Reasons why you should choose an Analogue Telephone Adater (ATA) over that of a USB phone using Skyp

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Brian A, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. Brian A

    Brian A Guest

    I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    Telephone Adapter).

    So many people choose these USB handsets because they feel that can
    cope with the technology. They fear trying something they don't know
    much about. A little bit of reading up and setting up of a simple ATA
    is not so difficult to do. Indeed, it is possible to get an ATA that
    is UNLOCKE, but ready set up, to a VOIP provider to get started.

    Further, they don't weigh up properly the advantages of having an ATA
    over that of a USB handset etc.

    1. Convenience:
    (a)You don't need to switch on a computer everytime you want to make a
    call. A computer is only needed when you first set up the ATA - ater
    that you don't need your computer unless you want to make changes to
    the settings on the ATA - that computer can remain off if you wish.

    (b)You don't need to be in the same room as the computer.

    (c)You can use standard analogue phones, including cordless to
    connect to your ATA.

    2. You can easily access a very wide range of VOIP service providers,
    often automatically selected, for outgoing calls, by dialled number
    type. Thus savings are made in call costs.

    3. Lower running costs.
    If you want the convenience of running a USB phone without switching
    the computer on and off you just have to leave the computer switched
    on.
    Consider the running costs of that. Without the monitor the computer
    will consume in the region of about 70W/h. At 8p a unit that is
    just short of £50/year.

    I run my ATA, router, cordless phone base station and cable modem 24/7
    for £12/year. That is £38 less than running a computer.
    The additional cost of an ATA, over that of a USB handset, is easily
    offset by the savings detailed above not withstanding the other
    benefits of using an ATA over a USB handset.

    4. It is possible to completely DITCH your standard landline and just
    use a VOIP phone if you are able to get cable broadband only in your
    area. If you go this route though you should have a mobile phone
    switched on, for emergency calls, as you cannot be absolutely sure of
    the reliability of your broadband connection etc.
    This arrangement will afford monthly savings on landline costs.

    Anyone reading this who might now consider buying an ATA instead of
    usb handset do make sure that you get an UNLOCKED unit (i.e. one not
    tied to one company such as Vonage).

    Some people might say, 'Oh I just use Skype one a week to call Fred in
    Australia'.... OK but the world is going VOIP. Once you have bought
    your ATA you've got it.
    It isn't an on-going cost and it is so much more convenient.
    People can ring you as well, you don't have to schedule a call as you
    might do with a computer based phone.

    further info:
    www.voip-info.org
    www.voxilla.com
    www.leafcom.co.uk

    Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.
    Brian A, Jul 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. Brian A

    Nick B. Guest

    Re: Reasons why you should choose an Analogue Telephone Adater (ATA)over that of a USB phone using Skype or a SIP Softphone

    Brian A wrote:
    > I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    > people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    > are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    > idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    > Telephone Adapter).


    <snip>

    I certainly wouldn'y use a USB phone, however you seem to have
    overlooked the SIP phones such as the SNOM and Grandstream. Prices
    getting cheaper by the day and IMO they have facilities that a simple
    ATA doesn't give you such as multiple SIP accounts.


    --
    Nick B.
    Nick B., Jul 9, 2006
    #2
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  3. Re: Reasons why you should choose an Analogue Telephone Adater (ATA)over that of a USB phone using Skype or a SIP Softphone

    Nick B. wrote:
    > Brian A wrote:
    >> I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    >> people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    >> are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    >> idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    >> Telephone Adapter).

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > I certainly wouldn'y use a USB phone, however you seem to have
    > overlooked the SIP phones such as the SNOM and Grandstream. Prices
    > getting cheaper by the day and IMO they have facilities that a simple
    > ATA doesn't give you such as multiple SIP accounts.
    >

    Curious, I wonder if I'm the only person that has an IP shone that
    doesn't support more than 1 account, and some ATAs that do.
    Thomas Kenyon, Jul 9, 2006
    #3
  4. Brian A

    Brian Guest

    On 2006-07-09, Brian A <> wrote:
    >
    > I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    > people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    > are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    > idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    > Telephone Adapter).


    Unless the circumstances in which a USB phone are being used are known I
    cannot see how it is possible to generalise to this extent. Someone
    with a laptop, a USB phone and access to a WiFi hotspot, and wanting
    some help, may not be wanting to hear 'ditch the USB connection and get
    an ATA'.

