Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly abbreviated VOIP, is one of the newest telecommunications innovations. The primary difference between VOIP and a public switched telephone network is that the former utilizes the Internet, and the latter utilizes analog telephone networks. Since VOIP uses your internet connection instead of a separate infrastructure, many telephone users are making the switch to VOIP to save money and reduce hassle. However, VOIP setups differ from those of standard telephone connections, and this makes changing to a VOIP telephone more complicated than simply switching phone providers. While the setups are different, most people can set up a VOIP phone connection in their home with little difficulty.
Connect the VOIP adapter into your network connection
To start, most phones are not automatically VOIP capable. Check the package that your phone came in if you have it. If it does not specifically mention VOIP or Skype, then you will need a VOIP adapter in order to use your phone. In order to obtain such an adapter, contact the VOIP company that you plan on using in the future. They should be happy to provide an adapter and instructions to connect the adapter to your phone. Be sure to read the instructions carefully, because there are a couple of different ways that adapters can connect to your network connection. The most common adapters connect either between your router and your cable modem or directly into your router. You may need to change your router settings for better performance.
Connect your phone to the phone adapter
Your telephone will connect directly into the phone adapter using a standard phone line in situations where the adapter is needed. Look for the receiver on the phone adapter labeled “line 1.” Instead of connecting your phone to the wall jack like a standard telephone line, you will plug the same wire into this line receiver.
Connect your phone adapter to a power source
An AC power cord should be provided with your phone adapter. Find the power cord, and connect it to the back of your phone adapter in the “AC in” receiver. Plug the other end of the cord into a wall outlet or an active surge protector. Your phone adapter will power on automatically.
Wait a few minutes while the adapter powers up
This may take several minutes depending on the specific adapter that is being used. In addition to the power cycle, your adapter may need to download firmware updates before it is usable with your connection. Assuming that the adapter was wired to a working Internet connection, these downloads will happen automatically. Since updates happen automatically, it is important not to interrupt the process by unplugging the modem, router or adapter during this process.
Pick up your new VOIP-connected phone, and listen for a dial tone
If you do not hear a dial tone right away, hang up the phone, wait a few minutes and try again. When you hear a dial tone, your adapter has been successfully installed, and you will be able to make and receive VOIP calls through the connected telephone. If after several attempts you still do not hear it, compare all of your connections to the instructions provided by your VOIP provider. If everything seems to be correct, call your VOIP provider for further assistance.
With your VOIP phone set up, you now only need to make sure that people know how to reach you at your VOIP phone. This often means that your phone number has changed, so be sure to provide people with the new phone number. Also, provide other relevant information such as Skype details that will enable them to place a call to you from their computers. Once people are informed of the change, you are finished!
Enjoy your new VOIP-enabled telephone connection.
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