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Phone Systems Articles

Can My VoIP Calls Be Listened In On?

One of the common concerns about VoIP is the possibility of someone listening in on a phone call. This concern exists because you don’t need to tap a physical wire – you just need a protocol analyzer that can intercept the voice packets.

Here are five methods to encrypt phone calls made through VoIP:

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How to Prevent Communications Fraud

As telecommunications systems have advanced and usage has spread around the globe, issues regarding the security and safety of user-transmitted information have become of the utmost importance. Fraud prevention is another key topic that business owners should be concerned with. To protect your business from unwarranted charges or other such fraud, keep in mind the following tips and ideas.

First, make sure that company policies regarding voice service use are clear and understood by all employees operating such devices. If no guidelines are in place, take some time to develop a list of important policies, and disseminate this list to relevant personnel. Conducting routine monitoring of such policies, such as through a simple “open book” quiz, for example, is another way to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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VoIP Reliability Concerns Grow

Concerns regarding the reliability of VoIP service have always persisted, and don’t appear to be subsiding as of yet. Stability issues regarding the quality of service for VoIP typically manifest via jittery, delayed connections and packet loss, which forces users to incur varying degrees of audio problems that may result in downtime. Sources of these issues include service provider inadequacies, networking complications, and infrastructure issues based upon locality.

Unfortunately, there are several VoIP vendors that have developed reputations for notoriously inconsistent service. Most industry professionals generally adhere to the notion that inexpensive residential VoIP providers that offer service that may be utilized with an analog telephone adaptor that converts the traditional signal into a digital one, incur more voice quality issues than business grade services with specialized IP phones with their own ethernet jacks. However, it should be noted that there are quality complaints with business VoIP vendors as well, and customers should thoroughly research the service record of any company they are considering using.

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How Secure is Your VoIP Network

Security has long been a topic of concern for VoIP users, particularly those who employ VoIP service over networks with valuable customer and proprietary company information. Common threats to security for such networks involve both authentication-related and privacy issues, many of which are similar to those for any sort of data transmission system and which have, for the most part, similar solutions. Denial of service attacks or network security leaks are most susceptible in areas in which specific ports in an organization’s firewall must open to permit transmission of voice data packets, in which there are IP PBXs, and in which gateway technologies are employed.

Due to the fact that a network’s firewalls must be opened at certain ports to allow transmission of VoIP data, prudent security measures to compensate for this occurrence include the encryption of the entire computer network, which will enable VoIP transmissions to be encrypted as well. The encryption of internal VoIP traffic should significantly reduce insider attacks, while it is useful to separate and isolate voice traffic onto a virtual LAN and run the encrypted VoIP traffic over a virtual private network for external communication. Other effective means of compensating for open ports is to turn off VoIP protocols that aren’t currently being used by the network to seal those points of entry.

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How Safe is Hosted VoIP?

In many respects, hosted VoIP service can rightfully be considered safer than that of the on-premise variety, for the simple fact that proper vigilance of a VoIP system requires continuous monitoring which an outsourced vendor should ideally have the resources, equipment and personnel to do. The crux of this premise, however, lies in determining that such a service provider is adequately prepared (and willing to indicate so) to deal with the myriad threats which hosted VoIP is vulnerable to. Additionally, there are other security measures users of hosted VoIP can employ to assist in ensuring the safety of their networks.

As the procuring and employment of security sufficient to effectively monitor VoIP service from external and internal threats can be expensive, it is frequently to the user’s advantage to simply pay for this service as part of its monthly fee for utilizing hosted VoIP. However, it then becomes prudent to determine that the vendor selected has the tools and the wherewithal to adequately protect the interests of its customers from security violations.

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Maximize ROI with Polycom Unified Communication

Businesses continue to invest in advanced communications technologies in an effort to improve collaboration and efficiency. With all of the spending, though, companies continue to accrue high traveling expenses and costs. At the same time, the efficiency and productivity of employees stagnates. The value of the investment in the communications technologies is not being realized.