    > So many people choose these USB handsets because they feel that can
    > cope with the technology. They fear trying something they don't know
    > much about. A little bit of reading up and setting up of a simple ATA
    > is not so difficult to do. Indeed, it is possible to get an ATA that
    > is UNLOCKE, but ready set up, to a VOIP provider to get started.


    Could this also be a factor? A goodly number of people have internal
    ADSL modems supplied to them by their ISPs. They either do not know
    about the router alternative or decline to replace the modem on grounds
    of cost. Taking the USB route is the only way for them to run a
    telephony application.

    > Further, they don't weigh up properly the advantages of having an ATA
    > over that of a USB handset etc.
    >
    > 1. Convenience:
    > (a)You don't need to switch on a computer everytime you want to make a
    > call. A computer is only needed when you first set up the ATA - ater
    > that you don't need your computer unless you want to make changes to
    > the settings on the ATA - that computer can remain off if you wish.


    The pros and cons of having a computer on all the time have been
    discussed many times elsewhere and any contribution of mine is highly
    unlikely to be decisive in altering anyones opinion as to the merits of
    the choice made. What I will observe is, that having decided to leave
    the machine on, whether it be to use a USB handset, log the events
    taking place on an ATA or listen to an internet radio station, it
    becomes an inconvenience to leave it off.

    What an ATA gives you here is not necessarily convenience but choice.
    With a USB device there is no choice.

    > (b)You don't need to be in the same room as the computer.


    Because you can use a cordless phone?

    > (c)You can use standard analogue phones, including cordless to
    > connect to your ATA.


    This is a great convenience but it can also be done with a USB adaptor.

    > 2. You can easily access a very wide range of VOIP service providers,
    > often automatically selected, for outgoing calls, by dialled number
    > type. Thus savings are made in call costs.


    A few more details here would be useful. The automatic selection
    procedure is unclear to me.

    > 3. Lower running costs.
    > If you want the convenience of running a USB phone without switching
    > the computer on and off you just have to leave the computer switched
    > on.
    > Consider the running costs of that. Without the monitor the computer
    > will consume in the region of about 70W/h. At 8p a unit that is
    > just short of £50/year.
    >
    > I run my ATA, router, cordless phone base station and cable modem 24/7
    > for £12/year. That is £38 less than running a computer.
    > The additional cost of an ATA, over that of a USB handset, is easily
    > offset by the savings detailed above not withstanding the other
    > benefits of using an ATA over a USB handset.


    This is the 'running a computer all day is bad' argument again. It wins
    if the only thing you want to do is receive a telephone call without
    having the machine on. But if you want to run a mail or web server it
    is a less compelling.

    > 4. It is possible to completely DITCH your standard landline and just
    > use a VOIP phone if you are able to get cable broadband only in your
    > area. If you go this route though you should have a mobile phone
    > switched on, for emergency calls, as you cannot be absolutely sure of
    > the reliability of your broadband connection etc.
    > This arrangement will afford monthly savings on landline costs.


    I cannot see what this has to do with deciding on an ATA or a USB
    device.

    [Snip]

    Some additional reasons for choosing an ATA:

    An ATA and router combination is operating system neutral. Getting USB
    drivers for non-Windows machines is very problematic.

    The feature sets of inexpensive corded and cordless phones can be better
    than similarily priced USB phones.

    If it's the sort of thing you want, an ATA is more versatile (ring
    tones, for example) than the software being controlled by the USB phone.

    It depends on the operating system but a misbehaving softphone may
    compromise the machine whereas a delinquant ATA can be rebooted without
    affecting the computer.

    Brian.
    Brian, Jul 9, 2006
    #4
  5. Brian A

    Ivor Jones Guest

    "Nick B." <> wrote in message
    news:

    [snip]

    > I certainly wouldn'y use a USB phone, however you seem to
    > have overlooked the SIP phones such as the SNOM and
    > Grandstream. Prices getting cheaper by the day and IMO
    > they have facilities that a simple ATA doesn't give you
    > such as multiple SIP accounts.


    Take a look at the AVM Fritz!Box range - up to 10 SIP accounts
    configurable. I have 4 on mine, any more and it starts to get confusing
    about which one is ringing..!

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Jul 10, 2006
    #5
  6. Brian A

    Brian A Guest

    On Sun, 9 Jul 2006 22:01:27 +0000 (UTC), Brian <> wrote:

    >On 2006-07-09, Brian A <> wrote:
    >>
    >> I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    >> people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    >> are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    >> idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    >> Telephone Adapter).

