VoIP Phone Adapters
About VoIP Phone AdaptersVoIP phone adapters, or analog terminal adapters, extend the cost-saving benefits of VoIP service to anyone with a phone. The adapter converts the analog signals of traditional telephones to the digital signals necessary for transmission over an Internet connection. VoIP phone adapters are small and easy to use. The phone plugs into an FXS port and an Ethernet cable connects the VoIP phone adapter to the Internet via an RJ-45 port. You can also purchase adapters that have FXO ports, which maintain one or two phone lines on the analog phone network as a fail-safe if the Internet connection is lost. VoIP phone adapters are an affordable alternative to purchasing new hardware when exploring your options for converting to the new technology of VoIP service. Using VoIP phone adapters, or analog terminal adapters, will give you immediate savings on set up costs.
Costs and Features of VoIP Phone AdaptersVoIP phone adapters range in price from $20 for a basic setup to $100 for a bigger configuration with multiple ports or the ability to fax. The basic features on all models work to improve the quality of the voice and sound during calls. You can simultaneously use the Internet while on calls and some are compatible with call waiting, call forwarding, voicemail, and other phone features. Models with advanced features can support on-hold music and provide additional security.
Types of VoIP Phone AdaptersThere are three types of VoIP phone adapters available:
- Single FXS: connects one phone
- Dual FXS: connects two phones
- FXS/FXO: connects one or two phones and maintains one or two analog lines
Choose an adapter based on your current setup and the features that you desire. Business and residential users alike will benefit from VoIP phone adapters. If you have a large number of phones and need more than one or two phones converted, then VoIP gateways are a better solution because they offer more ports than the VoIP phone adapters.
Protocols Supported by VoIP Phone AdaptersVoIP phone adapters and analog terminal adapters employ a protocol to determine how the data is passed over the network. The VoIP phone adapter needs to support the protocol used by your VoIP phone or service provider. In addition, VoIP phone adapters tend to support only one protocol. There are four common protocols used for VoIP phones and service:
- Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the most common protocol and is supported by most VoIP phone adapters.
- Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) is the proprietary protocol used by Cisco for all products.
- Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) is an older VoIP protocol and is not used very often.
- H.323 is another older VoIP protocol that is no longer widely used.
Examples of VoIP Phone Adapters / Analog Terminal AdaptersThe following are some examples of current VoIP phone adapters and analog terminal adapters. This list shows the costs of VoIP phone adapters with various port configurations.
- Belkin Message Manager, 1 FXS port, $12.99
- Grandstream HT701, 1 FXS port, $34.99
- Linksys PAP2T, 2 FXS ports, $49.99
- Linksys SPA3102, 1 FXS/1 FXO, $67.99
- SmartNode ATA, 1 FXS, request quote
- Zoom 5801, 1 FXS/1 FXO, $82.99
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