Softphones currently have reached an increasing level of popularity among businessmen. People who are usually on the go are getting comfortable with softphones.

First of all, what are softphones? A softphone is not the phone itself. Rather, it is just the software that is used to be able to make calls the way regular phones do. To use a softphone for calling, a headset is usually needed. Skype is one example of a softphone. Anyone can make a regular call from one softphone to another, or from a softphone to a traditional phone line. Softphones use IP Telephony. In other words, this kind of communication tool needs the Internet to function.

softphone is a kind of software that can function as a phone on a computer: it makes and receives phone calls to or from other computers or phones. Common features of softphones are very functional and effective in business and personal use. Some of them are the following:

  • Provides making and receiving high quality voice and video. This feature is free when one is using a softphone powered device. In business, this is very effective when used during conferences between business partners from different parts of the globe.

  • Chat – send and receive instant messages. Chatting and sending messages via softphones is free. This feature cuts financial cost when it comes to communication compared to using prepaid mobile phones. As long as an Internet connection is available, features of softphones are unlimited, for free.

  • Set your status—online, offline, busy, away, and invisible. People will see a person’s status over his or her softphone ware. If a status says ‘don’t disturb’, it means that the person is busy.

  • Receive faxes and send them from any Windows application. Another good thing in using softphones for business is its ability to send and receive documents. This is free of charge. Faxes and other documents from another window application are very easy to access.

  • Record calls. For documentary purposes, some calls need to be recorded. Many normal phones do not have this ability. Softphones can record calls. In call centers for example, calls need to be recorded. Call centers are using softphones to communicate to people. This technology easily helps them to record voices and calls.

  • Initiate and handle conference calls. Conference calls are now getting more popular among businesspeople. With softphones, this is free of charge.

  • Free PC-to-PC calls with any other softphone user. As long as the other user uses the same softphone application, calling is free wherever a person is in the world. This is indeed very convenient. Smart phones, laptops and netbooks can use softphones applications. Hence, calling and connecting is very easy and cheap.

  • Free landline calls to landline and mobile phones. Some softphone applications offer free calls even to landlines. However, it may only be limited to some countries. If an individual wants to call landlines outside the country which has free call to landlines, the cost is usually very cheap and very affordable.

  • Free voicemail service. Voicemail services are also free. Softphones are indeed very advantageous for business owners and individuals alike.

The softphone technology offers a lot of advantages to its users. There are also a few disadvantages such as not being able to be tracked by emergency team if one is calling 911. Also, since this technology heavily relies on the Internet, a user may be helpless if there is no connection available.