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..
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.
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.
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.
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