Carl Johnson on 5 Oct 2010 06:13:55 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Recent VOIP Experience Anyone?

  • From: Carl Johnson <>
  • To: Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List <>
  • Subject: Re: [PLUG] Recent VOIP Experience Anyone?
  • Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2010 09:13:56 -0400
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The box that you have could probably handle that. A few important thing's...
1. make sure you get a decent hardware codec FXS card. (digium or similar)
2. A router with qos.
3. Twisted pair cabling on the analog side. (cat5)

"Eric at" <> wrote:

>Hash: SHA1
>Good question!  The truth is: I don't know - it's a guess.  I'll have to do some
>planning and research.
>I presumed that insufficient processing power and/or RAM would not allow for two
>lines working simultaneously without echo or other audio problems.  In addition,
>this system will be my primary home and business phones so it needs to be
>reliable.  I don't thing a 5-year old PC would be a good choice on either count.
> I have such a PC sitting on a shelf in my basement which is why I mentioned it.
>This is my first draft of requirements:
>(It is a home and business system since my office is in my house.)
>* Two lines with separate numbers.
>* Wired directly into the house wiring so standard 2-line phones can
>  be plugged in throughout the house.
>* Voice mail for each line that I would be able to retrieve remotely.
>* Route calls automatically by the least expensive route - SIP, Skype,
>  etc. (I don't even know all the options for this yet.)
>* Perhaps a third line so that I could conference with three people?
>* A powerful UPS or alternative power system for extended operation
>  in a power outage.
>* Should be efficient to keep the power bills down and be 'green'.
>* I do not expect to have IVR (press 1 for ...) but might add that
>  to the business line in the future.
>* Possible future addition: two remote lines for my children who
>  are away at college.
>On 10/04/2010 11:04 PM, Carl Johnson wrote:
>> Since I'll need some new hardware for this project it won't happen right away. I suppose an old 1.5 GigHz P4 PC with 512 MB of PC-100 RAM won't give me satisfactory service with Asterisk :-)
>> Why not? How elaborate of a setup are you planning?
>> "Eric at" <> wrote:
>> Three things...
>> One: I don't like the locked down aspect of Vonage either.
>> Two: Vonage may seem very aggressive with their price but the core service,
>> connectivity, is extremely cheap.  I _suspect_ that Vonage is making money hand
>> over fist and the price is all out of proportion to the underlying technology cost.
>> Three: The MagicJack is no longer on my 'recommend' list.  This week I found out
>> that you cannot call the - or any other free conference
>> call company from your MagicJack.  Instead, they sneakily re-direct you to their
>> own free conference call system.
>> It turns out that they might be doing this to avoid "huge fees" from the CLEC
>> that routes the conference call.  See:
>> What these "huge" fees are I don't know but for $20/year income it won't take
>> too many per line to start losing money.  In any event, why won't the MagicJack
>> company be up front about that?  Why not offer me the opportunity to pay the
>> fees for those calls where they can't cover them?  This is poor corporate
>> behavior in my opinion.
>> Well, not exactly.  I just think it's time to explore an Asterisk solution.  I
>> wanted to do this for years but I also don't want to do this.
>> It will:
>> * add a significant hardware cost
>> * cost me time to learn to set it up
>> * cost me time to administer it
>> I'm going to research some of my options over the next few weeks.  I know that
>> Lee Marzke has use Asterisk quite successfully.  (Hey Lee, does your service
>> charge you extra to call one of the "free" conference calling companies?)
>> Since I'll need some new hardware for this project it won't happen right away.
>> I suppose an old 1.5 GigHz P4 PC with 512 MB of PC-100 RAM won't give me
>> satisfactory service with Asterisk :-)
>> Eric
>> On 10/01/2010 10:03 AM, Carl Johnson wrote:
>>>>> I'd agree 100% that vonage is great from a functionality perspective. I just don't like the proprietary "locked down" aspect of their devices. 
>>>>> "Claude M. Schrader" <> wrote:
>>>>>> Eric's link is very damming, but on top of that, the price alone should
>>>>>> give you pause. Vonage is very aggressive with their price, and are
>>>>>> exponentially more than magicjack. $20/year isn't a business plan - there has
>>>>>> to be something augmenting that.
>>>>>> Claude
>>>>>> On 18:17 Thu 30 Sep     , Amul Shah wrote:
>>>>>>> On Sep 30, 2010, at 1:26 PM, "Claude M. Schrader" <> wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 08:54 Thu 30 Sep     , Eric at wrote:
>>>>>>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>>>>>>>>> I use a MagicJack for one phone line.  It's only $40 to start and $20 per year
>>>>>>>>> but it _requires_ a Windows PC or Mac to work.  This connects to the network
>>>>>>>>> directly which is excellent and it's still outrageously cheap.
>>>>>>>> I know this is a potential flamewar, but there are also privacy implications
>>>>>>>> with MagicJack.
>>>>>>>> Claude
>>>>>>> Pointers please. I know some people who are using magic jack. Time to bing it.
>>>>>>> Amul
>>>>>>> ___________________________________________________________________________
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>- -- 
>#  Eric Lucas
>#                "Oh, I have slipped the surly bond of earth
>#                 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings...
>#                                        -- John Gillespie Magee Jr
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