What Hosted VoIP Hardware do You Need?Posted on: 2019-03-06 | Categories: VoIP Hardware
There are many reasons for a business to avoid upgrading to VoIP. Unfortunately, most of them are not based on facts.
Some people think hosted VoIP is very expensive. The reality is that enterprise plans can start at $30 a month. Others assume that because it is a newer technology, it is very difficult to set up and deploy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You can get started with VoIP – specifically hosted VoIP – in a couple of hours.
Yet another commonly held myth is that hosted VoIP needs a lot of new hardware. Let’s see if this one has a basis in reality or not.
Hosted VoIP – Minimum Requirements
The most basic hosted VoIP service you can get is for residential customers. Most enterprise services offer a lot more features for their clients. There are three things you need for hosted VoIP. The first one is a high-speed Internet connection. The second thing you need is service from a VoIP vendor. Finally, you need a device to make calls with.
This device can actually be anything –
- A computer with a headset and microphone
- A smartphone with a VoIP app
- SIP compatible desk phone
- Regular landline with ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter)
Most businesses already pay for a high-speed Internet connection as part of their normal workflows. You can easily sign up for hosted services from a reputed vendor through their website. It then becomes obvious that the only hardware you absolutely need is the actual device for making calls.
Upgrading Network Infrastructure
Before diving into the different types of hardware you can buy, you need to consider your existing infrastructure. Quite often, a business may need to upgrade or replace parts of its network equipment to use VoIP effectively. So, you may not need new equipment specifically for VoIP. But you may have to beef up your infrastructure to keep pace with VoIP.
For instance, your Internet connection may not be fast enough to support additional voice traffic. It may serve your current needs but imagine the effect of adding hundreds of phone calls – all consuming bandwidth – onto your existing network. Some businesses opt for faster connections while others purchase a secondary connection exclusively for VoIP.
Another common occurrence is having to replace older equipment such as routers and security hardware. Why do you need to replace older equipment if it is working well? While the hardware itself may function properly, it may not be equipped to handle VoIP calls.
Hardware for Hosted VoIP
SIP Compatible Desk Phones
These are perhaps the most commonly used devices in the enterprise world. They look and function just like normal phones, except they work with VoIP protocols. Basic models can cost as little as $50 while top-end executive models can run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You definitely have to pay for quality hardware that can support the features your business needs.
Smart Phone with Mobile VoIP App
There is no need for a business to purchase desk phones for every employee. Not every user will need one. Do you really want to make your salespeople take huge phones on the road with them?
That’s why many businesses prefer to use a mix of devices depending on employee needs. If you have people who travel frequently for work, they can use their business or personal phone with mobile VoIP apps. You can download the app from your vendor’s website or choose from a wide variety of third-party applications. These apps are generally free as they are part of your service.
Computers with Headset and Microphone
You can even use computers with the headset and microphone to make VoIP calls. Employees who spend all their time in front of a computer such as a desktop or a laptop might actually prefer this option. Since users can connect multiple devices to the same VoIP number, your employees never have to miss a call again. Users can configure individual account settings so that incoming calls will ring all their devices at once or one after the other until the call is answered.
Landline with ATA
What if you have landlines that are still working well? Then you don’t have to purchase desk phones at all. You can get adapters that function as an interface between analog landlines and digital VoIP services. However, this is likely to be a temporary measure. Most businesses replace landlines with desk phones as the older equipment stops working.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment for VoIP. Depending on the size of your business and specific requirements, you can get started with your existing equipment. That’s a price tag of zero! So what are you waiting for? Upgrade to hosted VoIP and see the difference yourself.