Hardware for testing

I’ve started with a new company that’s looking to save money and can’t afford something like the Cisco UC520 or Alloworx 6x. They want those features but can’t spend that money (typical story, I know).

So I’d like to give Asterisk a shot. And after many years of interest I finally have an opportunity.

So I have a few questions.

  1. I know I can download Asterisk Now and get started, but how about the phones? Should I go on eBay ($40 phones on ebay goo.gl/2Stp) or craigslist and look for 2 cheap ip phones so I can at least call into the system and play with some features? Is there a softphone, so I don’t have to spend that money?

  2. Any issues running AskteriskNow in vmWare so I don’t have to scavenge old hardware for testing?

  3. We currently don’t have any phone coming to the building and won’t have anything for a about 5 weeks (we just signed a contract with MegaPath for T1 data/voice today). We are getting 5 SIP trunks. But before that happens, how can I make outbound calls to test the system? Skype maybe?
    UPDATE: Russ @ #asterisk on FreeNode suggest Teliax. $10 outlay for about 500 to 1,000 minutes of testing.

My goal is to setup a small working AsteriskNow system with 2 phones and show off the features to my boss and staff. Any ideas on a tight budget is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!



  1. you can try xlite from counterpath. it is a free sip softphone;
  2. asterisk on virtualization might have timing issues in queues, conference, playback, etc. so it is preferrable to use a dedicated server
  3. you mean how to test the sip trunk provider before asterisknow is installed? you can use xlite to register to the sip provider and test dialing. skype is not a sip softphone and you will find xlite more convenient in testing sip outbound.