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Blogs

What is Hosted VoIP and how does it compare?

Blogs

By Sean Johnson
Sales Engineer Associate

Read time: 4 minutes 

Realtors talk about turnkey houses. Move-in ready houses – no renovation needed with minimal work required over the next five to even 10 years. A pretty nice concept, right? 

In my world, the world of business telephony at Midco, we also believe in the turnkey concept. You come into the office or log in from your home office, and your phone system works. From the network to the equipment, you don’t have to do any work – well, aside from your actual work, that is.  

Turnkey phone systems are often called “managed” or “hosted” phones, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), voice or even PBX. And if you’re shopping for a new business phone service, I’m sure you’ve come across a variety of these terms.  

For our purposes, we’re going to focus on one of the more popular options on the market – hosted VoIP. Read on to find out what it is, how it’s different from other solutions and its benefits.  

What is Hosted VoIP?

VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. In a nutshell, it’s a phone system that uses a reliable internet network to route calls through server equipment connected directly to the telephone network.  

A true hosted VoIP provider will provide: 

  • Reliable internet network connectivity  
  • User-friendly phone hardware  
  • Safe data center storage for servers and IT equipment 
  • Dedicated system setup and maintenance 

Together, it means there will be less equipment maintained at your business.  

Midco_Hosted_VoIP_Diagram.png

Midco_Hosted_VoIP_Diagram.png

In my experience, most of the VoIP services out there are only partially managed or hosted. There is usually a piece missing. It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting when committing to a new phone provider. 

Option X might provide the equipment, but not the network. Or, Option Y might provide the network, but you need to purchase and maintain the equipment. Keep in mind, for example, if you decide to purchase your equipment, then your IT team will be responsible for rolling out updates during off-hours and ordering new phones when the manufacturer discontinues phone models.  

Hosted VoIP vs. Hosted PBX  

PBX stands for public branch exchange – and is essentially a business phone system. Traditionally speaking, PBX systems used digital or analog connections to the telephone network, but anything modern used today is going to have a network connectivity component. When a PBX is hosted (like Midco offers), there's the added layer of a provider managing it all for you. This makes hosted PBX essentially the same thing as hosted VoIP.  

Hosted VoIP vs. Digital Phone Lines  

Digital phone lines are great for businesses located in one office with fewer than four lines needed for standard voice calls or for alarms, elevators or faxing. Digital lines also work with a large variety of legacy equipment and phone systems.  

When comparing hosted VoIP to a standard phone solution, hosted VoIP will provide more flexibility – in large part due to the long list of calling features. Regardless of how many employees you have, there are several smart call routing and admin control options to make changes on your own instantly – without calling support. 

Scalability is also a definite benefit of hosted VoIP solutions compared to digital phone lines. Hosted equipment is provided and maintained by your provider, meaning there’s a lower upfront cost – and the ability to add hardware and lines as your business grows with a single phone call to your provider.   

  Digital Phone Hosted VoIP
Alarms and/or Elevator Hook Ups X  
Midco Fiber Network Access X X
Voicemail with eVOICE X X
Call Transfer & Caller ID  X X
Call Forwarding  X X
Auto-Attendant   X
Online Portal   X
Equipment Included    X
Long Distance Included1   X
Softphone   X

Hosted VoIP vs. SIP  

SIP stands for session initiation protocol. SIP phone lines are also often called trunk lines and are great for customers who need to own their PBX for specific functionality – or already own PBX equipment.  

Phone usage is also a key factor when comparing hosted VoIP with SIP lines. For example, SIP works well for hotels that require lots of phones but are rarely used. SIP also works well for schools, as they usually have complex paging needs that can’t be met by hosted VoIP solutions.  

Hosted VoIP Features and Benefits  

Many times, when you’re shopping for a turnkey house, you may need to build it from the ground up. You’ll work with a contractor who will give you the finish options and then you can pick and choose from there to create your customized turnkey solution. Midco’s process for setting up hosted VoIP is similar.  

With more than 40 ‘finish options’ included, and five a la carte options, you can choose the phone features your business needs and Midco is your contractor – we’ll build it for you, so you only turn the key. 

Popular Hosted VoIP Features  

1. Call Routing Options

Use features such as call forwarding, call park, call pickup, call transfer, call waiting, and more, to route calls exactly where they need to go.  

2. CommPortal

Customize your call settings, set up voicemail messages and manage weekly schedules without having to call Midco with your company’s CommPortal.  

3. Voicemail with eVOICE

Away from your voicemail? Not a problem. Send voicemails to your email inbox to stay up to date on who’s calling you while you’re not at your desk.  

4. Auto-Attendant

Automatically transfer callers to an extension without an operator or receptionist needing to intervene via a single-level automated answering and transfer system. 

5. Softphone

Empower off-site or remote staff to take calls through the Softphone app on their computer and/or mobile device. 

See more features

World-class business phone, from a locally based company.

Midco is based in the Midwest, and we have account executives throughout our footprint to provide one-on-one phone consultation and support.  

 Request a Consultation  Find a Consultant  Call 1.800.888.1300

About Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson focuses on matching solutions with customer needs. Since starting at Midco in 2014, he has developed a deep understanding of Midco Business phone solutions – including hosted VoIP. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in biology for information systems from Dakota State University.

About Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson focuses on matching solutions with customer needs. Since starting at Midco in 2014, he has developed a deep understanding of Midco Business phone solutions – including hosted VoIP. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in biology for information systems from Dakota State University.

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