So far in this series on Premium Sound in Business Communications, we have covered bandwidth and switches. Let’s dive even deeper into office infrastructure to ensure that your office is ready for an IP system with the maximum sound quality.
This week? Routers. Routers are what connect your office to the outside world. Commonly in this industry, routers are referred to as firewalls. Routers should inspect the traffic coming in to make sure it is “good” traffic.
The speed of your internet determines the processor of the router you choose. The faster your internet and the more people you have, the faster your processor should be. Bigger processors and memory help you accomplish the throughput that you need.
What’s the difference between a router that you buy for your office and one that you pick up for your home?
A router for your office should only let information into the office that someone has requested. In addition, it scans for malware and viruses. This is something we call Stateful Packet Inspection. The router will only let traffic through that Person 1 requested. So if something comes through that Person 1 did not request, the router will just drop that info, as it is assumed to be a hacker. This method also prevents Person 2 from receiving information that Person 1 requested.
So how does this work for your VoiP system when a phone call is coming in that you didn’t request?
For VoiP, this happens on a certain port. A phone call comes to the firewall, or router, and it recognizes something is coming to your public IP. By opening certain ports on your router, you allow for these phone calls to come through.
In the wonderful world of hackers, your VoiP is subjected to hacking as well. Hackers will try to make phone calls by attaching phones to your phone system, or imitating a phone system. There are ways to avoid this, by only allowing remote phones to connect from within the U.S., setting passwords, etc. However, hackers can maneuver around these barriers. That is why going with a 3rd party IT company is a smart choice. We are alerted every time someone tries to hack into your IP system. If you go with a big internet or phone company, you won’t know when you’re being hacked. You’ll sign a waiver saying you are responsible for dealing with hackers and that the company is not liable for hackers. Or, on the other end, you’ll end up with a 10k bill after the fact from the company for dealing with the hackers.
Either way, having a secure, and intelligent router as well as a carrier that monitors and looks out for these challenges will keep your VoiP system safe and operating effectively.