If you subscribe to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), your service provider might tell you, “Regular old phones won’t work with VoIP,” and they’ll give you some hardware to make your computer a phone. That setup could pass muster in a one-bedroom apartment — but not in a three-bedroom house, where a ringing phone could set the teenagers to stampeding, or where you might miss a call if the game’s on in the other room.
Of course, when you tell a tool guy, “It doesn’t work that way,” what he hears is, “It’s time to do some experimenting.”
One possible solution: If your VoIP provider gave you a Telephone Network Interface “box” that’s supposed to be compatible with a single phone, you can splice into the existing phone wiring in your house and connect all your phones to the VoIP. In the picture above, the “to service” box links back to the Telephone Network Interface unit, and the “to house jacks” leads to all the phones in the house. The short phone cord between them allows you to easily switch between VoIP and the “old-fashioned” phone company.
Here’s another setup: Your DSL comes into the “to service”; a phone cord runs out of “to service,” to the DSL modem, which connects to your VoIP gadget; and a phone cord goes from the VoIP gadget to the “to house jacks,” which already has your phones plugged into it.
You’ll need some phone jacks, preferably the kind (see the link below) with wire color-coding for both “match to screw” and “match to wire” systems.