Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
While VoIP requires less equipment overall than landline systems, there are many optional and functional choices for VoIP hardware. Running your own VoIP system with IP PBX, for example, needs much more equipment than Hosted PBX.
VoIP phone systems use your internet connection to communicate with the outside world. Therefore, equipment needed for the internet is important for any VoIP telecom system.
An analog adapter allows VoIP data to be output to a narrowband phone
This device converts internet signals to a fax machine, if your VoIP provider offers fax capabilities
Cordless VoIP phones are similar to landline cordless phones. These VoIP phones use radio or Wi-fi to communicate with the base phone and other handsets. Some cordless phones use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, or DECT, a newer standard for cordless phone systems.
Conference phones may or may not come with a handset. Instead, the phone is a base with speakers and sensitive mic to pick up voices in a room.
A headset can either be a simple combination of headphones and mic, or the same with a base for wireless reception. Headsets need phones to connect to.
Many broadband users have cable and require a converter between cable jack and Ethernet line. Internet service providers usually supply a cable modem, which delivers Internet access to a home or organization by sending radio signals through optical fibers and coaxial cables. Internet service providers (cable companies) may also include a VoIP connector if they offer a bundled service.
A router forwards internet service to a network or different computers in a household or office. Routers can also function as a firewall, blocking unwanted data and unwanted users from the network. Some routers are wireless, sending signals to computers that have Wi-fi receivers.
Also called a network cable, an Ethernet cable is made for local area networks. The standard equipment for modern telecommunication has a 8P8C modular connector (8 contacts), twice the size of a landline phone connector. This is where “broadband” gets its name.
There are different options for PBX, depending on how much money you want to spend, how many lines or users need service, and what quality is needed to transfer voice and data.
All of the above are used to provide access to the public switched telephone network with varying specialty. For example, a PRI is more expensive but has a higher bit rate than BRI.
Also called a media gateway, a VoIP gateway is similar to analog adapter but on a larger scale. The device transfers voice and fax between conventional PSTN and a VoIP network. Other functions of a VoIP gateway can include an interface to outside controllers like softswitches, billing systems, or network management systems.
Hosted PBX rarely needs more than internet equipment because the VoIP network is run at the service provider’s site.