Requirements for VoIP
Before you decide to get VoIP service, you may want to consider the requirements that you will need to meet if you want to make the most of your VoIP. The requirements for VoIP are pretty minimal, so you shouldn’t have to do too much in advance, but you should be aware of the extra expenses that you may encounter when you are trying to meet all of the requirements for VoIP.
Why are requirements for VoIP different from other providers?
Because the technology behind how VoIP works is unique to digital telephony, the requirements for VoIP will be different from the requirements of other telephone services.
Traditional telephone service providers rely on analog technology, while VoIP relies on digital technology. So, if you have been using a traditional telephone service provider, your house or office is only equipped to handle analog telephone calls right now.
As a result, making the switch to VoIP may require rearranging and replacing some equipment to get the best performance out of your VoIP service.
VoIP items you will need for your system:
- High speed broadband connection
- An IP (Internet protocol) phone or analog phone with an adapter
- A computer
A high speed broadband connection is an essential requirement for VoIP. Afterall, a VoIP service is only as good as your broadband connection. You can use a DSL connection, a cable modem, a WiFi network, etc. If you have a slow broadband connection, you will experience a lot of issues in sound quality with your calls and more of your calls may get dropped.
You will need a good phone to meet all of the requirements for VoIP. IP phones are digital, so they will work with VoIP right out of the box. A simple IP phone for home use can cost as little as $25 while a more sophisticated IP phone for office use can cost as much as $200.
If you have been using an analog phone service, then you probably have analog phones in your home or office. You can’t use an analog phone with a digital service, so you will either need to replace those phones or get adapters for them.
Adapters cost about $25 on average, so you may actually do better to just replace the phones. Some people report sound quality issues when using an analog phone and an adapter. Mostly, there are complaints of buzzing or static noises. However, most residential VoIP service providers offer a free adapter with their service to make the customer’s life easier. If you choose an IP phone in this case, make sure you talk to your VoIP provider about correctly provisioning the new phone.
Technically a computer is not among the requirements for VoIP service. However, if like most Americans you already have a computer in your home then you will probably want to use your computer for VoIP. You can make VoIP calls from a computer with a softphone or other program provided by your VoIP service.
In most cases, you can also use your computer to make VoIP video calls with a webcam. In addition, you may find it easier to pay your VoIP bills and manage your account online.
If you aren’t using a wireless Internet service, then you will need to rearrange your phone and computer in such a way that they are both connected to your modem. This may require a little bit of rearranging if your computer and phone aren’t in close proximity. However, if you use a wireless service and wireless devices, this may not be an issue. Many IP phones can use wireless Internet.