I have noticed a lot of people asking what the best setup is for their new VOIP solution at home. Now although I can’t provide you with the “best choice” of VOIP provider, the general setup remains the same and is usually something along these lines:
I know there is an information thread about this stuff, but it’s a little long, this is intended to be a short reference for impatient people like myself. 🙂
** Assumes you have Broadband internet. You really do need it if you intend to use VOIP exclusively **
1) Choose your VOIP provider – Certain providers offer certain advantages over others, to choose a provider it’s always best to crack open your last few phone bills and see what calls you make most often, then look for a provider which can provide a good call rate on those calls. (Note: If you already have cable, might as well go with Starhub)
2) Purchase a VOIP Phone – Although you can use a software phone, if you are thinking about using VOIP for all your calls it’s really not viable needing everyone in your house to wear a headset, therefore you probably need a voip phone.
For a home, I would recommend an ATA as you can simply plug one end into your broadband connection and the other into your phone. What this means is that you can use a neat cordless handset with your VOIP phone and wander round the house.
The most common ATA’s are the SIPURA 2000 & 3000 and GRANDSTREAM 286 & 486 units. These can be found by most hardware or voip suppliers. If you have a business you may want to use a hard phone, these are quite good and usually feature call-hold, conference and other standard office features. These are also available in many varieties from VOIP stores on the web.
3) When your ATA / Phone arrives, plug it into your broadband connection and start making calls.
– Plugging it in – If you were supplied with hardware from Starhub or Singnet, you will need to ask them how to plug in the device. Usually there are instructions however you might need to purchase a HUB (Like a double adaptor) at approx $50.
4) Call your Telephone provider and have them change your line to the Cheapest plan they have. Usually you will pay much more for calls if you are paying a low line rental BUT seeing all your outgoing calls are being made through VOIP it really doesn’t matter, so make use of the low line rental plan available to you.
Additionally if you have ADSL make sure the plan you select will support your ADSL service. The plan WILL support ADSL, even at 256k (the lowest residential speed).
And thats it, your 4 step guide to VOIP for home users.