Asterisk for Small Business

Hello everyone,

I am looking in using Asterisk as the solution for a small business. The main goal of this is to achieve a low cost. Since I am a new to Asterisk, I am a little overwhelmed with all the possibilities so I would like to hear a little bit of feedback regarding possibilities and what exactly should I be researching to make this happen.

What I want to build is really simple: voicemail, have a number of VoIP lines that is less than the users thus use the Asterisk to manage them, have them work as a if we had traditional hunting. Can I use Trixbox for this?

Since our goal is low cost, what is best? To have VoIP or to have PSTN lines that are digitized using some of Digiums cards?

If VoIP is your answer, how do you handle the problems with compression and sending Faxes?

Finally is there any company that you could recommend that gives small business frendly rates for VoIP?


You may want to check out the Evolution PBX . It is very inexpensive and you get excellent support when you need it.

First, I would assume the previous poster works for that company… advertisements should be expressly labeled as such (ie I work for this company check our our product, not ‘try these guys they dont suck’)

yes this is quite possible. VoIP can probably save you some money, but you need a good internet connection (with good upload) and also you will need a router with QOS controls (to prioritize voip packets). Asterisk can easily pool lines and direct all callers regardless of line to the same menu.

Faxing usually works decently well using g.711 ulaw codec (least compression). However this is totally YMMV, result depends on your fax machine, your provider, number of wooden chairs with metal screws in your office, last time it rained, what you had for lunch before you installed it, pollen count in Denver, etc. Some people get 100% reliable, some people never get it to work; you won’t know until you do it. Consider keeping an analog line around for faxes.

for providers try voicepulse connect, viatalk, broadvoice

hope that helps!