Analog Line: This is a traditional 100 year old technology telephone line brought into your building by a service provider.
Integrated Access: T1 based voice and internet solution utilizing Analog lines, a PRI Circuit, or a SIP Trunk..
PRI Circuit (Primary Rate Interface Circuit): Robust proven AT&T Technology equal to 23 phone lines, and can be ordered with fewer lines to scale to your company’s needs.
SIP Trunk (Session Initiated Protocol Trunk): This is a system used to allow phones to talk over the network. It requires specific router management to provide optimal quality and a proper firewall to prevent network attacks. SIP Trunks are available in two varieties, premise based, and hosted. Can result in a reduction of monthly line costs.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): This is a technology used to allow phones to talk over a network.
VoIP Phone System: A network based phone system that connects your phones to whatever backend (Analog, PRI Circuit, or SIP Trunk). Allows you to move phones within your network with little to no setup, and allows for easy integration with smartphones.
Types of Phone Systems
Traditional Digital: Systems that utilize proprietary telephones. Still functional, but do not support newer VoIP features. Features such as voicemail require hardware in order to be used.
Hybrid Digital and VoIP: The NEC SL1100 is a Hybrid System. This option is very flexible in buildings and campuses that only have old voice cabling in certain areas, but will also utilize newer Cat5 or Cat6 cabling in areas where it is available.
Premise Based SIP Trunk: A type of SIP trunk that includes unlimited calling, but requires one trunk per line you would like to have.
Hosted (Cloud Based) SIP Trunk: A type of SIP trunk that you pay for by the minute, but eliminates most if not all of the typical monthly fee paid for traditional phones.
Ethernet: This is the type of plug or jack that is used for modern wired networks. Cat5 or Cat6 cables are the backbone of your ethernet.
IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame): This is a secondary closet that connects to the MDF and acts as an extension of the MDF. These are usually used in larger buildings to shorten cable lengths.
LAN (Local Area Network): Cat5 or Cat6 cables connected to a ethernet switch comprise a LAN.
MDF (Main Distribution Frame): This is the main telecom and data closet. IDFs and MDFs are usually protected by UPS surge and battery backup.
Modem: Connects your router to your Internet Service Provider allowing your network to access the internet.
Router or Firewall: The IP brain of your network. This allows all of your IP devices to access the internet through one gateway. Most commonly the Router provides IP addresses to devices using DHCP. The router has firewall software built in to protect your network from unauthorized access.
Switch or Ethernet Switch: An extension of the router. Allows you to attach multiple ethernet devices to one ethernet port.
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply): The job of the UPS is to protect your equipment from both power surges and temporary outages.
WAP (Wireless Access Point): This works very similar to a switch, except that it provides wireless network access to your devices rather than wired ethernet.