VoIP for Dummies: How to Set Up a VoIP System in 8 Steps
Step 1: The first step in setting up your VoIP system is to call your telephone service provider and ask about their plans for VoIP service. Do not forget to ask about any hidden fees and services that may be required by the company, as well as any extra equipment you may need to purchase in order to use their VoIP service plan. These details can save you money later, so be sure to cover all of your bases now!
Step 2: When you have decided which VoIP plan is right for you, it’s time to purchase the equipment necessary to make that plan work.
Step 1 – Buy the Right Phone
When you have decided on which VoIP provider to go with, you’ll need to purchase the hardware that will provide your voice services. Start by getting a reliable wireless router from companies like Linksys, Netgear, or TP-Link. This is especially important if you’ll be using your VoIP provider’s phone service on more than one device at once.
Step 2 – Test Your Lines
Plug one end of the phone cord into the LINE port on your home router. The other end of the cord should go into one of the LINE ports on your CO. Find two phones, plug them both into different outlets in your house and make sure they have dial tones by pressing buttons. Press #6 on one phone (to disable it), while pressing 7 on the other.
Step 3 – Check Your Jitter Rate
Jitter is the difference between what you want and what you get. Lower jitter rates are desirable because they generally translate into better voice quality. When your audio packets are coming in at 10 milliseconds apart, we can’t tell the difference. However, when there are 30 milliseconds between packets, we notice a distinct lack of clarity on the other end.
The bad news is that with VoIP, we’re almost always limited by internet bandwidth.
Step 4 – Assign Static IP Addresses
For this step, you’ll need a simple text editor such as Notepad. Copy and paste the following into the document and save it:
REM *** ASSIGN STATIC IP ADDRESSES *******
ipconfig /all > ip_addresses.txt
find Default Gateway \> ipv4_gateway
goto REM *** ASSIGN STATIC IP ADDRESSES *******
Step 5 – Install the SIP Trunk Software
- Once you have found the software that works best for your business, click download and install. This will take about 20 minutes on average.
- After it has installed, run the configuration wizard and make sure you set it up correctly as per your needs, if not please ask technical support from your IP Phone provider how to do this.
Step 6 – Configure Your Phones
Many VoIP providers will provide you with either soft or hard phone apps. The softphone is just what it sounds like- an app that can be installed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. It will look and feel the same as any other type of phone application. A hard phone is something you have to plug into your TV or monitor via HDMI or VGA cable.
Step 7 – Activate Call Forwarding
If you want the calls from your business phone system to go somewhere other than your personal cell or office number, you need call forwarding. The basic principle of call forwarding is that calls will ring on one phone even if the person picks up another line. You can also forward certain numbers (like your cell) at certain times of the day.
Step 8 – Run a Speed Test
Before you sign up with any service provider, find out if their internet connection will be fast enough for your VoIP system. Run a speed test from the same location where your phone will be located and run it at both peak and off-peak hours. If the results show that you won’t have sufficient bandwidth, consider looking into the price of upgrading your internet service.