Voip Equipment

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The great expense of modern phone system equipment is one of the main reasons why businesses are choosing to link up with VoIP providers in ever-increasing numbers. Saving money on equipment is only part of the reason, though. Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) enjoy hefty savings when they avoid using phone lines that incur expensive long-distance charges. Not only do your equipment costs drop, but so do your monthly utility expenses. VoIP is increasingly billed as a one-stop shopping solution for any business's communications needs.

Contrary to what you may have imagined, SMBs looking to take advantage of VoIP technology have little specialized equipment in which to invest. In fact, most personal computers already have the most important features of any VoIP set-up, including a sound card, a modem, a microphone, and speakers. All that remains really is the gadget needed to switch voice information into its transmittable form, and there are several pieces of equipment that can manage this task.

In addition to a computer for each employee and an existing data network, the only other requirement in terms of equipment for VoIP is a special IP phone. These IP phones are what connects your voice transmissions to the Internet. They look and act more or less like a regular telephone. The only difference is that instead of sending analog signals, your IP phone is built to transmit digital signals through an RJ-45 Ethernet connection. These cables look much like the RJ-11 connectors used on standard telephones but have Ethernet tips such as those you plug into the ports on the back of your PC or laptop.

Evaluate Your Network's Available Bandwidth

One thing to keep in mind when evaluating VoIP is the condition of your network. You need to have enough available bandwidth to transmit numerous packets of data from the phone conversations and faxes of everyone in your company. If you lack the necessary bandwidth, you could possibly lose calls, experience delays in accessing the Internet, or experience a decrease in the auditory quality of your calls. Making any necessary network upgrades before purchasing a VoIP system is a much smarter route.


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