Cisco has advised users to update the firmware on some of its IP phones following the discovery of two security flaws. A brace of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) vulnerabilities in Cisco 7940/7960 IP Phones create the potential for hackers to crash - but not to run exploit code - on vulnerable handsets. SIP is a signalling …
Is anyone happy with VoIP phones in their office?
I've worked in several offices with Cisco VoIP phones.
The phones themselves are nice, and offer some features you can't have in standard analog or PBX based phones, however, I've found the audio quality to be horrible, and the phones seem to be more susceptible to outages and drop outs.
Of course, that could just be do to the administration staff at these locations or poor central hardware choices and configs. So I'm curious, is anyone happy with their VoIP deployment?
Is Cisco implying that this is an obscure exploit requiring SIP hacking? That's an amazing spin. Any packets rapidly sent to the phone's IP address causes it to reboot. You might have even rebooted your phone by accident.
We use VoIP for voice calls to and from our remote offices in the US and Canada. Quality is equivalent (or superior) to POTS, with a uncommon "underwater gargling" effect when the bandwidth (also used for data) is saturated. That could probably be fixed with a QoS patch to prioritize voice, but it really isn't important enough to bother.
At home, I have what is essentially VoIP on my fibre data feed, and only rarely do I notice anything less that the quality (or lack of it) we got with POTS. It's vastly superior to the voice quality of my cellular service (I'm on Verizon and have used AT&T, Sprint, and a couple of smaller cellular phones. The kindest thing I can say is that Verizon sucks less than the others).
Not Spin, just SIP
Unless I have totally mis-read the article and Cisco's release, they are not implying that you have to be hacking SIP. They are saying that the problem appears only on the SIP firmware load not the SCCP firmware load. Cisco would really prefer people using their VOIP phones to buy into the entire ecosystem of Call Managers, Unity VM, etc, and their SCCP signaling rather than the standards based SIP signaling. I have actually had more problems with Cisco phones rebooting due to moving the phone when the RJ-45 connection is not tight and loosing the PoE.
CTI popups and crappy quality
No, nobody I know is happy with the quality of VOIP audio, the way the quality degrades when network useage increases or the almost satellite like delays which randomly occur. As for the CTI software, forget it, it's more hassle than it's worth, epsecially with hotdesking.
We've been using VoIP for about 4 years, largely cisco 7960 handsets.
Got to say that I'm really happy with the setup we have, it works really well.
Must check that all of our handsets are running the latest firmware version though, not aware of any crashing problems.
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