Definition of a Cloud based IP Phone

An IP phone, also called a VoIP phone, is a phone that uses internet protocol, rather than the circuit-switched PSTN. An IP phone connects through an Ethernet cable, rather than a phone jack, to the internet, where is connects to the IP address of either the VoIP provider or the hosted PBX provider.

IP phones come in a variety of different shapes and with a variety of operating systems. Some look and feel like traditional business phones, others have more in common with an Apple or Android tablet. Another style of IP phone is a conference phone, which has a speaker on top and has three microphones around it. 

The two largest makers of IP phones are Polycom and Cisco, although other brands, like Avaya, snom and Grandstream are three of their largest competitors. No one brand of IP phone, or one model, is truly superior, what matters most is if the model is right for you and in your price range. Along those same lines, the most expensive phones are capable of handling many lines, but the same phone that is appropriate for a receptionist may also have features that a powerful executive wants

There are several different kinds of IP Phones, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses. Some people prefer a traditional black and white office phone, others like a touchscreen phone with all the bells and whistles. The desk IP phone is what most people think of when they hear the words “IP Phone,” but there are different phones, including video phones, that also use internet protocol. Either way, IP phones are capable of much more than their circuit-switched counterparts.