Newbie questions


#1

Hey all. I came across this VOIP stuff and figure I might try it out. Can someone give me an idea on how much it costs? I’m looking to just convert my home. I understand at this point I will need an adapter for my existing phones and will need a card for my pc and the Asterisk software. Can someone tell me where to get these cards and some recommendations and also what else I might need. I presume this software runs on linux so I will have to get a flavor from somewhere - any recommendations on which flavor of Linux also.

Paul


#2

If you’re really starting from scratch, go with asterisk@home. it’s built on top of centos 4, and is turnkey - put the CD in and boot and after awhile, you’ve got an asterisk (not configured) installation. for the card, depends on your budget, i got a tdm400 with one fxo and one fxs. you could get an xp100 for the PSTN line (they are not being sold anymore, but you can get them on ebay.) for the fxs, i think you can plug an ATA of some sort in to talk to the house wiring…


#3

How mch are we talking for the card for the pc in $$$? Also, what about the phone number - does that cost much $$$ per month or for initial setup?

Paul


#4

How mch are we talking for the card for the pc in $$$?

store.digium.com/products.php?category_id=17

Also, what about the phone number - does that cost much $$$ per month or for initial setup?

Well if you are going to use your current phone line I am going to take a wild guess and say it will cost you the same as it does now


#5

[quote=“rusty”]How mch are we talking for the card for the pc in $$$?

store.digium.com/products.php?category_id=17

Also, what about the phone number - does that cost much $$$ per month or for initial setup?

Well if you are going to use your current phone line I am going to take a wild guess and say it will cost you the same as it does now[/quote]

Thanks. Doesn’t look to bad to me. I think I have already a bit of this figured out. Ok now what about voip providers. There seem to be so many of them. I live in USA so looking for cheapest solution given that I would like to use this Asterisk and the associated hardware. Therefore, I assume I would need a byu type of provider? Any suggestions? I have been out to voip-info.org and looked at the ratings but not sure how those are developed as they might be one rating that someone at the company submitted therefore they might be more biased from that standpoint.

Paul


#6

beware pf going by lowest-cost, if you’re not REALLY savvy about this - the moment anything goes wrong, you’re at the mercy of their crappy CS…


#7

What is the difference between one of these cards in the link and a voip capable router? They kind seem the same to me.

Paul


#8

basically, they are. main difference; running asterisk gives you way more possibilities for expansion and customization (e.g. running your own voicemail, etc…)


#9

Does someone still need a voip provider with asterisk? In other words can’t they just pay for a number and then run the whole operation for their home system?

Paul


#10

Ok. One thing still left to determine on this. What about the home standard pots lines. Is there a way to disconnect them from the currently standard phone service and put the whole system and lines in the home directly on the new PCI Card?

Paul


#11

yup. here’s what i did. i have a TDM card with one fxo and one fxs. unplugged verizon line from outside from the house wiring and plugged it into the fxo card. then, plugged the house wiring into the fxs card. voila…


#12

to answer previous question: no, you don’t need to use voip at all.


#13

Really? - How so? I haven’t been able to figure out how not to? How would I get the telco number?

Paul


#14

i think we’re having a terminology problem here. asterisk has nothing to do, per se, with voip. it can use voip or pstn drivers (e.g. zap driver). it’s all in how you define the trunk (e.g. is it sip, or iax or zap.) what do you mean by ‘get the number’?


#15

Yeah I kinda understand Asterisk as really a means to talk to a voip provider and handle voip data using a specific supported protocol such as IAX. As part of its ability to talk to a voip provider it can give application level control of that data to store messages handling routing of the incoming streams to route to the specific phone, etc… Do we still need someone like vontage or others in that case?

Paul


#16

okay, yes. if you want to receive VOIP calls, you need a provider such as vonage (not them though). you want an asterisk friendly DID provider. i’ve been using exgn.net, check them out. for outbound, i use voipjet for pay as you go. other options too…


#17

Yeah this is the kinda of information this is also very helpful for newbies like myself. Would be good to have a for newbies section getting started with voip and Asterisk. I’m heading over to look at those sites now. Thanks for your help.

Paul


#18

Also understand that Asterisk can also work as a “traditional” PBX using analog or ISDN phone lines. You just need Digium (or compatible) FXO/FXS or B1/T1/E1 adapters in your Asterisk server (as required) to connect to the physical phone lines.


#19

Also understand that Asterisk can also work as a “traditional” PBX using analog or ISDN phone lines. You just need Digium (or compatible) FXO/FXS or B1/T1/E1 adapters in your Asterisk server (as required) to connect to the physical phone lines.[/quote]

I have been looking into this and the way I see it - I don’t think it makes sense for me to go with Asterisk at home and get the digium card since it is over $200 just for the card. Since it would still require a voip provider anyway. It seems Asterisk would be worth the money if I want such vast control over the services. But if I simply want lower cost communications - I might be better off just subscribing to sunrocket or vontage etc. right?

Paul


#20

you have 2 choices for getting calls into asterisk a VOIP provider or you can use the pots line you already have. If you use a digium card you can set it up so all calls would go threw your phone line you already have. Or you can get a voip provider and do all the calls threw them or you could do both. I use asterisk in our office we have a T1 connection to the pstn we get inbound calling on it and all my local calls go threw it. All my Longdistance goes to a viop provider I get no inbound calls from them.