VoIP Modem Adapter - A Simple Solution For Existing Phones
At a high level, a VoIP modem adapter is a simple device. But once you get into the details, things become complex quickly. At a high level, the adapter is converting analog signals into digital signals and vice versa. VoIP uses digital signals while copper wire phone systems (POTS) use analog. That's why an adapter is needed. Much of the world still runs on analog phone systems.
The way a VoIP modem adapter work is that a regular telephone plugs into the adapter. The adapter then plugs into your Internet modem. When you call out on the telephone, you're able to utilize VoIP technology. You can also receive VoIP based calls on your telephone.
Keep in mind that VoIP requires constant power to operate. In the event of a power failure, some adapters have a port that connects to a wall jack, which is connected to the POTS. POTS has constant power. Even if the power goes off in your office, POTS will work. If your adapter is connected to POTS, you can still make and receive phone calls through copper wire. If an outlet to POTS doesn't exist on the adapter, you can put the adapter on battery backup to keep it running. Your Internet modem will also need a battery backup since it is the source of the Internet connection.
There is no software needed to run the adapter. Its software is built into the modem and is lower level software that doesn't require user interaction. For larger operations, communications software is used to make it easier to coordinate staff, route calls, and log customer interactions. That kind of software is called unified communications software or UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and works flawlessly with VoIP systems. UCaaS isn't something you can buy from a retailer. It is a service and provided through a cloud-based communications service provider.
With a high-level overview of what a VoIP modem adapter is, we next get into the details of the various ports and modem.
Ports and Modem Types
A VoIP modem adapter has a number of ports depending on the adapter and needs of the user. We're using the term ports, which is the physical plugin on the adapter. The technology behind these ports is the protocol. The ports are named by their protocol.
Two of the most common ports are the FXS and FXO. These two ports where subtly mentioned above. FXS stands for foreign exchange station. This port goes to the telephone. The "station" terminology simply means a desk, workstation or phone. Think of it as remaining inside of the building since that is where the workstation is located. It is an RJ-11 interface.
FXO stands for foreign exchange office. This is the optional port that goes to the wall jack for POTS access. It is also an RJ-11 interface. The "O" in FXO means office or telephone office. This is outside of the building. Once you plug the adapter into the wall jack, the copper wire behind the wall jack goes outside to the telephone pole and all the way to the telephone office.
There is also an ethernet port on the adapter. This is an RJ-45 interface. This port goes to your Internet modem.
There are three different types of adapters:
- Single FXS – This is the simplest setup allowing for only one phone to connect with it. It is used in homes and small offices.
- Dual FXS – This adapter is just above the single version, allowing two phones to connect with it.
- FXO / FXS – These adapters can allow for one or more phone connections. They include an FXO port for failover. The FXO port connects to POTS and allows for regular phone use in the event of a power failure.
To summarize the main points of this article:
- A VoIP modem adapter allows a phone to utilize VoIP.
- Some adapters come with a fail-safe that allows the use of the regular phone system when the power goes out.
- Adapters come in three types: a single phone, two phones, and fail-safe (FXO).
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