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Computer Calling vs. Traditional Phone Services: Which is Better?
While traditional phone services have faithfully served their purpose for decades, the modern era calls for a more dynamic and efficient communication solution, which is precisely where computer calling excels. Let's break down the pros and cons of each:
Computer Calling Pros:
: Make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection, liberating you from physical phone lines.
: Often offers lower call rates, especially for long-distance or international conversations.
: Call recording, voicemail transcription, and intelligent call routing are often integrated into the service.
: Break free from geographical boundaries and expand your communication reach on a national and international scale.
Computer Calling Cons:
: Relies on a stable internet connection, which might pose challenges in areas with poor connectivity.
Traditional Phone Services Pros:
: Established technology with a proven track record of reliability.
: Works independently of internet connectivity, ensuring consistent communication.
: People are accustomed to traditional phone systems, making them easy to use for all age groups.
Traditional Phone Services Cons:
: Bound to physical phone lines and locations, restricting communication on the go.
: Often incurs higher call rates, especially for long-distance or international calls.
Lack of Advanced Features: Traditional phone services typically lack the modern features offered by computer calling.
In the grand comparison, it becomes evident that computer calling has the upper hand in terms of flexibility, cost-efficiency, advanced features, and global reach. While traditional phone services offer reliability, they are shackled by limitations such as mobility and lack of modern capabilities.
Why would you use your computer to call someone?
Making phone calls from your computer is convenient and it's cheap.
Computer calls use your internet connection. The technology behind this is called . (VOIP). You can make personal as well as business calls from your computer. For new ventures and growing businesses, using the computer to make calls is a much more cost-efficient solution as compared to having a regular phone line. Let's look at some of the advantages:
Calling from your computer using Wi-Fi is cheaper
Even with the cheapest mobile phone plan, you're still paying a monthly subscription. Many mobile plans offer unlimited calls, but this is usually limited to domestic calls. The call rates for international phone calls are significantly higher. Again, if you're traveling out of your home state, you'll pay a high roaming fee in addition to the existing subscription.
On the other hand, making calls over Wi-Fi is almost free. With the right application, you can make unlimited domestic and international calls at a nominal price. And, where you're calling from doesn't matter. Whether you make a call from your laptop at home or while you're traveling, there are no additional roaming fees to be incurred. Businesses can see between 30% and 50%.
Your computer is like a second phone
It's happened to all of us at some point in time – you reach the office and figure that you left your phone at home. Or, you forgot to charge it and the battery is down. In such instances, knowing that you can use your computer as a second phone is a relief. You don't need to worry about being unreachable and nor do you need to drive back home just to get your phone or your charger.
When you talk to someone over the internet rather than a phone line, you can do a lot more than just hear their voice. For starters, internet calling supports audio as well as video transmission. This is a big advantage, especially for small businesses with team members who work remotely. You can even have multi-party video conferences.
It also unleashes several powerful features that increase productivity and collaboration. For example, calls can be recorded and monitored for training and transparency. You can integrate the calling app with business tools like your CRM database, email account, etc.
Make calls from your computer with your own number
You can use your own phone number to make calls from your computer.
Make calls from your PC with your Android Phone number
If you have an android phone and a computer with Windows OS, you can use the Phone Link app (previously Your Phone) by Microsoft to make calls. In terms of hardware, the only consideration is that both your phone and your computer should be Bluetooth-enabled.
The calling app is available from the and is easy to install on your computer. Your phone will need the ‘' app. Once both the apps are installed, the phone can be connected to the computer by scanning a QR code. You'll be prompted to grant a few permissions and then you're set to make and receive calls, send text messages, share photographs, etc. from your computer.
To make a call, open the Phone Link app and select Calls. You can type the number directly or choose a name from your contact list. Click on the Dial icon as you would on your phone. It's that simple!
Make calls from Facetime on your Mac using your iPhone phone number.
If you have an iPhone and a Mac, you can make calls on your computer through FaceTime.
To set up your phone, go to the settings and turn on Wi-Fi Calling. Open the FaceTime app on your Mac and go to Preferences and Settings. Click on the option for ‘Calls from iPhone'.
To make a call, you can type the number in the pop-up window or select the person's name from your Contacts. Click on the Phone icon and your call will be initiated.
How to Improve Call Quality for Computer Calling
Struggling with subpar call quality during computer calls? No worries – we've got you covered. Let's explore some effective methods to ensure your calls are clear and crisp:
Check Your Network Connection: A stable and strong internet connection is key to high-quality calls. If possible, use a wired connection for better reliability.
Invest in Quality Audio Equipment: Consider using a good quality headset or microphone. Clear audio input and output can significantly improve call clarity.
Keep Software Updated: Outdated software can lead to compatibility issues. Regularly update your communication apps to ensure optimal performance.
Minimize Background Noise: Find a quiet and distraction-free environment for your calls. Background noise can disrupt conversations and reduce call quality.
Close Resource-Intensive Applications: Running heavy applications simultaneously can strain your computer's resources and impact call quality. Close unnecessary apps before making calls.
Adjust Call Settings: Explore the settings of your communication app. Adjust audio settings to find the best configuration for your setup.
Consider Wired Connections: If Wi-Fi is unreliable, opt for a wired Ethernet connection. Wired connections generally provide more consistent and better quality connections.
Prioritize Bandwidth: If you share your internet connection with others, allocate sufficient bandwidth for your calls. This can help prevent call quality degradation.
Choose Reputable VoIP Services: If you frequently make computer calls, consider using reliable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services like Quicktalk. These services are designed to offer high-quality calls.
