VoIP Phones

VoIP Phones

VoIP is a really exciting technology that allows people to have their own phone number, carry it with hem wherever they go, and make toll-free calls to many other phones. Picking the right phone could mean a clearer line, better controls, easier handling, and a host of other advantages. Aside from the fact that these phones have to be plugged into your computer, or straight into your router they look exactly like normal phones.

How VoIP Phones Work

VoIP phones that are plugged into your USB port function like any other peripheral device. Plug it in and you can use it with Skype to call landlines, mobiles, or other VoIP phones. When calling traditional PSTN lines or mobiles you have to pay the bill, just like with a normal phone, but once you get into the VoIP to VoIP calls they are free.

Other VoIP phones (these are usually higher priced) come with a voice router. The purpose of the voice router is to combine your PSTN and VoIP network, but also to allow you to make calls without the help of your PC. They are essentially routers into which you plug your VoIP phone and PSTN line and plug the voice router into your normal router. This will allow you to be free of your PC and make calls without it. This is great if you buy a cordless set.

Types of Phones

Phones designed for this purpose are very similar to traditional phones. Low budget ones have only a small display, showing the dialed number. They have volume control and basic functions like redial and maybe speed dial. They are most definitely USB ones that can only be used in conjunction with your PC.

Higher end phones may offer video services, although you will need a provider supplying it too. They offer call waiting, phone books, multiple sets, maybe manager functions. A lot of these phones are wireless phones, so you can run around the house in joy while using your new VoIP phone. Some come with voice routers bundled so you can plug the phone into the net directly to make calls.

Where to Buy

As always Amazon is a great place for electronics. I found that Overstock also offers a really wide range of consumer electronics, in some respects I like this site better. You can always go to the major manufacturer's websites. Netgear and Belkin make great products, both also concentrate on making them pretty darn good looking. If you have an iPod Belkin might already be a familiar name as it also makes iPod accessories. Networking companies like US Robotics and Linksys also make great products, they also make a lot of other networking components, so if you are just building yours these are safer buys, since you can get products in a bundle.

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