Asterisk and 800 numbers

Hello everyone,

Thanks in advanced for taking the time to look at my question and respond. I am running a Rocky Linux VPS and looking to setup Asterisk. I read a few guides and I’m going to give it a shot. I’m an IT guy and Network Engineer with over 20+ years of experience in Networking, Cyber Security, etc… I know I can get this setup with no issues but I have zero VOIP experience. I was wondering once I get everything setup how do I port an existing 800 number to use the Asterisk system? I’m using ring central currently and tired of paying them for their service when I can run it on my own VPS. I know Asterisk is just the PBX VOIP system and not a Telco so how do you deal with getting numbers and linking them to a VPS running Asterisk?

Asterisk is not limited to VoIP, but if you are using a hosted system, you probably won’t be able to install the hardware needed to terminate traditional telephone lines, in which case you will need to buy services from an internet telephony service provider. If you didn’t have a freephone requirement, you could also use a SIP to GSM gateway device to connect to your local mobile phone network.

First, you need to decide if you want to have

  1. a functional system with built less effort (FreePBX with a nice GUI)
  2. customized solution built from scratch ( Install Asterisk on Rocky Linux and configure it from scratch)

Thinking as developer I suggest option 2, but as IT admin I suggest option 1

related to the numbers, you can port them to a reliable SIP provider like Twilio and use them

If you go with (1), you should note that the FreePBX community strongly discourage the use of non-standard platforms, so will strongly advise you to install onto a bare (virtual or physical) machine using their installer, which includes a customised Linux.

Also, in my view, it is worth doing a simple raw Asterisk system to get an idea of how things fit together, as FreePBX users tend to be lost when they have problems, or want to do something non-standard However note that FreePBX is not simply a configuration tool for Asterisk. It relies on a lot of canned code that it provides.

Although the basic FreePBX is free, there are lots of commercial modules that are chargeable, addressing things that businesses want to do. If you need those, but aren’t prepared to pay for them, it may be better to go with bare Asterisk and implement them from first principles.

Firstly, though, you should work out whether, once you cover ITSP charges, and your internal effort, it is actually going to be cheaper than what you are currently doing.

  1. Pick a provider. If you’re just looking for 800 numbers, they probably have them in inventory and you can just add them to your account. If you want to port 800 numbers you already rent, you fill out some forms with the provider, pay some fees, and wait.

  2. Once you have your numbers added to your account, you can configure them (on the provider’s web page) to either send calls to the IP address of your server or your server can periodically send REGISTER requests to your provider so they know where to send calls. Sending calls to an address is usually easier.

From Asterisk’s perspective, a call is just a call – nothing special about 800 so I would suggest just renting a ‘regular’ number from your provider and playing with that while you are waiting for the 800. There are even ‘free’ numbers available if you just want to play while you figure out if you really want to do this.

I’d suggest learning Asterisk ‘neat’ – no GUI.

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Thanks a lot I’ll check it out and taken your recommendation!!! Appreciate all the tips and insights!!!

Is Rocky Linux working for you? I tried it a couple of weeks before with a qemu/kvm VM and ran into some lower level problems that showed up with Cockpit. Alma had the same symptoms and I guess that not all packages have been rebranded properly.