Cisco SPA525G Phone For Small Business – Review

cisco-spa525gThe flagship product in the Cisco small business 500 series of IP phones is the SPA525G. This phone is quite different from its siblings in so much as it features not just Ethernet network connectivity but Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for headset connectivity. There is also a USB 2.0 port for other headsets or accessories that use USB connections. The only quibble is that the Ethernet standard is 10/100 and not Gigabit Ethernet and if you want to utilize the Wi-Fi cable less mode of operation you need to buy a separate power adapter for the phone. This is because when using Ethernet the phone gets its power from the Ethernet cable coming from the Ethernet switch through PoE (power over Ethernet) standard so no power adapter is required. However despite this one annoyance, the Wi-FI configuration is excellent and it is provided through a Simple, secures wireless setup using industry-standard push-button WPS. This is the same method used to quickly install and configure Wi-Fi access points and it provides a quick method for provisioning the Wi-Fi enabled phone in the network with minimal configuration. In addition there is also an embedded SSL VPN client, which is provided to ensure a secure and private connection to your hosted IP PBX over any public internet connection. This is another great feature because securing the connection from the business to the service provider cloud over the internet is essential for privacy and security and normally requires an additional VPN device.

 

However it is not just the connectivity options that differ between the SPA525G and its siblings. In addition there is a high-resolution 3.2-inch QVGA 320 x 240 color screen, which displays the status of all the indicators through icons for phone, call and presence. Additionally the phone also provides support for multimedia functions, such as playing MP3’s, displaying digital photos, viewing RSS feeds, and displaying video surveillance camera streams. Furthermore the SPA525G provides 5 lines which are fully programmable and each line can be configured independently to use a unique phone number (or extension). If you wanted you could also configure lines to use a shared number that is assigned to multiple phones.

 

Conclusion

The flagship SPA525G provides a new level of small business user multimedia experience by providing not just HD voice and call handling features but also video with the capability to view photo’s, play MP3 and RSS feeds. The SPA525G is a very impressive phone but comes at a significant price at around $225 it is likely to be deployed sparingly in the SMB environment.

Cisco SPA525G
cisco-spa525g-small
Body Silver, dark grey ABS plastic
Display 3.2” LCD display – color (320 x 240 pixels, QVGA)
No of Lines 5 lines
No of Programmable keys 5 programmable keys
Standard Functions
Conference Call Capability 3-way
Intercom N/A
Speakerphone Yes
Caller ID Yes
Automatic Redial Yes
Voice Mail Capability Yes
Call Waiting Yes
Call Forwarding Yes
Call Transfer Yes
Call Hold Yes
Menu Operation Yes
Function Buttons Conference button, speakerphone button, headset button , mute button, hold button, voice mail button
Additional Functions/Features Call timer, built-in clock, pager call, Music on hold, built-in web server, compatible with Bluetooth headsets and Smartphones (Mobile Line Feature)
Network Connections Multiline support, multiple VoIP protocol support, integrated GigE Ethernet switch, EHS and Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, TR-69/104/111, Wi-FI, Bluetooth 2 x Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-Tx
QoS IEEE 802.1Q (VLAN), Differentiated Services (DiffServ), IEEE 802.1p, Type of Service (ToS)
Security SIP/TLS, SRTP, HTTPS, 128 bit WEP, 64 bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, 256 bit AES
Phone Directory Capacity 300 names & numbers
Call Log Capacity 60 numbers each for missed, placed and answered
Price $225 on Amazon but many host PBX vendors have discounts and monthly payment terms

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Alasdair Gilchrist

Alasdair is a technical writer with interest in business practice, operational strategy, start up philosophy and affordable technology. He lives in Nonthaburi, Thailand with his wife and daughter, and writes terrible novels as a hobby.

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