How to Choose a VoIP Phone

Even though software phones are typically cheap compared to hardware phones they offer the best options for Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). Hardware phones are easier to use and they do not needarily require a Computer. In this article, I am discussing the various hints to be considered when choosing a VoIP phone.

The following are Factors to Consider when Choosing a VoIP Phone:

Get to know the VoIP control protocols that are supported by the phone, this may include:

– H.32: 3 – This is a standard multimedia with a conference protocol that composes of voice, video and data conferencing. It

– SIP – Session Initial Protocol is an IETF standard multimedia conferencing protocol which combines voice, video and data conferencing that is used over packet-switched networks.

– MGCP – Media Gateway Control Protocol is a protocol used within the VoIP system, it is an internal protocol which was primarily developed to address the demands carrier-based IP telephone networks.

– IAX2 – Due to the IAX having much bandwidth efficiency than the competitiveness VoIP call protocols it is enabled to support more concurrent VoIP calls over the same amount of bandwidth.

It is also advisable to know the type of VoIP codes that are supported by the phone. Here are some examples of the VoIP Codes; they are the G.711, G.722, G.723, G.726, G.727, G.728, G.729, ILBC, Speed, GSM-Full Rate, GSM-Enhanced Full Rate, GSM-Half Rate and DoS FS-1015.

Other factors to be considered may also include:

– It is good to check whether the phone supports 3-way calling.
– You are also advised to check whether the phone supports DND (Do Not Disturb).
– It is good to know whether the phone can support the custom ringtones.
– You are advised to check whether the phone can provide a method to work behind routers and NAT (Network Address Transaction).
– Check whether the phone supports STUN.
– You should also check whether the phone can support Symmetric Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP).
– The phone should also be able to support a SIP outbound proxy.
– The phone should be compliant with the Quality of Standards (QoS).
– Check whether the phone also supports encryption.

If it is a Hardware VoIP Phone:

– Check the connection that the VoIP phones support that is whether it can support the Ethernet connection (Power over Ethernet).
– Check whether it supports IPv6.
– Check whether it supports videoconferencing.
– Check the phone handset whether it is coded or is codeless.
– Check whether it is a handset phone or a headset type of phone.
– Confirm wherever it has a speaker phone.
– Check the display whether it is an LCD display and whether the display is backlit.
– Check the ergonomics to be good or perfect.
– Confirm wherever you like and you are comfortable with the style.

If it is a Software VoIP Phone:

– Check and confirm whether the phone software is compatible with your Operating System.
– Confirm and check wherever the phone software is easy to use by either you or the destination operator.
– Check whether it supports various skins that are customized.
– Confirm wherever the software support videoconferencing.
– Check to confirm whether the software support shared white boarding.

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