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Small office starting with VOIP (hardware)

Hi all,
I work for a small business in the US and we do most of our communication via Skype. The call quality is getting quite poor as we have an average DSL connection with small upload bandwidth.

As we are stuck on a contract with our DSL, we are looking to get a second line dedicated to VOIP.

We'll need three VOIP handsets along with the options for headsets.
We have two existing phone lines so integrating those into the same solution would be a nice to have.

Should we go down the path of getting dedicated VOIP phones or get traditional handsets and a router which supports those?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

PX Eliezer70
Hutt River
said by wildest :

Should we go down the path of getting dedicated VOIP phones or get traditional handsets and a router which supports those?

Rather than "router", I think you mean "ATA".

Traditional handsets would plug into an ATA, which then gets plugged into your router (not to be confused with your modem unless you have a combined one).

IP phones plug directly into your router....

You have to have some sort of router, either way.


Unless you have a big investment in your existing phones, go with IP phones.

I use this at my office:
»www.panasonic.com/business/psna/ ··· 550.aspx

I have a base and two other handsets, you can add more.

It handles several lines on one VoIP account, and/or several different VoIP accounts, with aplomb. (That means, really well).


reply to wildest
depends on what wiring you have or are willing to run
VOIP handsets connect via ethernet (2 pairs for CAT3/5 10/100BaseT and 4 pairs for CAT6+)
regular phones connect via telehone lines (a pair per line)

recommend you check Grandstream equipment
great quality, pricing and options
they make ATAs to connect regular phones and they make VOIP handsets as well

I would recommend CallCentric for your VOIP carrier

based on cost and wiring, you may opt for an ATA plus some regular phone/phone system

or you may opt for dedicated ATA or even a VOIP PBX depending on the complexity you need (CallCentric offers a lot of routing and features per line to meet most needs - you just have to configure each line carefully with their interface including "call treatments" and other settings)


reply to wildest
these people can help answer your questions and have excellent prices for end users and DIY folks like yourself


reply to PX Eliezer70
It's my understanding that we could get a router including modem and voip like the Fritzbox - »www.fritzbox.eu/en/products/FRIT ··· LAN_7390 which would allow us to connect a standard handset for VOIP use.

I appreciate we need a router either way, I'm looking for some hardware suggestions for said router but more importantly, the actual handsets. Are there any advantages for going with dedicated IP phones rather than regular handsets for example?


look at the features of regular handsets

look at the features of a VOIP handset in your price range

look at Grandstream for example at the link I gave you - they sell them all and other brands as well - they can tell you more about what features you can get

with CallCentric, they offer voicemail per line, etc. if you need something more complex than what configuring you can do with CallCentric lines will offer, you will need a VOIP PBX - basically a phone system that takes VOIP lines and gives you the features you need - they can connect to regular handsets or VOIP handsets

router? you need a router just to provide internet to your network and bring VOIP in - yes, you can get combo-router/ATAs if you want to or you can have a dedicated router that connects to ATAs if you need them, or else a dedicated router that connects to your VOIP handsets via ethernet

talk to some people because you won't understand it all from this thread


reply to wildest
or hire someone to help you set things up

the long term savings on phone lines is worth it probably

good place to start...


Thanks for the advice and links, I'll be sure to spend some time going over it all.

I think you might be right on hiring someone to get this done for us. I don't want to be the one held responsible if we don't get it right first time.