Connecting a VoIP System Using Your Cable Modem

The widespread use of broadband Internet access has led to more consumers choosing to also use their Internet access as a way to place and receive phone calls as well as surf the web. By using a Voice Over IP (VoIP) telephone company, users can get a host of great features and pricing that some would say is shockingly affordable. However, many people, especially those that are somewhat techno-phobic, may wonder how all this stuff gets connected. Actually, it's fairly simple so here's a quick summary of how to connect VoIP using your cable modem.

If you use a cable modem for your Internet connection, you already understand the concept that both television and Internet traffic travels over the same physical wire. This is sort of like having different channels on your television all coming in from the same line, if that analogy helps clear things up. Since your Internet connection is coming from your cable line, that means we'll need to work with that line in order to connect your VoIP system.

In a typical setup, your cable line comes in from somewhere outside the house and probably through the framework of the house to the wall jacks in the different rooms. And from the cable jack, you probably have a line either going directly to your computer or, if you have a television in the same room, you'll have a splitter that sends one line to your computer and one to your television. Ignore the one going to your TV … we will not need to do anything to that line.

The other line should go to your cable modem so we will not have to do anything there either. However, you cable modem probably connects to your computer using an Ethernet cable, which looks like a phone jack but with a wider connector. Instead of connecting that to the computer, you'll need to connect the Ethernet cable to your VoIP box. So basically, you're putting the VoIP box in between the cable modem and the computer.

Once you've done that, you'll now have to connect your computer to something. Luckily, most VoIP boxes have extra plugs for you to connect other Ethernet cables. So you can simply connect your computer to the VoIP box in much the same way it was connected directly to the cable modem before and your computer will still be able to send and receive information to and from the Internet.

The other good thing about most VoIP boxes is that there are usually a few of those extra plugs to connect various network items. So if you have a network printer or other type of device, you can easily connect it right to your VoIP box.

That's pretty much it. It's a fairly simple process and the owner's manual that came with your VoIP box should outline most of these steps as well as some alternate configurations based on what other type of equipment you might have. In addition, your VoIP service might be able to install all of this for you if you've rather taken a completely hands-off approach.