VoIP Supply has been a leading provider of VoIP hardware and services for over 16 years. Serving more than 125,000 customers worldwide, we are dedicated to delivering comprehensive and valuable VoIP solutions.

When talking about VoIP Supply, you may think of VoIP Supply as an efficient website where you place your VoIP orders; however, that is just a fraction of what the VoIP Supply team has to offer! We are more than just a website supplying you with all things VoIP, we are here to help you grow your business.  

VoIP Supply is More Than Just a Website for VoIP

 

  • VoIP Experts: We have the most experienced VoIP experts in the industry and the access to over 150 years of combined in-house VoIP experience. Take advantage of the free consultations with our VoIP experts at your convenience regarding your VoIP hardware and service needs.  

  • Reseller Partner Program: VoIP Supply’s Reseller Partner Program is a window where you can resell VoIP hardware and service through VoIP Supply with all the support you need. As a partner with VoIP Supply you’ll benefit from exclusive educational materials, top consultants in the industry, better margins, massive inventory with same day shipping and much more!
  • Fulfillment Service: By taking advantage of the services that we have to offer and the expertise we have in-house, you are able to focus on your core business rather than trying to get pallets and boxes shipped in and out of your offices.

Being more than a website is what makes us the best VoIP provider for your business in the industry. Visit our website today or give us a call at 1-800-398-8647 to learn more about the services we provide and the whole team behind the website!

Are you new to VoIP industry? What exactly is VoIP and how does it work? We have collected four most common questions from VoIP beginners like you to help you get your foot in the door of the VoIP world!

4 Basic VoIP Questions for VoIP Beginners

  1. What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol”. An Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched network (home, office, the internet). Internet Protocols (IP) allow you to transmit data any interconnected networks.

  1. How does VoIP work?

Utilizing a combination of hardware, software, and voice protocols, your conversations are carried over the IP network to its intended destination.

A VoIP system converts the analog audio signals (your voice) into digital data that can be understood by the VoIP devices and transmitted over the Internet Protocol (IP) network to the other end of the call.

  1. What does VoIP do?

VoIP allows you to make phone calls over any interconnected network instead of using traditional analog PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) lines. Because the calls are generated through the Internet, VoIP system perceives long distance calls the same as local calls.

  1. Why VoIP Service?

VoIP service not just reduces your monthly phone bill, but also offers you the flexibility you need. Check out some popular phone features below that will enhance your customer experience and work efficiency.

  • Voicemail to email & voicemail to text – listen to the recording directly from your inbox
  • Web collaboration tools – easily turn any device into a conferencing unit and have a call anywhere
  • Advanced analytics – real-time analytics to analyze the patterns and make wise business decisions
  • Call me/ Follow me routing – directs calls that are coming in to your desk phone or mainline to somewhere else that will be more convenient for you

Learn more about VoIP

VoIP Supply is more than just a website, we provide the whole VoIP solution to help you build and grow your business communication systems.

VoIP Supply LogoPaula Griffo, President and CFO and Brian Hyrek of VoIP Supply and Gary Audin from Telecom Reseller recorded this podcast at the ITEXPO conference in Fort Lauderdale. Click to hear what they have to say about VoIP Supply’s products and services and our VoIP resources including VoIP Buyer’s Guides, the partner program, and more!

“For our Refresh line, we only accept grade A products and these products will go through our 10-step refresh process to ensure that every component works properly and firmware is updated, so we can deliver the best refurbished VoIP products. ” – Paula Griffo, President and CFO.  

Who is VoIP Supply?

Since 2002, VoIP Supply has delivered more than 125,000 customer shipments worldwide. They have passionate employees, 6,500 products and an unlimited number of VoIP solutions, whether you are a consumer, business, service provider, or reseller. VoIP Supply is a three-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree.

VoIP Supply is a team of talented, dedicated people who are passionate about IP technologies. We work together to deliver the best quality VoIP products and services.

