To get the best balance of cost savings and quality, you really need to invest in some hardware. You will need an ATA and a Router. It is assumed that you aready have broadband. What type of ATA you purchase really depends on your situation.
- If you don’t have a router, then consider buying a combined Router/ATA such as the WRT54GP2.
- If you are not technically inclined, consider buying an Engin Voice Box. The benefit of this is that Engin manages the ATA remotely, and you cannot change any settings yourself – so you can’t muck it up. If your not a techo, then this is a great option for you.
- If you are technically inclinded or want to learn, then there are lots of options out there. The Sipura SPA-2000 and SPA-3000 are very popular.
How an ATA works
An Analogue Telephone Adaptor (ATA) is a self contained computer device that as its name suggests, converts a voice signal from an analogue telephone (ie normal househould phone) into a digital signal that can be sent over the internet. When you configure your ATA to register with a VSP, the VSP can ‘see’ your ATA over the internet and hence calls can be sent to and from your ATA back to the VSP and then into the telephone network (if need be). You can therefore take your ATA and plug it into any internet connection anywhere in the world, and your VSP will still be able to route your calls to and from you. However you need to be aware that you would normally provide your home address to your VSP when you set up your account, particuarly if you have a Direct Inward Dialling Number