A softphone, or a software telephone is a system application that allows Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections from different computing devices.
In a company, softphones are at times referred to as soft clients. Several softphone application systems work together with a microphone and headset. Typically, a special VoIP phone, which is oftentimes called a hardphone, operates through the use of a device which is called analog telephone adaptor, like a Magicjack. This adaptor allows VoIP calling from a regular telephone handset.
Though softphones are often linked together with home or mobile users, office employees also may choose to employ the use of softphones as a very convenient alternative to the traditional and standard desk phones. At times, this may be challenging, especially for network administrators, because generally, the traffic being generated through softphones may have the potential to flood the system’s network. In several scenarios, a company’s network management system may not be able to differentiate the traffic being generated through a softphone from the traffic being generated from the other software applications. To complicate things further, at times, IP phones will use the similar protocols as softphones, which in turn, will compete with each other for the purposes of bandwidth.
VoIP and Soft Phones
If a company is interested in using VoIP, a softphone is needed. In contrast to what many people may think, a softphone is not hardware, nor equipment. Rather, it is a software that will be used to make phone calls through VoIP. The way that a softphone works is pretty much the same as a regular telephone. The difference is that it can be found in a computer.
How VoIP works
Softphones may be available from several sources. It may be downloaded, or as a part of a VoIP package. Regardless of the source, a softphone is like a standard telephone in the PC. If there is a need to use it, a window may be opened, the shortcut key pressed, and a program is opened to where it may be installed. If there is a need to talk to someone, it is very important to wear a headset with a microphone. These softphones may be used for different types of calls, including the ones from PC to PC, and also from a phone line to PC, and the other way around.
Softphone functions are quite similar to regular phones. For instance, it is possible to setup conferences through the telephone. This also means that there can be multiple people who may be listening or talking at the same time. Also, softphones may also include call forwarding, which allows calls to be forwarded to a different VoIP based computer from the network, and even to the mobile phone. This option is very important for people who frequently.
Another feature of the softphone is speed dialing. This can be done by assigning numbers to different names. The same also goes to long numbers that you need to call. This allows users to be free from the hassle of constantly remembering long phone numbers. In line with this, an online address book may be kept. They may also be enabled to store voice mail messages. These messages can be readily available with the press of a button. Other features include an onscreen number, IM and predictive dialing, call timer, and video calling.
Yes, softphones are a very important feature of VoIP. As a result, business owners find this tool easy to manage and functional at the same time. However, before full advantage is taken of them, it is very important that requirements are met. Hardware needs to match the selected soft phone.
Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.