People who switch to VoIP will need devices to convert traditional phone signals into digital data. These are called VoIP adapters. ATAs come with foreign exchange station ports (FXS) to connect an analogue device to the VoIP network, such as a landline phone or fax machine. They also feature FXO ports, providing a backup line if the internet goes down.
For further information and pricing on phone systems, click here.
What are VoIP Adapters?
VoIP adapters, or Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs), enable you to use traditional analogue telephones with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. These adapters convert analogue voice signals from your standard phone into digital data that can be transmitted over the internet. They usually have ports for connecting your phone and an internet connection, allowing you to make VoIP calls using your existing telephone equipment. VoIP adapters are cost-effective for bridging the gap between traditional phone systems and VoIP technology.
|UK VoIP Providers
| Customer Rating
|Who is it Best For
|£19 per user, per month
Small businesses with big growth plans
|£9 per user, per month
Small businesses looking for a cheap and easy solution
£12 per user, per month (billed annually)
Telesales teams and small businesses with high turnover
|£6 per user, per month
|£10 per user, per month
Companies that need to communicate remotely
£7.99 per user, per month (billed annually)
Small businesses with varied departments
£14.99 per user, per month
Small companies that are based online
VoIP Adapters: ATA
ATA network adapters, or Voice over IP (VoIP) adapters, change analogue voice signals into digital Internet Protocol (IP) packets and vice versa. They also provide additional signalling operations such as caller ID, dial tone, and touchtone interpretation. They are typically minuscule devices with an Ethernet and one or two telephone ports. Generally, a VoIP ATA device will support the same protocols and codecs that your VoIP phone system or service supports.
In some cases, the adapter will be included in the purchase price by the VoIP vendor. In these cases, the adapter is preconfigured with the correct settings. In other cases, the adapter’s web configuration can be accessed through a computer. Standard VoIP adapters have FXS ports that connect to analogue phones and fax machines and an RJ-45 port that links to your Internet connection via a wired LAN. Some adapters also have FXO ports connecting ISDN telephony endpoints with your VoIP phone system.
VoIP Adapters: FXO
FXO network adapters connect traditional analogue devices (phones, fax machines and PABXs) to IP telephony networks and VoIP systems. These devices convert the analogue voice signals to digital IP packets and vice versa, enabling the VoIP phone system to take advantage of advanced call-handling features. ATAs use a specific VoIP protocol and audio codec to perform ancillary functions.
These include providing:
- caller ID,
- dial tone,
- touchstone identification and
- all other signalling functions for a Voice over Internet Protocol call.
They also feature foreign exchange station ports (FXS) that allow the device to plug in a landline. These adapters are often deployed as a failsafe or lifeline for a business if the VoIP service goes down. Enterprises should consider the number of ethernet and FXS ports, the ability to send faxes and the quality of the incoming and outgoing voice streams. They should also examine the underlying hardware and software the VoIP phone system uses.
VoIP Adapters: FXS
An FXS network adapter connects traditional analogue telephones, fax machines and other customer-premises equipment to a VoIP network. It enables businesses to make online calls without spending a fortune on new IP phones. The VoIP adapter translates the analogue signal from your telephone into digital packets, which are then compressed, deployed codec and broken down into several voice data streams.
This process is carried out over a wireless Ethernet bridge that can provide high-quality voice transmissions. In addition to its primary function, the adapter also provides ancillary services. These include caller identification, dial tone and touchtone recognition. The ATA uses a particular VoIP protocol and remote web server codec to convert audio signals into data packets.
Moreover, some models come with FXO ports that allow you to connect analogue landline instruments and PSTN trunks. The Patton SN4140 series, for example, has both FXS and FXO ports.
VoIP Adapters: Gateway
Depending on where the voice traffic originates, a gateway network adapter changes analogue voice signals into digital data packets or vice versa. They also perform other signalling functions, like authentication, dial tone and touch tones. Most adapters come with foreign exchange station (FXS) ports, which enable you to plug in landline devices, including a telephone or fax machine. Some also feature FXO ports, which keep your line active even when your Internet or VoIP service goes down.
For businesses that are transitioning to VoIP, a gateway is essential to connect analogue phones and fax machines to their networks. It converts analogue voice signals into digital packets and routes them to the correct destination. It can also help businesses save money by routing calls over the internet rather than traditional phone lines.
VoIP Adapters – Other Useful links about phone systems:
Free Call Centre Software
VoIP Phone Systems For Schools
How to Lower Your Business Phone Bill
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