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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.

Surface-Mount Replacement Jack [Ace Hardware]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

 

6 Responses to Basic VoIP House Phone Hacks

  1. Jason says:

    1) Make sure you do not connect your VOIP box to a real phone service line
    2) The VOIP box probably only has a ringer equivalent of 3 or so. If you have digital ringers, it’s probably not a problem. If you have a bunch of old phones, it may not work.

  2. Roscoe says:

    Phone lines don’t care where they’re fed from, just make sure that any landline phone service is physically disconnected from the house(snip the wire outside), then plug one end of a cord into your VOIP box jack for a phone, and the other end into any nearby jack.

  3. Tim B. says:

    (@Jason) It is very true that these devices don’t normally supply much power.. but this is easily surmounted with a cheap talk battery booster, in most cases. Low cost for benefit, if you are reliant on many phones scattered throughout a large house or business!

    Luckily, these days most digital phones extend to multiple handsets wirelessly, so even this is unnecessary.

  4. brew says:

    heck, I tied my vonage box in to the house wiring years ago, and I am sure I have 6+ phones running through the box. They are all cordless type ones with their own power, but I don’t see any ground breaking stuff here.

  5. Wayne D. says:

    I took an old phone patch able and made a null-modem cable out of it. My Vonage router states it can drive 4 phones on the box. I have a newer patch panel in my house that made all this a lot easier.

  6. Jerry says:

    Plugged my T-Mo@home router into a house jack and every phone in the house works fine. Even my old antique ringer phone! Crystal clear quality and no problems at all. It even works with my alarm dialer. I DID disconnect the phone company’s wire coming to the house though just to be sure nothing would feed back and forth that way.

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