The Quick Start Guide to VOIP for the Home, Home Office, and Small Business

All Vonage Phones are Not Created Equal

Using Regular Phones with Vonage Service

In it's simplest sense, a Vonage phone is a broad term that refers to the handsets used by subscribers of Vonage phone service to make and receive calls.

Usually, these are regular handsets--the same kind that are used for making and receiving calls from a traditional landline-based phone service. The regular analog phone plugs into the Vonage Analog Terminal Adaptor (ATA), such as the Linksys RTP300 or WRTP54G.

The ATA box plugs into a broadband Internet connection which can be a cable modem line or a DSL line. The voice is transmitted on these high bandwidth lines using Internet technology, which is known as packet switching technology.

The user, of course, is not aware of the technology that is being used to transmit his voice. He picks up the phone and dials a number, as before. The party at the other end too in unaware that the call is being made from a Vonage phone. He or she picks up the phone, and the conversation ensues. The call receive function too is similar. The Vonage phone rings whenever the user receives a call. The user only needs to pick up the phone to answer the call.

Using Vonage Certified Phones

This is a new breed of handset that is tailored or pre-programmed to use Vonage service.

The V-Tech IP8100, Uniden UIP869V, and UT Starcomm F1000 are three of these type.

Both the V-Tech and Uniden models can be connected directly to the broadband modem, without an ATA router (that's one less box on your desk). The V-Tech IP8100 provides one or two cordless handsets. The Uniden provides both a cordless handset and a conventional-looking business telephone.

The UT Starcomm F1000 provides a Wi-Fi connection to Vonage service in your home, AND a connection to Vonage on the road at a Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi is a wireless networking protocol used by mobile users for accessing the Internet. The F1000 looks like a cell phone, and Vonage hopes this handset will appeal to people on the go.

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