How do I Add Multiple Phones to VoIP Service
OK, so you are thinking about getting VoIP (also known as Internet phone service, broadband phone service and digital voice service), but you are wondering how you can have several phones scattered around your house when you just have one VoIP phone connection? The days of people having just one phone in the house are disappearing (I have one in the kitchen, living room, bedroom and one lost somewhere in the house, maybe in the couch!). Well, there are some options you’ll be pleased to hear. While we wait for technology to catch up with things like VoWLAN, I will just stick to some of the current options available.
The following provides four possibilities for adding multiple digital phones onto your VoIP phone service, depending on your requirement and situation, as a starting point.
- One simple method is by using a multiple jack extension connector. You can plug this into your VoIP service Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) and this will allow you to have multiple phones on a single line. However, the limitation with this is that the phone connections are still at the location of your VoIP providers' ATA device. This is a simple solution but not too flexible if you want to distribute your phones throughout your home.
- Digital cordless phone systems are a great option for distributing your VoIP phone service throughout your home. Digital cordless phone systems are commonplace in homes these days with 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz versions available. So, if you don’t already have a set they are actually very reasonably priced due to the large competition out there. Cordless phone systems come with a base unit (also referred to as a Base Station by some phone suppliers) that plugs directly into your VoIP service ATA. The additional cordless (also sometimes referred to as wireless) handsets can then be placed anywhere in your home, distributing your digital VoIP phone service to wherever you need it. The great thing about this option is that if you already have cordless phones then you are ready to go and do not need to buy any additional hardware to distribute your VoIP phone service throughout your home.
- A variation on the cordless phone idea is to use wireless phone jacks. A base unit connects directly to your VoIP phone service ATA. Then, wireless jacks can be used that plug into your household electrical outlets in the locations where you want your additional phones. You can then connect each of your additional phones to a wireless jack and voila, you have your VoIP phone service available anywhere in your home that you want it.
- Many people have used their existing telephone wiring and telephone extensions in their home to distribute their VoIP phone service. Be warned though, you cannot just plug your VoIP ATA phone line output straight into a phone jack in your home though. The traditional phone landline carries a voltage on its wires, used to make your telephone ‘ring’ when someone calls you. These voltages can potentially damage your VoIP equipment. The way people have avoided this is to disconnect their landline phone wiring at the Demarcation Point in their Network Interface Device (NID, typically a grey or black box located on the outside of your house). Once the existing phone line to the home has been disconnected, the VoIP service ATA phone line out can be plugged directly into one of the existing phone extensions inside the home. This will then distribute the VoIP phone service to all other phone extensions in the home that are wired to that phone extension. You can then plug your phones in anywhere you have a phone jack in your home. If you decide to do this it is highly recommended that you seek advice from an electrician or someone who is familiar with internal telephone wiring on how to best connect your VoIP service to your current phone wiring to take advantage of your homes multiple extensions. It is also advised that you pre-check the wiring on the phone jacks to make sure you don't have live PSTN voltage on the jacks before connecting them to the VoIP phone service ATA. A simple telephone line tester device can be used for this purpose.
Well, hope this helps provide some useful options for having multiple phones on a home VoIP phone service. There are probably other methods out there that may suit your needs, but these options go to show that having multiple phones on your VoIP phone service is a snap!
If you are considering switching to VoIP phone service take a look at our comparison table above detailing some popular providers and their exclusive special deals and start enjoying the cost savings and many features that VoIP provides.
Author: Calum MacKinnon
Related Articles for Further Reading:
GO TO RESIDENTIAL ARTICLE INDEX
Have something to say about this topic:
Use the form below to add your comments/thoughts and to interact with us. All comments will be moderated by WhichVoIP.com before going live. We try to answer all questions within 24 hours.