PBX System Recomendations?

IceDigger

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
11,188
I have never tried making a PBX system before.

Any recommendations for a small 1 phone line shop?

Freepbx, 3cx, etc....?
 

bman212121

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
1,815
Just pay for a PBX provider and set your phone to configure to them? I think you can get a PBX provider for a couple bucks a month. The hassle of setting up your own exchange for 1 phone likely won't be worth it.

That said I think just about any of the software based ones all came from Asterisk, so there isn't going to be a huge difference overall. Looks like PIAF is owned by 3cx, and freepbx is what Asterisk considers "official". So likely any solutions someone rebranded is probably just using one of those at it's core.

Case in point:

"What’s Included? Incredible PBX 2020 for Raspbian 10 serves up a VoIP powerhouse featuring Asterisk 16 and all FreePBX 15 GPL modules," So incredible PBX is just FreePBX distro with Asterisk software on it. So basically the same thing that the company which owns Asterisk does. I'd expect 3CX is probably almost identical under the hood.

EDIT: Seems like that market has gone crazy since I last looked at it. I swear you used to be able to pay like $3 a month for access to a PBX. Seems like it's closer to $10 a month now (Or more).
 
Last edited:

grasshoppa

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
5,114
I concur with bman212121 , for one line an outside service is probably easiest.

That said, if this is something you want to do regardless, I'd load up a plain ol' asterisk box. It's a fun project, and it really gives you a ground level view of voip ( AND you can do anything with it once you understand the basics ).

Might need an ATA if your single line is, in fact, a copper line from your provider ( https://www.amazon.com/Grandstream-Hybrid-ATA-Ports-HT813/dp/B07GY4WWP3 ).

If you aren't familiar with linux OR voip technology this can be a bit of a daunting task, but it's worth it if you're in the field, especially if you have clients you could then turn around sell this service to ( traditional phone vendors charge obscene amounts ).
 

MrGuvernment

Fully [H]
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
19,960
Agree, back in the day when Elastix w2as an awesome product, it was fun to set up, I ran our companies PBX system for 80 employees, but these days, next to no one with half a brain cell hosts their own PBX system on free PBX platforms, hire someone else to deal with the headaches and just have it work. Setting one up is not too hard, but you also need to consider security around it also to be very very tight, someone manages to get in and suddenly you have a $10k bill from your provider for over seas calls.
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
4,202
Setting one up is not too hard, but you also need to consider security around it also to be very very tight, someone manages to get in and suddenly you have a $10k bill from your provider for over seas calls.
So phone phreaking is alive and well. :eek: Can you hack these to be used for spamming people with sales calls? Then that would explain how a lot of the calls are made.
 

grasshoppa

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
5,114
Agree, back in the day when Elastix w2as an awesome product, it was fun to set up, I ran our companies PBX system for 80 employees, but these days, next to no one with half a brain cell hosts their own PBX system on free PBX platforms, hire someone else to deal with the headaches and just have it work. Setting one up is not too hard, but you also need to consider security around it also to be very very tight, someone manages to get in and suddenly you have a $10k bill from your provider for over seas calls.
Eh, security isn't horrible beyond the basics. As long as you aren't throwing your pbx out there on the internet directly, you're careful about where your sip traffic comes from, and you don't do anything crazy with your dial plan, you should be fine.
 

MrGuvernment

Fully [H]
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
19,960
Eh, security isn't horrible beyond the basics. As long as you aren't throwing your pbx out there on the internet directly, you're careful about where your sip traffic comes from, and you don't do anything crazy with your dial plan, you should be fine.
Should be, but many people do not. They open up their SIP ports to the internet so people at home can use the PBX or soft phones on other devices, they use simple pass codes for end user devices, or the same one for all devices which can be brute forced and now someone is in and selling your lines usage. For our PBX, our ISP had helped us set it up and apparently secure it, but, they used the same passcode, left our SIP ports open and so someone got in an over a weekend racked up I think it was around $25k USD on calls to the dominican republic. our ISP didnt get anything from us cause they also claimed they monitored the services for unusual activity and considering all of our customers, 99% , were all in the U.S....
 

grasshoppa

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
5,114
Should be, but many people do not. They open up their SIP ports to the internet so people at home can use the PBX or soft phones on other devices, they use simple pass codes for end user devices, or the same one for all devices which can be brute forced and now someone is in and selling your lines usage. For our PBX, our ISP had helped us set it up and apparently secure it, but, they used the same passcode, left our SIP ports open and so someone got in an over a weekend racked up I think it was around $25k USD on calls to the dominican republic. our ISP didnt get anything from us cause they also claimed they monitored the services for unusual activity and considering all of our customers, 99% , were all in the U.S....
All true, but really; securing the PBX isn't rocket surgery. While throwing open SIP to the internet is generally a "Bad Idea(tm)", you can do things to secure it. If you know approximately what IPs to expect the traffic from you can use that to drop SIP packets from everywhere else. If folks at home want to use soft phones, then I'd highly recommend a VPN ( openvpn ) and tunnel the traffic through that. Lacking that, you could use sip-tls and srtp ( although I'd highly recommend the VPN route ). If Digium ever gets off their ass and fixes the firmware in their phones, you'll be able to do all that in the phone directly. sip-tls and srtp works, but the openvpn client is broken in that it ignores the server-pushed dns so the phone can't resolve internal names.

If IceDigger is interesting setting this up as a project or learning experience, we can help him secure his installation.
 

Dameon

n00b
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
15
Like others have said, hosted PBX is the way to go, but the knowledge and experience of building an internally hosted solution can be rewarding.

I have a slew (dozens) of 3com IP phones (3102 and 3502) that are from my own build-and-learn environment that can be had super cheap. I'm tired of them taking up space in my shop. PM if you want details.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
12
For one phone you'll find a cheap hosted PBX service not too much more than a SIP trunk and much less hassle/effort.

If you have appropriate resources then use 3CX.
 
Top