Newbie: which phones? which ata? which service?

hi all. I’m very new to asterisk, I have an old powerPC G4 I installed ubuntu and asterisk on it’s up and running and I tested it with the x-lite softphone. My question is about the actual hardware I need to have. Have a home business and want to set up asterisk and 2 phones, what type of phones and ATA should i get? Also, I was thinking for voip service I would go with either Vonage or Broadvoice, although I’ve read a few posts online that say vonage and asterisk dont play well together, is this true?

Those are kind of subjective questions, but I’ll tell you what I would do (noob alert - I’m only a month+ into Asterisk myself).

Get yourself a Linksys SPA3102 for your ATA. For phones, I’m in love with the Grandstream GXP2000 phone, but if you have more modest needs the Grandstream Budgetone 200 phone is good too. I have both those models in operation and they both seem to work well.

I’d then look for a good VOIP provider. I use an outgoing calls only provider,, and have been happy so far. Do some Google searches etc. as there are a bunch out there. Vonage etc. will sell you a separate ATA for their service, and I’ve never used it with or without Asterisk, so I’m no help on that front, but here is some math I did for my own personal calling;

Rapidvox VOIP provider rate for US calls: 1.2 cents per minute
Vonage - unlimited calls to US: $24.99

24.99/.012 = 2082 minutes = 34.7 hours.

So for me, I’d have to be on the phone for over 34 hours per month to make Vonage a better deal. For my needs it’s a no brainer - Rapidvox wins. Your situation may be different. Good luck.


hey thanks,
I’m also confused about sip vs analog phones, using either I still need the ATA correct? The ATA is the interface to the voip service? Is the main advantage of the sip phone not having to convert the analog signal?

Thanks, I know these are pretty dumb questions, but…

sip phones are IP only and have a normal ethernet jack on them (sometimes two).

ATA’s allow you to hook up either a normal phone, a normal phone line, or both.

With sip phones you do not need an ATA at all. In your post I assumed you were wanting to hook up a local (POTS) line to your system - so an ATA or an internal card would be needed for that. If you’re not doing that, and you are going to straight sip IP phones - no ATA is needed at all.

For the VOIP service all you need is an internet connection with enough bandwidth for the number of simultaneous calls you’ll be doing. DSL, Cable, etc. all work.

So for your application - assuming no existing local lines need to be connected up - all you need is two sip phones and to get service from a VOIP provider.

Hope that helps!


ah, ok so with a sip phone just use ethernet cable into my router?
Is there any advantage going with the sip phone, or will I get the same benefits/quality using and ATA and my existing (POTS) line?

The nice thing about the sip phones is they have all the buttons on them already for things like;



You can do all of these things with an ATA and regular telephone, but you have to memorize * codes, like *97 to get your messages, *54 to transfer, *67 to conference, etc. FYI - I made up those code numbers for example purposes.

Cost difference is minimal, if I were you I’d go sip phones for the sheer convenience of it.


Linksys SPA3102 = $68
normal telephone = $20

Total $88

Grandstream Budgetone 200 = $50

Grandstream GXP2000 = $80

So with sip phones you’d save money over the ATA and standard phone (even with the step up to the GXP2000), and have a whole lot easier time with the “special features” of a PBX.


oh, and yes you’d just connect the sip phones to your router. Best to have the phones and the Asterisk box on the same network. Much easier to make things work!


FYI this guy posted several videos on using the Grandstream GXP2000, take a look you can see the phone in action;

Thanks so much for your help, I appreciate it.
Definitely going to go the sip route.

Absolutely. Good luck to you.