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VoIP Home Phones

VoIP home phones, also called IP phones or Internet phones, use a network, such as the Internet, to make calls. They offer all the functions a conventional telephone system offers, along with some extras. While VoIP phone systems are most often used by businesses, they can also be used in residential settings.

What do you need before you can use VoIP home phones?

You will need some basic infrastructure in place before you can use a VoIP home phone. Firstly, because these phones use the Internet, you need a broadband Internet connection. For one call at a time, you must have a minimum of a 100 Kbps connection. Bandwidth requirements increase if you need to make more simultaneous calls. A faster connection means better call quality. You also need to sign up for VoIP services from a service provider before you can use a VoIP home phone.

What are the advantages of VoIP home phones?

VoIP phones are a good choice if you make long-distance calls frequently. If you already have a broadband Internet connection, payment made for calls over VoIP is minimal. VoIP phones feature screens that display information regarding a call. Colour screens allow you to make video calls as well. Some IP phones offer data encryption, so unauthorised people cannot listen in on your calls.

What are the disadvantages of VoIP home phones?

VoIP depends on a reliable Internet connection, so without one, it cannot function. Unlike traditional analogue phones that can work even during a power outage, VoIP hardware uses power from a socket to function. Therefore, consider an uninterruptible power supply for reliable service. In case of an emergency, calling an emergency line from a VoIP phone offers some challenges. Since the number is not tied to a geographic location, emergency services cannot locate you or the caller unless an address is provided.

What factors should buyers consider when choosing VoIP hardware?

Firstly, you should consider compatibility with your existing VoIP service provider. Different providers use different protocols and support different codecs. Moreover, consider what features you want. For example, the ability to add extensions and accessories, such as a telephone headset, can extend the useful life of the phone as your needs change.

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