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VoIP Phones FAQ & Tech Tips

Q) What is PoE?

"PoE" is a means of powering a device through an Ethernet cable. This is why PoE stands for "Power over Ethernet." Both the device and the network switch (assuming the VoIP phone is connected to a switch) need to support PoE. If only one end of the Ethernet connection offers PoE, then it will not work.

Popular reasons that businesses like PoE is because it reduces the amount of cabling required and the number of wall sockets that need to be provided.

Tech Tip #1

PoE is a means of supplying power to the VoIP phone.

PoE supplies power to the VoIP phone through the Ethernet cable, which is connected to the network switch.

Both the phone and the connected network switch need to be PoE-enabled; meaning, that the phone has to support PoE and the switch needs to have a port that supplies PoE.

Some VoIP phones support AC adapters as well, but they may not be supplied with the device.

Q) What are line appearances?

A line appearance on a VoIP phone is how many virtual lines the phone can access at one time. For example, a phone with three line appearances can support three simultaneous calls. Unlike analog phones, only one physical connection is required behind the phone.

Tech Tip #2

Line appearances and other features operate differently on a VoIP system.

For example, analog phones need a physical connection to each line in order to access it. Line appearances through VoIP are virtual, meaning the phone can only have one physical connection but still provide many line appearances.

Additional Tech Tips

Tech Tip #3

Protocol support determines whether your phone can connect to your PBX.

SIP and Asterisk are popular open source platforms, widely used because of their scalability and easy of use.

SCCP and other proprietary protocols are popular because of unique features and network integration.