An IP phone is a telephone with built-in IP technology and transport protocols that is used in conjunction with an IP PBX phone system or VoIP service allowing you to send and receive calls. It is similar in fit, finish and functionality to a traditional desktop telephone except it uses a different underlying technology (IP).

IP stands for Internet Protocol, a method of transporting packets across your Local Area Network (LAN) and or Wide Area Network (WAN). This is the same technology utilized by your data network to send and receive information. It is also where the term VoIP comes from. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is the widely used term associated with the sending over voice calls over a network. 



You might not be aware that there exist different types of VoIP phones. Each type serves a different purpose or enables certain action making them all valuable pieces to a complete VoIP deployment.

Let’s take a look: 

Desktop VoIP Phones

This is your standard business class VoIP phone. It connects to your VoIP phone system or service provider via Ethernet and comes with all of the basic features you expect out of a phone.


A wireless IP phone is an IP phone with a built-in Wi-Fi or DECT transceiver unit that connects to an access point or base station. This allows you to move freely around your home and or office while on a call. You can even send and receive calls at a hot spot!



A softphone is a software application that is installed onto you desktop or laptop computer that allows you to complete phone calls from your PC. Soft phones are great for road workers, mobile professionals and even call centers as they are extremely inexpensive.


Video Phone

A video phone is essentially an IP phone with the added ability to capture video using a small camera that is attached to the unit. Video phones are a great substitute for face-to-face meetings making them an affordable way to keep in touch and see someone from anywhere in the world.



IP conference phones take on the same purpose as their analog counterparts. IP conference phones are typically used in large offices and conference rooms where multi-party phone calls take place.




It’s likely difficult or downright impossible for you to interview every person who will be using your VoIP system. If you can’t assess the needs of each individual, you can easily do it by grouping them by position type and use the great information below to help identify which IP phone is best for each position type.


Your executives typically need several line appearances to accommodate multi-party conference calls, three-way calls and other volume calling activity. Looks, bells and whistles play a large role in choosing an executive level phone. Make sure the VoIP phone is pleasant to look at and don’t forget things such as a large screen size, color and a speakerphone.



Receptionists are some of the busiest folks in your organization. They are on the phone all day directing incoming calls to various departments and extensions. The VoIP phone for your receptionist should support multiple line appearances and an expandable attendant console.



At the managerial level you will need a VoIP phone that has the ability to pick up, screen, transfer and juggle several calls at once. Multi-line support, programmable soft keys and a good quality, full-duplex speakerphone are important features for management users.



Like your managers, associates find multi-line support important especially those in a sales or service role. The ability to place a line on hold while picking up another line allows the user to handle multiple parties at once. Call transfer and conference calling features are also important.



Since your warehouse is a loud industrial area a “ruggedized” VoIP phone or low-end VoIP phone is needed. Warehouse personnel are often on the move and not tethered to a desk making Wi-Fi or DECT-based wireless VoIP phones an option as well.


In a typical kitchen or lounge you will find that a single or dual line phone is appropriate. These environments are less demanding than those mentioned above. Bells and whistles are not needed. A simple wall-mountable or desktop VoIP phone will do the trick.

If you do happen to get stuck and you are unsure of which type of VoIP phone is best for you feel free to give us a call or send an enquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We help people just like you to create, deploy and maintain an IP telephony solution. One of our experienced representatives will be more than happy to walk you through the process of selecting the IP phone.

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