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VoIP With Multiple Phones On One Connection
By Jack Spirko 

Just about once a week I get an email that goes something like this, "I just ordered Broadband phone service from your website and it is working great.  I have a question though, how can I use VoIP with multiple phones in my house.  I want a phone in my kitchen, my bedroom and one in the living room.  Can you tell me how to do this."

Generally what these people are looking to accomplish is quite simple, they want to be able to answer or make calls with their phone line in several different areas of their home with out going to where ever the computer is to pick up the phone.  There are a few ways to handle this.  The most simple is to just use a cordless phone.  This works great for many people indeed I do it myself with the IP Phone I keep in my home office for business use.  Adding an IP line for only 19.95 from Packet8 was a simple solution for me when I work out of my home and want to keep business calls off my private line.

All I did was get a simple cordless phone, plug it into my Packet8 Adapter Box and now I can take my phone anywhere in the house.  For a single user with a single objective this is a great solution but it does have some limitations.  For instance if I go upstairs I have to take my cordless hand set with me and if I leave it somewhere then I have to run to answer it or if left over night off of the base I end up with a dead battery. Again since I am the only one who uses this phone and it is for my home office this is a great solution.  I hear you though what you are looking to do is have one phone say downstairs and one up stairs and perhaps one in the kitchen.

Well there is a very simple and very low tech solution to this.  Just go out and purchase a cordless phone with multiple handsets and like magic you end up with VoIP with multiple phones.  These cordless sets are generally well under 100 dollars, they are easy to set up and available just at just about any store that sells telephones.  Just a few days ago at Sam's Club I saw a cordless phone set with four handsets for under a hundred dollars.  All you do with this type of phone set is plug in the main unit with the master base at your broadband phone adapter.  You then put the extra handsets with their chargers at any location you want them in your home.  They communicate with the base set and when someone calls you all the handsets will ring or you can pick up any of them to make a call.  They also offer a real advantage over conventional phones in that they only require power at the locations of the handsets so you can put your handsets anyplace you have an electrical plug and not worry about a phone jack at all.

I would like to provide a few words of advice on buying a cordless phone set for this type of use.  First if you have wireless gear in your home computer network or plan to ever even some day may be put in a wireless access point for computers in your home (plan for it even if you think you won't) then make sure you buy a cordless phone that operates at 5.8GHz (it will say so right on the phone).  The reason is that some wireless network equipment operates at 2.4GHz and if you put a cordless phone in your home at the same frequency you can have interference between your wireless network and your phone.  I will be doing an article about this soon just for now take my advice buy a 5.8GHz phone as the price difference between the two options is so small anyway you might as well get the higher frequency and the better quality it provides.

Second is if you are buying multiple hand sets buy as many additional handsets as you need the day you buy the phone in fact if you have the budget buy one more then you need.  Why you ask?  Well, please consider when you are purchasing a commodity product like a mass produced phone set that the Wal-Marts, Best Buys and Circuit Cities of the world sell, you have no way to know just how long that set is going to stay for sale on the market.  It is the nature of anything you find on a department store shelf to constantly be replaced with new versions as suppliers seek to reduce costs and improve availability.  So if you buy a particular set today and decide next year you want to expand it, there is a decent chance that your model will be out of production.

Other then that just buy the set that best fits your needs.  Many of them come with answering machines but of course you won't need one since just about an VoIP Provider worth being in business gives away free voice mail so don't pay extra for that feature.  Take a look at what is available and get the set that you like best, make sure it is a 5.8GHz set then just take it home, plug it in and in just a few minutes you can have your VoIP phone line in every room of your home.  If you happen to still be looking for a broadband phone provider just visit our compare plans page on this website to see a comparison of the top providers available today.

- Jack Spirko

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