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VoIP Adapters - who do you use your with?

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by BestGear, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. BestGear

    BestGear
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    Hi Guys...

    Been a voip user now for nearly two years...

    I have a Cisco ATA186 (like heaps of others..) with two analogue lines in use (into a small PABX at home...)

    I was using this ATA with BT but am now looking around with other providers.

    Anyone care to share thier experiences?

    Obviously Skype etc is no use... what have you found successful?

    Thanks guys

    DJ
     
  2. andrewmc

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    I've been using Sipgate (www.sipgate.co.uk) and their service on the whole is pretty good. There are no sign up fees or monthly charges and you can get a UK geographic number. You don't even need to give them any credit card details unless you want to charge your account to be able to make cables to PSTN lines and mobiles. Calls to PSTN lines are around 1.2 pence/minute and they also do a monthly bundle tariff.

    Sipgate makes for a very cost effective (free !) introduction to VOIP, given that you can use the free X-Lite softphone. They also sell a Netgear ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) and provide configuration guidelines for a number of other ATA's, though they won't provide technical support for the latter.

    I personally use Sipura (www.sipura.com) ATA's, both the SPA 3000 and SPA 1001 which work great with the Sipgate service. These ATA's are very configurable - the SPA 3000 also has a PSTN port and you can configure calls to be routed from the PSTN to the VOIP and vice-versa. The SPA 1001 supports two VOIP accounts concurrently, routed to one analogue port. Sipura is being acquired by Cisco I think so that's a good endorsement of the products. There are a few UK suppliers and they can also be found on eBay.

    Andrew
     
  3. BestGear

    BestGear
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    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    I will go checkout Sipgate tonight!

    David
     
  4. BestGear

    BestGear
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    Hi Andrew

    I have just signed up with Sipgate and WOW! - they can even allocate a number to you for VOIP in your own local area code!!!

    I have NEVER seen that!!!

    DJ
     
  5. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    I'm another Sipgate user, they do work well and are improving their services quite often....As you have a PBX remember to setup the least cost routing options to make it co-operate with most other VOIP providers instead of using their PSTN gateway...

    Glad to see someone else thinks Skype is no use, like BT...They've got good marketing machines though....

    Oh and Sipgate works perfectly with my Asterisk PBX....Together with the geographical numbers I use it a lot to prototype IVR/ACD solutions....
     
  6. BestGear

    BestGear
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    Thanks Jean-Paul...

    Yes, I think 90% of internet users think VoIP is Skype...!!

    Do you have multiple numbers configured with SipGate terminating on a single ATA or is your Asterix a VoIP enabled PBX?

    I have emailled thier support to ask how I can add a second "line" to my account as it is not that obvious from thier control panel.

    David
     
  7. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    Asterisk is an Opensource software PBX platform, very extendible and you can use a combination of VOIP and POTS (Plain Old Telephone...)....

    I must admit that my second, and third, and fourth and Freeworlddialup, a total of 10 lines ;-) Are all on seperate accounts. Using Asterisk makes things like that a bit easier and I just route outgoing calls via my main account on which I've got credits stored...

    It is a good idea, can't believe I never even thought of it, guess I just signed up for more as it is free ;-)
     
  8. ajf

    ajf
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    Don't really know much about this subject (despite working in IT!) so what are the differences between the various options mentioned and Skype which seems to not get a good review here?
    I am talking purely from a home use point of view rather than for business.

    Andrew
     
  9. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    To start with the good things...Skype is very user friendly, so it is easy to start with...The difficulty will be there when you want to talk to a user who is not a Skype user...You can't...Or the difficulty will be there when you want to use it with your own PBX and have control where your calls are going, you can't....Or the difficulty will be there when you want to use standard SIP compliant components and not what Skype give you, you can't....

