What’s the best way for me to make the switch to VoIP in a small office?

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I'm looking to move away from the landline in our small office and port the number to a VoIP, Internet-only phone service. I'd like to have just one number and be able to call a few different extensions around the house. Would a few of the Cisco 7960G Unified IP Phones do the job? What else would I need to buy/do?

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If you want to have different phones each be a different extension you’ll need on either have a phone switch which all your phones are hooked up to, or sign up for a service which does this for you.

If you wanted to setup your own phone switch Asterisk can do this. It’s a free download, you just need to put it on a computer and get phone service through a SIP phone provider. They can then port the phone number to them and they would be your telephone provider so you would pay your bill to the instead of your local telco.

Now if you don’t want to run your own phone switch you can get a VOIP provider which will handle the phone switch functions for you. You just need to get a bunch of VIOP phones (which the provider will be happy to sell you).

There’s a company called <a href=”http://www.digilink.net”>DigiLink </a>(I’m a customer of theirs) and they can help you setup either option.

Just wanted to add another vendor to the answer: <a href=”AmBellCo”>www.ambellco.net</a>. We use them and they offer free porting of your local exchange numbers, automated attendant, free local and long distance as well as many other features.

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  • Vendome
    As both ITKE and Mrdenny are in the US, and as I'm in England what I am about to say may be totally useless, however, that has never stopped me before. Not all phone numbers can be ported to another supplier so if the number is important, you may need to approach the problem in another way. Keep the existing line and connect it to PSTN/VoIP gateway. You can get cards to go in an Asterisk box that will do this or you can buy stand alone gateways. Also, some highend ADSL modems now come with a PSTN/VoIP gateway and small VoIP PBX built in. The Draytek IPPBX3510 is one such device, the Intertex IX66 another. With these all you need is the ADSL modem and some VoIP phones. BTW the Cisco phones are very impressive, but there are a lot of cheaper units about.
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  • Tloftus2009
    Juma Technologies is another source to get IP/SIP phone service. Also, you may want to see what Vonage can offer you. They can be very inexpensive and you may be able to keep your existing phones.
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  • Bitamed
    I currently use a device called FRTIZ, I highly recommend this product, it has all the functionality you are looking for, as well as fax, answering machine, call diversion, and call re routing, dedicating a line to a phone, ability to send voice mail as a email to your mailbox, very easy to setup, and you can use most of the DECT phones without the need to connect to their base. You need NANEX A version for UK, there are number of models, I use the 7270, I have 6 different VIOP supplier account setup, and travel worldwide. You need to shop around, I bought this from Germany for 210 Euros, but you can get them over her too. If you need any help on setting it up let me know.
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