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This is a VOIP phone which uses the SIP protocol. I won't go into the technogolgy that this phone uses- but rather my experiences with it so far. It's rather easy to setup, when first turned on you can define an FTP server for it to pick up the configuration file- or you can configure this phone manually. Once that is done, it takes about 2 minutes to boot up for the first time. After that's done- its about 30seconds or so to boot. It can run from Power over Ethernet- which means long as the switch its connected to has this- it doesn't need a external power source (great if you don't have many plugs nearby!). Using the phone is quite simple and very much like a standard phone, dial the number and pick up the handset to talk. It has a 2.5mm headphone socket on the side to use with a headset- useful if you going to be using the phone for long periods. Other functionality includes items like:
Changing the ring tone
Changing the volume of ringing
Changing the voice volume
Other features depend on the VOIP interface/server that its plugged into.
Polycom SoundPoint IP 330
== What is SIP? ==
'''SIP''' stands for Session Initiation Protocol. This is an IP network protocol that is often used for '''VOIP''' (Voice Over IP) telephony. Or in layman's term, it is the set of instructions used to communicate voice and video phones over the internet. '''Why do we want/need this?''' Everyone knows about Skype (Skype is like SIP but is not using SIP protocols and is unfortunately proprietary ). So through SIP or VOIP solutions we can make cheap international phone calls. This is particularly useful for BPO's or call centers who has costumers or clients in the US and our outsourcing their business in other countries.
==Hard Phones vs Soft Phones==
The Polycom SoundPoint IP 330 is a hard phone. A hard phone is a physical phone (One that you can hold in your hand) and a soft phone is a software that you can run in your computer to connect to SIP servers/providers (example is Counterpath or you can google it to locate the best/cheap SIP providers or you can build your own asterisk SIP server. This would be worth another review). There are many soft phones available on the net an example is X-Lite by Counterpath which you can download for free. The advantage of a hard phone over a soft phone is that you don't need a computer for a hardphone to work.
'''Standards''' IEEE 802.3
'''Protocols''' IETF SIP (RFC 3261 and companion RFCs)
'''Speed''' two-port 10/100 Mbps Ethernet switch.
Having 2 NIC's or network interface comes in handy if you want to connect this phone and a computer in one LAN port. So your call center employee can run his computer while speaking on the phone.
'''Display''' 102 x 33 pixel-graphical LCD
Built-in, auto-sensing IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet
Optional External universal input AC adapter.
The power is kind of tricky. You need a PoE or power over ethernet switch. What this switch does is provide power through the ethernet cables into the phone. I don't know why this has an optional AC adapter. Polycom should provide this for free!
This phone sells around 120 USD which is cheap for its class. It is from Polycom and this company delivers quality SIP phones. This is worth buying if you are running a call center business or you are working with clients based internationally. With a fast internet you can either get the services of SIP providers or you can build your own SIP server. Power is provided through PoE so you need to buy a network switch for that or you can opt to buy the optional AC adapter. (Which i strongly believe should come free)
This review was written by the same author on Ciao.com (US) also with url