There is a special category of phones that is exclusively used with the VoIP telephony systems. These phones are known as IP phones or SIP phones (where SIP is a protocol). As a user, you will find the IP phones to be similar in every way to your PSTN or POTS phone, but the only difference is that they have an internally integrated ATA. These phones are completely equipped to be used with VOIP telephony systems and the phones can be connected to the LAN or existing telephone network, or even the ADSL router. The conventional phones need to be connected to the ATA while the SIP or IP phones can be directly connected to an Ethernet port. Since IP phones possess Ethernet ports, you will only be required to use the RJ-45 cables to connect to an existing network. You can directly plug these phones to the computer network and the calls will be routed through the LAN, router, and the Internet. The best thing about the IP phones is that they do not need additional power connections as the RJ-45 cables provide the required power to these phones.
IP Phone Options
There is a wide range of IP phones to choose, and you can opt for a phone that has only simple or basic telephony features, or, one that can support advanced features like video conferencing and web surfing. Here is a list of some of the basic features that every IP phone possesses:
- Supports the VoIP or IP protocol
- Consists of at least one port for the RJ-45 cable
- Keypad that can be used for dialling numbers
- Has an internal ATA
There are many IP phones that have multiple RJ-45 ports and also contain switch or hub that can be used to connect different types of Ethernet devices.
Since IP phones carry a variety of features, they are really interesting devices to use. Advanced IP phones even have a color screen or LED display for web surfing and web conferencing. The features offered by IP phones vary with their manufacturers, solutions, and functionalities. Some of the features that really stand out are:
LCD Display screen: The screen is a very significant part of every IP phone as it is used to display a variety of telephony information. Caller ID, Last dialed number, web surfing, and video conferencing are some of the advanced telephony features that use the high-resolution IP phones.
Keys to handle programmable features: IP phones come with several advanced telephony features that can be programmed according to the users’ needs. The programmable features can be set with the keys on the IP phones. There are many VoIP features that require special hardware for your IP phones.
Ethernet Ports: The Ethernet ports like the RJ-45 lets you connect your phone to the existing Ethernet LAN. The IP Phones also have RJ–11 ports that are used to connect to the ADSL. You can also use the multiple RJ–45 ports on your IP phone to turn use it as a switch for connecting other network phones and devices.
Ring Tones: You can customize the ring tones and set it according to your choice. The personalized ring tones are a great way to identify the calls even when you are away from your desk.
Data Encryption: Data Encryption provides the much needed security to your voice calls. There are chances that the signals are tapped on your phone, so the data signals are transmitted in an encrypted form to save it from pilferage.
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