Once you discover the savings and quality of a VoIP system, there is no going back. Actually, why to pay for long distance calls, when you can get low-cost or free service using your Internet? VoIP systems don’t require your phone company intervention and can be installed by many individuals without much fuss.
The easiest and fastest way to get VoIP is to use your own computer and download software to allow you to communicate online. If you don’t have a microphone as part of your system, you need to get one to be able to hear and talk using the computer. Next, you can download a paid or free communication provider software, such as the one offered by gmail at http://www.google.com/chat/voice/. And voila! You’re able to use phone services through VoIP.
If your situation involves an office, the installation can be a bit involved, but the idea is still the same—to use existing Internet connection to provide communication services. If you already have broadband Internet setup in your network, you will need to download the IP PBX software to your server and to make sure each phone is connected to the system. Let’s use a simple system named miniSipServer, which is a professional PBX system for Windows.
Step 1-You can install the miniSipServer by downloading a SETUP file from the Internet at http://www.myvoipapp.com/download. At this point, select how many extensions you need, and be sure you're on a PC running windows. Once the file is downloaded, run it and you’re done with the server installation. You should see a list of processes, such as “SIP transaction factory running!” This system automatically creates for you three default extensions with passwords 100,101 and 102 in the screen named “Local Users Information.”
Step 2- The next step is to connect the phones to the extensions and that can be done by using softphones, such as Xlite4. Configure them online to recognize the miniSipServer. As phones are connected, they turn to blue in the “Local Users Information” screen, which can also be used to add new extensions and manage them.
Step 3- The last step is to connect the server to the VoIP provider, so that the firm can make and receive phone calls. The provider gives you the account number and all information you need to connect—you input the numbers on “External Line.”
Now it’s time to test the system—be sure one person from one extension can call another in another extension and that people can receive and make phone calls. That’s your basic setup process.
Do you think you’re done? Most likely not. You also need to install and configure voice mail and any other features you’re interested in. As you can see, the process can be a bit convoluted, but it follows a logical order and is not out-of-this world. Be sure to disconnect your regular phone line only after the tests are successful.