By following these practical steps, you can significantly enhance the call quality during your computer calls and ensure smooth communication experiences.
Get a second phone number (for mobile and computer calls)
Whether you're a business owner or an employee, nobody likes having their personal phone ring for work calls. Choosing to use your computer to make calls can help avoid this. You can get yourself a second number for a cloud business phone system. This number can be used to make calls over the internet from your computer. And if you're away from your desk, calls can get routed to your mobile phone. It's the ideal solution that keeps you accessible to colleagues, clients and partners without invading your personal space.
The best apps to make calls from your computer
Quicktalk is a convenient way to manage calls from any device. This mini call center software is ideal for startups and growing businesses that need a business contact number and a cost-effective way to make domestic and international calls.
Set up is easy and you can get a phone number with a local code in 36 global destinations. Or, you could use your existing number. Quicktalk offers a variety of work-friendly services like custom greetings, opening hours, a call menu, call distribution and more. It can even be integrated into your website for 1-click-calling.
Quicktalk offers an all-in-one plan for $19 per month per company.
How to start using it
Getting started with Quicktalk takes no longer than a few minutes. It may take a few days if you want to port your existing number. Once you've activated your Quicktalk number, connect to the Quicktalk dashboard and dial the number you want to call. Team members can make calls simultaneously from their browsers.
Unlimited calls to 35 countries
Easy way to monitor calls by listening to live calls or call recordings
1-click call integration with eCommerce websites
Easy integration with Slack for real-time notifications
Customizable greetings to support branding and marketing campaigns
Google Voice for personal use
A Google Voice for Personal Use account can be used by a single user and allows you to make and receive calls from anywhere in the USA. You can use the account to make calls from your computer as well as other devices like a tablet or your smartphone. If you have more than one phone number, you can use Google Voice to route all incoming calls to the Google Voice account without any extra cost.
Google Voice for Personal use is free but you may need to buy credit for certain features like international calling.
How to start using it
You can set up your Google Voice account from . Click on the ‘For Personal Use' button and sign in to your google account. Review the terms and conditions and search for an available phone number in your area. Select your preferred number and you can start making calls over the internet.
Easy way to manage calls from multiple numbers
Voicemail transcriptions linked to Gmail inbox
Block unwanted callers easily
Services limited to the USA
Not cost-effective for international calling
No auto-attendant feature
No Toll-Free number
No availability of number porting
Cannot be integrated into non-Google CRMs and ERPs
Google Voice for Business
Google Voice for Business gives companies an easy way to stay connected with an easy-to-use cloud phone solution. It caters to the needs of start-ups as well as established MNCs. It can be used to make and receive calls from your desktop and laptop as well as mobile devices and supported desk phones. With Google AI, you can balance connectivity and productivity by blocking spam calls and integrating the account with your Calendar and other Google apps.
Google Voice for Business offers three pricing plans. The Starter plan priced at $10 per user per month can be used by up to 10 users in up to 10 domestic locations. The standard plan priced at $20 per user per month and the Premier plan priced at $30 per user per month can have unlimited users in domestic locations. The Premier plan opens the system up to team members in international locations as well.
How to start using it
You can get a Google Voice for Business account from . You must have a Google Workspace account to use Google Voice for Business. Sign in to your Google Workspace account as the admin and choose the plan suitable to your organization. You can add locations for your team members and get numbers assigned to them. Users will get emails with their new numbers that can then be used to make calls.
Integration with corporate directory
Compatible with desk phones
Automated answering service to redirect incoming calls
Custom greeting for brand reinforcement
Voice mail transcripts in an email inbox for easy access
Access to call data analysis and insights
Limited international connectivity
Available only in select countries
No toll-free numbers are available
Can be integrated only with select productivity apps
No customer service
Skype is one of the oldest virtual phone system software. It allows people to have one-on-one and group conversations via their desktops, laptops, mobile devices, Alexa and even an Xbox. Along with audio and video calling, Skype offers smart messaging with emojis as well as @mentions. You can also share screens for presentations and collaborative projects. Moments when key decisions are taken can be recorded. You can also use live subtitles.
Skype to Skype calls are free anywhere in the world. To make Skype calls to a cell phone or send an SMS, you will need to buy credits or subscribe to a plan.
How to start using it
To get started with Skype, you must first download the to your device. Next, create a free account with your email address or phone number and create a password for it. If you have a Microsoft account, you can use it to sign in to Skype. Enter a few details like your name, date of birth, address, gender, etc. and verify your account with the code sent on your email/phone SMS. You can send requests to other Skype accounts to add them to your contact list.
Easy to set up
Free Skype to Skype calls
Calling phone numbers can be expensive
Skype conversations are susceptible to interception
No linked productivity apps
Absence of call forwarding, call routing and other such features
The ability to make calls over the internet is especially beneficial to small and growing businesses. It's an easy way to manage calls centrally and when integrated with CRM and ERPs helps boost productivity. Features like call recording and live call monitoring are further reasons why it is the better choice as compared to traditional phone lines.
That said, you must choose the right software and applications.
Firstly, they must offer secure communication channels. Secondly, it should be easy to set up and work well with other applications. Ideally, if you're not available at your desk, you should be able to answer incoming calls on other devices as well.
Lastly, pricing is important and getting a free service is always appealing but take a closer look before you get swayed by it. For example, if you have international customers and need to pay extra to call them, the monthly costs may add up to quite a bit.
Switching from using traditional desk phones to making calls over the internet not only improves communication but can also improve productivity and smoothen workflows. Hence, choose carefully and pick a system that you feel would be a long-term solution.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].