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admoin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Hardware Setup for multi-line business account? Reply with quote Back to top

Hi-

I am planning to set up a Voip phone system to replace my business's old 3 line + fax setup. However, all the adapters on the Vonage page only support 2 lines. Are there adapters with more ports, or would I have to do something like connect one adapter to another- is this complicated?

Thanks,
Andrew
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admoin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

anyone?
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norriton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I haven't seen that Vonage offers any adapters with more than three ports. So having two adapters is probably the way to go. (Plus, you have some degree of backup in case one should fail.)

Do you already have a router that is independent of the Voip adapters? If so, you just connect each Voip adapter to a LAN port on the router.

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admoin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't have a router, as I only have one computer in the office. Would it work if I just got the wireless phone adapter (the Linksys WRT54G or something) and plugged an additional phone adapter into one of the Linksys's ethernet data ports, and had two lines connected to the first adapter and two more lines connected to the second?

Thanks,
Andrew
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norriton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

So, currently you just have the single computer connected to the cable/DSL modem?

If so, you could certainly get a combination router/phone adapter (for instance the RTP300) and connect it to the modem. Then it provides two phone ports and 4 data ports. You can then connect your computer to one of those ports and another Voip adapter for your third line to another of the ports. That other adapter can be another RTP300 or another type if you prefer...you just won't really be using the router functionality in it, but that is no problem.

People on the forum have said that the Vonage devices are not the greatest routers. I suspect they are correct, but I would think that the RTP can handle a single computer.

(And you will get a degree of protection for your computer from the router that you may not now have. I say "may not now have", because some modems have router functionality builtin.)

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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If you are looking at three phone lines plus a bunch of computers, you probably want to look into a router with working QoS. The Vonage-supplied routers are not it.

What I'd do, if I were you, is buy a decent router to serve as your central gateway. Lots of good routers exist with working QoS. As many around these parts know, my personal favorite is the Linksys WRT54GL. However, look for some of the reviews on the D-Link unit that has Voip optimization (StreamEngine, if I recall) which is supposed to be good plug-and-play stuff for Voip.

Keep in mind that you need at least 270k of bandwidth, and a way to reserve it for Vonage when Vonage is in use. QoS is the way to reserve it, as long as you have it.

Then, you'd wire the router to your Internet connection, your Vonage devices (*) WAN ports to LAN ports on the main router, and your PC's also to LAN ports or connected via wireless to the main router.

* = I recommend the RTP300, though I wouldn't use it as a router, it's just a really, really good Vonage device. I have its wireless-enabled cousin, the WRTP54G, and as a Vonage device, it's first rate. As a router... meh. Not so much.

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Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You can go with Norriton's recommendation for now (since we are both recommending the RTP300), and add a router in front of those two RTP300's later if you run into reports of garbled audio on the other side of the connection...

A decent router will set you back $75. So, worst case, you're looking at a few complaints about bad audio on the other side, a fast order of a $75 router, and installing it.

Personally, with my experiences with the WRTP54G, I'd just order the better router up front. Not my $75 to spend, though. (grin)

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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norriton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The points NateHoy makes about needing to ensure adequate bandwidth and to have something to perform the QoS function to prioritize traffic are certainly true.

His two options are valid. I would just add that the StreamEngine option can be achieved either in a D-Link router or as a standalone device (either from D-Link or Hawking) that can just be popped between your modem and your first router if needed.

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admoin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This is going to be a really simple system- 2-3 voice lines and a fax line, and there will almost never be more than one line in use at any given time (once in a while 2 will be used simultaneously, at most). Is QoS really necessary at all, assuming I have a relatively high bandwidth small business cable modem system (15 Mbps downstream, 2Mbps upstream)?

Thanks for all your answers so far, this is great.

-Andrew
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norriton
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It sounds like you have adequate bandwidth and little expected load (although you didn't say what computer load you create). So, if you are willing to give it a try and then react if you find a problem that would probably be the way to go.

Personally, I didn't want to risk problems, so I implemented QoS using the StreamEngine approach from the start.

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