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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

The 496 series - The 496 does NOT have PSTN passthrough unlike the 486 model

I would have thought that with a model number like 496 it would have been the natural progressor to the 486 or a newer model in that series! I only caught on in the last post when I checked the specs on their official website. They are designed for two different types of setup:

1) What the 496 appears to offer over and above is a second input for say another phone/fax machine that you could use with the same or two different SIP providers/phone companies. This is labelled PHONE2 (also knows as the FXS port) at the side of your device.

2) With the 486 you can only have the one SIP hence on phone input (FXS port). However, the port on the side is labelled LINE and goes back out to your normal analogue socket in the microfilter to enable you to have PSTN passthrough. This way, even if power is dropped to your router and the Grandstream itself you can still use your analogue service or make 999 calls. This is what is meant by a PSTN lifeline I think.

If you read the website carefully you will see that although 486 does not have a FXO port, it still has the lifeline:

"FXO port allows local and remote PSTN-to-VoIP call origination and VoIP-to-PSTN call termination, automated call routing through PSTN, and power fail-over. PSTN Pass-through allows local PSTN line service for income/outbound call and failover"

Note that with the 386 series you can still have two phone inputs AND PSTN passthrough. I think the 486 would be a better buy if you don't need two phone inputs as it seems to be more popular buy and there seems to be slightly more support for it.
7 REPLIES
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

Forgot to mention though that the 386 does not have the built in router though I suppose not many people need this!

What does it mean by the FXO port allowing local and remote PSTN-to-VoIP call origination and VoIP-to-PSTN call termination?

I thought his was done by the SIP provider?

Is the FXO port a souped up version of the lifeline port on the 486 that offers the ability to set up some kind of PSTN gateway?
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

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Is the FXO port a souped up version of the lifeline port on the 486 that offers the ability to set up some kind of PSTN gateway?


Exactly - if it has an FXO for your PSTN line then you can use it to choose if you want to route your calls over VOIP or the traditional analogue by using dial plans or prefixes - IN ADDITION to standard lifeline failover support.

Whilst people are still tinkering around with VoIP and the transition is still going on, I think the FXO port is a handy thing to have. But if you are willing to put up with 2 phones - 1 VoIP and 1 analogue, then a normal ATA will be just fine
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

But you see this is why it is confusing...

I can dial a prefix ( *00) and use my analogue service as normal (you hear the dial tone change). I also receive incoming PSTN calls just by picking up the phone when it rings. This is in addition to having the lifeline support.

So what is the advantage of having a FXO port over a the PSTN passthrough?
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

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So what is the advantage of having a FXO port over a the PSTN passthrough?

Good question - maybe they are the same afterall
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

Perhaps an FXO port offers the ability to connect to a phone switchboard e.g. an office environment so any user from any analogue phone on the switchboard can use VOIP?? This is what I meant as a PSTN gateway..

I may be completely wrong on this but that's my best guess..!
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

Thanks for all your help guys...I am sticking NOW :shock: with the 496 as it is ALL working and the sound quality is excellent on our DECT cordeless phone. I have the normal phone behaving normally and the PlusTalk phone for all the 01,02 outgoing calls. I am going to keep my current set up for a while and see how things go, perhaps PSTN stuff later in the year.

The Netgear router is working with the 496, took a bit more fiddling about with port settings but got there in the end!

Cheers and once again, thanks
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Difference between Grandstream Handytone 486 and 496

Glad to be of help, and good to see you finally got everything working!

Don't forget to keep active in the forums and let us know how you're getting on..

PS Does anyone know the answer to the FXO question?