VoIP gateways have steadily grown in popularity over the last six months. As businesses have been scrambling to reduce costs and stretch budgets, VoIP gateways have emerged as a low cost way to leverage VoIP using existing infrastructure.
Unfortunately, purchasing the right VoIP gateway isn’t always that easy, especially for small medium business owners and staff who probably have a million things on their mind. In fact if you don’t know what to look for in a VoIP gateway you will lose time and money – something no one can afford in these times.
Luckily, you can make the VoIP gateway purchasing process much smoother by understand the four keys to a successful VoIP gateway purchase.
- Know your FXS and FXO. The most common, but oft overlooked aspect of purchasing a VoIP gateway is knowing which port configurations you need – that means understanding FXS (Foreign eXchange Station) and FXO (Foreign eXchange Office). FXS VoIP gateways are used for connecting telephones to a VoIP phone system and PBX systems to a VoIP service. FXO VoIP gateways are primarily used to connect VoIP phone systems to the PSTN.
- Check your network. Since your VoIP gateway will be connected to your network and your VoIP service will be riding across your network, you’ll want to make sure that it can handle the increase in traffic. You don’t want to experience packet loss that will result in call degradation.
- Ensure you’re compatible. Most of today’s VoIP gateways support the most widely used voice codecs and VoIP protocols, but since you’re likely using a VoIP gateway to VoIP enable an existing PBX system, you’ll want to triple check. In addition you’ll want to consult your VoIP service provider to ensure their service is compatible with your gateway.
- Configuring, installing and supporting your gateway. On the surface VoIP gateways seem like an easy piece of equipment to deal with. But for most, configuring, installing and supporting a VoIP gateway can become a nightmare. So before you purchase your VoIP gateway, consult your supplier to ensure they can do this for you (if needed).
It should go without saying that budget should also be a consideration, so consider that another key (free of charge). VoIP gateways range in price starting around $199 to up over $3,000, depending on the configuration.
As with most VoIP equipment, you get what you pay for with a VoIP gateway. That means make sure your budget is reasonable such that you can afford a quality brand and model like AudioCodes or Quintum.
Looking for a VoIP gateway? I can help! Contact me to find out how I can help you purchase the right VoIP gateway (and I’ll do it for FREE).