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Service FAQs -  Equipment Needed
Can I take my ATA or SIP phone with me when I travel? How about a softphone with a headset or USB handset?
Yes, you can do any of the above, but the most convenient is undoubtedly the softphone with a headset or a USB handset connected to your computer. A SIP Phone is quite large, and when you’re at a hotel or WiFi hotspot that demands some type of login and registration for high-speed Internet access, you’ll need your computer browser to get access. An ATA demands a single-line phone wherever you happen to go, and most hotel phones are digital, office-style handsets that can’t work with the ATA. If you’re at someone’s house or an office that allows you to use their LAN, however, a SIP phone or an ATA should work just fine.

With the softphone, however, you avoid all the login problems at hotels and hotspots, and using an inexpensive computer headset or USB handset gives you high-quality calls that don't burn up your mobile phone minutes!

Can I use multiple phone extensions with VoIP?
Yes, you can. Here are the four ways:
  1. The easiest way is to use a cordless phone system that comes with a base unit and extra handsets. Plug the base station into the ATA. Multiple handsets can be placed anywhere in the house and all will use the same ATA.
  2. You can purchase a phone line splitter from retailers such as Radio Shack or Best Buy. Connect the single RJ-11 male side of the splitter to the PHONE port of the VoIP ATA. Connect two phones (or more, if you have a triple or quad splitter) to the multi-port, female side of the splitter.
  3. You can purchase wireless phone jacks that plug into your household electrical outlets. Connect the base unit to the ATA, and connect extra handsets into the jacks. Note that only the phone attached to the base unit can display Caller ID information. Although wireless phone jacks give you multiple extensions, you may periodically experience dropped calls on the extension phones and an inability to talk on more than one phone at a time.
  4. Some customers have attached their ATA directly into the existing telephone wiring in their homes in an attempt to distribute VoIP service to all the existing phone jacks in their home. Hooking anything to the ATA other than a single line phone is not recommended. Be advised that any damage resulting from practices contrary to manufacturer’s recommendations for the ATA will not be covered by warranty.
Can I use someone else’s ATA, SIP Phone or softphone with your VoIP service?
Some VoIP Service Providers, like Vonage, lock their devices so that they cannot be used with anyone else’s service. Others can be used, although you are charged $25 to walk you through the reprogramming required.
Can I use VoIP service if I have a Mac (Macintosh) and/or Linux computer?
Yes, you can! VoIP service and access to your personal VoIP Control Panel (VCP) are completely independent of your computer’s operating system (OS). For VoIP, you only need a high-speed Internet connection and an IP device (ATA or IP phone). Any browser (Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari) can access your VCP.

The softphone and IP-Fax Service, however, only work on PCs for now. You can use other softphones (Xten and SJPhone) on Macintoshes with the VoIP Service.

Do I need my computer to use VoIP?
The answer is No if you are using a VoIP ATA or IP Phone to make calls. The answer is Yes if you’re using a Softphone application with the computer microphone and speakers, a headset or a USB handset.
Does VoIP support modems, TIVO boxes, or DirecTV boxes?

The issue here is not entirely dependant on the hardware but rather on the throughput that can be achieved. Bandwidth - the rate at which the system communicates with the VoIP system - that is too slow will not work properly. Some of these devices cannot achieve acceptable speeds.

VoIP service may support TIVO, Direct TV, and home security systems. Be VERY CAREFUL, however, in using VoIP for services that must work with a high degree of reliability, such as security systems. VoIP services do not work if power or your Internet access is out, and thus is not a good choice for a security system line unless you have your entire LAN backed up with a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).

Is VoIP a cell/mobile/wireless phone service?
No, VoIP is not the same as cell (mobile) or wireless service. VoIP is a phone service that uses the Internet to make and receive calls, rather than relying on physical facilities (like cell towers, copper wire, or fiber optics). However, you can use a traditional cordless household telephone connected to an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter). And a few manufacturers have started to make handsets that can use both WiFI VoIP and mobile networks, but there are very few places they can be used at this point.
What devices do you support?
The following VoIP-capable devices have been certified on our network:

Grandstream HT386 2-port ATA with Fax-over-IP support
Grandstream XV3000 3-line Videophone
Grandstream HT496 3-port ATA with built-in router and Fax-over-IP support
Grandstream XW4004 4-line ATA
Grandstream XW4008 8-line ATA

