Want to setup a real powerful phone system? Don’t want to spend a fortune on it? We are going show you how you can setup a enterprise grade phone system with spending thousands of dollars. The first technology you need to be aware is called Asterisk. It’s a phone system software that allows manages all aspects of the phone system. Think of it like your phone server. The best thing about Asterisk is that its FREE! Yes you heard that right there are no hidden costs, or catches here. The software is absolutely free and there are many different variations of it. Asterisk runs on a Linux system. You can download the entire system as a build with everything you need in order to setup your first Asterisk Phone system.
We are a big fan of FreePBX. The system is constantly updated and its very easy to setup and manage. You can download the software here. Once you download the software you can burn it on a CD / DVD. You have a number of ways to install the software. You can get a cheap desktop computer and install the software on it. Asterisk does not use a lot of processing power. In fact you can set it up on a dual core processor with 4GB of RAM along with about 250GB hard drive. You can purchase a system like this from ebay for about $150. This computer can handle about 15 – 20 concurrent phone calls and support about 30 – 40 phones connected to it. A pretty powerful system.
You may ask if the system is stable? The system is very stable as a matter of fact it’s more stable then some of the windows based phone systems we’ve worked with in the past. We have a few phone systems that have not been rebooted in more than 2 years. The systems are rock solid and run very well.
You can also set these phone servers in the cloud. You can setup a computer instance for as little as $10 / month. The beauty of the system is that cloud based systems are hosted with redundant power backups and internet connections. You don’t have to worry about system outages or even electricity bill. For the cost it makes so much sense to set up the system in the cloud.
We have had phone systems go down when Comcast or DSL service goes out. We now setup most of our VoIP systems in the cloud and even if the Internet connection goes out, the system can automatically route calls to failover phone numbers you specify. We usually route the calls to individual cell phones to route the calls in case of an outage.