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I've been thinking on and off about playing around with VOIP. I'm a college student, and live in an apartment with a few roommates during the semester (or when I'm working by school) and live at home the rest of the time. Being plagued by an aging Treo 600, I was thinking that it would be great to be able to call home on a VOIP phone (and then perhaps expand it to other uses).
I'm on residential connections at both ends (FiOS at home and Optimum cable in the apartment) so I'm not too sure what the quality would be, and I know that QoS doesn't even exist.
I have high-numbered ports open at both ends, and full control over the routers. The machines in the apartment are Linux boxen, but since I's probably be calling home to one of my parents, I's be dealing with Windows on the other end.
So, my question:
Is it possible to, for testing purposes, connect one softphone to another, with nothing in between? i.e. use port forwarding on both routers, and simply initiate a call to an IP address and port? Any suggestions on software to use, and where to look for information?
I've been able to find a lot of information on VOIP, but the bottom line is I don't want to use Skype or any other provider, but I don't want to tie up a box for Asterisk yet. I'd like to give it a test run direct from one soft phone to another, and then (assuming all goes relatively well) move to an Asterisk box at home (and possibly in the apartment) and hard phones.
I really don't want an intermediate server. What I want to do is test the (real, as heard during a call, not theoretical numbers) connection between point A and point B, in order to decide whether it's worthwhile to setup an Asterisk box.
My residential phone service at both ends is proprietary VOIP (FiOS at home and Optimum Voice at the apartment) so the bandwidth should be there, it's just really a matter of how they setup their QoS, i.e. whether their proprietary service is the only one that uses lots of bandwidth, or whether they will allow the needed bandwidth for my own VOIP.
I know that I already have VOIP on both sides. I want to test the speed, and eventually implement an Asterisk server at home, and go to all VOIP phones at both ends. But before buying the hardware, I want to make sure that the bandwidth is actually there.