Okay, I’ll make a confession right off the bat here: A year ago, I would not have been able to even venture a guess as to what that title means. I mean, I’d heard of VoIP service, so the first part I probably could have guessed, but from there, all I would have been able to give you is a long, blank, I-don’t-have-a-clue-what-you’re-talking-about stare.
Not certain yourself? Here’s a quick rundown:
VoIPo – provider of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service
Zoiper – provider of softphone app, to use in conjunction with VoIP service
SIP – Session Initiation Protocol, communications protocol that requires more coffee than I’ve had for a clear, complete explanation
Softphone – software program that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way and we’re all clear (or at least clear enough) on the various parts, let’s get into the reason for this post…
One of the final pieces in setting up my business was acquiring a phone number and a means of forwarding calls to my (iPhone) cell phone, wherever I may be. VoIPo’s service and rates were quite reasonable and the Zoiper SIP Softphone app was free, but I soon discovered that setup could be a bit of a challenge to an end user who is operating blind — neither service provider had provided instructions. (In speaking with a VoIPo rep, I learned that the absence of instructions was largely due to the variety of softphone services available, with each setup presumably somewhat different.)
Following are some points to be aware of and understand * — points that I only learned from trial and error and asking questions:
From the VoIPo end
- The hardware you receive from VoIPo is not just for “normal” telephones, but is also necessary for fraud/security purposes, to authenticate service that is ultimately routed to you through a softphone interface. Even if you plan to use only a softphone app through your cell phone, you will need to temporarily plug the unit into your Internet connection.
- Assuming the device you receive from VoIPo is a Grandstream HT502 (you’ll find the model information on the underside), make sure the ethernet cord is plugged into the WAN (input) and not the LAN (output).
- Once the device is plugged in, your credentials will then be communicated back to and registered with VoIPo.
- You can unlock the softphone option and complete the setup in your VoIPo vPanel by going to Features > Preferences > Softphone / BYOD Devices.
Prior to complete, proper setup, you will see:
Unfortunately we have not verified that your device is currently provisioned and registered to VOIPo’s network, please ensure your device is currently connected and registered in order to retrieve your softphone SIP credentials!
The system will confirm, at the vPanel, once setup has been successfully completed, at which time you should also receive a “VOIPo BYOD Information” email confirming that “You have successfully activated your BYOD credentials” and providing you with the password for softphone service use. If you don’t receive an email right away, be patient until you do (unless, of course, it’s been a few hours; then reach out to VoIPo through their online chat). Each time you attempt to register the BYOD device, the VoIPo system will generate a new email along with a new password.
- The hardware does not need to be left plugged into your Internet connection, just long enough to enable and register the credentials.
From the Zoiper end
I found no actual iOS setup/installation instructions for Zoiper, but following is the registration setup I used:
|Account name:||[VoIPo phone number]|
|User name:||[VoIPo phone number]|
|Password:||[password provided by VoIPo, in the “VOIPo BYOD Information” email, mentioned above]|
|Caller ID:||[name or business name]|
|Auth Username:||[VoIPo phone number]|
All other settings were left at default.
Once registration is complete and the VoIPo / Zoiper connection made, your Zoiper SIP Account screen will show as “Registration Status: OK”
NOTE: In setting up the Zoiper account, make sure you provide the password associated with your BYOD credentials, not the password you use when logging in to the VoIPo Vpanel. Any changes made to your account at either end — VoIPo or Zoiper — will likely result in the need to re-establish a connection, and thus a new password.
*If you are using another softphone provider (and not Zoiper) or your operating system is other than iOS, please note that only some of this may be applicable.