Using Voice over IP (VoIP)

Voice over IP (VoIP) technology provides a fast, efficient, and cost-effective solution for homes and businesses. To take advantage of it, you'll need to have the right equipment. Most VoIP configurations feature three core elements: a high-speed Internet connection, a network of VoIP devices, and a VoIP application or an active subscription.


What Kind of VoIP Equipment Do I Need?

Choosing the right VoIP device will depend on your evolving needs and the size of your office. If you don't already have a VoIP hardware setup in place, you may first want to consider a Voice over IP phone

, also known as a IP phone. They look just like traditional home telephones but connect to a computer through an Ethernet port, adapter, or USB.

Another common option is using a VoIP headset with a built-in microphone. Headsets are generally the preferred choice for jobs where people spend a lot of time on the phone, such as receptionists, customer support agents, and sales reps. That's because they're more comfortable and they help free the user's hands for other tasks, such as taking down information or looking something up on a computer.


Do I Need an ATA and Router for My VoIP Setup?

Both analog telephone adapters (ATAs) and routers offer different functions. A router is a device used for Internet connection, while an ATA converts analog voice signals into digital data signals that can then transmit over a VoIP network. If you plan to use your VoIP equipment for connections that require Internet access, you'll likely need a router.

Not all ATAs are the same, though. Some models feature a built-in router. You'll also find ATAs that work with VoIP applications such as Skype. If you're using any such devices and already have an active Internet connection, a router may not be necessary. That said, Voice over IP routers are generally more efficient because they support higher bandwidths, making them suitable for environments with high traffic volume.


What Do I Need for VoIP Audio Conferencing?

With the right VoIP setup in place, the only other thing required for VoIP audio conferencing is a phone that supports this feature. Choose a handheld, wired telephone for one-on-one meetings, or a conference room speakerphone if you prefer a hands-free solution. Some of the other factors that you'll need to consider when shopping for the right audio conferencing systems include the size of your audience and the necessary mobility, as well as whether it needs to support your existing hardware.

Whether you're looking for a basic Voice over IP phone, a webcam for video conferencing, or headset accessories, B&H Photo and Video's wide selection of VoIP devices and equipment offers the best products for your needs.