Routers Are an Essential VoIP Component

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: June 22, 2011

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) requires several different components in order to properly function. You also need to obtain a downloadable software application or hardware unit to convert and direct the phone signals. Perhaps most important of all, you want to have a quality VoIP router. There are several reasons why a quality router is essential:

VoIP Quality of Service

The first is a special feature known as Quality of Service which allows you to designate specific types of internet traffic as more important than others. Voice traffic can be given top priority on the data network, while web browsing and large file downloads can be considered secondary.

This tends to significantly improve the overall quality of voice communications. If someone at your office is downloading a large file, it won’t disrupt a phone call that you or someone else is making because the phone call will always be given a higher priority. The router simply lowers the amount of bandwidth the file download is able to use until the phone call is completed.

Redundancy Improved with Routers

A quality router can also provide your VoIP network with SIP Server Redundancy. This is a special feature that instructs the router to automatically route all phone calls to a different server if a problem should occur with the existing one. Your voice communications won’t be interrupted, and you won’t have to be without phone service until the original server comes back online. It should also be noted that many standard and store-bought routers do not come with this feature.

VoIP Proxies

Another important benefit of using a quality router is the ability to create a VoIP proxy. This tends to speed up voice communications since your phones can communicate directly with the Public Switched Telephone Network. They don’t have to contact your VoIP provider each time that you make a call and thus risk having some of the data packets be lost during the transfer process.

Additional Benefits of Routers

A quality router also offers all the normal benefits that a router can bring to a small business. They can connect multiple computers at your office to the internet, and tend to come with a wide variety of useful features like caller identification, voicemail, call waiting, and the ability to make conference calls. They also provide the ability to create a firewall and protect your data network from computer hackers and malicious software.

VoIP has quickly become an important part of the modern business world. A good router will allow you to take full advantage of the internet-based service and avoid many of the problems with the service that can occur.

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