Digitalocean vs RentPBX



  • I ran across this article that talks about their experience a few years ago with DO vs RentPBX.

    I was wondering what anyone here might have to say about either of these providers with regards to using them to host a VOIP solution?


  • Service Provider

    Well their recomendation of RentPBX might be skewed as they are sponsored by them (which they are open about.) We don't use DO partially because of the age of the service. DO is a very low cost service, RentPBX is a specialized one. Both are things I generally avoid for production.

    Why would you look at anyone but Amazon, Rackspace and Azure is my first question? What is the business goal that would have you looking at RentPBX at all? As a niche provider, what are they providing for you that you would choose them over the enterprise platforms?


  • Service Provider

    RentPBX is extremely expensive. DO is cut rate cheap. These feel very odd to be comparing to each other. You would choose DO when you are trying to come in cheaper than the big boys and you are willing to take on the extra risks that that implies. We've had no issues with DO, but we don't use them for services like this either. We run production Jump on there and ELK, for example. Things where performance variations make no difference.

    RentPBX is the other end of the spectrum, paying a premium to have the service have the name "PBX" in it. But either they are just reselling someone else's VPS service or they are running their own little one. Both of which would worry me AND rule them out since I am hardly going to pay extra to get less.

    Rackspace is around half the cost of RentPBX for a PBX, Amazon probably slightly less. Azure is likely pretty close to RS.



  • Nothing, I started by looking for instructions for setting up FreePBX on DO, and ran into that article.

    Goal is 10 phones, 3 DIDs, 4 lines (like Scott's current solution), voicemail, auto-attendant, extension dialing, call transfers, follow-me calling, voicemail to email.

    And perhaps more later. I'm building a proof of concept and I'll keep for myself to use and learn on, and show it some associates who might be able to take advantage of these over the normal two POTS lines they currently have in their small museum.

    Keeping the cost at or below the cost of two POTS lines per month is another goal.


  • Service Provider

    Is this for a phone or for a business? What is the criticality of the phones? If saving $5/mo is critical, DO is the only option. If $5 doesn't matter, you'd want to be on the big enterprise platforms. I don't see much of a use case for going outside of those two. The best is ~$15, the cheapest is around ~$10. Don't spend more than the best, and you can't go less than the least.



  • Well, there's me (not critical at all, personal system, give some demos, etc) and then there is my associate, I'd say phones probably are critical and $15/month is fine.

    You (Scott) mentioned that you pay $11/month for four line SIP service, I know they would need to pay more for 3 DIDs.

    Currently they pay around $40-50/month for their current two lines (which includes a max of 2880 outgoing mins, with 800 actual typical usage), the goal is to get under that price total, including used outgoing mins.


  • Service Provider

    At $10, DO is probably pretty stable. I'd be surprised if a bill from voip.ms was over $20/mo, maybe much less. That's $30 on a completely do it yourself system.


  • Service Provider

    Why so many DIDs? Is that something they could change?


  • Service Provider

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Why so many DIDs? Is that something they could change?

    With an auto attendant, maybe but unlikely.

    Currently the museum doesn't have a number at all. The two lines each go to two different people who have entirely separate SMBs, the current numbers have no relation. The third DID would be for the museum itself (one thing pushing them to get a number is a traveling website (don't recall which off the top of my head) removed the museum "because it didn't have a phone number or address listed on file." They had a website listed, which then listed email addresses for contact. This traveling website did give them many visitors and they would like their listing back.

    The museum is in a residential area and visitation is by appointment only, this is why there was no address other than the city listed for the location.

    They have decided that they don't need to protect the address anymore, and are interested in a pretty much voicemail only option for the museum. Having those voicemails delivered to email so they aren't forgotten.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)


  • Service Provider

    That $11/month is INBOUND calling only for a single DID. You still have outbound calling charges.

    The classic VoicePulse program is a very bad solution for what you are proposing. Each additional DID is $20 per month.

    VoicePulse Five is a similar service to VoIP.ms, just a bit higher in cost.

    VoIP.ms is $0.99 per DID per month . Some are as low as $0.80.
    e911 is $1.50 per DID per month.

