Many people are now opting to eliminate their land line phones and signing up for digital VoIP phone (Voice over Internet Protocol) services. Unfortunately, many people have experienced problems with the phones in their house not ringing properly or not ringing at all. This has usually been caused by insufficient power being supplied to the phone's ringer. Most older phones require a ringer equivalency number (REN) of 1. Phone companies provide a REN of 5 on their land lines which is five times the amount of power needed. At this time there are no set guidelines for VoIP providers when it comes to how much power they provide for REN. Some companies keep the REN low to reduce the cost and power requirements of their modems and they simply do not provide enough power to ring the phones. There are several simple VoIP solutions you can use to take care of the problem.
Things You Will Need
Ring generator (booster), Low REN phones/faxes
The first step is to decide if you want to replace all of the older phones and fax machines that require a higher REN with new phones and fax machines with lower REN requirements or install a ring generator to your system. This can be based on several factors. The first is financial. How much will it cost to replace all the older equipment verses adding a ring generator? The second is personal preference. Is there a special phone in the house such as a novelty phone that you love and would like to keep? If this is the case, a ring generator is the answer. A third option is to do both. Keep the novelty phone by adding a ring generator and replace all the other phones and faxes with low REN equipment.
If you decide the ring generator is the route you want to take, there are several options available. Some models pass caller I.D. information through and/or duplicate distinctive ringing on your VoIP line. Some of the less expensive models only boost the ring signal. Ring generators actually do not "boost" the ring signal. They regenerate the signal at a higher REN using power from an AC outlet. To install a ring generator, you simply connect the ring generator between your VoIP modem and the house phone wiring and plug the unit into an AC outlet.
If you decide to replace all of your older phones and faxes, verify that the REN requirements are low by reading the manufactures specifications. Another source of information is your VoIP provider. They should be able to provide you with a list of recommended phones and faxes that work with the lower REN levels they provide.
The economy today has people looking for ways to reduce expenses and many have opted for eliminating the traditional local phone service land line with less expensive digital lines provided over the internet. As with almost any new technology there are unforeseen problems that sometimes arise. Fortunately, ringer problems have a simple solution.