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  • How do I make calls with a hosted PBX?

    Calls can be made with a hosted PBX in the same way they would be made with a conventional PBX system. It’s as simple as picking up the phone and calling the extension, local number, or international number and with lower cost than using a conventional phone line. Some providers make calls even cheaper or free if the number being called is also being hosted by them.

    How does a hosted PBX work?

    The way a hosted PBX system works is actually rather simple. Instead of hooking the phone up to a traditional phone line, the phone is hooked up to an internet line, usually an Ethernet connection. All this requires is an IP enabled phone or analog to VoIP phone adapter. Once the service is started, there is little to no difference from using a conventional PBX system. 

    What is a hosted PBX?

    A hosted PBX is a phone system that no longer relies on physical phone lines to provide phone service for businesses. Instead, it uses a cloud-based service to provide phone service by making use of an internet connection. It provides the same functionality as a conventional phone service and more, but without the equipment or maintenance a conventional PBX requires. It even removes the need for a switchboard since the company providing the phone service handles that function with an automated answering service that routes the calls based on the customer’s needs.

    How will the calls sound?

    This can depend on the provider, but more often than not there is a marked improvement in voice quality using a virtual PBX. There are also a much lower percentage of dropped calls compared to using a conventional PBX system. Some providers even offer HD quality sound as a part of their service, which is far superior to traditional phone service voice quality.

    Do I need a computer to call?

    Calls can be made through the use of a computer and a connected headset, but a computer isn’t necessary to make a call. Calls can be made from any VoIP enabled phone with an internet connection or an analog phone with an analog to VoIP converter.

    How can a hosted PBX help my business?

    There are many benefits to using a hosted PBX system rather than a conventional system, and one of the biggest is how much money it can save. Since a virtual PBX is hosted by the providing company, businesses don’t need to worry about the cost of maintaining the system. Also, since a switchboard is no longer needed, businesses save on the cost of equipment and manpower that a switchboard would need.  Hosted PBXs are also scalable which means that the service can be scaled up and down depending on how the business is doing. This allows businesses to make adjustments without affecting the normal operations. Using a hosted PBX also gives smaller businesses a more professional image. A further advantage is reliability. Since hosted systems don’t rely on physical phone lines to make and receive calls, something happening to the phone lines doesn’t affect a business’ ability to communicate with clients or anyone else. Important calls won’t be missed just because phone lines went down.

    Can I keep my phone number?

    Yes, you can keep the same number. The number is simply transferred over to the virtual PBX by the hosting provider.

    Can I still get calls even when I’m out of the office?

    One of the many benefits to switching to a virtual PBX system is that they can be set up to route calls to any phone, including a cell phone. Cell phones can even be used to access all of the features provided by the virtual PBX system.

    Can I send and receive faxes with a hosted PBX?

    Faxes are handled by the hosted PBX which means that they can be viewed online or attached to an e-mail. This also means that electronic documents can be sent to any standard fax number. Standard fax machines can be set up to receive faxes through the hosted PBX, but the quality may suffer.

    What are the disadvantages of using a hosted PBX system?

    One disadvantage to using this system is that there may be unexpected downtime. Loss of broadband connection or a power outage can take the system offline and leave a business without phone service until the connection or power is restored. Downtime can also occur if there is a problem with the provider’s system that causes it to shut down or be shut down for a time. Even if you lose power or internet connectivity people calling you will still be able to reach the equipment at your provider and leave a message which you can pick up using your mobile phones. In the case of a disaster if your office is shut you can direct all calls to staff mobile phones in a moment’s notice.

    What kind of equipment do I need for a hosted PBX?

    The only equipment or hardware a hosted PBX system needs is a broadband internet connection. Depending on the needs of the business, a router might also be required, but there is no special equipment needed like what a conventional system requires.

    Do I need to know a lot about computers to set it up?

    Because virtual PBXs are simple to set up and use, no special knowledge is needed to set one up in a business. No IT staff is needed for the set-up, and the features of the system can be accessed from a computer or phone no matter where you are. Some providers may also come and set the system up for you and have 24 hour customer service to help with any problems you may encounter.

    How fast of an internet connection do I need?

    Most small businesses won’t need anything more than a standard broadband service while a larger business might need more bandwidth because of more computers and phones connected to the system. The needed connection speed depends entirely on the needs of the business and can be scaled to fit those needs fairly easily. The hosting provider for the PBX system can often help determine how fast a connection is going to be needed to maintain the best quality of calls. Typically you will need 56KB of bandwidth for each simultaneous outbound or in bound call.

    How do I get started?

    It starts by reviewing our provider tables on this site and comparing pricing and features. Then it just becomes a matter of determining what plan is the best fit for the business based on the business’ needs. After that, it’s just a matter or determining who has the best plan needed and at the best price. Most providers offer competitive plans with loads of features suited to fit businesses of virtually any size.