VoIP Supply offers great pre- and post-sales support plus provisioning, consultations, configuration, and installation help. We get a lot of VoIP hardware and software questions and would like to share with all of you. In the previous Mom’s calling Q&A series, we have discussed: Are Revolabs Products Supported Through End Point Manager (EPM)? Today, we are going to address your audio quality issues.

Nothing more annoying than poor VoIP audio quality. Our tech support team came up with the top 5 simple ways to fix your audio quality issues. Let’s check them out:

6 Simple Ways to Fix Your VoIP Audio Quality Issues

#1 Firewall Ports – Make sure the firewall is not blocking ports, as mentioned above.

#2 Codec Settings – Make sure you are using the correct Codec settings. A lot of providers prefer you to use G.711Alaw. using the wrong codec on any port of the call can stop audio from working in a direction if the VoIP provider is not Transcoding between the codecs.

#3 Check LAN – Make sure you have no internal LAN problems like Loops or programs that send out high volumes of multi-cast packets.

#4 Check Bandwidth – Make sure that on both your LAN and WAN/ISP you have enough bandwidth to suit the codec’s you are using for SIP/VoIP. As a rule, G.711Alaw uses 87.2kbps(8.7KBps). Also, make sure you have no users on the network using Bit torrent clients for seeding and downloading

#5 Check Broadband –  Check the Bandwidth you have available from your ISP to make sure you can make calls with a guaranteed bandwidth amount. As a rule, you want a minimum of 2Mb down, and 2Mb up.

#6 Check For Packet Loss – run a packet loss trace using either MTR (Linux) or WinMTR (Windows) to both your ISPs DNS Servers AND the VoIP providers servers you are connecting to, if you see any lost packets, then you know that your calls are going to have words and bits missing, and you will be either asking to repeat stuff or be asked to  repeat stuff.

Don’t forget to register for our QoS webinar to learn more about Quality of Service!


STAY TUNED

Come back for more VoIP questions and answers next time! If you have VoIP questions to ask us, please submit a technical support ticket or contact our VoIP experts today at (866) 582-8591!

Note: This is a guest post from Mark Dacanay.

Now that more and more businesses are moving towards the cloud, it would really be helpful to learn about all the equipment you can use to maximize its potential. One of the Cloud’s practical applications for business is communications. Businesses can use the Internet as a communication medium for voice and video calling, text messaging, and online faxing. Voice over IP or VoIP is the Internet protocol that makes voice and video calling possible via the web, using connected devices like computers and mobile devices.

Aside from PCs and smartphones, there is still other hardware that you need to know, in order to make the most out of VoIP for your business. Here are a few of them to get you started:

 

VoIP Routers

A router is a network hardware that allows your local network, including your computers and other devices, to communicate with the Internet. This is an important VoIP hardware because it is your network’s first line of defense. This keeps your local network safe, including your communications system, which is vital to the success of your business.

VoIP routers are really useful for companies with multiple office spaces sharing the same network. Aside from the added security from hacking and information leak, having multiple VoIP routers distribute the user load, especially when your business revolves around calling and contacting clients, or getting calls from customers throughout the day.

 

Telephone Handsets

Perhaps the VoIP hardware that we’re most familiar with is the telephone handset. These are the ones that we are likely to end up using, as it likely retains the same features as that of the common telephone. VoIP-enabled telephones allow us to make and receive calls, only this time, through the Internet. Currently, you can opt between using IP phones (intended for VoIP use) or your traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) handsets. The advantage of using IP phones is their plug-and-play compatibility, wherein right off the bat, you can use it to make and receive calls. There’s no need for conversions or other long-winded processes to be able to use your regular home phones as an IP phone.

Aside from your typical wired handset, you can also use a wireless IP phone for added mobility and flexibility while you use it on your network. By integrating a Wi-Fi adapter on a cordless, battery-powered handset, you will be able to connect to your network and take calls as you would in a regular phone. Only this time, you can move around and go from room to room because you’re not tethered to your desk by a wire.

