When do I need a telephony card?

Hi, I’m new to this and want to make some tests at home to see if this solutions fits my needs.
I don’t have any telephone line at home apart from my cell phone.
My question is:
If I setup the computer and software with AsteriskNOW, can I place and receive calls from VoIP telephones only or to/from regular telephones too?
When do I need to install a telephony card? Can you please give some examples when I need to use this kind of cards?
Will I need one to place and receive calls to regular phones?
Thanks

You will need a voip provider to make calls to the PSTN (regular phones). From my experience, and after testing many voip providers, I would recommend flowroute.com. They are stable, and they also let you get started for cheap and have several options. Most providers have a How to on configuring them with asterisk.

Good Luck.

You will pull out a few hairs, but keep at it. It’s fun once you learn it. Another good place to start is at http://www.asteriskguru.com/tutorials/