    >
    >Unless the circumstances in which a USB phone are being used are known I
    >cannot see how it is possible to generalise to this extent. Someone
    >with a laptop, a USB phone and access to a WiFi hotspot, and wanting
    >some help, may not be wanting to hear 'ditch the USB connection and get
    >an ATA'.
    >
    >> So many people choose these USB handsets because they feel that can
    >> cope with the technology. They fear trying something they don't know
    >> much about. A little bit of reading up and setting up of a simple ATA
    >> is not so difficult to do. Indeed, it is possible to get an ATA that
    >> is UNLOCKE, but ready set up, to a VOIP provider to get started.

    >
    >Could this also be a factor? A goodly number of people have internal
    >ADSL modems supplied to them by their ISPs. They either do not know
    >about the router alternative or decline to replace the modem on grounds
    >of cost. Taking the USB route is the only way for them to run a
    >telephony application.

    Some ATAs run between the modem and the computer - no router needed.
    >
    >> Further, they don't weigh up properly the advantages of having an ATA
    >> over that of a USB handset etc.
    >>
    >> 1. Convenience:
    >> (a)You don't need to switch on a computer everytime you want to make a
    >> call. A computer is only needed when you first set up the ATA - ater
    >> that you don't need your computer unless you want to make changes to
    >> the settings on the ATA - that computer can remain off if you wish.

    >
    >The pros and cons of having a computer on all the time have been
    >discussed many times elsewhere and any contribution of mine is highly
    >unlikely to be decisive in altering anyones opinion as to the merits of
    >the choice made. What I will observe is, that having decided to leave
    >the machine on, whether it be to use a USB handset, log the events
    >taking place on an ATA or listen to an internet radio station, it
    >becomes an inconvenience to leave it off.
    >
    >What an ATA gives you here is not necessarily convenience but choice.
    >With a USB device there is no choice.
    >
    >> (b)You don't need to be in the same room as the computer.

    >
    >Because you can use a cordless phone?

    Could be but also you can use standard wired phones. I have 3 wired
    phones and set of 4 cordless phones.
    >
    >> (c)You can use standard analogue phones, including cordless to
    >> connect to your ATA.

    >
    >This is a great convenience but it can also be done with a USB adaptor.
    >
    >> 2. You can easily access a very wide range of VOIP service providers,
    >> often automatically selected, for outgoing calls, by dialled number
    >> type. Thus savings are made in call costs.

    >
    >A few more details here would be useful. The automatic selection
    >procedure is unclear to me.
    >
    >> 3. Lower running costs.
    >> If you want the convenience of running a USB phone without switching
    >> the computer on and off you just have to leave the computer switched
    >> on.
    >> Consider the running costs of that. Without the monitor the computer
    >> will consume in the region of about 70W/h. At 8p a unit that is
    >> just short of £50/year.
    >>
    >> I run my ATA, router, cordless phone base station and cable modem 24/7
    >> for £12/year. That is £38 less than running a computer.
    >> The additional cost of an ATA, over that of a USB handset, is easily
    >> offset by the savings detailed above not withstanding the other
    >> benefits of using an ATA over a USB handset.

    >
    >This is the 'running a computer all day is bad' argument again. It wins
    >if the only thing you want to do is receive a telephone call without
    >having the machine on. But if you want to run a mail or web server it
    >is a less compelling.

    Agreed. However, the average Joe, who is likely to plumb for a USB
    handset and feel reluctant to pursue the ATA route, is unlikely to be
    the same type of person who is running a mail server etc. as that
    takes some technical expertise.
    >
    >> 4. It is possible to completely DITCH your standard landline and just
    >> use a VOIP phone if you are able to get cable broadband only in your
    >> area. If you go this route though you should have a mobile phone
    >> switched on, for emergency calls, as you cannot be absolutely sure of
    >> the reliability of your broadband connection etc.
    >> This arrangement will afford monthly savings on landline costs.

    >
    >I cannot see what this has to do with deciding on an ATA or a USB
    >device.

    It is very much more easy and economical to fully equip all areas of
    your premises with standard telephones that are 'non-technical person'
    proof by going the ATA route than the Skype/softphone route.
    >
    >[Snip]
    >
    >Some additional reasons for choosing an ATA:
    >
    >An ATA and router combination is operating system neutral. Getting USB
    >drivers for non-Windows machines is very problematic.
    >
    >The feature sets of inexpensive corded and cordless phones can be better
    >than similarily priced USB phones.
    >
    >If it's the sort of thing you want, an ATA is more versatile (ring
    >tones, for example) than the software being controlled by the USB phone.
    >
    >It depends on the operating system but a misbehaving softphone may
    >compromise the machine whereas a delinquant ATA can be rebooted without
    >affecting the computer.
    >
    >Brian.


    Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.
    Brian A, Jul 10, 2006
    #6
  7. Brian A

    Guest

    On Sun, 09 Jul 2006 13:03:19 GMT, Brian A
    <>, wrote:

    >I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    >people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    >are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    >idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    >Telephone Adapter).


    Do the majority of USB telephony users actually use handsets?
    Surely the distinct advantage is when using a Headset.
    If you spend a chunk of your day sat at a PC then a Headset is what
    makes life work. The improvement in quality of low-cost USB Headsets
    has been dramatic in recent times. Pre these a quality Headset would
    cost 3x the price.

    There can be distinct advantages by having the separate soundcard
    that comes built into the USB Headset too.

    It is a Lot easier to type and talk without holding a phone :)
    The same Headset can be used for dictation and even gaming.

    Horses for Courses, but some people do actually have their PC
    running all day anyway :) If they are not then an ATA and a Dect
    cordless is going to be the choice surely.

    If the user has VoIP for convenience then they will have both :)

    Wik
    , Jul 10, 2006
    #7
  8. Brian A

    PeterW Guest

    "Nick B." <> wrote in
    news::

    > Brian A wrote:
    >> I am writng this because I see so many postings, on this newsgroup, by
    >> people enquiring about USB handsets. As, personally, I think that they
    >> are misled I have briefly outlined the relative merits of ditching the
    >> idea of a USB handset and, instead, going for an ATA (Analogue
    >> Telephone Adapter).

    >
    ><snip>
    >
    > I certainly wouldn'y use a USB phone, however you seem to have
    > overlooked the SIP phones such as the SNOM and Grandstream. Prices
    > getting cheaper by the day and IMO they have facilities that a simple
    > ATA doesn't give you such as multiple SIP accounts.
    >
    >


    A Sipura 1001 gives you two and great call quality.
    PeterW, Jul 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Brian A

    Brian Guest

    On 2006-07-10, Brian A <> wrote:
    >
    > On Sun, 9 Jul 2006 22:01:27 +0000 (UTC), Brian <> wrote:
    >
    >>On 2006-07-09, Brian A <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> (b)You don't need to be in the same room as the computer.

    >>
    >>Because you can use a cordless phone?

    >
    > Could be but also you can use standard wired phones. I have 3 wired
    > phones and set of 4 cordless phones.


    So, putting phones in different rooms is a combination of using cordless
    phones and long pieces of cable. And this gives an advantage to an ATA.

    >>> 4. It is possible to completely DITCH your standard landline and just
    >>> use a VOIP phone if you are able to get cable broadband only in your
    >>> area. If you go this route though you should have a mobile phone
    >>> switched on, for emergency calls, as you cannot be absolutely sure of
    >>> the reliability of your broadband connection etc.
    >>> This arrangement will afford monthly savings on landline costs.

    >>
    >>I cannot see what this has to do with deciding on an ATA or a USB
    >>device.

    >
    > It is very much more easy and economical to fully equip all areas of
    > your premises with standard telephones that are 'non-technical person'
    > proof by going the ATA route than the Skype/softphone route.


    It was the replacement of a BT landline with a cable service and how
    that helped someone to make a choice between an ATA or USB that puzzled
    me.

    Brian.
    Brian, Jul 14, 2006
    #9
  10. Brian A

    alexd Guest

    Thomas Kenyon wrote:

    > Curious, I wonder if I'm the only person that has an IP shone that
    > doesn't support more than 1 account, and some ATAs that do.


    No you're not - I've got a bunch of Atcom AT320's too ;-)

    --
    <http://ale.cx/> (AIM:troffasky) ()
    19:44:05 up 2 days, 10:23, 2 users, load average: 0.01, 0.09, 0.25
    This is my BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMSTICK
    alexd, Jul 14, 2006
    #10
  11. Brian A

    Cash Guest

    It sounds you know much about ATA.You are quite right. it is very
    convenience to use a ATA as the interface is very easy to operate,also
    it could forward your Skype call to arbitrary telephone as well as your
    Mobile phone.
    We supply the VoIP solution and product for long time,all of us install
    an adapter,you could add me to your contacts and give me a skype call
    when I 'm not in my office.
    Skype:cashleung8011

    I'm in China if anyone want to sell my products or buy one for your own
    use give me a call or leave me a message.

    Cash Leung
    Skype:cashleung8011
    Cash, Jul 18, 2006
    #11
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