Polycom, through a partnership with Microsoft, has seen the problem described above and worked to provide a solution for it. In the words of both companies, they have worked to “offer customers an end-to-end, fully interoperable unified communications (UC) solution that combines presence-based, real-time instant messaging (IM), voice, video, and data to immediately lower business costs, improve productivity, and achieve a faster return on investment (ROI).” In this article, we’ll examine the steps taken and how this ROI can be realized.

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Is Mobile VoIP Taking Over?

Mobile VoIP is a popular technology that allows people to use their mobile phones to make and receive phone calls over the internet. It tends to be much cheaper than standard phone service, and provides access to many useful features that normally cost extra. This had led many people to wonder if mobile VoIP is taking over the phone market.

Many of the large phone companies seem to think so. AT&T is now pushing VoIP on feature phones and smart phones. Verizon Wireless has also formed a partnership with Skype to integrate the voice technology into many different smart phones and a wide range of headsets.

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What Type of VoIP Codec Do I Need?

A VoIP codec is a complex algorithm that translates an analog voice signal into a digital version. They tend to have different bandwidth and computational requirements, and some of them require royalty payments. It’s therefore a good idea to take the time to look at different VoIP codecs and determine which one you need.

Broadvoice Codec – This VoIP codec is 16Kbps narrowband and 32Kbps wideband. It has extremely low latency (the algorithmic buffering delay is just 5ms). It is also royalty free and available through an open source license.

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What is VoIP Codec?

VoIP codecs are algorithms that perform the essential functions of VoIP—converting voice data into digital signals that are reconverted into voice data again at their destination to allow for telephone conversations. Codec is a hybrid of the words “coder” and “decoder”; these algorithms perform other functions endemic to the transporting of digital data including compression and packet switching. There is a wide variety of codecs that VoIP telephony utilizes, some of which are more commonly used than others.

Codecs perform the process of converting audio data into digital data by sampling the initial audio signal at rates of several thousand times per second. Each sample is then converted into digital data, which is compressed before traveling through bandwidth to the receiver on the other end. The reassembly of the digital data into audio includes minute particles that are missing due to the conversion process, but which are typically too small for users (who only hear continuous audio) to detect. The conversion process is called encoding; the process by which digital signals are reconfigured into audio is known as decoding.

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Small Business VoIP Q&A

Small businesses that are looking to purchase a new phone system often consider switching to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This article will answer some of the most common questions about the popular phone service.

The primary benefit of VoIP is the amount of money saved. You can make domestic phone calls for free, as long you have access to a high-speed internet connection. You can also make international phone calls at very low rates through VoIP (and sometimes at no charge). Furthermore, VoIP provides access to a wide variety of phone features that you normally have to pay a great deal of money to obtain.

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How To Choose Between VoIP Providers

VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a relatively new addition to the telecommunication industry. With the right hardware/software configuration, you can easily make a local or long distance call over your high-speed connection at little-to-no cost. As a VoIP customer, your biggest benefit is cost savings because you can make phone calls over the Internet. If you are accustomed to using traditional phone lines, you’ll be surprised how much money you can save.

Since VoIP service providers play such an important role when it comes to saving money, it’s important to do some research in order to find the best one. Since there are so many new providers available on the market, it pays to take your time to carefully choose the one you want. The following are some of the points to consider before choosing a VoIP provider.

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Significant Increases in Government IT Spending

With the technological advances made in the private sector, and the changes for most US citizens in daily life because of them, there has been a marked upswing of government Information Technology (IT) spending in the last several years in particular. What has followed our reliance on technology in everyday life seems to have created a change in our collective expectations of the capabilities and everyday functionality of our government.

With this change, of course, comes an increase in government IT spending both to implement new systems and solutions, and to maintain these ideals going forward. According to comparebusinessphones.com, a buying resource for the business systems industry, government interest in business phone systems in particular has risen more than 1.3% over the last two years. This increase in research and implementation of business-class IT assets seems to have been set in motion in early 2009 and shows no signs of slowing down.

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Investment Protection for VoIP?

