VoIP Phone Adapter - The Voice Converter

VoIP phone adapter also known as ATA which stands for Analog Telephone Adapter is one of the basic VoIP devices. It enables you to make and receive phone calls via the Internet. Simply plug this device into your Internet modem, hub/switch at home or office. It works with high speed Internet. See requirements below.

Here is what an ATA looks like..

BestIP ATA 10D-combo

VoIP phone adapter requirements

  • corded and/or cordless analog telephone
  • high speed Internet such as DSL, Cable modem, Fiber Optic

Usually a VoIP phone adapter is made of ports known as RJ-11 and RJ-45. RJ-11 takes telephone cordand RJ-45 Ethernet Cable. Basic ATAthat has only one 1 FXS port (RJ-11) looks like this...


While other ones like Cisco ATA-186 (see below picture) has two FXS ports that mean you can plug two telephones at the same time. You could use one port for a standard phone and the other for a fax machine.

VoIP Phone Adapter

Manufacturers make different kind of ATAs, they developed bigger devices that are used for commercial purpose. One example of this is a gateway/terminal. It comes with ports that range from 4 - 24 FXS/FXO ports. In other words, you can plug more regular telephones. Check VoIP gateway for more details.

ATA's benefits

  • you get independent VoIP line/s
  • No computer or laptop required (you may need a PC/laptop for first time configuration - unless pre-configured )
  • you achieve great voice quality
  • you can make free calls to other VoIP phone adapter (device to device)
  • most common features such as caller ID, call waiting, voice mail comes included for FREE

ATA's disadvantage

  • does not work when there is no electric power
  • installation may not be easy for people not tech savvy (unless it's pre-configured)

Tip: Beside using your ATA for just calling, you can also use it for receiving / incoming calls. How? Request your provider to assign you a phone number then your contacts can call you at that number. 

Update: This is a norm nowadays unlike in the old days we are using dial up phones and small ATA just for outgoing calls.

Popular VoIP Telephone Adapters

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External related link/s and resource/s:

VoIP Phone Adapters

VoIP Adapters for residential or business VoIP

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