephone systems that many businesses use today.
One question that always appears is ‘does VoIP work if your internet connection goes down?’
It’s a fair question. Telephony is so important to businesses, especially in the modern age of communication, and so it’s important to understand how VoIP works and what type of connection it requires.
Does VoIP work is your internet goes down?
In short: No. VoIP will not work if your internet connection goes down. This is because VoIP relies on an internet connection to transmit your voice data. However, there are things you can do to prevent your internet (and subsequently your VoIP system) from going down.
To understand more about VoIP and its reliance on your internet connection, we must first understand how VoIP works.
Traditionally (as in, before VoIP was common), phone calls used a protocol called ISDN. ISDN connected two phones to one another which allowed them to make a call. To make and receive calls, a business had to have ISDN lines. Each line can carry one call at a time.
Now, however, VoIP removes the requirement for multiple telephone lines, instead using your broadband connection.
Instead of using these ISDN lines, VoIP uses something called SIP trunks. You can think of SIP trunks as ‘virtual’ telephone lines. These SIP trunks run over your existing broadband connection and allow for your VoIP call traffic to travel to its end user.
As you can see, a traditional telephone system doesn’t require multiple telephone lines—replacing them with the ‘virtual’ lines of SIP trunks.
Why does VoIP require an Internet connection?
The diagram above should give you an idea as to why a VoIP phone system requires an internet connection. The SIP trunks that are used to run your VoIP phone system require a broadband connection to transmit your voice traffic.
As a guide, we recommend an internet connection of 18mbps download to sustain a reliable VoIP call. This speed is achievable with a regular fibre broadband connection. In fact, most of our customers already have a broadband connection that is good enough to sustain a reliable and robust VoIP telephone system.
What if my internet connection goes down?
If your business loses its internet connection, then you’ll also lose your VoIP telephone system. But, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your broadband connection doesn’t go down.
4G Router Backup
Using a 4G router can prevent sudden loss of broadband. With a 4G router, you can automatically switch your VoIP phone system to 4G, rather than fixed line internet. A 4G WiFi router acts as a normal WiFi router, but in the event of an outage, the router switches to a 4G connection, ensuring minimal downtime.
Dual Broadband Lines
Dual broadband connectivity does exactly what it says on the tin, it provides two separate broadband lines (often from two different providers). These lines run in parallel and if one suffers an outage, then your separate line carries your VoIP system.
A leased line is by far the most reliable form of broadband connectivity. Leased lines provide unimpeded, uninterrupted connectivity from the nearest fibre point, directly to your business. Our leased lines come with 99.99% uptime, and are available anywhere in the UK.
Should I be worried about my internet going down?
We know that your phone system is a vital asset to your business, so it’s understandable why anyone would be concerned about their internet going down. But the flexibility of a VoIP phone system gives you peace of mind.
In the unlikely event that your internet does go down, you can have your incoming calls diverted to mobile numbers instead. This allows you to continue your business operations without your broadband or telephone system. The built-in flexibility of VoIP provides a great platform for redundancy and ensures your business is always connected.