Vonage and setup questions

I am new this so please bare with me.

I have Vonage currently with 2 softphone lines and a fax line, we currrently have two analog phones connected to each of our softphone lines which isn’t enough for us now.

I talked to people about using a PBX system on our Vonage network and everyone has so far said I need to get the SPI codes from our Vonage boxes before this can be attempted. However I start to think out of the box and wonder if it would be possible to purchase a analog card that works under the Asterik OS and take the two analog lines from the Vonage gear and plug them into the back of the analog card instead of forcing the PBX to try and talk to Vonage directly?

Since we are not a huge company by any means adding another two more softphone numbers to our current system is all we’d need now making it 4 total connected to tha analog card.

If this is possible can someone suggest a good reliable inexpensive card to purchase, and tell me what kind of hardware (CPU/RAM/HD) I need to run Asterik?

Also how easy is it to configure Asterik for a non-linux type of person, and what kind of IP phones works with the system; do the phones have dual LAN ports them, is there coreless phones?

So many questions eh? :smile:



I can’t help you with the Vobage question because I don’t know how that service works (what the Vonage “box” is). To answer your question about putting 2 analog phone lines into the Asterisk server, you can do it with cards that Digium (digium.com/en/products/) and others sell. I prefer to use ATAs (analog telehone adapters). I would use 2 Sipura 3000 units.

Let me point you to TrixBox, a complete, easy to install and easy to configure. You can dowload this from: www.vmware.com. I don’t think I would recommend that for “heavy” use but I’m sure that it woulod make your installation even easier. This used to be called Asterisk@Home a few weeks ago.

As to documentation for you, good places to start are:

A file called AsteriskForDumbMe.pdf (I can’t find the link right now) which explains how to install and configure Asterisk@Home.

Another good source of information is www.voip-info.org

As to hardware, I would say that any reaonably current PC would work fine for your needs (I have a server set up with a 1.1 ghz processor, 256 MB ram and 20 GB HD for about 10 users). I found that one reasonably important point is to dedicate this machine to PBX service, although I don’t practice this.

What kind of IP phones work??


Are you married to your phone numbers that you have from Vonage?
(I dont recall if those numbers they provide are portable or not).

The way you are going about it is sorta the long way around.

You can easily have as many lines as you need connected to an asterisk
PBX. However, to me it seems like you certainly could use a hosted PBX solution like we offer.

Here is my proposal:
Buy 4 LinkSYS Sip Phones, like SPA-841’s or similar (we sell those too),
sign up for our hosted PBX service and we can have you up and running quickly with multiple lines, music on hold and etc.

I just think for your needs, you may not want to over complicate or micky-mouse it.

Vonage service is much the same as asterisk, the only difference is they use Cisco or likewise equipment instead. (I heard they use Asterisk too for some things or at least used to)

The “vonage box” is a Sipura style ATA and there used to be instructions
on how to unlock that box so you can use it with other providers.
When you buy the box in the store, it comes pre-set and locked to the Vonage service… It is possible to unlock it, but to me its a pain… might as well save time and buy a LinkSys2100 or similar ATA, those work great.

My solution for you will work if you are not married to your phone numbers.
IF on the other hand, you are married to those numbers, you can ship us your vonage device and we can plug it into your hosted PBX and use it as a number source (if of course the numbers are not portable).

Another option is that you can sign up for our service and we can provide your configurations and etc for your own box. We can guide you.

Now… if you want to do this yourself… You need to understand that
you cannot get “4” lines out of 2 analog lines.

If you want 4 lines from Vonage, you will need to order another Vonage box with 2 more lines.

You will need a 4 port Analog card from Digium to allow you to connect
the 4 lines to your asterisk PBX. once that is done, you can configure it
to use those 4 analog lines for all inbound and outbound service.

Note that in this configuration you will be able to have 4 simultaneous calls going.

If you want, you can use 2 lines with MANY phones… like 2 lines from Vonage with 4 sip phones hooked up to Asterisk.

However, in this situation, once both lines are busy, all you will be able to do is make station to station extension calls.

I hope I helped. Ask me anything, I am on AIM as: NJesterIII
On Yahoo as NJesterIII as well

Linksys all the way. :smile:

Linksys SPA-841, 941 etc.

Stay away from Grandstream, those phones lose their connection alot and have reliability issues.

I have heard good things about polycom but have not used them myself.

We predominatly sell Linksys SIP phones and Adaptors because they are proven reliable. (Vonage uses them for example).

(If anyone has comments to correct my opinion of Grandstream products, please let me know for I have yet to have a good feeling about those. I have a bunch of them in the lab and they lose their registrations always for no apparant reason and have various nat problems, yes, updated firmware and messed with like every setting. Not to mention I dont like the pre-provisioning stuff they use as its encoded and etc.)

I have asterisk setup with 2 softphones from vonage. I made 4 calls to the box at the same time with no problems.

Can anyone explain this?

BTW - softphones are only $10 a month each.