    Calling is $0.01 per minute. It takes a bit of calling to hit $11 per month with only a single DID and no e911.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    That $11/month is INBOUND calling only for a single DID. You still have outbound calling charges.

    Yep I know, that's why I specifically mentioned the other things (needing 3 DIDs and 800/month outbound)



  • @JaredBusch said:

    VoIP.ms is $0.99 per DID per month . Some are as low as $0.80.
    e911 is $1.50 per DID per month.

    Calling is $0.01 per minute. It takes a bit of calling to hit $11 per month with only a single DID and no e911.

    Awesome, thanks.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    Yep I know, that's why I specifically mentioned the other things (needing 3 DIDs and 800/month outbound)

    Outbound 800 is toll free. you only pay for inbound, if you have an 800 #.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    Generally the "for cushion" approach is actually to reduce DIDs because DID sprawl can happen so easily and becomes problematic. Any reason they would be looking for more DIDs rather than fewer? There are reasons potentially, of course, but for a normal museum I would expect people to have extensions, not all their own numbers. If I was calling a curator, for example, I would expect to call the museum and select an option or extension, not have to know different numbers for different people.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    @scottalanmiller said:

    Generally the "for cushion" approach is actually to reduce DIDs because DID sprawl can happen so easily and becomes problematic. Any reason they would be looking for more DIDs rather than fewer?

    There is no cushion. They need 3 DID and he is planning 3 DID.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    He said right here that they only need two. The extra one is the cushion, I thought.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    Yep I know, that's why I specifically mentioned the other things (needing 3 DIDs and 800/month outbound)

    Outbound 800 is toll free. you only pay for inbound, if you have an 800 #.

    no, not 800 numbers, 800 mins of outbound calling.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    Generally the "for cushion" approach is actually to reduce DIDs because DID sprawl can happen so easily and becomes problematic. Any reason they would be looking for more DIDs rather than fewer? There are reasons potentially, of course, but for a normal museum I would expect people to have extensions, not all their own numbers. If I was calling a curator, for example, I would expect to call the museum and select an option or extension, not have to know different numbers for different people.

    You're misunderstanding.

    The two lines are for the following:

    Jack's boot shop = line 1
    Jay's column writing ship = line 2

    There is no desire to confuse the situation or merge the use of lines 1 and 2 with a totally new purpose for the museum, hence the need for a third DID.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    Generally the "for cushion" approach is actually to reduce DIDs because DID sprawl can happen so easily and becomes problematic. Any reason they would be looking for more DIDs rather than fewer? There are reasons potentially, of course, but for a normal museum I would expect people to have extensions, not all their own numbers. If I was calling a curator, for example, I would expect to call the museum and select an option or extension, not have to know different numbers for different people.

    You're misunderstanding.

    The two lines are for the following:

    Jack's boot shop = line 1
    Jay's column writing ship = line 2

    There is no desire to confuse the situation or merge the use of lines 1 and 2 with a totally new purpose for the museum, hence the need for a third DID.

    Sorry. So this is a third, new business?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    He said right here that they only need two. The extra one is the cushion, I thought.

    the cushion is in the SIP trunks, moving from being able to make two simultaneous calls to four .



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    They have four DIDs on two POTS lines today?

    nah, two POTS, two DIDs... this would be giving them a bit of breathing room by going to four lines (simultaneous calls) and three DIDs (SMB 1, SMB 2, Museum)

    Generally the "for cushion" approach is actually to reduce DIDs because DID sprawl can happen so easily and becomes problematic. Any reason they would be looking for more DIDs rather than fewer? There are reasons potentially, of course, but for a normal museum I would expect people to have extensions, not all their own numbers. If I was calling a curator, for example, I would expect to call the museum and select an option or extension, not have to know different numbers for different people.

    You're misunderstanding.

    The two lines are for the following:

    Jack's boot shop = line 1
    Jay's column writing ship = line 2

    There is no desire to confuse the situation or merge the use of lines 1 and 2 with a totally new purpose for the museum, hence the need for a third DID.

    Sorry. So this is a third, new business?

    New to having a phone number, yes.


  • Service Provider

    Okay, that makes more sense.


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