An Essential Guide to VoIP Business Phones

Leveraging the power of voice-over-internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony lets you install an easily scalable PBX system at your business wherever you are located. This can be especially helpful where landlines prove scarce. Using a VoIP system lets you add lines without a service call and visit. You can expand your phone service by visiting your ISP's and V0IP's website, then plugging a new handset into the wall. Choose the size system you want to start with, a compatible router with a battery backup solution, a compatible switch and an appropriate data plan with plenty of bandwidth.

What equipment do you need for a VoIP system?

Deploying VoIP business phones/IP PBXs requires a few pieces of essential equipment. The most important equipment is the data plan from your ISP and the bandwidth to host the system. An unlimited data plan means you cannot run out of data. You will also need a router, a digital multi-line phone system, headsets and softphones. You can use your current PBX system by installing the appropriate telephone adapters. Since a power outage would disable your VoIP service, you will either need a Power-over-Ethernet switch or a battery backup. You can typically find all of this hardware as new, refurbished or opened-never used equipment.

What are the most important router aspects?

You need a router designed for use in a VoIP system with a quality of service (QoS) setting. The router connects your network's computers, your network equipment and the Internet to one another. Larger systems require a high-powered router specifically designed for large systems. Other recommended features include Wi-Fi management capabilities and Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection management. Choosing a router with a QoS setting means you can share the internet connection between office internet access and VOIP lines. Using a QoS router means you can prioritize or de-prioritize voice traffic over other traffic. Essentially, you can pick between clear VOIP calls or speedy work Internet remain clear. Some routers only work with specific VoIP services, but you can learn this by reading the router's specifications.

What features and functions should a phone system have?

Just like traditional PBX systems, VoIP phones provide a plethora of design options. You can choose basic handsets or multi-line systems that are programmable or non-programmable. VoIP systems provide the same features as traditional PBX systems including call parking, conference calls, call waiting, call transfer, speakerphone, oversized displays, etc. You can find systems with sidecar capability, allowing you to add additional extensions when needed.

Busy offices require a greater number of lines. The typical VoIP phone can range between three to 10 lines, but you can find two-line phones, too. If you have an office with only one Ethernet run/wall port per workstation, your VoIP phones require dual RJ45 Ethernet ports. This feature allows you to share the Ethernet port between the desktop and phone. The VoIP phones must also use the same voice codecs as your ISP/VoIP provider in order to work together. Typical systems use the G.711 and G.729 codecs, but some use the H.323, SCCP, or MGCP codecs.