While there may be other ways to use VoIP (like PC-to-PC VoIP, mobile device calling, etc.,) nothing beats the experience of lifting a phone to your ear to make and receive a call, even if it uses an Internet connection. This is why having telephone handsets as part of a modern network is a practice that will never get old.

 

Analog Telephone Adapters or ATA

Grandstream HT802 ATASpeaking of using your old PSTN handsets for VoIP, there’s one important device that you can get in order to do so. Analog Telephone Adapters or ATAs acts as a hardware interface between your regular, wired PSTN phones and your digital VoIP line. This is particularly helpful if you have a lot of PSTN phones, maybe from your old, onsite telephone system. This will save you a lot of money from buying new VoIP handsets, which are fairly more expensive because of all the new tech that goes with them. If you are using PC to PC VoIP, you don’t need an ATA. However, if you plan on using your home or office with existing analog phones, such an adapter is a must.

 

Computers and Mobile Devices

Nowadays, VoIP is mainly done through computers and mobile devices. The ease of use, plus the proximity to these devices have replaced the need for a wired handset on your desk. Using your mobile devices and computers to make and receive VoIP calls gives your employees more flexibility. They’re not tied down to a desk, meaning, they could be doing something else (more work!) while taking a call. Computers usually have a software installed so that you can have the full functionality of a handset, all in your computer. All you need is to connect another piece of hardware, a headset, on your computer and you’re good to go.

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets were built with mobility in mind. This is why these devices are fully suited for office use when paired with VoIP. Imagine being able to reach your employees no matter where they are, as long as they’re connected to your network. Other features could be integrated, like having a  business application that not only enables VoIP calling, but also integrates other productivity features like team messaging and collaboration, tasking, and more.

With a bit of a background in VoIP hardware, you will now have an idea what to get for your company’s network and communications system. You don’t have to get everything listed above, just choose the ones that fit your needs and your current communications setup.

Have questions about anything that was covered in this post? Read out to one of our VoIP experts by calling 800-398-8647 or contacting us by email voipexperts@voipsupply.com!

Mark Dacanay is a Digital Marketing Professional who has been working with a B2B company offering cloud-based services for more than 5 years. He is obsessed with anything about the cloud – the technology, not the fluffy stuff in the sky. You can reach him through Twitter and LinkedIn.

5-common-voip-questions

As consumers, users, hobbyists, and VoIP professionals, you have a lot of questions, and we’d love to answer them all. But, we can’t answer them all. At least not all at once. So to get started, the marketing department sent me a list of regularly searched questions that have to do with VoIP that I can answer.

Are VoIP calls traceable?

Yes. They are very traceable if the call has to traverse the internet, or the public switched telephone network at some point in its journey. You can’t do anything on the Internet without some sort of digital trail being left behind.

Sure, you can surf with what’s no being called a “VPN”, which is just a way of securely proxying your traffic to someone else’s server, but whoever operates that server has a record of all of that traffic. And, who knows how secure their infrastructure is, and to whom they share it with. Carriers collect call data not only for the “greater good”, but also for improving service quality, monitoring, and it helps to troubleshoot issues that arise in the world of hurling packets and multiplexed signals across the world. If you want to be untraceable, you can attempt to use a “security through obscurity” method, but that’s not ever what a professional does, and is really just an indicator of nefarious activity.

Frankly, if you’re wondering about traceability, you’re missing the point. What you want is encryption. If you want to have a secure conversation, do this:

Do it in person, where no one is around, or use SRTP and TLS with your own generated certificates. This should preferably be across an actual VPN too. Despite its name, OpenVPN might be your best bet. It’s still totally traceable in terms of a source and destination, but your media (audio) is encrypted, which is really the important thing.

Where do VoIP packets originate?

