VoIP technology has come a long way in recent years, far enough that users can now plug in their home phones and use it without any reminder of its broadband roots. With that in mind, there is the matter of choosing which VoIP adapter is best suited for your home and your VoIP service. While many services such as VoIP.com or VoIP Your Life include and adapter with their service, others do not. If you are interested in buying a VoIP Adapter or router for your home phone, here are some options to get you started in your search.
Linksys SPA2102 NA Analog VoIP Adapter (2) FXS, (2) RJ45
Linksys’s SPA2012 is the newest edition of its widely used 2000 series of VoIP adapters. Linksys offers a small variety of other adapters in this line that are suited for larger, business style locations or for those with a single at home phone. This particular model features four ports; two POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) ports to connect your phone, fax machine or speakerphone to, and two RJ45 Ethernet interfaces for plugging in Ethernet cords to computers.
The key features of the Linksys SPA2102 are the ease with which it adapts to most services. Allowing users to complete customized installation and easy access for service providers to control your voice traffic, the adapter has few of the problems many other adapters tend to have such as dropped calls, high latency and poor connections. Additionally, the router allows for easy, remote software upgrades as required by your service provider. The SPA2102 is a relatively small router and with four ports is perfect for the home or a small office.
D-Link DVG-2001S VoIP Phone Adapter
While not as widely used as the Linksys 2102 adapter nor quite as reliable, the D-Link adapter offers a slightly more affordable option with just as deep a feature set. The 2001S is not a fully functional router however and is used for conversion of internet data to traditional phone line data for use with existing telephones and fax machines. It comes with only one FXS, POTS port and one RJ45 Ethernet port though, making it hard to plug in both a phone and a fax machine without a second adapter.
Additionally, the adapter utilizes SIP protocol, the soon to be standard for most VoIP providers, allowing optimum performance and call quality. This adapter is built to ensure compatibility between most VoIP services and phones. The adapter also includes the ability to allow VoIP service providers access to change server address and other protocols directly on the adapter, ensuring no service interruptions.
Another interesting couple of features of the 2001S are the inclusion of Voice Activity Detection and Comfort Noise Generation. Both features are designed to keep the actual amount of bandwidth to a minimum and ensure high quality calls most of the time. For those seeking a simple solution to connect your existing telephone to your internet access for VoIP service, the D-Link DVG 2001S is a good choice.
Other Options on the Market
While Linksys and D-Link are hardly the only companies on the market to make decent VoIP adapters, they are currently the two most commonly implemented. The VoIP companies are constantly changing as well as the technology associated with the service as well as the adapters. The Sipura line of adapters and routers was a popular choice because it was one of the first to offer easy analog adaptation. Other options on the market include Cisco’s new line of adapters. Once used exclusively by Vonage for its home customers, Cisco has recently reworked its products to more effectively utilize the newest SIP and CODEC technologies for VoIP service. Basically, they ensured that all services are covered.
For those looking for a simple adapter to turn their home phone into an IP phone though, either of the above options is a good choice. The cost varies but will likely remain below $70 and the call quality is consistent, depending on whom your service provider is. Just, be aware of what you need for your home or office and be prepared to recognize those features in your adapter. There are dozens of options on the market and only a few will meet the requirements you desire.