The particular needs of VoIP users all differ from one another, and internet telephony certainly has many advantages – from scalability to the vast list of enterprise-grade features – but for some users the thing that they appreciate the most is that such a system is never tied to just one place. This means that if there is internet access and you possess a device that can place and receive calls then no matter where you are the phone system will work like a charm outside the office as well.
But what happens when the business requires your presence abroad? Does crossing the border of the U.S. hinder the availability of a VoIP service? Thankfully, the answer is ‘no’. However, you may need to some tricks in order to continue enjoying the same VoIP experience as you were back home.
Option 1: Forwarding Calls to Your Cell Number
As mentioned, the great thing about VoIP is that users don’t necessarily have to be in the same place as the base that the system operates from, which is especially handy for those who often visit other countries but still want to be connected to the phone system. However, there is actually a rather simple method that lets you stay in touch with the office but doesn’t require using up your internet plan: call forwarding.
In fact, this feature is one of the pillars of cloud telephony, which is used to transfer calls to a set of specified phone numbers and, eventually, connecting the caller to the first person that is available. Simply put, if your mobile number is part this sequential or simultaneous call forwarding rule and nobody else takes the call, then the caller will still be able to reach you wherever you are.
The only problem with this option is that accepting inbound calls abroad isn’t available without first turning roaming on – and we all know that roaming isn’t exactly known for being kind when it comes to costs.
Option 2: Connecting to Wi-Fi
Although call forwarding is certainly something that can be considered when being abroad, placing and receiving calls via a dedicated app that is directly connection to the VoIP system by default is a more logical and more cost-friendly option. This is especially true if the app connects to a public Wi-Fi network, since this is the only way to guarantee free of charge access to the internet – a huge thing considering how insane data roaming costs can be.
Despite the benefit of free internet access, connecting to public Wi-Fi networks is not without its dangers. As a matter of fact, without proper protection you could feasibly end up the target of a hacker, who might steal sensitive data. That doesn’t mean that VoIP over Wi-Fi should be strictly out of question, though; all it takes is the use of a VPN that not only makes your internet traffic invisible but can also trick the IP provider into believing that you are accessing the internet from your office.
Option 3: Purchasing a Foreign SIM Card
Not too many people think of this option first but opting for an international SIM card – like the ones provided by OneSimCard – or purchasing a local SIM upon arrival at your destination is actually a case of hitting two birds with one stone. Not only are these SIM cards a simple and ingenious way of enjoying the same call rates as locals but they also include internet data, meaning that you won’t be limited to just using public Wi-Fi networks should you need to place and receive calls in the phone system’s mobile app away from an available network.
Additionally, there is also the option to save on the internet data altogether and pay virtually nothing by receiving calls via call forwarding. However, it’s worth noting that unless the new phone number belongs to a Canadian, Puerto Rican or, sometimes, Mexican service provider, the phone system will deem calls forwarded to foreign numbers as outbound international calls, which are never covered by the free minutes provided in standard VoIP plans. Thankfully, this issue can easily be avoided by choosing an international VoIP plan, which ensures that no extra cost is incurred when incoming calls are forwarded to the freshly purchased foreign mobile number.
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