Setting up a new voip system?

Hi there! I’m a total newbie when it comes to voip etc etc, and have been doing a bit of reading up about setting up a future voip system/server.

Ive got an ok ish PC which im going to use as this server/test server so I can play around with voip and so on. I’m going to be putting Asterisk on this server as ive read mainly good things about it.

I’m going to be purchasing a ISDN card for this server and have found a suitable model based on recommendations.

The thing is, what else do i need?

Obviously I need an ISDN line right? Is there anywhere or any way I can get around this, or cheap as its just for testing?

What about phone numbers, or do these relate to the ISDN card.

Any more information needed?

I will be using another spare PC as a client pc to do all the testing, but unsure which actual client software to run. Any recommendations please?


No you don’t need ISDN at all just use sip or IAX trunks.


No you don’t need ISDN at all just use sip or IAX trunks.


Thanks for the reply Ian.

So what exactly would I need to buy/setup one ive actually got a server running asterisk? As you can probably tell, im missing some fundamental understanding

Like any project Firstly you need to define what you want to do and what your budget is.

But to experiment with asterisk you need a PC and a client. that can be a softphone on another PC or a IP Hardphone.

If you budget is $0 then softphone if its bigger then look at hardphones etc.


Thanks again for the information.

I will probably use a softphone to begin with then due to the cost, but at some stage will purchase a hardphone for further testing.

Ive done a bit of reading, and as for asterisk, clients and so on I think im OK now, well, have a better understanding.

What im not sure on still is the connection needed to begin this process. Can I just use a normal internet connection and go from there, and use it with an ISDN card? or will that only work If i have an ISDN line incomming?



Can you explain your obsesion with needing an ISDN line.

You ONLY need an ISDN card if you are going to connect to an ISDN line.

If you dont have an ISDN line then you dont and never will need one.

You will use you normal internet connection to have the voip trunk connected to your server.


ahh ok, it was just from something i’d read online, and got confused.

So basically, normal broadband connection (would this limit the amount of extensions? or does that depend on said connection)… which connects to the asterisk server, and the client pc has a softphone setup linking to the asterisk server?

Then setup voip trunk (never come across that term before) on the asterisk server aswell?

Thanks for all the help


Not sure what you are using to read up with but, dowlaod a copy of “The future of Telephony” and have a read .

The bandwidth of your broadband link will limit the number of external calls you can make but as long as all your extesnions are on the lan then it will not limit them


So basically you can sign up to a service that takes telephone calls and routes them through the internet to your Asterisk server. You can pay monthly for this. A lot of the plans offer unlimited minutes both in bound and out band. Just make sure it is compatible with Asterisk. Here is a bunch I have found for north america.

Let me know if I am wrong.