Home & Business VoIP project

Home & Business VoIP project

My family for years has been robbed sideways by GTE, Verizon, and now Frontier for land line phone service. ~$50 a month for one phone line on which we only receive notifications for pills, and appointments doesn’t seem efficient. I have experimented in the past with voice over IP, but went the cheap route with syncing my Google voice account to a PBX, which often resulted in failed calls and low reliably. After asking around and taking some time to really get into this project, I signed up with Vitelity as a VoIP provider and routed my newly added phone number to my PBX at my house. My main goal with this project was to expand my knowledge on voice, expand my existing network and test priority and such, and to set up a cheap business phone line for my web hosting.

Using Trixbox, I set up my system on a small virtual server NATed in a private DMZ. After much pain and stress, I finally was able to route my phone number to my SIP box and begin testing. The setup for Trixbox was pretty straight forward, the configuring was a bit more complex.

It wasn’t that it was difficult to configure, it was the way I wanted it to work. I had a dedicated voice VLAN that was designed to be separate from the internal network, and would automatically switch to the voice VLAN when a phone was attached. Well it turns out cheap old Grandstream phones don’t support this function  so I went ahead and bought some used SIP Cisco 7942 phones and use them. Since all of my hardware was Cisco, it worked and functioned properly.

Using a DHCP option, I pushed a TFTP address to the phones for the voice VLAN,so they could grab the proper configuration on boot. While the DHCP worked flawlessly, the Endpoint provisioning manager did not. It was a pretty shotty web interface that would sometimes update, and other times no. Having to manually edit the TFTP files, so the proper data would replicate.

After finally getting the major configuration errors worked out, I was able to push phones and extensions out easily and add and remove phones without disrupting the system. The phone system has been working for about a month now with no issues, and I currently use it as my AGOA business line. It has the capabilities of a full blown enterprise phone system, but only supports a few phones at the moment. The emailing voicemail feature is handy and many more issues such as IRV and parking lot will make things nice and fun to mess around with.

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