Q: I have a Siemens Gigaset DX800A phone that requires a VoIP connection. To connect it requires a SIP protocol, user name, authentication name and password. I can not find a VoIP provider that even knows what I am talking about. Can you help me?
A: The Siemens Gigaset DX800A is a hybrid phone, meaning it can be used as an IP phone OR as a standard phone. An IP phone contains the equipment in a VoIP adapter, so you will not need a separate adapter in addition to your phone. Most IP phones allow you to connect directly with an ethernet cable. For more information about IP phones, VoIP adapters, and other ways to use VoIP, click here. If you'd like to use your existing IP phone, you'll need a VoIP service that allows you to bring your own device.
The caveat with bringing your own device, whether it's a VoIP adapter or an IP phone, is that generally you will need to provide your own technical support, or get it directly from the phone's manufacturer, since VoIP companies only support specific hardware. Some companies will support a number of models that are similar to the ones they send new customers, but generally they do not guarantee technical support specific to your device if you use an unusual model. If you acquired your phone or adapter from another VoIP provider, it may be locked, which will prevent you from using a new company's service with that device. If you purchased your phone or adapter without VoIP service, you could also check with the manufacturer to see which services they recommend. If you are concerned about technical support, by far the simplest solution is to use the VoIP adapter provided by your VoIP service, generally for free.
Of our top VoIP providers, we recommend Phone Power and 1-VoIP to customers who want to use their own adapter or IP phone with a new VoIP company. Both Phone Power and 1-VoIP offer specific plans for customers who bring their own devices. To sign up or check out their services, click through from our reviews. You can also get in touch with the sales and support departments of both companies through their websites, to double-check whether your specific phone is compatible.
For Gigaset phones, their website indicates that Gizmo5, IdeaSIP and ViaTalk are pre-configured to work with your device, while you may have to configure the phone yourself to work with other providers. We had a little trouble setting up ViaTalk, but if their service is pre-configured for your phone, that may negate those difficulties. We also had good experiences with their technical support, though we encountered some trouble with cancellation and didn't love their large disconnect fee. If you decide not to go with ViaTalk, the Gigaset site also provides specific instructions for configuring a new VoIP connection with the provider of your choice in their FAQ section, which is a good place to start in understanding what information you'll need from your VoIP provider to use your Gigaset phone.
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