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Old 05-16-2008, 05:17 PM   #1
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Need VOIP Solution

I would like to set up a voip solution to get the landline out of the house. We looked at magicjack but is not ported for linux. We already have high speed internet in the house and a computer that is always on to go to, so I guess I am asking for inputs about the relative pros and cons of various linux solutions. The solution has to have a the ability to have a phone number for people to call us. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Old 05-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #2
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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The stuff I got working well - and I mean hours of conversation without interruption, and a clean connection almost every time was Gizmo, and Skype.
I believe OpenWengo worked well too, but it wasn't a keeper for some reason that I can't recall.
I didn't have too much luck with gnome meeting. Mostly due to the server and not the software. Since you can use any SIP server with it, it might be an option.
I haven't tried Linphone.

I'm stuck with skype because I have a dozen friends in my list, and I can't convince them all to switch. Mainly because the one real alternative doesn't work well with some of them. - We tried alternatives extensively when Skype had the big crash a year or so back. Anyway - if you want it to replace the phone you won't have to worry about that, and you might want to choose a solution that also supports SIP (skype doesn't) - which is after the standard protocol.

Last edited by oskar; 05-18-2008 at 02:12 PM.
Old 05-18-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
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I've tried many such clients (Wengo, linphone, skype), really only ekiga works well.
Old 05-18-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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It really depends how deep you want to go.

I'd suggest consider it prerequisite that any service be an open 'BYOD' SIP-based serivce. SIP is the VoIP protocol most commonly used, and BYOD means Bring Your Own Device. Many SIP providers (ie Vonage) lock the service so you can't get the credentials (login/password), the service can only be used with the ATA (analog telephony adapter) they send you. That makes it useless if you want to ever use something else or a computer. BYOD generally means that you can get the config info if you want, and then plug it into something else.

As for providers, consider what you want. If you want something skype-like, gizmo is a great system. You can buy phone numbers (DIDs) or outgoing minutes for a reasonable fee.

If you want something more Vonage like, try or Both support BYOD. They sell you a 'line' for a monthly fee, often with many nifty features thrown in.

From there you must decide what exactly you want to do on your end. The simplest is a softphone like gnomemeeting, ekiga, etc. This however requires your computer to be on and you to use a headset to talk on the phone, which you may not want. There are many SIP-based IP phones you can buy- check out . In particular look at SNOM and AASTRA, both are excellent quality. Grandstream is also good if you're on a budget but their products are cheaper. However GS phones are good to learn on, myself and many other VoIP geeks cut our teeth on Grandstream BT100's back when it was the only IP phone that didn't cost $300.

You might also consider an ATA, that's basically a VoIP to POTS adapter, you plug your normal phone into it. That's the same gadget that Vonage sends you more or less.

If you want a simple solution, most providers will happily provide you with an ATA, and some (viatalk does, i think broadvoice does also) will then give you the passwords for your ATA so you can tweak it if you want. Other providers (vonage) won't give you anything.

Lastly if you want to go all the way, check out . Asterisk is an open source VoIP software PBX that runs on Linux. it is VERY flexible, and can do almost anything.

You might also check out the voip wiki at

hope that helps and good luck!
Old 05-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #7
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I use SIP Phone ( as my provider and Twinkle ( as my client as it integrates well with the KDE addressbook.

Can also be compiled without KDE dependencies.

My inbound phone number costs $35 (US) per year and outgoing is cheap too.



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