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What hardware is needed to set up a Hosted PBX?

Two choices must be made when choosing the hardware for a hosted PBX. First, the proper router must be chosen. Second, the proper voice over internet protocol device, such as a VOIP telephone, an analog telephone adapter, or a headset or handset for calls placed using a personal computer, must be chosen.

The router is the first and can be the most important component of a hosted PBX system. A router is a device that allows multiple devices to use a single internet connection simultaneously. When choosing a router for your hosted PBX, there are several key factors that should be considered.

First, the selected router must be powerful enough to handle the load. Cheaper and less powerful routers may not be able to handle the strain of routing multiple simultaneous VOIP calls to the hosted PBX. If a router is overloaded the quality of the calls will suffer, or they may be dropped altogether.

Secondly, the selected router should have QOS, or quality of service, capabilities. A router with QOS has the ability to prioritize one type of traffic over all the others going through the router. A router without QOS will treat all traffic as the same. This can lead to reduced call quality should a spike in traffic going through the router should occur.

Lastly, if unable to locate a router with QOS, one with port forwarding should be chosen. Port forwarding routes all traffic coming in for one or more particular ports to a specific device on the network. Port forwarding can reduce the amount of time it takes for a packet to go from one end of the network to the other.

Once the router has been chosen and set up correctly, the desired VOIP devices must be connected to the network. If using a VOIP phone, it just needs to be plugged into the router and configured. An ATA, or analog telephone adapter, must be used for any non-VOIP phones.

An ATA acts as a bridge between the analog phone and VOIP network. These devices would be useful for businesses that want to switch to a hosted PBX, but do not wish to overhaul of their existing telephone network.

If no phone is available, calls can be routed to a PC. There are a variety of PC headsets and handsets that can be used, depending on the voice quality required for the call.