13 June 2013 by Shantha Kumari
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is the technology that allows you to make calls over the Internet. Here VoIP uses your existing internet infrastructure to establish a connection between the callers and allows them to talk.
Depending on the way the IP phones are connected to the Internet, these phones are of the following types:
Wired IP Phones:
Wired IP Phones are generally used at homes or business establishments where there is a dedicated Internet connection such as an ADSL line or an Ethernet LAN respectively. The best wired IP phones uses 2 types of connectors such as RJ11 and RJ45 to connect to the internet both of which are supplied by the manufacturer.
Wireless IP Phones:
Wireless IP phones uses a Wi-Fi adapter that allows them to connect to a Wi-Fi network. After establishing connection, you can start using the IP phones as you would use a regular phone. The most rated wireless IP phones are slightly more expensive than wired IP phones because of the manufacturing cost involved.
The basic features to look for when buying the Phones with IP are mentioned below:
Caller-ID: You can answer a call or reject it by seeing the person's number being displayed in the LCD screen of the IP Phone. The persons name will appear only if you have stored their name in your contact list.
Call-Waiting: A beep sound is made to inform you of another call when you are already on the phone. You can either put the first call on hold/wait and answer the second call or send the second call to voicemail.
Call-Forwarding: This feature allows you to forward the calls to another phone or to the voicemail depending on the settings previously saved.
Call-Blocking: Any unwanted calls can be blocked by entering the number in the blocking list. Once entered into the list the phone won't even ring if that person calls.
Voicemail: Its like an answering machine where the person calling leaves a message which can be heard at a later point of time. It's useful when the other person has put you on hold.
Call Quality: When using the IP Phones for conferences or regular calls the call quality should be very good. Sound clarity is an important factor since voice travels over the internet to reach the intended caller. You get better voice quality when the bandwidth of your internet connection is good. The most widely used Phones with IP capability has a good bandwidth above 1 mbps ( million bits per second) is considered good for VoIP communications.
These Phones which supports IP offer additional services such as Video/Call conferencing, internet surfing, Touch screen keyboard display, USB support etc. You can use these IP Phones for businesses which require making calls and having video or teleconferences with clients. The phones should handle multiple lines of more than 4-5 with option for further increase as they are more cost effective in the long run.
Leading the market in this segment for the IP Phones are Panasonic, Cisco and Grandstream.
The best IP Phones to buy which support your basic call functionality and business needs are shown below. Select the top rated ones based on experts reviews from all over the world.