What is a VOIP Phone Handset?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2019
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A VOIP phone handset is a telephone handset designed to use Voice Over Internet Protocol technology. VOIP can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional telephone networks because it utilizes the Internet to place calls all over the world instead of relying on local telephone carriers. Cost advantages arise because many digitized conversations may share the same wire that would otherwise handle only one manually-assigned conversation. The invention of a VOIP phone handset automates this entire process so that consumers can essentially connect to the Internet by dialing a telephone number without having to access a computer.

Voice Over Internet Protocol indicates that the type of message is a voice conversation; the spoken words are digitized into Internet Protocol (IP) messages and sent across a network. A VOIP headset, which does not work like a normal telephone, connects to a computer through the speaker and microphone plugs. In appearance, it may look just like a traditional telephone headset, combining the speakers and microphone, but in reality, it is simply a convenient upgrade to earlier types of Internet communication. This method is limited because it still requires the personal computer to make the connection with the network; a stand-alone VOIP phone handset eliminates this problem.


There are several VOIP options available to rival traditional land lines. The VOIP phone handset could be attached to an office’s computer network by a cable, making it accessible to several areas within a single building. A wireless VOIP handset relies on a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi™) network in the building and uses a single router to deliver a signal to any VOIP phone handset in range. Companies also make dual-mode mobile telephones that use Wi-Fi™ for VOIP technologies when available, but can function off of regular wireless carriers when a signal is not present.

Several different standards are in competition as VOIP protocols. A stand-alone VOIP phone handset is pre-configured to work with a specific standard, which is limited by the company that manufactured it. It can normally be changed if the owner decides to use a different VOIP provider; the VOIP phone handset itself would require a software upgrade. If the VOIP equipment simply plugs into a computer, then this process would be a relatively simple change since it can be accomplished with aid from the user-friendly operating system.

There are several VOIP accessories that range from connectors and cables to analog-to-digital converters, and each of them is designed to allow regular telephones to function as a VOIP phone handset. Some generic accessories, such as earphones, may be labeled VOIP headphones as a marketing technique, but in reality, they will function with both VOIP and standard technologies. VOIP phone handsets are not fully compatible with business equipment, however; for example, fax machines may be a challenge in a VOIP-only environment.


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Post 1

I need help in getting my voip headset to work. It worked fine, computer to computer. but when i was on actual calls, it didn't come through my computer. The voice came through my speaker and they could not hear me. How do I set it up to work correctly on a vista?

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