What is a VoIP Phone?

What is a VoIP phone? Well you know by now that VoIP service sends sound as data through the internet and out onto the speakers of the person you are talking to, but do you need a VoIP phone to do it? The quick answer is… kind of! You do need a VoIP phone, but not all VoIP phones are actual phones. Getting confused? Good! Read on for some clarification and understanding, then:


What is a VoIP Phone Part 1: Phone Types

There are several different types of VoIP phones – some of which are not actually phones. To start off, there are softphones, which are really just pieces of software which you install on your computer in order to send and receive calls; they work in conjunction with speakers and a microphone or a headset. Then, there are regular, old phones that get a remodeling through the use of an adapter. This adapter allows the phone to send sound through the internet, instead of through the telephone jack, as it had been designed to do.

Then there are the actually VoIP phones, of which there are a couple variants. One example is a USB phone. These phones are cordless. You just plug the USB portion into the USB slot on your computer, verify that the phone is on and connected, then call away.

What is a VoIP Phone Part 2: How Do They Sound?

Ring, ring, ring: it is important to pay attention to what VoIP phones sound like because that’s how you will know you are receiving a call. The first question is really, do they ring at all? In fact, they do ring when someone is trying to get in touch with you, like any other phone. You can usually adjust the volume and the actual sound resembles a standard analog telephone ring. In fact, one of the disadvantages of VoIP is that you cannot set ringtones the way you do for your cell phone.

What is a VoIP Phone Part 3: Where to Find Them

Probably the easiest place to find a VoIP phone is from your local electronics store. They will probably be located with the traditional analog phones, though they may also be near the internet router isle. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions!

What is a VoIP phone? The real answer is that, aside from the basic function of allowing you to place VoIP calls, VoIP phones can be a lot of things. So start looking into specific brands and learn all there is to know. And, the next time you hear someone ask “What is a VoIP phone,” maybe you will be able to supply the answer.

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