Conventional looks aside, the Zip 4x5 has a lot to offer for remote office/home office users in need of a do-it all IP phone. Here's an abbreviated list of what comes as part of this package:
- Firewall, NAT, VPN, and DHCP server enable this phone to act as a boundary device for remote users
- Support for four call appearances enable up to four simultaneous ongoing calls
- Four RJ-45s support up to three additional Ethernet devices, plus a link to an Internet access devices like a cable or DSL modem
- RJ-11 enables the phone to handle PSTN calls as well
- All Ethernet ports and the phone itself integrate into a built-in 5-port 10/100 Ethernet switch, and the device also acts as an IP router.
The 4x5 designator for this phone indicates its ability to handle four concurrent calls, and its support for 5 circuits (4 Ethernet, 1 PSTN).
Beyond its networking capabilities, the Zip 4x5 is also a pretty advanced telephone. The base unit includes a speakerphone and a headphone jack for hands-free operation. The base product includes a good-quality,
The phone is easy to configure, install and deploy. It can be managed locally or remotely across the Internet (ideal for companies seeking to manage remote office/home office equipment from a centralized location). It can be provisioned in situ or beforehand, at a business office or a management location before sending it to its designated end-user. If properly provisioned, the phone creates a total "plug-and-call" solution for users.
Product Description: Advanced IP telephone with built-in Ethernet switch, routing, and security functions (built-in DHCP server, NAT, VPN, and firewall)
Class: Enterprise-level communications, suitable for home office, remote office, satellite office use (supports centralized management and provisioning)
Cost: Retail pricing is $300-350 for plain version, $340-425 for Bluetooth version, volume discounts available
You'll love this product if: you need a compact, do-it-all IP telephony and networking solution that's centrally manageable and configurable. Also appealing to small and medium sized business users as well.
You won't if: remote or home workers already have Internet access/security devices in place, because cheaper "pure IP phone" solutions are readily available.
About the author:
Ed Tittel is a regular contributor to numerous TechTarget Web sites, and the author of over 100 books on a wide range of computing subjects from markup languages to information security. He's also a contributing editor for Certification Magazine, and edits Que Publishing's Exam Cram 2 and Training Guide series of cert prep books. E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was first published in October 2005