The VoIP market is populated by VoIP devices. There are various types out there and vary in model and sizes to be applied for different services and solutions. You will notice one common, that is most devices come with single or multiple ports so a user can plug telephone lines and Ethernet cable.
The ports are known as...
The following figure illustrates RJ-11 and RJ45 ports...
A VoIP hard phone is an equipment which you physically can hold and touch. We can categorize VoIP devices into three types:
2. intermediate and
Let me provide you an overview of each type and start with the ones that were manufactured early.
As you can see VoIP USB phone looks like cordless phone which comes with USB connector. You connect that into the USB port found on your computer or laptop. It is plug-and-play VoIP device that improves your PC to phone calls experience.
Dial-up VoIP Phone - manufactured with 56K built-in modem, just like a PC fax modem for dialing to ISP for Internet access. Designed to work with a dial-up Internet, use this one if high speed Internet is not available in your area.
Basic VoIP Gateway - similar to the above ATA but usually made with more FXS/FXO ports for SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) and SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises).
Basic & Intermediate IP Phones, they look like a regular telephone but designed to work with High speed Internet and come with RJ-45 ports. We talked about RJ-45 port above (refer to first figure). For Advanced IP Phones look below.
Advanced VoIP Gateway, sometimes referred as media gateway- designed for commercial purpose and mostly used by companies and service providers. They are classified as analog and digital gateway. Check VoIP gateway article to find out more.
Advanced IP-Phone - fancy all-in-one phone comes with digital display, rich-features and benefits. You can do many things with these type of latest IP phone models, they included features such as: Internet browser, checking weather and more. Have a business or company? You may need to consider getting this type to motivate and increase your employees' productivity.
An Internet video phone is similar to IP phone, it just comes with extra embedded video camera so that you can use it for live face-to-face communication. So with this type of device you can virtually see/view the person you talking to, not only place and receive VoIP phone calls. Visit Internet Video Phone page to read more about IP Video phone - for enhanced face to face teleconference, much better than PC web-cam.
VoIP router - comes with more RJ-45 ports. Very handy and makes your office area less crowded. It acts as a VoIP device and Internet modem/hub/ switch so you can network your computers and other devices. Read more.
WiFi Phones / Wireless VoIP phones look like typical mobile phones. They are part of stand-alone and easy to use VoIP devices. The VoIP technology continues to flourish, so does the hardware associated with the movement. As many use Wi-Fi hotspots and accessing the Internet on a daily basis across the world, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing wireless VoIP phones. Check Wireless VoIP phones for more information.
IP-PBX (Private Branch Exchange) - comes as hardware or software and can be configured with IP-Phones and VoIP gateways. This replaces traditional PBX for business telephone systems. An IP PBX is a VoIP based central telephone system mostly used by small and corporate companies. This technology is similar to traditional PBX switching system, the difference is that calls are routed through the Internet networks rather than PSTN or circuit switched network.
A VoIP switch or soft-switch is a server device used for connecting IP based telephone calls. The VoIP calls are routed over the Internet from origination to destination, meaning from IP based networks to circuit based networks (PSTN). More about this here - VoIP Switch.
The above listed devices are the most used in residential, small and corporate businesses. Beside that, there are even more types of equipments and accessories such as:
The list goes on. Let's leave it here for now.
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