VoIP can use all kinds of different protocols, but SIP is the current golden standard when it comes to setting up a call between two phones. In basic terms, the caller, sends an INVITE to the callee, to which sends back a 200 OK. Then, the caller sends an ACK to finish the three-way handshake of SIP.

Once the SIP handshake is complete, then the media (RTP) can flow between the caller and callee.

When the call is completed, the end hanging up will send a BYE to signal the other side that the call is over. The media then stops flowing, and the call is “torn down”.

Why is VoIP better than the PSTN?

There’s a great number of reasons, but the truth is, the PSTN is almost always involved when routing a call to a cell phone, or traditional land-line. The beauty of VoIP is most apparent when you make a call to a cell phone, or traditional land-line. The beauty of VoIP is most apparent when you make a call to another phone on the same network that may be in a different geographic location.

For example, you take your VoIP phone with you on a trip to Singapore but need to call colleagues in New Orleans. As long as you have access to a network in Singapore that allows a VPN connection outbound, you can connect your phone (VPN enabled phones) back to the office in New Orleans and dial an extension, bypassing any international toll charges.

It’s worth nothing that this can be done without a VPN, but I’d caution anyone using a “foreign” network with any unencrypted traffic.

When will VoIP take over?

It already has. Did Verizon sell you a home phone with your FIOS? That’s VoIP. Did you just have a T1 installed at your place of work? That’s probably VoIP.

Companies like Verizon, Spectrum, and AT&T will install devices that translate SIP to a legacy interface like an FXS, or T1/PRI port. It’s called a SIP gateway. This allows you to use an analog phone or the T1 port on your PBX.

It’s a lot less expensive for carriers to utilize fiber optic networks to route IP traffic than to use the aging copper telephone infrastructure. It’s still in use but is quickly being phased out. VoIP isn’t just the way of the future, it’s already here.

How is VoIP routed?

In terms of leaving your phone system; a true VoIP call is routed with the rest of your Internet traffic. It’s no different than packets for email or web.

What’s important about VoIP in particular, and more specifically the audio portion of VoIP, is that it’s very time sensitive. You may not notice if a website takes an extra second or two or load, but that type of latency in a conversation is very noticeable and could make a conversation unintelligible.

In terms of inside your PBX, it uses a dial plan. A dial plan is a set of conditional rules that route the call to perhaps an extension, ring group, call queue, or auto attendant. Calls are routed by the dial plan by using parameters like the number that’s dialed, a specific caller ID, the time of day, or using skills based routing for example. Skills based routing occurs in a call queue that gives a certain priority to queue agents and may send more calls their way. In most Asterisk based phone systems, the dial plan is highly modifiable making the system almost infinitely configurable.

iotThe world is more connected than ever before.

We can literally catch all the activities out there without stepping out of our houses. A click on the screen, you share a post or document to thousands of others all over the world. Even my family from the other end of the earth is just a few finger swipes away on my smartphone.

That’s the power of the Internet of Things – a new concept of connecting not just humans, but the “things” surrounding us through the Internet.
 

What is IoT?


IoT stands for “Internet of Things”. As the name states itself, the Internet of Things is a system that provides a seamless connection of all the devices on the Internet so they can communicate from one to another.

“The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” – from Google Dictionary

 

Why Do I Care About IoT?


When everything is connected, there’s a huge potential for businesses, or you could say, a huge challenge for businesses who are left out.

Voice over IP is at the core of IoT. VoIP has changed the way we work, communicate, and interact with each other. A unified communication system allows you to communicate anywhere anytime in your preferred form such as Voice Call, Video Conferencing, Instant Message (IM), or Email.

That’s where your business can take advantage of not just for your customers, but also for your employees. Managing remote workers becomes a breeze when you can monitor activities in the advanced analytics report; keeping in touch with your customers is no longer a tough task when their purchase or interest reports are just a few clicks away.
 

