This guide is broken into 7 easy to follow steps of setting up an office phone system (traditionally called a private branch exchange or PBX). Each step in this guide builds off the last and by step 7 you will have a fully functioning office phone system (PBX). If you already know what your doing, our quick start guide on how to set up a pbx might be a better option (it's a bit shorter) Before we get started let's take a second to look at exactly what we will be building. Let's pretend that we are a small business with 5 employees. Generally we would want a phone system that is setup something like this:
So the first thing we need to figure out is what phones we are going to use. In order to make/receive VoIP calls we will need a SIP capable phone (SIP is just the protocol that VoIP uses). There are lots of SIP phones to choose from online, unfortunately most electronic retail stores like Staples, Best Buy or Radio Shack still don't carry them (I encourage people to ask why next time they go into one).
In this guide we will use 1 fancy phone the Grandstream-GXP2160 and 4 less fancy phones - Grandstream-GXP-1400 , this is a more simple and less expensive phone. We want the fancy phone because it can handle up to 6 call's at once. The more simple phone can only handle 2 calls at once, so in the scenario that we have 6 people calling the main phone number at the same time, we want to be able to put them on hold and then transfer them when we are ready.
Note: The phones we are using require an ethernet capable connection. If running an ethernet to the phone is an issue for your office then you will need to get a wireless phone. The Panasonic TGP500 is a great option if you need to go wireless, with wireless you only need one base station and then 5 headsets (or however many you actually need). Wireless is usually a little more pricey, but you should be able to find base station and 5 headsets for under $400.