PBX’s (Private Branch eXchange) are now affordable to nearly every business, no matter how small. Especially if you look at the benefits of implementing a PBX. As hardware advances and comes down in price, it will make more and more sense to setup a PBX to manage your voice communication’s.
Imagine walking into your office and your wireless network connecting to your WiFi enabled cellphone, the network now knows your in the office and you can route your calls through the most cost effective connections. No additionally handsets would be needed as a call to your office get’s routed to your cellphone through the wireless network and vice versa, want to make a local call, your cellphone will know to use the landline via your network.
- No need for separate phone wiring – phones use your computer network (wired or wireless)
- Easy to install & manage via a web-based interface
- Far less costly than a hardware-based PBX / PABX
- Employees can move offices without any changes in the wiring or IP PBX configuration
- Choose from the many SIP based hardware phones, no need to stick with one supplier
- Receive & Make calls via the standard PSTN using VOIP Gateways
- Save on call costs with ‘out of the box’ configurations for popular SIP / VOIP providers
The beauty of a software based PBX solution is flexibility. Here is a list of current FREE software for setting up a PBX on a Linux, Windows or other OS box.
Software IP PBX’s
Looks like the new King of the Hill. Reports of greater than 10x the number of concurrent calls as Asterisk, handled with the same equipment.
Version: 1.0.7, +-50MB download – Runs On: Windows, Max OS X, Linux, BSD, Sun Solaris on both 32 and 64 bit platforms
3CX – Free version and other editions (Comparison)
Version: 10, 65MB download – Runs On: Windows, ??Linux
The original Open Source PBX, from a company called Digium which makes the hardware to run all your telephony needs.
Provides all of the features you would expect from a PBX. Asterisk’s architecture is designed for maximum flexibility and supports Voice over IP in many protocols, and can interoperate with almost all standards-based telephony equipment using relatively inexpensive hardware.
Version: 1.8.9 – Runs On: Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris
AsteriskWin32 -Asterisk for Windows
Version: 0.66b – Runs On: Windows 2000/XP/2003
Version: ? – Runs On: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008 and Windows 7
CallWeaver – Formerly OpenPBX.org
Version: 1.2.1 – Runs On: Mac OS X/Darwin, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Open/Solaris
Version: 2.2.0 – Runs On: Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris
A GUI (Graphical User Interface) for Asterisk
Version: 2.9 – Runs On: Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Sun Solaris
Version: 3.0 – Runs On: CentOS
Powered by PBX in a Flash
Version: 2.0.6 – Runs On: CentOS
If you’ve longed for the good ol’ days of Asterisk@Home, welcome back to the new steroid-enhanced version. PBX in a Flash is the Lean, Mean Asterisk Machine designed to meet the needs of hobbyists as well as business users and VARs.
Version: 220.127.116.11 – Runs On: Linux
Community Edition, open source
FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) – is the interface on a VoIP device for connecting to an analog PBX extension.
FXS (Foreign Exchange Station) – is the interface on a VoIP device for connecting directly to phones, faxes, and CO ports on a PBX or key telephone systems.
PBX (Private Branch eXchange) – A private telephone network used within an enterprise. Users of the PBX share a certain number of outside lines for making telephone calls external to the PBX. Most medium-sized and larger companies use a PBX because it’s much less expensive than connecting an external telephone line to every telephone in the organization. In addition, it’s easier to call someone within a PBX because the number you need to dial is typically just 3 or 4 digits.
POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) – Uses what’s called circuit-switched telephony. This system works by setting up a dedicated channel (or circuit) between two points for the duration of the call. These telephony systems are based on copper wires carrying analog voice data over the dedicated circuits.
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) – Nothing to do with enjoying your drink. A signaling protocol for Internet Telephony.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) – VoIP, in contrast to PSTN, uses what is called packet-switched telephony. Using this system, the voice information travels to its destination in countless individual network packets across the network, in this case the Internet. This type of communication presents special TCP/IP challenges because the Internet wasn’t designed for the kind of real-time communication a phone call represents.