The Cisco SPA500 series phones are popular for use with both Asterisk based open source phone system platforms and are often used with Cisco phone systems. The Cisco SPA500 series phones use SIP by default, are easy to setup and provision, and are affordably priced for their features.
The Cisco SPA500 series phones all feature two Ethernet ports and all support PoE (Power over Ethernet) natively.
The Cisco SPA500 phones all ship with SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and are compatible with Cisco’s protocol SPCP (Smart Phone Control Protocol) which is often used with the Cisco 500 series phone systems. All the Cisco SPA500 series phones also support up to two of the Cisco SPA500s which is a 32 button attendant console allowing you to add an additional 32 line appearances per attendant console.
For most users the main consideration when selecting a Cisco SPA500 series phone is the number of line appearances the phone can display. Typically, the SPA502G or the SPA512G are used in common areas because they only support a single line appearance.
The most common of the SPA500 series phones are the Cisco SPA504G and the Cisco SPA514G because they supports 4 lines which is a great balance for office use, call centers, and executives alike. The next step up from the SPA504G and the SPA514G is the SPA508G which features 8 line appearances.
The Cisco SPA509G is a great phone for both power users or receptionists. When using the Cisco SPA509G with two of the SPA500s attendant consoles the user has access to 74 line appearances.
The only phone that does not feature a display in the SPA500 series is the SPA501G.
For the most part, the remainder of the SPA500 series phones feature the same display except for the Cisco SPA525G2 which has a color display. The color display featured on the SPA525G2 phone is a 3.2 inch high resolution QVGA 320×240 pixel screen. The SPA525G2 phones with their color display look impressive in just about any setting.
The Cisco SPA500 series phones all feature two 10/100 Ethernet ports.
The Cisco SPA525G2 also has built in WiFi making it ideal for users that move around a lot or for locations that do not have network cabling. The Cisco SPA525G2 also has a built in VPN client making it an excellent choice for remote users because the phone can securely terminate the VPN connection for remote users without any additional hardware or software.