Voip Equipment: Your Options
by Nate Rand
Have you been considering switching to a VoIP system for your office? Every situation is different, but VoIP is almost always a good idea. It can be a little intimidating at first, though. It’s definitely different from any other phone system. There’s a lot to understand, and there are at least several steps you’ll have to take to get set up. One of the most intimidating steps is also one of the most important. Choosing your equipment may be scary, but remember that in most cases, there really isn’t a wrong answer. The goal is not to find something that works, because it all works. The goal is to pick the option that is best for your specific situation. Here are a few of the VoIP equipment options you’ll find on the market.
One of the simplest ways to get started with a VoIP system is to simply call straight through your computer. You will still need a few things. First of all, you’ll need to have a microphone and speakers. Most computers come with speakers, and some, especially laptops, come with a microphone. If a computer does not come with these things, they can be purchased very inexpensively. Remember, there are no requirements as far as quality, except that they’ll need to be able to pick up and reproduce clear human speech. Almost every product on the market can do that. You’ll also need VoIP software, but these can be found for very little money. A few are even free, although it’s important to do your research on these especially, to make sure it will work for you. Finally, you’ll need an internet connection. The faster the internet connection is, the clearer the call will be, but as long as you have a connection that is reasonable, you should be able to make and receive calls. If you’re not sure about your connection, ask someone before you implement the system.
Analog telephone adapter
The ATA may sound pretty complicated, but it’s actually very easy to use. It’s simply an adapter that allows you to plug your standard phone into your computer. In this case, all that you’ll need to buy will be the adapter and the VoIP software. In most cases, it’s incredibly easy. It’s ideal for a company that already has a large telephone network. Implementing ATAs will allow you to continue to use all of the phones you already have, but stop paying for the phone service. It also may be a good option for a company that doesn’t want to do a lot of training for the new system. There will be a few changes, but for the most part, the system will operate similarly to the standard phone system.
IP phones are kind of a mix of the other two options listed here. An IP phone is a package that includes everything you need to set up a VoIP system except for the internet connection itself. It looks and acts just like a regular phone. Inside, there is a computer that runs the VoIP software that comes included. Instead of a phone jack output, there is a jack that will allow you to connect directly to your internet network. This option will probably be the most expensive of the three here, but it’s also likely to be the easiest to install, and also the easiest to use. It’s also a great choice for a company that doesn’t already provide computers for all of its employees. An IP phone may be more expensive than the other options, but it’ll usually be much cheaper than an entire computer.
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October 2, 2018