The Future of IoT


baby-monitorIoT continues to grow. Today, we have baby breathing/rollover monitors that get signals through a child’s clothing and send alerts to your smartphone. A smart Wi-Fi-enabled pitcher that tracks the amount of water that passes through the filter and automatically orders a new filter for you online.

What do you think we will have tomorrow? A smart plate that gives you a nutrition report before you start eating? Or a refrigerator that sends you a shopping list of what you need to pick up on your way home today? You will also love some of these cool IoT technologies, check it out!

mobile-phone-1875813_1920VoIP security is a hot topic, and rightfully so. A compromised system can cost you $$$ in phone bills, so how do you prevent a breach? Well, the answer isn’t as complicated as you’d expect. There are a lot of opinions floating around on the subject, so let me address some truths and falsehoods that may be of importance when securing your VoIP system.

 

Fiction: You NEED a session border controller (SBC)

If you are a small business or are installing a VoIP system in your home, there is no need for an SBC. An SBC is a great device (or virtual appliance) because it masquerades your internal VoIP infrastructure. In basic terms, a SIP trunk from a provider terminates to the SBC, which then connects to your phone system via a SIP trunk.  The SBC acts as the middleman in the transaction. To an outsider, SIP header information sources from the SBC and not your internal equipment. Although an SBC is a great extra layer of security and reduces overall attack vectors, it’s not required to make VoIP reliably secure for the majority of small deployments. Terminating a SIP trunk directly to your phone system behind a hardware-based or virtual firewall provides the security that would be deemed required to keep you incurring fraudulent toll charges.

 

Fact: You NEED a firewall

On the same topic as above, if you are going to be using SIP trunks to talk to the outside world, you’ll need a hardware or virtual firewall appliance to secure what is allowed in and out. In addition to the basics of protecting SSH, Telnet, and HTTP/HTTPS access to your phone system, you should always restrict what IP addresses can communicate directly to the phone system when it comes to SIP, and IAX (if you use it). What that means is only allowing IP addresses from your SIP provider, any remote extensions, or remote branches. Never ever expose your system directly to the internet without some type of firewall in front of it.

 

Fiction: Remote extensions MUST use a VPN

This is not true but isn’t a bad idea. A VPN will allow you to bypass NAT, which is the culprit in most one-way audio issues. The trick here is to tell the phone system all of the local IP subnets that it will be talking SIP. You’ll find this to be configurable on just about every Asterisk based phone system. A VPN also allows you to encrypt your session if you’re worried about the NSA listening in. An alternative would be using TLS and SRTP without a VPN, but you’ll just lose the benefit of avoiding NAT. The best way to securely deploy remote extensions is to use either a VPN or TLS. If you’re not using a VPN, make sure to define your inside IP subnets (as mentioned before), as well as your external IP address. These are all also configurable on just about any Asterisk system. Make sure you port forward SIP and RTP in your firewall to your phone system and secure your inbound rules by source IP addresses. Every system is a little different, but most Asterisk systems use 5060 UDP (SIP), and 10000-20000 UDP (RTP).

 

Fact: VoIP is NOT set it and forget it technology

If you’re going to take on the task of managing an IP phone system in your IT infrastructure, you need to adopt the mindset of monitoring it. Especially if you have port 5060 open to the outside world, you need to be logging and enabling alerts. In the past, phone systems have been bolted to a wall in a closet that no one ever went into except the PBX vendor. Now your system is racked next to your switches and servers. For those of you who are FreePBX users, Sangoma has just started to release their RMS platform, which simplifies centralized remote monitoring of multiple FreePBX and PBXAct systems. Stay tuned for a review on this!

