cisco ip phone at home?

Posted on 2004-10-20
Last Modified: 2009-10-26
we use cisco ip phones at work and i like it a lot. Is there any way i can setup cisco ip phone at home too?  I am a complete newbie to this, if it is possible what do i need to to get it working (Just for regular home usage) besides buying the ip phone and having a internet connection. thanks!
Question by:gagaliya
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Accepted Solution

scampgb earned 100 total points
ID: 12361204
Hi gagaliya,
The short answer is "yes".

The long answer is "it depends on which phone it is and where you buy it from!".

Here you would sign up to a SIP provider, such as FWD ( and configure the phone to use their service.
FWD only do IP-to-IP calls.  You'd need a provider that will allow you to make (and receive?) standard PSTN calls.  You can find a list of providers at

You can get "SIP" images/firmwares for only certain Cisco phones - I know that the 7960 is an example of one that supports it.
The others ones run SCCP "Skinny" protocol.  The point about "where you buy it from" is related to the SIP images.  The phones are generally supplied with SCCP images, which would need to be changed.  An authorised Cisco reseller can do that for you - or sell you access to Cisco's website so that you can do it yourself.  Buying a second-hand phone has complications under Cisco's licencing schemes.

You'll also need a broadband Internet connection.  Run the test at and it'll tell you how suitable your existing connection is.

Of course, you could also look into implementing a SIP-based PBX - but that might be a bit overkill :-)

Sorry if some of this doesn't make sense.  It's not very complicated once you've got the hang of it, but it's a case of pitching it right :-)

Can you please explain a bit more about what you want to achieve?  Which particular phone did you have in mind, where are you based and how do you plan to use it?

Author Comment

ID: 12361603
thanks for the answer! wow this looks complicated.  currently i am using 7960 at work, but really i dont have a strong preference on the models, just like the big lcd display and the placed/received/missed call features and dailing options that regular phones with their tiny screen cant provide.

i am using verizon dsl currently but will have comcast cable soon, and i live in new jersey/nyc.

so i basically need the phone, internet, then find a company that will provide me with cisco ip phone service along with the phone number?

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Assisted Solution

Joel_Sisko earned 50 total points
ID: 12361625
Here is an addtional list of residential list of VoIP phone providers:

As stated in the above comment you will need to make sure the phone you choose supports SIP (in lamens terms, the language of VoIP the phone speaks to work on the Internet). Also make sure that the provider you choose can support the Cisco Phone, not all will.

If you are looking to use the phone to connect to your corporate office, it is possible and requires a little more configuration. Check with your IT/Telecom department and let them know what you want to do.

Kindest regards
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Expert Comment

ID: 12361693
What Exit? LOL, Hey in CA but from Passaic, NJ!

News article on Comcast:
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Expert Comment

ID: 12362134
> wow this looks complicated.

Nah!  Wait until you have to start understanding codecs :-)

The 7960s are excellent phones - but they are also one of the most expensive :-)
Make sure that you buy it from an authorised reseller, otherwise things get complicated.  You can get a SIP image for that phone, so explain to the reseller that this is what you need.
The display is very configurable, but be prepared to put some effort into it.  The 7960 gets the data to display in the form of XML data.  You need to provide the configuration through a TFTP server, and tell it where it can find the XML file over HTTP.  You can find some info on this at

You might want to consider the Polycom SoundPoint IP range (,1443,pw-34-182,00.html).  They're cheaper and offer similar features.
I've heard good things about VoIPsupply ( but have not used them myself.

I'm not in the US so can't recommend any particular SIP<>PSTN provider.  

As Joel says, it might be possible to connect into your office network - but you said you needed it for regular home usage, so I didn't go into that :-)

You might be better off finding a standard analogue phone that offers the features you need.  Going the VoIP route is great, but it'll take a bit of setting up :-)

Assisted Solution

mkgmkg earned 100 total points
ID: 12369062
I think the most simple example for gagaliya to use at home would be getting a cisco ATA 186 or 188 model.This device is very easy to configure as only requires an ip address to be assigned. Morepver you can convert upto ur two regular analog phones into ip phones by just plugging into the jacks provided.
There is always an option of connecting an answering machine or PBX to one jack instead of regular phone also.This can make ATA to route the voip calls to PSTN also.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12369874
mkgmkg: I think the use of an ATA (doesn't have to be a Cisco one ;-) ) is a valid option for a VoIP application.  However, Gagaliya was wanting to use a Cisco 7960 (or similar) because of it's phone features, and not use VoIP at all.

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Expert Comment

ID: 12369953
Actually - the mention of an ATA got me thinking....

You could use something like the Sipura SPA-3000 to provide an FXO connection to your existing PSTN line.  Details of this product are available at

You could configure that to act as the SIP gateway for the IP phone, and with a straightforward dialplan it'll just dial straight out of the standard phone line.
I think that meets your requirements.  You could then also configure this device to route VoIP calls to an external SIP provider, provide a SIP gateway service for other phones and it provides an FXS interface as well :-)
The FXS interface means that you can plug in a standard analogue telephone.  You'd be able to configure the SPA to allow calls between the various phones.

You could use it as your own mini-PBX :-)

So, this would be cabled as:

Cisco 7960 --- (LAN cabling) ---- SPA-3000 ---- standard analogue phone line

I've got an SPA-3000 myself and it's *lovely* :-)

Does that make sense?

Author Comment

ID: 12383375
thanks for the response guys! i will contact our local providers listed here and see if they can help setting me up with the phone based on the comments here. I still dont understand why regular phone makers like panasonic, uniden etc dont have large lcd displays.


Expert Comment

ID: 28543918
Guys Adding to this discussion, we have configured Cisco Ip phone at home with our external TFTP address and it works fine,..It was working fine, but now when users call from home  IP phone , the dialed party cannot hear the voice of the caller and vise versa...can ou please let me know, wht seems to be causing the issue, as the call is getting conencted , its just that there is no voice.

is it a Call Manager related issue or Firewall or something else..Please advise

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