What is VoIP?
Since the advent of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), all our lives have been made more affordable and effortless. With VoIP technology communicating voices over the digital sphere, gone are the days of costly telephone calls abroad in which only half of the conversation is heard. Indeed when VoIPs first came out, the signal was not very reliable but now that the technology has advanced, it is much easier to have a crystal clear call with your Great-Aunt Betty in Timbuktu.
The technology has advanced so much in fact, that it now includes cool details that your Great-Aunt could never have dreamed up. With features like Skype Translator you can translate audio and text in real time (with varying levels of accuracy so don’t drop out of your language course just yet) and with three-way calls you can experience the joyful chaos of your friends talking over the top of each other. One can also now call the emergency services from a VoIP, an action that was previously problematic for VoIP providers. Moreover, this can include location, making it much easier for the emergency services to locate you.
Nowadays, there are many reliable VoIP providers to choose from including the ubiquitous Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat and Google Hangouts for mobile and desktop to the lesser-known but equally good MagicApp, Vonage and Whistle Phone.
If you are a business using VoIP is a no-brainer. With VoIP providers offering specific packages for businesses, you can cut costs while maintaining good relationships with clients and offices abroad. Moreover, the ability to choose the device on which you pick up the call is great for a flexible, modern workforce.
Why you need a VPN for VoIP
So where do VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) fit into this picture? To begin with, not every country has jumped on the VoIP bandwagon: Saudia Arabia and China are just two of the countries that have banned them, although China issues a state-subsidized service called WeChat with a dubious privacy protection. A good VPN will have you using VoIP in no time with its Geo-blocking functions, making sure you mask the country from which you are accessing the service as well as stopping any spying.
Online gamers will also be happy because a VPN will unblock restrictions that some Asian and Middle Eastern countries place on voice chat. With VoIP unblocked gamers can Twitch and use team voice chat to their heart’s content.
If you use a good quality VPN you should not experience problems with speed and therefore the calls should be to a high standard. VPNs stop your ISPs throttling your bandwidth, so the speed of the call is more consistent. It is worth paying the small amount for a good VPN provider as when using a bad VPNs you can experience a lag on the VoIP due to all the re-routing involved.
Businesses using a VPN with their VoIP are able to access clients and remote employees from all over the world, including countries where VoIP is blocked and vice versa. For businesses safeguarding private company data and financial transactions is particularly important, so the encryption of all audio and video calls is worthwhile. Moreover, all research will be masked, leaving businesses free to look into competitors etc. without being traced.
Why you should have a VPN anyway
VoIPs notwithstanding, a VPN is an indispensable tool if you value your privacy and freedom on the Internet. The government, hackers, Google and online marketers all target your personal data and having a VPN safeguards you from this pervasive snooping.
You will also be protected when accessing public WiFi which is a prime location for hackers and those committing identity theft. By cloaking your IP address with a VPN you stop online companies from charging you more when shopping online, saving you money and keeping your online behavior private. Indeed your online transactions are also encrypted leaving your money secure and your device better protected against viruses.
Likewise, students and journalists researchers can access information from all over the world, making VPNs crucial for comprehensive investigation. More info on why VPNs are so important can be found here.
Best VPNs for VoIP
Nord VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee and easily bypasses the Geo-restrictions of countries, leaving you free to call anywhere from anywhere unrestricted using VoIP. They have an unusually high speed, with over 4,400 servers worldwide, so your calls should be of good quality.
A little pricier than other VPNs at $2.75 a month for a 3-year plan or $11.95 for 1 month you can choose the package that suits you best.
Other plans include:
- 1-month plan: $11.95/mo billed $11.95 every month
- 2-year plan: $3.29/mo billed $79.00 every 2 years
- 1-year plan: $5.75/mo billed $69.00 every year
CyberGhost is especially fast and has developed a strong customer base because of this. They offer great customer service with a live chat feature and their interface is easy to use. The service is easily interchangeable between devices which makes it perfect for VoIP, which is often used across multiple devices.
The price plans are as follows:
- $11.99/month- 1 month
- $4.99/month- 6 months offer
- $2.75/month- 18 months
- 30 days money back guarantee
With servers across 94 countries, this provider is fast, which is why they are always found at the top of every webpage concerning VPNs. They are also pretty straightforward to set up on any device and are particularly great for mobiles, so you can be ready to go in 10 minutes.
Apart from the added benefits to your security, with powerful encryption that keeps your data safe, you can use this from anywhere at unlimited bandwidth, which is perfect for VoIP.
Prices start from $6.67 for 15 months or $12.95 for one month.
Here are the packages:
- 1 month: $12.95/mo billed $12.95 every month
- 12 months: $8.32/mo billed $99.95 every 12 months
- 6 months: $9.99/mo billed $59.95 every 6 months