VoIP, SIP, Skype, H.323 and other stuff

2004/12/09 21:04:00

VoIP(Voice over IP) is the future!

I have been playing with “skype”:http://www.skype.com a bit but the sound setup on Linux sucks a lot. I can’t get it to play nicely with my soundcard without hogging the whole thing. I will wait till they get with the program and port it to the newer and current linux ALSA sound system.

So I have moved on and decided to go a bit more industy standard. I now have a SIP( Session Initiation Protocol) phone setup at home. I have user “asterisk”:http://www.asterisk.org/ to setup a basic PBX(Private Branch Exchange) at home.

What does the above mean!! Well I now am able to accept Voice calls over the internet and if I am at my desk they will ring there but if I am not then you can leave a message and it will be emailed to me. It’s all pretty simple at the moment but as I start to grokk the configs a bit more it should make more sense.

Some more details.
I have tried “linphone”:http://www.linphone.org/?lang=us&rubrique=1, “kphone”:http://www.wirlab.net/kphone/ but have settled on “minisip”:http://www.minisip.org/. It’s nice and simple and works well with my sound card! The only problem I think is that it does not jump to the front where there is a incoming call. In the end I hope to use “gnomemeeting”:http://www.gnomemeeting.org/ but for now that does not use SIP and I have not got to the bit about setting up H.323 connections to asterisk!

I also got a uk telephone number from “calluk”:http://www.calluk.com/ so you can dial direct from the POTS(Plain Old Telephone System). I use “pulver”:http://pulver.com for thier FWD(Free World Dialup) service so that I can have a nice external number. I would recommed that they are a good place for starting from as they have free client software and it’s all a “nice place to start with VoIP”:http://www.freeworlddialup.com/.

Asterisk is a really amazing bit of open source software that allows you to do all the things that you would expect for a local PBX and much more. Call routing, least cost routing, voicemail, those awfull “press 1 for …” services and much more. Quite complex but I am begining to understand it and once you have the concepts it should be simple to get it to do what you want.

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