VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) isn’t a new concept, but is one that has experienced renewed popularity in 2003. As the popularity of broadband internet connections has increased, the feasibility and interest in making telephone calls over a cable or dsl connection has followed. With several companies such as Vonage, Cablevision’s Optimum Voice, and AT&T beginning to roll out VoIP services, it looks like the concept has matured to a point worth considering.
VoIP, in overly simplified terms, allows one to use a standard telephone to place calls over the internet, eliminating the need for a dedicated phone line (and all of the fees/tolls charged by the phone company). Whatis?com defines VoIP as "sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets rather than in the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the public switched telephone network", with more information available on their site, if desired.
The D-Link DVG-1120M VoIP Gateway is a seemingly simple device that allows one to connect a standard telephone to one port, a broadband modem to another port, and a computer or network sharing device to yet another port for sharing of your broadband connection.
The two images below show everything included with the DVG-1120M. On the left you see the instruction manual and fairly generic packaging as delivered to me by my service provider. On the right you see the DVG-1120M gateway, AC power adaptor, a network cable, and a phone cable.
Talking a closer look at the gateway in the below left image, it doesn’t look much different than the current generation of routers and switches being offered by D-Link. Measuring 172 mm (W) x 156.6 mm (D) x 34 mm (H), it not only looks the same as these other devices, it is also approximately the same size. The below right image provides a closer look at the front corner, showing the logo and a few of the diagnostic LEDs on the device.
A sticker can be seen on top of the device in the above left image, and shown in greater detail below. Although not a limitation of the device, but merely of the service in the beta test I am participating in, the sticker alerts you to the fact that you can not place 911 calls on the device. Not a key feature as it pertains to this review, but worth pointing out.
The two images below show the rear of the gateway, which features all of the necessary connections. Using the below right image as a reference, from left to right you have the following features: AC power connection, switch to change from VoIP to PSTN phone service, device reset button, RJ-14 console port, RJ-45 WAN port, RJ-45 LAN port, and three RJ-11 phone ports. Two of the phone ports are blanked off, again, only as a feature of the beta test. When all three ports are available for use, two are used for connection to telephones, and the right most connection is to be connected to your normal phone jack, referred to as a PSTN (public switched telephone network).