Businesses commonly believe that VoIP technology requires a handsome upfront investment to service, set-up, and secure. While there are ways to wrack-up the bill, transitioning to VoIP does not need to cost your business a fortune. In fact, businesses can even reuse much of the same equipment, leaving their current networks intact and their phones in place. Month-to-month, they can reinvest their savings, replacing equipment along the way. Should you choose this approach, grab an Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) to get started.
What Are Analogue Telephone Adapters?
An ATA builds a bridge between a PSTN phone system and a digital network. It acts a simple hardware interface – small in size and price – that allows users to either merge their digital and analogue services or connect a traditional phone to an online network.
A typical ATA comes with two ports – one RJ-45 (LAN) and one RJ-11 (telephone plug). Some models provide additional ports for multiple device plugins or direct computer communication (USB), though the latter option requires a softphone. Essentially, regardless the number of ports, the more protocols an ATA supports, the more compatible it will be with any existing environment. Basic ATAs support SIP and H.323 in the very least.
Analogue Telephone Adapter Features and Benefits
With an ATA, businesses can access the best of both VoIP and the PSTN. This is because most ATAs allow call switching, among many other standard features like Caller ID and Call Forwarding. Depending on the model, sophisticated ATAs will even switch to landline service during a power outage, ensuring maximum system uptime.
As mentioned above, ATAs are usually less expensive than IP devices and are relatively compatible with most other hardware. In fact, office spaces that still use fax machines may find ATAs most desirable as they can run all traditional equipment through one interface. And like most other IP devices, once configured, an ATA allows users to place calls without booting up the computer.
To ensure all of the aforesaid features and benefits, research the marketplace before making a purchase. Some providers may recommend or provide ATA devices, though these often come service locked. As a good place to start your research, check out these two websites – About and VoIP Supply – for particular information on various brands and models.