What is a Softphone?

By Cathrine Hosking 2 years agoNo Comments
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Great news, you no longer need to remain tethered to your desk phone to benefit from all the great features of your VoIP phone system. With a softphone, now you can access VoIP from anywhere, anytime.

With VoIP rapidly gaining popularity in New Zealand the term softphone is being thrown around more and more casually. Yet despite its casual use, many people still find the concept confusing and often ask us to explain it. Softphones are incredibly useful and an essential tool for the modern workplace so getting a better understanding of them is a good idea. If you are unsure what a softphone is, how it works or what the real benefits are, keep reading, below we break down the most common questions we get asked and our answers.

softphone 3cx

What is a softphone?

A softphone is essentially an application that lets you make calls over the internet from a computer or other smart device. As the name would imply, ‘soft’ refers to the fact that it is a piece of software which you download onto your computer or smart device.

Through the software (app) you will be able to dial phone numbers and carry out other phone related functions using your touchscreen, mouse, keypad or keyboard. Conversations usually take place through an inbuilt microphone or a headset and computer speakers.

Skype, iChat, and GoogleTalk are all examples of consumer grade softphone (apps). We recommend that businesses use the same company that provides their VoIP phone system, good examples are 3CX with their 3CX Mobile App and Yeastar with the Linkus App. These are business grade apps and will allow you to fully harness the features of your VoIP system within a corporate environment.

3cx softphone

Is a VoIP softphone right for my business?

The softphone is portable – it travels with your laptop, or smart device. It is designed to be intuitive to use and most resemble an actual phone handset. There are usually options to import contacts, place calls on hold, and many of the other business class features you’d expect.

This makes softphones a great choice for VoIP beginners, remote workers, call center employees, startup businesses and frequent travelers. softphones would also be an ideal choice if your company employs remote agents, or has a primarily mobile workforce.

What are the features of a VoIP Softphone?

From a business perspective, it is important to note that most softphones offer the same features that your VoIP phone system offers, including:

-Call forwarding
-Call conferencing
-Hold capabilities
-Call transferring
-Greeting capabilities
-Text, IM, and video capabilities
-Echo cancellation to improve sound quality
-Contact list/address book

How do I use it with my existing VoIP phone system?

In most business examples a softphone used in conjunction with VoIP ( Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP uses the internet instead of traditional fixed line services (copper cable) to make calls. For more information about VoIP, check out this page.

To use a softphone with your existing VoIP phone system there are three requirements:

  1. You need to download the softphone onto your compatible computer and/or smart mobile device.
  2. That softphone (app) has to have a connection to the internet via LAN( local area network), WIFI(wireless network) or cellular data network (3G or 4G).
  3. The softphone must be linked to your VoIP service provider, who provides the underlying VoIP phone service over which the calls are carried.

This last step is usually set up by your IT company. Click here if you would like to a member of our tech team to set up your VoIP softphone.

We are here to help! Let us know if you have any further questions by replying or commenting below.



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