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VoIP Phone Adapters: How does a VoIP adapter (phone adapter) work?

A VoIP adapter is a protocol converter (bridge) between analog phones and the digital (IP) network that carries voice calls.

What does a VoIP Adapter Do?
Also known as an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) or phone adapter, the device converts a digital (VoIP) voice stream to an analog signal so you can use existing analog phones, call boxes, intercoms, alarm circuits or fax machines with an IP-based voice service. VoIP phone adapters make the cost-savings of voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) accessible to you without having to replace your existing analog telephony equipment. Patton's VoIP telephone adapters are interoperable and certified to work with nearly all the major SIP service providers.


Show Me: Types of Phone Adapters for VoIP Systems

There are several types of VoIP adapters to address varying requirements in differing VoIP applications. Considerations include the number of ports needed, the port type or types required, and whether or not you have a router installed or need one built-in with the phone-adapter device.

Single Port FXS Adapters

If you only need to connect one end point to your VoIP service, a single FXS telephone adapter will do the trick. If you only need to IP-enable a single phone, this device will be the most affordable solution for you.

If you need to support fax transmission and reception using your new VoIP service, you should make sure the FXS adapter you purchase supports the T.38 fax relay and other Fax standards. The T.38 protocol enables fax-over-internet (FoIP) in real-time.

Patton SmartNode SN200/1JS 1 FXS Port Adapter

SmartNode SN200/1JS VoIP Adapter
Patton SmartNode SN200/1JS provides one FXS port and lets you integrate an analog telephone or fax machine with your VoIP phone system. It supports the open SIP communications protocol, so you'll get a broad choice of VoIP platforms. It supports standard VoIP features such as call waiting and call forwarding, as well as high-quality sound and more advanced features.

Patton SmartNode SN200/1JS 1FXS : Key Features
  • 3-way local conferencing
  • Web configuration interface and password protection
  • Compact (less than four inches in length) for easy placement

2-Port FXS Adapters

In contrast to a single FXS adapter, a dual FXS analog telephone adapter interconnects two analog telephony devices to your IP network. This might be two phones, two fax machines, or one phone and one fax machine. If you need to connect more than one device to your VoIP service network, a dual FXS phone adapter may meet your needs.

Patton SmartNode SN200/2JS 2 FXS Port Adapter

SmartNode SN200/2JS VoIP Phone Adapter
Whether used to connect two legacy telephones to an IP PBX, or to integrate legacy fax machines into a hosted UC environment, the SN200 port adapter can adapt to support every use-case. Orchestrated by the Patton Cloud, the CapEx associated with deployment, operation and management of the SN200 is the lowest in the market.

FXS/FXO Adapters

An FXS/FXO ATA provides from 2 to 8 analog telephony ports. One port is identical to the ones listed so far (FXS). However, these units also support FXO, which connects a plain old telephone system line (POTS) lines or Analog Trunks. These units let you mix various combinations of FXS and FXO analog ports.

Patton SmartNode SN4140 VoIP Gateway Adapter

SmartNode SN4140 VoIP Adapter

Patton SN4140 series comes with either FXS or FXO ports or both. You can connect an analog telephone or fax machine to your VoIP phone system, and have FXO ports to connect to analog trunks, which may be used to provide a fallback phone service in case the SIP trunk fails. The sn4140 supports the open SIP communications protocol, which gives you a broad choice of VoIP platforms.

ISDN BRI Telephone Adapters

Like its analog counterpart, a digital phone adapter is designed to interconnect ISDN phones or other telephony end points that have BRI interfaces (S or T) with VoIP networks and systems. The difference between analog and digital adapters is each analog interface supports a single phone call, while a BRI interface can support 2 calls per line.

BRI Telephone Adapter Applications

Patton SmartNode Digital Terminal Adapter (SN-DTA)
To VoIP-enable devices with BRI interfaces, Patton offers the SmartNode Digital Terminal Adapter (SN-DTA). The SN-DTA is specifically designed to support such key ISDN services as AOC, PARE, CLIP, COLP, and others, which are mapped to SIP using industry-standard algorithms.

VoIP Adapters with Built-In Router

If you don't already have a router installed for your internet or LAN access, or if you only have a single Ethernet connection at your workstation, a VoIP gateway with a built-in router can address this requirement for your VoIP setup. Such a VoIP telephone adapter should have dual Ethernet ports: one to connect to your LAN and another to connect to your IP WAN service (Internet access). The Patton SmartNode SN5540 fits this bill.

Patton SN5540 VoIP Gateway Adapter with Built-in Router

SN5541 VoIP Phone Adapters

In addition to being an adapter and VoIP Gateway, the SN5500 also provides business-class routing and enterprise session border control functions. All SN5540 models include IP Routing, RTP Transcoding, and SIP Registrar as well as SIP TLS-SRTP Software Feature Licenses.


Teach Me: How do you use a VoIP adapter?


How to Choose the Best VoIP adapter?

It's actually pretty easy! You simply connect a VoIP phone adapter to an analog telephone through an FXS port, then, on the other end you connect it to your local area network (LAN) using an RJ-45 port and Ethernet cable—or to your PSTN service using an FXO port.

, VoIP phone adapters are priced to be affordable for the average work-at-home or remote office user. Before deciding which phone adapter to purchase, you should have answers for the following questions:
  • How many legacy POTS endpoints do you want to VoIP enable?
  • Do you already have a router, or do you want one built into your VoIP adapter?
  • Will you covert entirely to IP telephony, or do you want to keep your plain old telephone service (POTS) as an alternate or backup calling option?
  • How much support will you need for your VoIP system?
  • How big (or small) is your budget?

Analog Telephone Adapters
SmartNode, M-ATA
Micro Analog Telephone Adapter
SmartNode, SN100
Analog ATA/Router | 1 or 2-Analog Ports
SmartNode, SN200
Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) & VoIP Gateway
SmartNode, SN200M
Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) OEM Board VoIP Module
SmartNode, SN200R
Ruggedized Analog Telephony Adapter (ATA)
Analog VoIP Gateways
SmartNode, SN4140
Analog VoIP Gateway | 2, 4 or 8 analog ports for up to 8 phone or fax calls
SmartNode, SN4140E
Rugged Military-Grade Industrial VoIP Gateway | 2, 4 or 8 Analog Ports
SmartNode, SN4300
IpChannelBank Analog VoIP Gateway | 16, 24 or 32 FXS or FXO ports
SmartNode, SN4740
Analog High Density Gateway | 16 to 128 ports
Digital (BRI) Phone Adapters
SmartNode, SN4130
BRI VoIP Gateway | 2, 4 or 8 S0 ISDN ports for up to 16 simultaneous phone or fax calls
SmartNode, SN-DTA
ISDN Digital Terminal Adapter
Sales: sales@patton.com / +1 301 975 1000
Support: support@patton.com / +1 301 975 1007
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