VoIP: Is it worth the hassle?

If product placement for film and TV is as effective as companies hope, Cisco must be rolling in it. If you've seen any scene in the last few years involving some form of office — no matter whether it's in a high-rise commercial building, a hospital or a morgue — there's a significant chance you'll see a Cisco-branded, IP-based phone sitting on a desk. If fiction mirrored reality, Voice over IP (VoIP) is ubiquitous already.

Unfortunately for Cisco, that isn't exactly the case. In fact, I think I'm yet to see an entire corporation that has made the switch to VoIP. Sure, there are the odd cases here and there — small businesses trying to cut costs wherever possible, for example — but unless you happen to work for a VoIP company, chances are you are on the same traditional PSTN line as everyone else.

So is VoIP really worth the hassle? Sure, there are the cost benefits if it is set up and organised properly, but the idea of adding layer of technology on top of your standard office network is mind-boggling. Load the network bandwidth of VoIP on top of your standard, snail-slow office Internet connection and there's a good chance your employees will find yet another way to remain unproductive, as IT staff struggle to rebuild the IP network in time for that all-important conference call.

For homes, the situation isn't too different. Sure, there are naked DSL plans, Analog Telephone Adaptors and dual-mode VoIP phones, but add VoIP onto your average broadband plan — already cluttered with BitTorrent and Facebook — and don't be surprised if it's nightmares ahoy. Not to mention that most naked DSL plans include uploads in the bandwidth quota, making the trip to dial-up town all that much shorter. If you happen to be the resident techie in your household and you feel confident to take the cons with the pros, go for it. For Joe the Plumber, though, VoIP is still a pipe dream.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Hutchinson

PC World
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?