If you're in the market for a business VoIP phone system, you need to test out SIP phones as well. These phones range from the very basic to smartphone-like devices.
Configuring SIP phones to work with potential service providers can seem overwhelming at first. However, once you know what pieces of information to gather, and where to input them, you'll be making calls in no time.
How to Configure a SIP Phone
Your SIP phone will be up and running after completing a few brief steps.
Step 1: Gather information on the user
You will need to gather some basic information for each user, including credentials such as the user's SIP address, SIP password, and outbound proxy.
You can get this information from your hosted VoIP provider. Many VoIP platforms provide an administrative portal on the web which you can log into to set up and manage your phone system. You should be able to locate these credentials within that admin portal.
Terms may vary slightly among all of the SIP devices on the market. For instance, SIP password may also be called auth password.
Step 2: Log into the phone via a web browser
Each SIP device will have an IP address. Connect the phone to your LAN and navigate to that IP address within a web browser in order to access the phone's settings. Check your phone's user manual for specific instructions on how to access the web interface and where to find the phone's IP address.
Step 3: Enter the user's SIP credentials into the phone's settings
Enter the information into the settings fields of the phone's web interface and save. You may be required to reboot the phone for the settings to take effect.
Step 4: Confirm that your phone is registered
Check to make sure your phone is successfully configured. If your service provider has an admin portal, you should see confirmation there that the phone is registered, active, or online.
What is a SIP Phone?
SIP Phones - also known as VoIP Phones or IP Phones - are specialized phones that transmit calls over the Internet rather than the PSTN. However, the device itself looks and acts no differently than a traditional telephone does.
SIP Phone units work in conjunction with VoIP services, and they plug directly into your Internet connection. They are among the few pieces of equipment you will need when using a hosted VoIP phone system (the others being your broadband connection, router, and computer).
There are also versions known as 'softphones' that operate directly on your PC, laptop, or smartphone. These provide traditional telephone functionality as an app on your computer or through the Internet browser itself - with no physical phone device needed.
While only you can choose the VoIP provider you feel is best for your business, we highly stress you choose a provider that allows you to bring (and take) your own phones (BYOD ability - 'bring your own device'), rather than one that provides you with proprietary devices that only work with their service. Your phones (not to mention your monetary investment) will have a longer lifespan that way.