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VoIP Phone FAQ

Read answers to common VoIP phone questions! We've been working with VoIP for more than a decade, helping customers find the solutions they need for their businesses. Find clear explanations of VoIP terminology and explanations for the questions that our customers ask us. Here are expert answers for frequently asked questions about VoIP.

Do I need a VoIP phone system or hosted VoIP provider for my VoIP phone?

Yes. You need to connect a VoIP phone to either a premise-based VoIP phone system or hosted VoIP phone service for your phone to work. Make sure the phone you choose is compatible with your premise-based system or VoIP phone service provider.

What's the difference between an IP phone and a VoIP phone?

There is no difference. IP phones and VoIP phones are the same thing. "IP" phone is just the shortened version of "VoIP" phone.

What is a SIP phone?

A SIP phone is a VoIP phone that uses SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) for voice communications. SIP is an open-source VoIP standard. It's the most broadly used standard for VoIP on the market today, which is why SIP phones are the most common type of VoIP phones.

Do I need a power supply for my VoIP phone?

Not necessarily. Most VoIP phones support PoE (Power over Ethernet). If you have a PoE switch or PoE injector that can provide power to the phone through an Ethernet cable, then you don't need a power supply for the phone. If you don't have a PoE switch or injector, you'll need a power supply for the phone.

Why do most VoIP phones have two Ethernet ports?

One Ethernet port is a LAN port, which is used to connect the phone to the network. The other Etherent port is a pass-through port to connect a computer to the network through the phone, eliminating the need to run two network cables to your computer. Having two Ethernet ports reduces clutter and lessens infrastructure costs.

Do Gigabit VoIP phones sound better than non-Gigabit VoIP phones?

No, Gigabit VoIP phones don't sound better. Gigabit ports allow the Ethernet connection from your phone to be passed through to the computer at up to Gigabit speed, depending on your network. VoIP telephony doesn't require Gigabit speed for optimal performance.

What is HD voice?

HD voice stands for high-definition voice for telephony audio. It means that your phone covers a larger section of the human voice's frequency range than a typical phone, making calls sound much better. Studies show that improving sound quality makes conversations easier to understand, increasing comprehension and thus productivity.

What is a BLF key?

A BLF (Busy Lamp Field) key is a button on your phone that's used to monitor an extension. When that extension is on a call, the BLF key lights up. You can also use the BLF key as a speed dial button to call that specific extension.