What Equipment Do I Need?
The equipment you need depends on what solution you are looking for. We detail some of the equipment you may need and where it could be relevant. If you don’t want to change any of your current equipment, you may be able to utilise SIP (recommended for larger businesses).Softphone (free)
A softphone is a phone application that is installed on your PC. This is best used by home workers who spend a lot of time at their PC and do not have a phone in the office or work space.
It is also particularly useful for office workers who all have PC and need to regularly make and receive calls, and perhaps do not have a great deal of desk space. The call quality is identical to that of a deskphone, however the ease of use is slightly reduced as the user needs to control the phone with either a mouse pointer (dialling the numbers on screen) or a keyboard.
You will need to buy a PC headset with a microphone which can be purchased from us or any PC hardware supplier.
This offers a low cost, portable line solution and has a free version at http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html
Here are the phones features from the suppliers website:FREE VoIP Phone for Windows, Android and iPhone
3CXPhone is a free VoIP phone available for Windows, iPhone or any Android based smart phone such as Google Nexus, Sony Xperia, Motorola Droid or Samsung Galaxy. Connect 3CXPhone to a VoIP provider or to a VoIP PBX (for example 3CX Phone System) to make calls to any VoIP, mobile or landline number.
Installing 3CXPhone is easy and only takes a few minutes. There is no licensing fee. You can download the version for Windows XP, Vista and 7 here. If you are using Android, you can download it from Google Play. The iPhone version is available via the Apple Appstore.
- Available for Windows, Android and iPhone
- On Windows choose from several popular phone interfaces
- Automatically provision the settings
- Transfer calls
- Record calls to disk
- Shows personal call log/history
- Supports G.711, GSM and Speex codecs
- Easy to deploy and manage
- Supports standard USB and JABRA headsets (Windows)
- Works with 3CX Phone System, Asterisk and popular VoIP providers
Softphone PC Headset
If you are considering a softphone solution, then you will need to buy a PC microphone (typically sold in a headset format). Prices vary and start at £9.99 and can be purchased at any PC store.IP Deskphone
This is the most popular option. An IP deskphone offers an attractive look and simple, easy to use features (such as caller divert, call pick, transfer, conference and do not disturb). They are robust, and built to withstand bumps and knocks. All phones can come with either a power pack for mains connection, or can be powered by the network cable if required (see 24 Port Power Switch Below).
This is recommended for any users where you phone system is planned to be a long term solution, or is to be use frequentlyDeskphone Headset (for IP Phone)
This is a full compatible, comfortable noise dampening headset, ideal for users who will spend long periods of time on the phone or need to use both hands whilst on a call.Billion Business Router
Many routers, especially those supplied by your internet service provider (your ISP) are poor quality. The most commonly used router is a white, Thompson Technicolor re-grade. This is because they are cheap to manufacture and ship, and ISP’s can make money on selling them.
The downside to these routers are that they offer little memory space, smaller wireless ranges, lower throughput (how quickly they route your bandwidth) and do not hold an IP address. All of these things ideally need to be avoided for VOIP
There is only one way to test your routers current specification relating to VOIP, and that’s to test it. Simple download a free softphone application to your PC here http://www.3cx.com/VOIP/voip-phone.html and then give us a call.
We will give you some simple instruction to connect your softphone to our system, then we’ll ask you to make a call to us, then us to you. With a low grade router you will typically still get an outbound connection, however inbound calls may not take place. If that is the case, you will need to upgrade the quality of your router.
For a successful test, you may also need a PC microphone. This test will work without one for Saffwood calling you (you’ll hear us through your PC speaker), but we may not be able to hear you without a microphone.
If you are installing multiple phones in 1 location, then you may want to consider a 24 port power switch.
This allows the phone to be powered via the network cable rather than being plugged into a mains supply. By having a switch, you can also load balance your network traffic over more than 1 internet connection if required. These are recommended for larger setups.RJ45 Cables (network or Ethernet cables)
Network cables are must. At all costs do not buy these from high street retailers. This is approximately a 400% - 1000% mark up on this. You’ll need to have network cables to run from your router to your phones to give them internet access .
You can order all network cables through us as we hold a massive stock at extremely cheap rates. All network cables are brand new and run from ½ metre to 50 metres
Ethernet Plug Sockets
A great solution if you don’t want to have messy network cables hanging around. Whether you opt for a softphone on a PC, or an IP deskphone, we recommend a LAN (local area connection) for PC’s and you must have a LAN connection for deskphones.
If you router is far away from you desired location for phones or PC’s, and there is no option to trunk wires in, then you can use the copper wire in your electricity mains supply to carry your broadband signal. If that sounds farfetched, then consider this: the copper cable in your mains supply is the same copper cable they use in your phone line; your phone line carries your broadband connection.
Simply plug an Ethernet socket into your mains near your router, then plug a network cable from your router into the plug socket.
At a desired location, plug another Ethernet socket into the mains with a Ethernet cable coming from it, then this into your phone or PC. You can have as many Ethernet plug sockets as you with.
Caution: not recommended for serviced buildings such as Regus due to shared mains supplies.