Best Practice

Dear Users,

Apologies in advance if this post is in incorrect location


  1. Best card to purchase for my situation
  2. Are there any WiFi VoIP phones on the market yet?

I am interested in which card allows me to have RJ45 connectors from the back of the card directly to my network switch. Where i would then have Cisco VoIP stations or the like in each office


Mark Leon


the wiki is your friend !! … lots of work has gone into that to make life easier.

  1. what is your situation ?
  2. yes, the wiki has lots of details, and user reviews.

and your card … that would be a network card !! seriously.

  1. But most of these cards have RJ-11 interfaces, and if not they are meant for T1 lines etc…

  2. My situation:

Short term: We will need between 5-8 VoIP stations which can utilize all the features which Asterisk can provide.

Long term: We would like to have a 1-900 number attached in which we could facilitate billable calling


Mark Leon

what cards are you meaning ? what connection to the PSTN do you have, and want ?

i doubt very much … no, i know … you’ll not find a phone yet that can support everything that Asterisk has or can do. there’s a thread from earlier today that asks for phone recommendations …

your 1-900 depends on how you want to trunk this in. from PSTN/telco, or via VoIP/ITSP ?

Your post is correctly located, welcome!

let me make sure i understand you correctly.

You have a box that you want to set up as the asterisk phone server for your business. You want to connect it to your Cisco Ethernet switch, and then make it work with Cisco VoIP phones in your various offices, which are also connected to your Cisco Ethernet switch. You then want to install WiFi VoIP phones that will register to an Access Point, which is also connected to the Cisco Ethernet Switch.

For the first card, you want any Ethernet card, you do not need special hardware. The box you are using probably already has one. Asterisk does not care what Ethernet card you use as long as it works with Linux, because Asterisk generates network traffic the same as any other application or daemon. Asterisk only needs its own special hardware to connect to telephone interfaces, such as T1/E1/J1 lines, BRI lines, or POTS analog phone lines.
Configuring this device is more of a Linux issue, not an Asterisk issue. Numerous guides are available on the Internet for how to configure networks in Linux.

For the second thing, you need a WiFi Voip phone. There are many of these available, I have heard good things about the Linksys WIP300. You can find a number of them here

The third thing you will need (which you did not ask for) is some way of connecting Asterisk to the phone system. How that works depends on what kind of phone lines you have, be them PRI (T1/E1/J1) or BRI (ISDN) or analog. Digium, Sangoma and others make a very complete line of cards that will accomplish this task.
Alternatively, you can use a VoIP provider. This means your voice traffic goes out with the rest of your Internet data. This can save a lot of money, but most VoIP providers do not support 1900 numbers as I recall. You will also need to setup some kind of QoS (quality of service) control, so that the VoIP traffic gets higher priority to use your Internet link than other things like web surfing. To use VoIP, you do not need any special hardware as your existing Ethernet card is used.

Hope that helps!

IronHelix, baconbuttie -

Incredible help! Thank you for your comments…

Based on your input and my reading I believe I can accomplish a good
base system in which i can learn from.

Open Item:

I will repost the 1900 question separately, as this is my main point of contention. My goal is to route Toll calls to various places globally via VoIP or were possible…

And after searching i have not found any case studies of projects which have done this


Thank you for the great responses…

Mark Leon


i’m not use what exactly 1900 service is, being a Brit and everything :smiley:

but this is what i’m thinking you’re thinking …

you have a T1 voice connection (up to 24 channels) or multiples of, and want to take incoming calls. these calls are then routed out over VoIP to the desired destination.

if this is the case, then Asterisk is quite up to the job. you’ll obviously need the T1 circuit(s) provisioned by your telco of choice and a T1 card (or multi-span equivalent) from one of the manufacturers IronHelix quoted. if you want to terminate the outgoing call to the PSTN you’ll need a termination provider for the countries/locations you want to terminate to, you might get one that does it all, you might need a dozen. just about any setup can be catered for.

1900 is an american thing… a 1-900 number (900 area code) is a premium-rate number where you are charged a per-minute fee for dialing it. The fee appears on your telephone bill and the money goes to whatever company owns the 900 number. It was originally used for psychic hotlines and phone sex operations but is no longer commonly used. I’m not even sure new 900 numbers are still being allocated.

I assume you want to have calls come in on a 1-900 number, which will then hit the * box and some kind of IVR menu, and then based on the option chosen will be passed on to somewhere else, either by dialing there or by talking directly to the destination with VoIP.

If you want to send calls out via voip, you can try (I use them but am not affiliated with them). They will let you route calls out to the PSTN (normal phone numbers) for about $0.01/min. There are however many such customers, and you might get a volume discount from somebody bigger if you push a lot of minutes.

So ‘routing calls to various places’ will be very easy, be it by the PSTN or connecting VoIP servers.

I believe that your biggest problem will be to get a 1-900 number. I don’t think you can still buy them anymore…

The 900 lines are available today however, now the question will become. Can the line provider forward or route calls to my Asterisk box…

What is the largest known Asterisk deployment?

Mark Leon