Can i connect asterisk to my internet gateway make calls, or do i need to connect to a voip gateway?
As long as your asterisk box has an internet connection you can call other SIP / IAX devices. This can be other computers or hardware phones, as long as they understand the SIP or IAX protocols.
What you can’t do is call regular phone numbers, like your cell phone or an 800 number. To do that you must have your own hardware or send a SIP / IAX call to a third party voip gateway, which would place the call for you.
Hope that answers your question.
"must have your own hardware " - what hardware are you referring to.
Here’s a couple of lists of Asterisk’s supported hardware. The exact hardware depends on the type of lines you have. If you have a regular phone line, like what would go to a residence, then you need one of the Voicetronix boards or one of the Digium TDM400 / X100P cards. If you have DS-1 ( voice T-1 ) then you need one of the Digum TE4XXP or TE1XXP.
Many thanks for the help, always good to know that there is helpful people to guide us newbies.