With the way things are going in the telecoms industry, by now everyone must have heard of VoIP and the term softphone. Whilst many people may not actually know what a softphone is, they are more than likely aware of the word. Most people will probably find that they are actually already using a softphone without even being aware they are. If you are one of those people who have heard the term softphone but do not know what one is, here is an explanation of the term.
What exactly is a softphone?
A softphone is the short version of the term software telephone. This is when a caller uses a piece of software either on their computer, tablet or smartphone to make or receive calls over an internet connection instead of using dedicated hardware. The software has a user interface that is typically designed to appear as if it were a traditional telephone complete with display panel and buttons that the user can push and behaves just as if it were a traditional telephone.
Available across all platforms
Typically, softphones need a microphone and headset to work, with both connected to the computer or device. Users can download softphone applications from a wide range of providers. These applications are available for multiple operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. In general softphone applications tend to free of charge though some providers to charge a modest fee.
Need to sign up to a service
If you wish to communicate using a softphone you must register with a service provider also known as a VoIP provider plus you must have access to the internet through and Internet Service Provider (ISP). Alternatively, it is possible to connect a softphone to an IP PBX and participate in a full featured integrated communication system. This type of telephone system enables users to access a wide variety of features whilst they are at the office or when they are travelling.
More companies adopting softphones
Softphone apps are extremely user friendly, easy to use, very convenient and increasingly growing in popularity. Remote working employees and those who travel regularly love softphones because they enable them to easily make calls from their smartphones or laptops no matter where they are in the world or at any time. Softphones are great for small and medium enterprises because they are much less expensive than traditional phone services. Rather unsurprisingly a growing number of companies are adopting softphones to improve their flexibility and, in the process, increase employee confidence.