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VoIP Intercom or IP Intercom Buyers Guide
There are three type of products you could be looking for when shopping for a VoIP intercom. The most traditional is an intercom that connects to an on premise hardware IP-based telephone system using the SIP protocol. SIP is a standards-based protocol that allows products from different manufacturers to work together. The second type is an intercom that connects to a cloud-based hosting service. It could also be an IP telephone system but instead of hardware based, it is a cloud-based telephone system, or it could be like a door intercom that connects to a cloud-based service provider. The third type of VoIP intercom is one that is self-contained and does not need connection to the Internet or any external network. This type has a benefit of greater security and reliability.

Types of VoIP Intercom Systems

Hardware IP Telephone System

Hardware IP Phone SystemThis type of telephone system is a specialized computer server that sits in a data equipment room on the premises where it is being used. It is typically owned by its user. It has IP telephones that connect to the server through a local area network, or even remotely over a wide area network. The telephones themselves may have an intercom-like feature that enables calling any other IP intercom phone. If you also need an intercom at a door, there are third-party devices that can be connected to the telephone system and they act just like a telephone, except when the button is pressed it is programmed to call a specific person or a group of people.

Cloud-Based IP Telephone System

Multi-tenant IntercomInstead of buying equipment as in the hardware-based system, with this system you pay a monthly fee to use a hosted service. Telephones communicate through the Internet to a server in a data center somewhere. The features are the same and just like a hardware system you can use SIP-based door intercoms.

There are multi-tenant door intercoms that use a service like this. A multi-tenant intercom is used at doors of buildings like apartments, condos, or business suites. When someone comes to the door they can select the individual or business they want to visit. With this intercom, you buy the hardware that goes at the door, then you may a monthly fee per user for the cloud service that provides many of its features over the Internet, like video hosting for instance.

Self-Contained IP-Based Intercom System

commercial video intercomThis type of system does not need a cloud-base hosting or computer server hardware. One of the stations uses it's built-in web server to control a system with as many as 32 stations (or more with additional licensing). If you do want to use these intercoms with a VoIP telephone system you can do that too since they are SIP compliant. This system is available with or without a built-in video camera. Of course an ip intercom with camera also has audio.

These intercoms have ample high-definition sound along with noise cancellation, handsfree operation, and automatic volume control. If you need a manufacturing intercom, these have an extra-loud speaker, plus we can even add an external amplified horn speaker. We use these call boxes intercom for truck scale intercoms, which is one of the most challenging applications there is. The callbox gets its power from a Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) switch so the intercom does not need a power outlet nearby. Since the system can operate on its own private network, it does not require Internet service. This is good if you are concerned with uptime and security.

Wiring VoIP Intercom

The nice thing about all of these intercoms is that they use standard CAT-5 or CAT-6 cables with RJ-45 plugs. No special wiring is needed. For door or gate intercoms, you also may need to run two wires to an electric door strike or gate opener. These door intercom can close a switch that activates any brand of opener.

CAT-5 Wiring Diagram
For help choosing a system call us at 888-298-9489 or look at the products below and on this page: CAT-5 Intercoms