Help me setup my first Asterisk server

I have a small office that has a deprecated ATT phone service. There are 6 phones which are on their last legs, running on 4 plain telephone lines.

The office already has a linux box for samba.

I would like to downgrade to 1 phone line and VOIP. I would like to setup some kind of digital voice phone service out of that same box, and asterisk sounds ideal.

I am a bit overwhelmed. As I understand it, I would need to buy 6 digital phones and pay for VOIP service. Where should I begin? What carriers are asterisk friendly? What are good “cheap” phones (~80-100USD)? Can a total newbie set all this up?

What type of connection to the internet do you have?

The internet connection is ATT DSL.

You could do everything you describe. You should begin by reading the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596510489?ie=UTF8&tag=digast-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0596510489, which unfortunately seems to be no longer available as a free download. Still, it’s good value. As for a SIP provider, there are many:
http://www.voipreview.org/review.all.aspx, http://www.voipreview.org/Business_Telephone_Systems/business_voip_reviews.aspx (for use with Asterisk, you need to check that they offer SIP servers with open access, i.e. not locked to equipment they provide.) As for the phones, again make sure they are SIP (e.g. not Skype.) Amazon has some, and there are lots here: http://www.voipsupply.com/.

Have fun!
Ian

Do you know the upload and download speeds of the connection? I ask because the speed dictates to some degree how many concurrent phone calls you can have.

Do you know the upload and download speeds of the connection? I ask because the speed dictates to some degree how many concurrent phone calls you can have.[/quote]

I believe its 6 down and 768 up. If this becomes a problem we will upgrade.

[quote=“pmlco”]You could do everything you describe. You should begin by reading the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596510489?ie=UTF8&tag=digast-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0596510489, which unfortunately seems to be no longer available as a free download. Still, it’s good value. As for a SIP provider, there are many:
http://www.voipreview.org/review.all.aspx, http://www.voipreview.org/Business_Telephone_Systems/business_voip_reviews.aspx (for use with Asterisk, you need to check that they offer SIP servers with open access, i.e. not locked to equipment they provide.) As for the phones, again make sure they are SIP (e.g. not Skype.) Amazon has some, and there are lots here: http://www.voipsupply.com/.

Have fun!
Ian[/quote]

Ian thank you. I have been reading about SIP server providers. I will read your links, I appreciate it!

I will follow up here with any further questions.

The upload speed is obviously your bottleneck. The number of concurrent calls that you can stuff into 768k of course depends on the codec you use, and on if you’re also using that same bandwidth for web browsing, email etc. A low bandwidth codec such as g729 which uses about 80k per call should be able to meet your 4-call requirement.

I have decided to go with vitelity.net/ as the provider and SoundPoint IP phones by polycom for the terminals. Anyone with experience with either of these?

And batrams, thx for your input. I think you are a bit ahead of me. I am quite new to this so I have not thought of those kind of details yet!

I am trying to get a test rig up 1st, so I will be buying just one phone at first while setting up the software.