Are you tired of being tied down to your computer area to use your VOIP phone service (IE Vonage, MagicJack, Via Talk or ITP)? Here is a way to make your existing home phone jacks work with your VOIP.***** DO NOT USE THIS TIP IF YOU HAVE DSL (FROM THE PHONE COMPANY) FOR YOUR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER OR IF YOU ARE IN AN APARTMENT BUILDING*****
Items you will need-
COMPLETE THESE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY AND IN ORDER OTHERWISE DAMAGE COULD RESULT TO YOUR VOIP MODEM. NOTE THAT EACH HOME IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AND MAY HAVE NON-STANDARD WIRING SITUATIONS OR HAZARDS UNFORESEEABLE SO THIS TIP IS TO BE DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK AND YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES THAT ARISE FROM WORKING ON YOUR OWN HOUSE SUCH AS IF YOU DAMAGE ANYTHING OR GET SHOCKED OR FRY YOUR VOIP MODEM AND BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE IT'S ALL ON YOU....
- An existing home telephone jack near your VOIP service modem.
- A screwdriver
- A telephone cord long enough to reach from the VOIP service jack to the existing phone jack.
So hopefully I haven't scared you off from trying this tip since it is fairly simple to do but complements of lawsuit happy America I had to cover the disclaimers....
Let's get started...
First thing you need to do is to locate the main telephone junction box to your home usually located outside near the power meter. Here are some pics of some standard used boxes.
There is a screw keeping the customer access door closed. Loosen this screw and open the access door to expose the home wiring. Note: this screw does not usually come completely out. To set you at ease, yes it is completely legal for you to access this portion of the box. The portion that you are not supposed to access is restricted by a security bolt and can not be opened with a normal screwdriver.
Once you have the access door open there are two types of commonly used connections.
- The most common is one similar to this picture. Disconnect the lines attached to the test jacks.
If you have more than one line here then loosen the screw terminals one at a time and place the wires from the other lines to the same terminals on Line 1 so all jacks in the home should be available.
Note: there may be a cover over where the screw terminals are for where LINE 1or 2 are, simply pull the cover toward you to expose the terminals.
2) The second style is very similar to the first but the area where the screw terminals are has a plastic rectangular bar about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide with telephone lines attached to it (often times Red and Green or Blue and White/Blue). If you have this style of connection push the side of the bar closest to the center of the box and then pull outwards and to the right this should expose the "Test Jack". Once the bar has been extended twist it 1/4 turn counterclockwise to remove it from its mounting bar. Use caution not to disconnect the phone wires attached to the bar.
Almost there and now the hardest part should be done.
Now return to where the VOIP modem is located and remove the telephone cable for the phone that was being used for your VOIP service.
Connect the new phone cord to the same outlet that the phone was connected to on the VOIP modem and then connect the other end to the home phone jack.
If you still want to connect a phone to the jack you are connecting to here then a simple telephone line splitter plugged into the jack will fix that.
Now try to connect a phone to any of the phone jacks in your home and you should have dial tone. Note that most phone service is made to comfortably handle 4 phones that connect to a phone jack.