VoIP telephony and service has rendered many concerns of previously existing telephone systems, such as closed standards, costly system overhauls, and incompatibility with existing technology, virtually obsolete.

“These are highly valid considerations, and quite frankly, they’re the result of two things—the opaque business practices prevalent in the bad old days of monolithic telcos, and the non-standard technology of the powerful ‘legacy’ tech vendors of yesteryear,” said Rob Lith, director of Connection Telecom.

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Hottest New Emerging VoIP Vendors

The advancement of VoIP technology has transformed the way the global economy does business. With its multifunctional applications and relatively low maintenance issues, VoIP has become an essential tool for businesses. There are many new and emerging VoIP vendors, and this article will describe some of the most popular. If you are looking to add VoIP services to your company’s telecommunications arsenal, keep these vendors in mind (http://voip.about.com/od/servicesandsolutions/tp/Top5Providers.htm).

VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” and this technology needs only a single Internet connection in order to function. A VoIP system can handle multiple communication operations like voice calls, video chatting, emails, and faxes. These voice and data files are transmitted across the single Internet connection. VoIP has become popular because it is easy to use and set up, it is highly adaptable, and it is capable of multifunctional operations.

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China Battles with VoIP Legality

Skype has quickly spread from North America to the rest of the world. The phone technology provides a means for travelers to keep in touch with their families and coworkers over the internet. The People’s Republic of China, however, has begun to crack down on the IP-based phone service.

On December 30, 2010, China’s Ministry of Information and Industry Technology sent out an official ruling that declared the state-owned China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom were the only organizations allowed to provide the phone service. All other use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone service in the country is thus now considered illegal.

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Small Business Phone Price Quote Comparison

As a small business increases its scope, telecommunications coverage is usually one of the first areas needing expansion. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to weed through the many services and tools available. That’s why requesting price quotes can help you in sifting out any unwanted or irrelevant options while also showing you those that match what you’re looking for.

Whether it’s mobile-to-mobile video capability, instant messaging service, or simply basic email and voice tools, the options for staying connected in the workplace today are diverse and plentiful. All serve one goal, however, and that’s helping you and your employees get the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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Expert Insights for Phone System Buyers

So you've decided to buy a phone system for your office—good, you're going to need to call people eventually. Buying a phone system is like buying a corsage for your prom date, it shouldn't be too big or too small. You should also heed the following advice gathered from experts in the business with decades of experience in business phone systems.

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Phone System Cost Per User Comparison

If you’re shopping for phone systems, you need to be able to comprehensively compare systems side by side in order to get an idea as to what you’re getting and how much you’re paying for it. An overall cost of a system might not give a clear indication as to the actual costs. An easier way to do this is to break the cost down into a per user comparison.

The range of cost per user can vary greatly when looking at phone systems. You can see prices as low as $6.50 per user, and as high as $100 per user. We’ll compare some different vendors here, looking at those on the low side as well as the high side, and talk about some of the feature differences each has.

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Phone System Resellers with Competitive Pricing

Do you need a new phone system for your business? Before you run out and buy a top of the line product from a well-known vendor, take a few minutes to look at your options. Resellers often have partnered with the vendor you’re looking at, offers the same products, and can do so at a more attractive price point than the vendor.

Buying a phone system from a local reseller is often the best choice for most businesses. Certified resellers are licensed, have proven expertise, and have manufacturer support available to them. Because they are local, they can respond more quickly to urgent issues that require a site visit. Note: many national resellers have local offices, so if you’re more comfortable going with a “name” reseller, you’ll be able to find one.

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Easy and Affordable Small Business Phone Systems

For the new business just getting started, choosing and installing a phone system is a priority. Choosing a system that is easy to install and use is also a priority, because it directly impacts productivity and profitability. The following systems are designed for ease of installation and keeping costs down.


For either analog or VoIP capability, Talkswitch offers an affordable and easy to use system. Depending on how many extensions you need, you can start with as few as 16 and go up to 64 phones for each system. These systems are also able to handle either traditional analog phones or newer IP phones, making the transition to VoIP easier for organizations that have not fully embraced that standard yet.

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