Can I use VoIP and analog lines with Asterisk?

Hey everyone,

I’m totally new to this but looking into Asterisk. I’m considering using a VoIP solution but I’m concerned with quality or if my internet connection goes down. Is there a way with Asterisk to say use VoIP but also maybe 2 analog business lines, and then set priority and rules? So say for example, always use the analog lines, if the 2 are in use then use VoIP for call 3, 4, 5 etc? Furthermore, I’m not super technical, I am but if this is possible, is it set up in a GUI type view or is this some hard type configuration? Thanks!

If you do not feel you are comfortable with compiling, installing, configuring, and researching the technical details required for an Asterisk implementation; I would recommend purchasing a solution. A good starting point is the Digium site

No I don’t mind doing that, it’s more I can’t seem to find any screenshots of what Asterisk looks like. SwitchVox looks amazing, but all those graphical screens is that what Asterisk looks like if I install it myself on a PC or is it all command based? That will make a big difference. Thanks!

The most common installation i use is all command based on a linux machine. I have no need for a GUI in the smaller environments since users aren’t expected to perform any changes. There are some front ends you can use such as those listed here . What these GUI’s give you is a way to alter the Asterisk configuration files w/o actually doing it your self. Think of it in the world of Cisco. With a Cisco ASA Firewall you can use a web GUI if you like, or survive completely from CLI (CLI is my preference). If you are familiar with Linux command lines, then you don’t need the GUI.

Hope this clears up your confusion. If not please reply and I’ll try again.

Thanks that does help. I was checking out Switchvox which looks great, but the features I want are only in the SMB edition which is pretty pricey. Am I correct in that if I use my own PC and install Asterisk, I can get those same features, but Switchvox is more of an integrated solution that’s all prepackaged nicely?

One other thing I’m having issues finding is what type of call control do my users have? Right now we’re on a hosted PBX platform, so we can log into a web interface, and change things like find me follow me, so customers calling will ring on their cell phone at the same time as office phone and so on. Just wondering if Asterisk supports anything like that as well? The website seems to talk about their features a lot but doesn’t really go into depth or show anything.

correct. Asterisk is the engine driving Switchvox. They just have a very nicely packaged product that is easy to configure and “just works”.

If you would like your users have the same exact functionality then you may want a GUI that they can log into. OR if you are comfortable with scripting and such, then you can be creative with your dial plans and the use of databases to do “anything” you want. For example, my users can dial (or press a programmed button) *90 to set their CFIM (Call Forward Immediate i believe it stands for) number and *91 to remove it.

If i were you I would map out ALL the features that are required and start researching how hard it would be to set it up your self vs buying it. You will have to spend either money or time. Which is more important to you?

Either is fine but that’s a good idea to list everything I need and then to map it all out how I’ll do it. Switchvox looks really good but the price is high. Switching from my current provider saves me about $150 a month so don’t want to spend tons on equipment just trying to get a feel for what’s possible. I think I’ll install it in a virtual machine and give it a go, maybe try FreePBX or whatever and just see how it works out for me.