With the rate at which the VoIP industry is expanding, there is no doubt that everyone has heard of the term softphone in recent years. Even though most people might not even know what it is, they are certainly aware of the word. They might even be using one already without realizing it.
So What is a Softphone Exactly?
A softphone (software telephone) is a software program for making phone calls over the Internet using a computer, tablet or smartphone rather than using dedicated hardware. It is often designed to look and behave like a traditional telephone, with a display panel and buttons for the user to interact with, much like a standard phone interface. Most softphones work in conjunction with a headset and microphone that is connected to the computer.
Softphone applications can be downloaded from a wide variety of providers and are available for a range of operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. Many of these applications are free, although some have a modest cost.
To communicate, softphones must be registered to a service provider, sometimes referred as VoIP provider or ISP (Internet Service Provider). Alternatively, the softphone may be connected to an IP PBX as part of a fully featured and integrated telephony system that allows users to enjoy a wide range of call features at the office or while they are on the move.
Softphone apps are easy to use, super convenient, and rising in popularity, particularly among telecommuters and everyone who travels frequently because it allows them to easily make calls from their smartphones and laptops from anywhere at anytime.
Softphones are also well suited for small and medium-size businesses and provide a low-cost option over the expensive traditional phone services. More and more companies are utilizing softphone apps to increase flexibility and drive overall employee confidence.