Originally, VOIP phones did not work over WIFI, but in recent years many VOIP phones have been configured to support a WIFI connection.
Many newer phones come with a USB input that that can receive a WIFI USB Adapter. This wifi adapter connects wireless to your router. So instead of using a cat 5 cable to access the internet, your phone will connect to your router by using the added USB adapter.
What’s the advantage of using a WIFI VOIP phone?
There are huge advantages to using a WIFI phone over the traditional wireline method. With using WIFI you have a great advantage as
far as flexibility. With WIFI you can basically place your phone anywhere within range of the router or access point as oppose to being restricted to a desk because of the data cable. It’s also a great cost advantage. With a wireline phone there usually more components that came with the setup.
Typically, there will be a network switch, patch panel, and wire drops, and depending on the size of the business initial money can add up quickly. A large corporation can easily rack up thousands of dollar with a VOIP installation. Now on the other end with WIFI phones, you don’t need a network switch, you wont have to install a patch panel, and you wont have to drop cables in different locations. The only items that you will need for setup is a router and a few access points depending on the size of the corporation. This can save businesses loads of money in the short and long run.
WiFi phones can be a great advantage for people who work from home as well. If you use a traditional VOIP phone at home, chances are you will have to stay close to your router because that’s where the Ethernet slots are located. This will make your work location more restricted because you have to stay near the router at all times. Now the question that comes up is, can’t I just use a wireless headset in the house. Well, yes you can, but a headset is just a headset. You can’t see a callerid, transfer a call, or see BLF statuses with a headset. Now with a WiFi VOIP phone you can position it anywhere in your house that receives a good WiFi signal. This is great if your office is far away from the router. With the times we are living in many people are working from home, so we expect to see an increase in home VOIP phones.
What are the disadvantages of using a WiFi VOIP Phone
Although few, there are disadvantages of using WiFi VOIP phone. One common disadvantage that overlooked is EMI (Electromagnetic interference). EMI happens when device noise cause interference between two antennas. This cause breaks and loss between data transfer.
Below are a few products that can cause EMI:
- Doorbell transmitters,
- Vacuum cleaners
- Ac units
- Pencil sharpeners
- Power lines
If you are experiencing choppy voice or if your phone is not working, then try turning off turning off other devices or changing the phone to a new location.
Many newer appliances come with EMI sheilding which protects the device from getting caught in an EMI crossfire, but sometimes you still may experience a little interference
WIFI RANGE: Another issue with using WiFi VOIP phones is range issues. Everyone knows that WiFi signals can be diminished quite harshly when multiple walls are involved. If you have a medium to large size house, then you could very well fall victim to range issues. If your phone is out of range, it will have suffer from packet loss, jitter, or latency. This will most likely make your phone unusable. But don’t worry, this can be easily fix if you
purchase multiple extenders for home use and access points for the workplace. Here’s a great home extender on amazon that with great reviews.
Can VOIP phones work over WiFi in a work environment
This is a good question because in a work environment you have to factor in load and space, how many people will be using the WiFi and how to space them out. Generally speaking, when you have VOIP phones included with the regular internet, you’re going to want to separate the bandwidth.
This can accomplished by creating a V-lan in your router. The V-Lan will allow a separate bandwidth flow just for the VOIP phones. This is good practice for network organization and bandwidth allocation. This also makes it easier to set up Qos ( Quality of Service). With VOIP phones you want to make sure the get the highest priority when it comes to distributing bandwidth. Therefore implementing Qos is very important in a workplace environments.
Having multiple WLANS. The great thing about installing access points is the ability to create multiple WLAN (SSID) or in other words different network names.This ensures that other WiFi users are not connecting to the same network as your phones. For example, anybody who wants to connect their computer to the WiFi can use a network name called General office; where as if anyone wants to Connect their WiFi phone to the network then they would use a different name name called Phones. With access points there is some QOS as well. You can limit the bandwidth of specific WLANs giving more network priority to the other.
Regommeded Access points
Here are a few good access points on the market
Types of VOIP phones that can be used with WIFI
- Yealink T41S- T48S (will need a USB WiFi Adapter)
- Polycom VVX410- 610 (will need a USB attachment)
- V-Tech ( This phone works similar to a cordless phone. The base is connected via wired to an ethernet slot and the rest of of the phones can be placed with in range of the base. ( Range extenders can also be used to extend range.) This V-Tech phone works great for restaurants.
How to Troubleshoot a VOIP Phone over WIFI
If you find yourself having issues with your VOIP phone such as choppy voice, voice going in and out, one way audio, or no audio at all. The first thing to check is to make sure you’re in good range of the router. Many routers can go up to 160ft without many obstruction in the way. If you think the phone is out of range, then move it to another location and try again. If you can’t move the phone to a different location and are sure its a range issue, then you can invest in a simple repeater or mesh range extenders ()
The next step to troubleshooting your WIFI phone is to make sure your internet speed is up to par. Nowadays, the average internet speed that ISPs offer is around 80mbps. That’s more than enough to run a few VOIP phones, but what happens when you