    Skype is not so different compared to the others, they've just make themselves look different. The underlying technology is very similar, but they've put in artificial limitations....It is slightly complex to discribe, but best is perhaps like Sky Digital interactive or the '3' Internet access...You've got access, but only to those places that Sky and '3' want you to have access to....

    But the most important thing, for me personally, with SIP you can register like your own domain which is portable.....The biggest drawback of SIP is that for the uninitiate it can seem highly complex, it really is not but if you don't understand how current telephony works and the service is provided there is a steep learning in understanding why there is a need for a session initiation protocol in the first place...
     
  10. suniil

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    Sipura can be configured to 2 service provieders concurrently (eg. sipgate / gosspitel etc) which makes more flexible solution.

    Asterisk PBX requires skills in Linux and opensource platforms. Advantage of asterisk is that it can handle SIP, H323 and IAX protocols concurrently and also resolves NAT issues

    Also it's worth looking into IX66 if you have home network... (www.intertex.se) for NAT / Private IP issues
     
  11. BestGear

    BestGear
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    AJF - I would ask yourself why you want VoIP?

    If it is for the technical challenge and fun, go play with Skype....

    If it is to solve a phone call/cost issue, I would look at a simple ATA such as Cisco's ATA 186/8 device. That simply plugs into ethernet and presents two analogue PSTN sockets that you can simply use with standard telephones.

    Whether you go for a linux pabx is another matter... it is fun learning, but a simple analogue paxb such as the Revelation would do most homes or small offices... and they work great with ATAs. The only issue you have with the small pabxs is that LCR (least cost routing) is not available, so its down to you to select which external line you dial out on. This could mean you dial a 9 for a BT line, or 8 for a VoIP line....

    Like anything else... there are allways options and opinions...

    DJ
     
  12. ataylor

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    Hi

    Most voip providers have the same back end service setup, hence most features will eventually become the same, just as most have the same problems with things like MWI (message waiting indicators) etc etc.

    Those who are offering freebies will never survive, and its all about getting customer numbers, look what happend to babble.net, they started off free, and now charge, a couple of US companies have already gone belly up, in voip unless u got 2 minutes in the bank for every minute you sell forget it, which is why there are not many voip companies who are doing resdential in the UK. Most are going corporate solutions because they can charge £1000 per setup.

    If you look at the model, when you top up for £5.00, there call cost to UK landlines is about 0.7 of a pence, which means if they charge 1p, they make 0.3 of a pence per minute.

    Which isnt much when u add together employee costs, and then bandwidth costs, hence when looking for a voip provider make sure they will be here tommorrow, that is unless they are discounting the hardware for you, if so, at least u will get checp hardware when they go bust.

    In addition some give 01/02 numbers which may sound great, ut now when you wish to move, the number cannot come with you...however I believe this may change towards August...

    As for what adptor I use, grandstream ATA, love em, work simple, and have pstn failover, service providers, have 3 gossiptel(no comment), sipgate (like em, monthly), ipclouds(like em, yearly)
    Andrew
     
  13. bridges

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    Hi,

    I am a bit of a novice on VOIP and looking for a bit of advice . I have a VOIP Grandstream phone that works ok however I would like an adapter that I could use instead with my home cordless phones but would also hook up to my existing (telewest) phone system.

    Is there any such bit of kit / adapter that would allow one phone to be connected to both VOIP and the 'normal' system ??

    Any advice appreciated
     
  14. andrewmc

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    The Sipura SPA-3000 has both FXO and FXS ports - plug your PSTN line into one and your phone into the other. Your phone will then ring whenever a call comes in on either the PSTN or VOIP lines. The Sipura is very configurable, you can set up dial plans so outgoing calls are routed down the appropriate route depending on the number. You can also configure forwarding so you can dial in to it on one line and use the other to dial out again.

    There are some configuration wizards on the web that should help get you up and running with the SPA-3000 without too much trouble. You would probably need to read the documentation for the unit to configure more complex behaviours. See www.sipura.com for more details.
     

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