What is a Soft Phone Client for Windows or Mobile Phone
A Softphone is essentially software that is installed on a computing device enabling you to use that phone rather than a dedicated desktop VoIP phone. In the past this has involved installing software on a Windows computer and connecting a headset into that computer and using it to answer and make phone calls.
Is Skype a SoftPhone?
Skype is actually a popular softphone that was so popular many years ago that they had millions of users on their network. When you have millions of users on your network there is no cost to enable them to talk to each other and that is why Skype was so popular. As soon as you need to talk to people who aren’t on Skype you need to pay money for the call and Skype offer this with their Skype Out product.
One of the most popular brands of softphone is CounterPath with their X-Lite and Bria software products. This Canadian company was one of the first to market with their X-Lite product as an alternative to Skype and because it is free many people used it. The problem that many people experience with softphones is that they require your computer to be on (awake and not in sleep mode) and connected to the Internet, then you have to fumble with a headset and clicking an answer button to pick up the call – for small businesses it’s not practical.
What about Softphones for my mobile phone?
A fantastic feature of mobile phones and tablets is that they come with speakers and microphones built in! They are also almost always connected to a data source using either 3G/4G or your local office WiFi connection. Best of all these mobile devices are ALWAYS ON so if someone calls you can receive normal phone calls to your office on your mobile device.
Softphones have a bad reputation amongst professional small business customers because they are often linked to low quality calls with stuttering and the limitation of being tied to a desktop computer that had to be on all the time. Professional larger businesses operating call centres have been using softphones for a long time so as an enterprise solution they were seen as excellent, very powerful and reliable.
With mobile devices and data connectivity softphones on your smart phone are fantastic, particularly when used in an office with a strong WiFi availability.
The main reason softphones for mobile devices is so powerful today is because they can now utilise the powerful features of VoIP that previously were very expensive and only available to enterprise level customers. You can now get all of the features of your business phone system because of the CloudPBX services – hosted PBX telephony.
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