 

Fiction: Not using port forwarding makes your phone system more secure

This isn’t actually a common belief, but it comes from a post I recently read on Spiceworks. It was claimed that a system has been made more secure by not forwarding port 5060 UDP from the firewall to the actual PBX. If this configuration was actually working, it was a minor miracle. The fact is there are usually two components of sending SIP traffic through your firewall. There is a firewall rule, allowing the traffic, and a fixed NAT association with the protocol and a device within your network. As long as you’ve made appropriate rules allowing SIP to your system, the port forwarding is simply a mechanism to help keep consistent NAT associations. In general, SIP and NAT do not play well with each other. Pro TIP: when you experience one-way audio, always look at NAT first.

 

Fact: You do not need to restrict RTP traffic to specific source IP addresses

I bet you never thought of this one. If you have, bonus points. While you should ALWAYS restrict SIP traffic by source IP address, it’s not necessary to do so with RTP. RTP is simply a media stream and doesn’t have the capability of initiating a SIP session, or any kind of session. Dare I say, you can leave the RTP port range open on your firewall. However, it doesn’t really hurt anything to place a source IP restriction on it.

Digium kicked off the opening of ITEXPO with the release of the D80 IP Phone, an HD touchscreen desk phone for businesses who are looking for a high-quality phone at an affordable price. Yes, you heard it right, the words quality and affordable in the same sentence isn’t that amazing!

digium-d80-touchscreen-ip-phoneThe D80 features a 7-inch HD display with multi-point capacitive touchscreen, 100 rapid dial/busy lamp field (BLF) entries, dual 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit network ports and advanced touch-optimized applications. This model is perfect for users who want an easy-to-use interface with the highest level of quality.

Digium phones support plug-and-play provisioning. Simply plug the phones in, automatically discover your Asterisk or Switchvox server, select the user, and start talking!

Features

  • 7-inch, High Definition (HD), 800 x 1280 pixel backlit color LCD display
  • Multi-Point capacitive touch-screen display
  • 1-line appearance
  • 20 on-screen Rapid Dial / BLF keys, scrollable to 100
  • Feature and context-sensitive functions
  • Headset, speaker and mute functions
  • 2-color LED Message Waiting Indicator
  • Volume control
  • 2P2C handset jack
  • Electronic Hookswitch port
  • Wireless Headset support (coming soon)
  • 2 switched 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet ports
  • 802.3at/af Power over Ethernet
  • 5-volt DC power port

The D80 IP Phone comes with a one year warranty and the minimum software requirements are Switchvox 6.3.5 and DPMA 3.4. The D80 touchscreen IP phone will be available beginning in March 2017, for $329 USD.

Workdays can get pretty overwhelming at times, so if there is any help we can get to ease some of the stress that comes with a 40 plus hour work week, we’ll take it!

Help can come from anywhere around the office, whether it’s from a coworker, a certain computer program, or even something as simple as a stack of sticky notes. But, what if I told you that you may have some shortcuts laying around your desk that you are overlooking?

In fact, there may be one shortcut inside your phone that can speed up the dialing process. It may seem small, but if your job requires you to make numerous outcalls, then you might want to want to take advantage.

grandstream-gxp1760The phone feature that I am talking about is called Predictive Dialing, and while this may be quite common for most IP desk phones, you can be sure that the Grandstream GXP1760 is equipped with this feature.

So, how does Predictive Dialing work? Its simple. It works on its own! There is nothing you have to do to turn it on, but if you tend to dial numbers off your computer screen, or a notepad, then you may be missing it!

When you begin to dial a number, the phone will scan your phonebook and call history and display a list of phone numbers that match what you have already dialed. If you notice the number you are trying to dial pop up, then you can use the directional pad on the front of the phone to highlight the number and call.

Obviously, the more numbers you enter into the phone, the more condensed the list will become. This makes it easier to return calls from earlier in the day, to contact clients that are in your phonebook and saves you time!

If your office is just beginning to switch to VoIP, or if you are looking to upgrade your current VoIP Phones, then this phone should be on your list! Because when your phone works with you, and not against you, everybody wins!

Do you use Predictive Dialing? What are some other phone features you use to save time? We want to know! Comment below