Linksys 1001 1-port ATA
Linksys 2100 and 2102 2-port ATA with built-in router and Fax-over IP support
Linksys 941 and 942 2-to-4 line SIP phones
Linksys 961 and 962 4-to-6 line SIP phones
Linksys WiFi phones

UT Starcom ATAs and WiFi phones

Cisco 7940 and 7960 SIP phones

Consult the installation instructions that came with your device for further information.
What equipment do I need to use your VoIP service?
You need a high-speed Internet connection (DSL, cable, Data Card, or an office LAN), and either a normal telephone combined with an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) or an IP Phone. Both the ATA and the IP Phone plug into any available Ethernet connection on your home or business network. If there is only a single Ethernet connection on your DSL or cable modem, and your computer is plugged into this connection, you need to buy a router/firewall or an ATA combined with a router in order to use both your VoIP service and your computer at the same time. You can purchase an inexpensive router from any consumer electronics retailer, such as Radio Shack or Best Buy.
What is a router, and do I need one?
A router is a network device that manages the distribution of data to and from multiple devices on your home or office network. Because you probably want to use your computer for e-mail or Web surfing and your VoIP service at the same time, you typically need a router. You have three choices:
  • Your DSL or cable modem may already have a router built into it, although this is not a usual configuration. In this case, the modem has multiple Ethernet ports built into it. Simply connect your computer to one Ethernet port and your VoIP device to another.
  • You already have a router, to which your computer is connected. Plug your VoIP device into one of the free router ports. Most recently manufactured routers can work with your VoIP device right out of the box. If not, or if you are using an early generation router, usually you need only minor modifications to your router settings or a simple software download. No one can know the peculiarities of every router on the market, so e-mail customer support if you experience any problems with different equipment and help add to the knowledge database.
  • You may need to buy a router/firewall, but typically one for your home or small office will be inexpensive and readily available. DSL/cable Web-safe routers that provide NAT and DHCP are recommended. VoIP works with most routers available for purchase today. If you are having trouble with your VoIP service on an older model router, download and install the router's latest software update from the manufacturer's Web site.

Router Configuration Guide

What is a SIP Phone?
A SIP Phone has an ATA built in to accommodate VoIP. A typical SIP Phone has 2 to 4-line office-type phone, such as the Linksys 941 or Cisco 7960, with multiple “soft buttons” that can be configured to transfer calls, access voicemail, do speed dial, and so on.
What is an ATA?
ATA stands for Analog Telephone Adapter. Typical home and single-line office phones, whether corded or cordless, use analog signaling to communicate with your local telephone company’s switch. An ATA takes those analog signals and turns them into VoIP so that calls can go out over the Internet. Most non-IP office phones use proprietary, digital signaling and don't work with an ATA (or directly with VoIP service) at all.
What types of telephones work with the VoIP ATA?
Any “regular” touchtone phone in your home or office can be used with your VoIP service. Corded or cordless phones work equally well, and multi-line regular phones also work fine. Most older office phones have proprietary, digital signaling, and don't work if connected to a VoIP device. The only way VoIP can work with these older key systems or PBXes is by connecting a multi-channel VoIP device between the central “brain” of the phone system and a high-bandwidth Internet circuit.
Will my answering machine work with VoIP?
Remember, your VoIP service comes with free, full-featured voicemail. Most people find that they don't want to use their very limited answering machine any longer so they switch it off when they change to VoIP service.

However, you can choose to continue using your answering machine if you want. Just remember to turn OFF the VoIP voicemail feature or you may end up with two different greetings playing at the same time! You do this by going to your VoIP Control Panel (VCP), selecting the CallBlast tab, then changing the number of rings on your Primary VoIP Line to something very large, such as 99. This step ensures that your answering machine always picks up first.

Will my fax machine work with VoIP?
Your fax machine may work fine with VoIP, depending on the type of faxing you do and what device you use. Simply connect your fax machine to a VoIP device in the same way you connect a phone. Some adjustments on your fax machine setup may be needed to make success more likely. If you send or receive faxes longer than three pages on a regular basis, be sure to use an ATA that supports T.38 fax-over-IP protocol.

We also offer an IP-Fax service, which handles inbound faxes in a different manner (speak with your representative or contact customer service). You get a special DID or phone number, and faxes sent to that number are delivered to your e-mail address as PDF attachments. Outbound faxing is not available on an IP-Fax service. There is a separate setup and monthly charges for an IP-Fax service.