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What is a Softphone?

A softphone is an internet-based phone system that offers compatibility with various connected devices. It enables users to initiate phone calls through the internet without the need for dedicated hardware, aiming to replicate the straightforward functionality of traditional phone systems.

Key components of a softphone system include the interface, acting as the communication platform between the user and device, and the engine, which manages call processing through APIs.

Softphone systems are commonly provided by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) providers, granting users access to familiar features. These systems function across most devices and, leveraging VoIP technology, facilitate calls to and from anywhere at any time.

Softphones extend beyond voice calls, incorporating video and messaging communication options—features crucial for the growing trend of remote work. Additional functionalities encompass contact directories, extension dialing, caller IDs, as well as traditional capabilities like call holding and transfers.

How does a softphone work?

VoIP-based softphone systems operate by transmitting voice data to recipients, breaking it into binary code. The recipient device decodes the binary code, restoring the original voice data and its associated sound.

Despite its web-based nature, the softphone system can be linked to real telephone numbers, making it accessible to landline phones and enhancing its versatility.

Cloud-based softphone systems offer maximum flexibility for remote work scenarios, while browser-based versions can also effectively support them. Reliable internet connection strength and ample bandwidth are crucial for call quality and latency prevention. Remote adjustments to routers can prioritise voice data packets.

A cloud-based system allows users to free themselves from physical devices, including on-site servers and phones. Cloud-based softphone systems streamline call routing and recording, tasks that were historically cumbersome. Once established, users can seamlessly receive calls on their desktop or smartphone, facilitating constant communication with their teams regardless of location.

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