Newbie here, could use a few answers

Im real excited about this product! Im hoping it will work out perfectly for my business. I have a few questions and I appologize if im asking a question already asked, i tried to find the answers before i posted.

Here is what Im trying to accomplish.

1.) I run a small office of 10 employees, but expect to have about 50 employees by end of year. Most of the employees will be scattered around the country and not in 1 physical place. I want each employee to have an extension so that people call the main number and dial extension to reach them. Asterisk can do this easily correct?

2.) with asterisk can I have a toll free number that people can call and it will ring to several extensions…it can do this too correct?

3.) So i setup asterisk on my linux box, is there any other hardware i need besides the voip phones?

4.) what kind of service will I need to look into getting? whats it called? DID, SIP? basically i want nation wide calling and a toll free number.

5.) Who are the recommended places to get the above service?

Thanks in advance for all the help you provide!

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. If you use just voip protocols like SIP or IAX you don’t need any additional hardware, if you want to connect to the pstn (analog or isdn) you need additional hardware.
  4. You may need sip trunks from an itsp and/or you may need a pri isdn line from a local telco; if you want to let callers call an employee’s phone directly you will need did service.
  5. This depends on where you’re located, please let us know, I’m sure someone will give you an anwser.


Marco Bruni

I live in Iowa.

forgive the dumb question but when you said

[quote] if you want to connect to the pstn (analog or isdn) you need additional hardware.

why would i need pstn? again i basically want a phone on my desk connected via cat5 cable to my router and/or asterisk server im assuming. I then want to place calls nation wide but also have a toll free number AND local number (doesnt have to be local) so people can call me.

  1. you can get a voipline from a provider

  2. or you can get some analog or isdn lines and connect then to asterisk in this case you will need to insert some hardware in your box to connect to the pstn, this situation is what i think the best way to approach. In this case you will not have to deal with latency to your voip provider. And you will not double the latency.
    Voiplines: Phone > internet latency > asterisk > internet latency > voip provider >pstn
    PSTNlines: phone > internet latency > asterisk >pstn
    But that is my opinion :smile:

You may need isdn if voip through Internet is not enough reliable (this happened to us in Italy with our Internet provider) and if you need faxes (faxes over voip can be hard to make them work well), so you’ll have pstn line for outgoing/incoming calls and voip to connect the internal phones to the * pbx; if voip through Internet works well you can use just voip.


Marco Bruni