what is the best asterisk based IP PBX in terms of ease and documentation



  • Hi everybody

    I want to set up a voip system (just learning purposes) and i want to use a free IP PBX like Elastix or freePBX or any other asterisk based IP PBX, i have one POTS line, i learned that i can connect my IP PBX to the PSTN and make outside calls via a PSTN gateway (linksys SPA3102), according to what i wanna do, what is the best asterisk based IP PBX that play well with POTS lines ?

    best regard



  • By far the easiest to work with are:

    • Elastix 2
    • FreePBX

    AFAIK, both are equally easy (and essentially identical) for POTS lines. They are very similar overall being based on the same set of technologies by and large.



  • as you usual you are the first one who reply, thank you very much

    for that PSTN gateway linksys SPA3102, did you ever try it ??



  • as far as i'm concerned it is only for home usage not business usage, because it is quiet cheap



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    for that PSTN gateway linksys SPA3102, did you ever try it ??

    I have not tried the SPA3102 but I have used Sipura SPA devices prior to the Linksys acquisition and they worked very well.



  • you didn't experienced echos??



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    as far as i'm concerned it is only for home usage not business usage, because it is quiet cheap

    I have seen many businesses use the Linksys / Sipura SPA devices. They used to be very common for smaller businesses. The same limitations that cause you to use POTS lines generally make a SPA device the best choice. When POTS lines were still common in the US, the SPA gateways were as well. For PRI I would be less likely to look at something like a SPA, but for a POTS line I would generally be very happy with them.



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    you didn't experienced echos??

    No, have not had issues with echoes in the past.



  • thank you very much for your information



  • No problem!



  • by the way i found a very useful howto concerning setting up freepbx with SPA3102

    http://www.zultron.com/2008/11/spa3102-and-freepbx-howto/



  • Great resource, thanks.



  • you are welcome even if i know that you can do it without this howto, i share the link with those people like me VOIP beginner, lol



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    For PRI I would be less likely to look at something like a SPA, but for a POTS line I would generally be very happy with them.

    you mean by that : if we have PRI line we must avoid using SPA, why ?? (is it because PRI require advanced processing gateway than SPA)



  • I would never use Elastix 2.4 in production. Elastix 2.5, I have not used yet because every time I tried to upgrade a 2.4 install to 2.5 it makes it unstable and I have to rollback the VM.

    Elastix is good, just dated.

    FreePBX is always current as it is the flagship GUI. PBX in a Flash is going weird with some disagreements with FreePBX and will need time before I recommend it again.



  • FreePBX is great.



  • thank you all for your suggestion, it looks like freePBX is suitable for me



  • As far as gateways the best advice is check reviews on them all. Cheap ones are cheap for a reason. And Grandstream is known for failing and needing to be rebooted a lot, much like home grade routers.



  • @thecreativeone91 said:

    As far as gateways the best advice is check reviews on them all. Cheap ones are cheap for a reason. And Grandstream is known for failing and needing to be rebooted a lot, much like home grade routers.

    That said, they are solid for a test system to learn the ropes.



  • what do you think about linksys SPA3102 (the PSTN gateway) in a production environment ??



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    what do you think about linksys SPA3102 (the PSTN gateway) in a production environment ??

    I have never deployed one, but only because my clients have chosen to completely migrate to SIP. I would deploy one for a single line or two of POTS connectivity.



  • yes i want to use it with one or 2 POTS line since here in qatar landlines calls are free



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    yes i want to use it with one or 2 POTS line since here in qatar landlines calls are free

    No, they are not. The calls as simply not billed by minute. The line still costs money, so that means calls are not free. But I understand what you meant anyway.

    Note: all numbers based on US rates. You have to do this for your area.

    In the US, I have to make this argument often. A business POTS line here can easily cost $25-$50 per month, generally I see them come in at $35 on average. This is prior to taxes, fees, and long distance.

    So if you plan on making 10,000 minutes of local calls in a month, that means the $35 line costs you $0.0035 per minute. Quite cheap (cheaper than SIP), but not free.

    Now since there are only 43,200 minutes in a month (assuming 30 days of 24 hours) that means dang near a full 25% of of the month must be on a call to get to 10,000 minutes.

    Assuming a business month of 4 weeks of 40 hours tosses the number even more. That is only 9,600 minutes. This means that it is impossible to spend 10,000 minutes on that phone in a month. The rate is up to $0.0036 per minute.

    Now you need to figure out how much time is truly spent on that phone. What if it is 50% of the day? At 4,600 minutes per month you are up to a rate of $0.0073 per minute. That is nearly the cost to use SIP in the US.

    Now add in a second line. How many minutes does that one get? Well if it is a roll over or hunt group, it will never be as much as the main line. You could easily figure its usage at maybe 50% of the main line for many companies. At 2,300 minutes used in a month, that $35 line means you are paying $0.0152 per minute for those calls.

    Aggregate the two together is $70/month and 6,900 minutes. That comes out to an average telecom per minute rate of $0.0101 per minute. This IS the basic SIP termination rate in the US.



  • yes you are right the POTS line is not free by itself but the calls are, you pay monthly charge for the line installation, this monthly charge has nothing to do with how much minutes you are calling, it is a fixed monthly charge no matter how much you call (unlimited calls) which is not the case in my home country morocco, they charge you the monthly installation fees + incoming calls are free but outgoing calls are not free (charge per minutes)
    each country has it advantage and disadvantage, for example to get a public static ip in qatar is very expensive but in morocco is not and so one so forth...



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    yes you are right the POTS line is not free by itself but the calls are, you pay monthly charge for the line installation, this monthly charge

    That would be a service fee not an installation fee. They aren't re-installing the lines every month are they?



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    yes you are right the POTS line is not free by itself but the calls are

    That's like saying that the hamburger costs money but the fries are free because they come with it. That's not quite true. The hamburger and fries have a cost together. Correct that there is no separate cost per call, but Jared is correct, if you are paying to be able to make the calls, the calls aren't free.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @IT-ADMIN said:

    yes you are right the POTS line is not free by itself but the calls are

    That's like saying that the hamburger costs money but the fries are free because they come with it. That's not quite true. The hamburger and fries have a cost together. Correct that there is no separate cost per call, but Jared is correct, if you are paying to be able to make the calls, the calls aren't free.

    lol, you can say that are not free but unlimited



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    lol, you can say that are not free but unlimited

    Is it truly unlimited? very few telcoms are truely unlimited all of them say things like if you cause adverse effects or if they determine you are making more calls than they want they can terminate you.



  • @IT-ADMIN said:

    lol, you can say that are not free but unlimited

    Correct, although unlimited fries would be a very bad thing. 😉

    Unlimited minutes are a much better way to put it. Although even that is misleading. It is up to 43,800 minutes with every minute of non-use lost, per month. There are truly unlimited trunks that let you have as many concurrent calls as you want (but they all make you pay per minute.)

    It IS unlimited within the constraints of use. But calling it that is a sales tactic to make it sound way better than it is.

    It's like datacenter services. It is nearly always better to pay per GB of use, but always sounds better to have uncapped bandwidth. But with only the rarest exception, the former gives you better service at a lower price.



  • yes calls practically are not unlimited but they use the term unlimited because they are sure that you will never start a call from the beginning of the month and finish it in the end of the month 🙂