PBX for home system

Which system is better for residential

  • Analog, because its more reliable
  • Analog, because its simpler
  • Analog, because its cheaper
  • Analog, all of the above
  • VoIP, because its cheaper
  • VoIP, because its more flexible
  • VoIP, because its more capable
  • VoIP, all of the above
  • Other, post below

0 voters

I’m setting up a phone system for a residence. This is my first time working with phone systems, so I need a little guidance.

Which is better? A dedicated phone system like the Panasonic KX-TA824 (http://tinyurl.com/27apta) or a VoIP type system, in this case made from ATAs (or FXS gateways). My requirements are:

[li]Must use analog handsets (since this is residential)[/li]
[li]Must be able to interface to analog PSTN[/li]
[li]Needs to be able to support at least 16 extensions (I have over 30 wall connections, but all need not be connected at once)[/li]
[li]Must be fairly cost effective (<$600, $700 max)[/li]
[li]Must be fairly reliable (can’t be rebooting it every week)[/li]
[li]Analog failover for every line (e.g. every line gets connected to analog PSTN line) would be nice, but might be able to be flexible here
Multiple analog handsets per extension, but can be flexible if cost per extension is low enough.[/li]
[li]Easy expandibility would be a good plus[/li]
[li]Ability to call other extensions[/li][/ul]

Now, the Panasonic system doesn’t have all the features I need (for example analog failover is 1 PSTN line = 1 extension), but it is nice and integrated and does get me most of what I need. However, it isn’t that cheap (approx $37 / per extension for the base unit, $25 / extension for the add on cards)

But, a VoIP system built out of ATAs and a cheap server seems like it almost might be cheaper and more configurable, even though it is more complicated. For example, I have seen Linksys PAP2s for $30, so the cost per extension is $15 (yes, I know they probably will need to be unlocked).

On the other hand, the VoIP system doesn’t seem as reliable.

In any case, I’ll probably end up having a VoIP component with Asterisk running it. For the analog system, the VoIP would allow routing of calls over the internet. For the VoIP system, the VoIP would run the show.

So, which solution do you think I should do?[/list]

nonsens i have multiple systems running and they never need a reboot!
but for 600$ to 700$ you can better go for the panasonic. if you use a voip system then better can use voip phones.

nonsens i have multiple systems running and they never need a reboot![/quote]
What I meant by this was that while I can see where VoIP based systems can be reliable, it just seems like there is more to go wrong - SIP servers, ATAs with fairly complicated firmware, etc. I’m mostly trying to get a feel for how reliable VoIP systems really are.

Actually from what I can tell, I can build a system out of Linksys PAP2 (about $30-$40, 2 port FXS), Grandstream 502 (about $40, 2 port FXS), or even Grandstream GXW4008 (about $200, 8 port FXS), with a cheap computer (about $150) using a used rackmount server (see http://www.weirdstuff.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?item=62015) or new consumer hardware (Tigerdirect often has barebones systems for $100) or even a Linksys NSLU2 (about $70).

The panasonic system is about $300 for the main system (8 extensions) and $200 for 8 more extensions. That’s $500 for 16 extensions. It’s not very hard to build a VoIP system for the same price, with better features.

So, from what I can tell, the VoIP based system works out about even, maybe cheaper for more features and more generally available hardware.

I’d love to use VoIP phones - some of those are quite nice, and I’ve seen some Cisco 7940 IP phones on ebay for really not bad prices. But, this is residential and people expect to be able to plug their analog phone in the wall, not have to get some weird (from their perspective) IP phone and configure it. But, one of the nice things about using a VoIP system for the backend is that I can use IP phones if I want/need.

I have it at home, and use it as a pbx/intercom/weather reporter/mythtv integration/wakeup calls/ and many other things.

I know this is a rather old thread… however I use a distro called “ASTLINUX” on a “Neo Light” embedded platform… pulls less than 20 watts of power… is my router / firewall / PBX / Voicemail etc and has no moving parts except a fan… I think I rebooted it once in the last 4 months… even has the asterisk Gui so its easy to config… ive got a mix of IP phones and Analog phones…