Is there a wifi cordless phone?
July 28, 2012 8:16 PM   Subscribe

Is there such a thing as a wifi cordless phone that works with a landline?

I'm trying to find a "cordless" phone system that has phones which will operate over my wifi network, but which use a normal POTS phone line (a land line) to make and receive calls. I'm picturing something that would have a bridge device that plugs in to (or connects wirelessly to) my home LAN, and also plugs into my phone line, and then the handsets talk to it via IP over the LAN, and it makes them behave like regular cordless phones connected to the landline.

I've found wifi phones that do all-voip, use Skype, etc., but that's not what I'm looking for. I have a land line I need/want to use, so I'm not looking for a way around that. I've also had some experience with enterprise-type wireless phones that need a PBX or similar central (expensive) controller system to connect through. That's not what I want either. I'm willing to spend some cash on this, but I'm not looking to install (and manage) an enterprise phone system...

I've gone to some serious trouble to get excellent wifi coverage throughout my property, and it covers better than any traditional cordless phone I've had. So it would be awesome to be able to leverage that for my phones. I'm guessing that this is just too small of a niche (maybe I'm the only person in the world who wants it), but it doesn't hurt to ask, right?
posted by sharding to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can use many cellphones for SIP connections over Wifi, and an "Asterisk" phone server will take a phone conection in one side and connect to your SIP-over-wifi phone on the other.

I understand that this isn't trivial, but isn't impossible. I haven't tested it myself.
posted by mhoye at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2012

My friend who does a lot with SIP, Asterix, etc. recommends the OBi 110, which has a "line" jack and an Ethernet jack on the back. (The cheaper 100 doesn't have the line jack.) You can make calls on the PSTN line from SIP phones (on your LAN, but also from anywhere if you configure your firewall to allow incoming traffic on that port. Similarly, incoming calls on the PSTN line are picked up and the SIP phones ring. There's also an analog phone jack so you could connect an ordinary cordless phone. It's not exactly easy to configure, but neither is it an enterprise product.
posted by wnissen at 8:40 PM on July 28, 2012

You can configure the inexpensive Cisco SPA3102 ($69.20) to do what you describe, it's very flexible. However configuring it does feel an awful lot like configuring a "tiny" enterprise voip PBX.
posted by RichardP at 9:03 PM on July 28, 2012

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