VoIP router specifications can
fill up a notebook. A VoIP router is a complex piece
of equipment used to forward data packets from one network
to another. Internal routing tables tell the VoIP router
how to forward the data packets. VoIP routers may be
used in business settings to separate the Local Area
Networks (LANs) into subnets for load-balancing purposes
and to filter traffic for security purposes. A VoIP
router may also be used in the home with an Internet
connection in order to route traffic to and from a PC.
Some VoIP routers are built as
dual router-gateways. A VoIP gateway serves to translate
analog voice into digital data packets between VoIP
networks and traditional PSTN / POTS networks. The combination
of a VoIP router and a gateway in one box can mean that
applications such as firewalls can be optimized in one
of the most important features to look for in
any VoIP router are the presence of a firewall,
Quality of Service (QoS) deployment and other
security features. A VoIP router also needs to
accept typical phone service features such as
call waiting, caller ID and call forwarding. A
firewall is necessary to prevent many hacker attacks
that are associated with any Internet device.
Denial of Service (Dos) attacks can be particularly
difficult when sending voice over an IP address
that is being flooded by such an attack.
If a VoIP router, however, has
a QoS system already in place, this will help matters
immensely. A VoIP Qos system
typically gives priority to data packets over other
kinds of traffic such as downloading files to a PC or
surfing the Internet. Downloading and surfing may be
a bit slower because of QoS but usually this is not
noticeable. If no QoS is on the router, however, voice
can be degraded to the point of being of very unacceptable
quality. Some routers' QoS systems will reserve part
of the Internet bandwidth just for voice data transmission
while a call is active and then release the bandwidth
after the call has completed.
Besides a firewall, other security
features to look for in a router include intrusion prevention
system (IPS), Virtual Private Network (VPN) and encryption
of data. VoIP routers, such as those made by Cisco,
include three core security features of Secure Connectivity,
Threat Defense, and Trust and Identity. Secure connectivity
involves the use of VPN to assure quality and reliability.
Threat defense involves responding and defending against
network attacks using a secure firewall. Trust and identity
means authorization, authenticationand accounting of
data by use of public key infrastructure and data encryption-decryption.
routers are many in the marketplace now days. The first
decision to make is whether to buy a router for home or
business use. Once this is decided, then it is time to
check out your own needs or that of your organization.
Then it is time to check out the specifications from the
different VoIP router manufacturers to get the device
that will work best for your unique situation.