When looking for a new premise based IP PBX phone system, price, features, durability and customer reviews are some of the important considerations. Asterisk, an open source PBX software without licensing fees has opened the door to very affordable business phone systems. People often wonder what the differences are between Asterisk, Elastix, Trixbox, PBX in a Flash, AsteriskNow, or FreePBX. Well actually not a whole lot, as Asterisk is the core telephony software that makes everything happen. FreePbx, which started as an open source project is now owned by Sangoma, is the "front end" that offers a nice usable easy to navigate user interface. Elastix and Trixbox have built upon open source FreePbx, modifying it into their own versions of a front end user interface with a different look and feel. Others like Grandstream and Yeastar, both top choices, have locked down a version of Asterisk with a GUI that is both well designed and intuitive and offers a wide variety of features, built-in apps and the ability to add additional advanced feature apps. Most all asterisk based IP-PBXs use Linux as its core operating system.
Asterisk and Linux, both open source, have altered traditional phone system company models. Asterisk lowers costs and offers reliable community designed robust feature sets. It's at the core of hosted VoIP providers. It's always ahead of the curve.
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keeps getting better. The S20 VoIP appliance, which is the latest series
and an improvement on the popular and highly recommended MyPBX SOHO, is
everything that a SMB company might want. Like the MyPBX SOHO, the S20
offers Fax to Email, Voicemail to Email, MOH, Queues, Ring Groups, Time
Conditions, etc., but it also has additional new features like AutoClip,
more robust call recording, SIP Forking and Queuemetrics for call centers
(an additional charge).
The S20 comes with 2 on-board slots that can be used for expansion modules including FXS, FXO, T1/PRI ports and can now also now accept a GSM module (new with the S-20). This makes the S20 particularly desirable for those that need a T1/PRI circuit for their connection.
For an incredible deal on a Yeastar S20 PBX over Cloud with 3 phones. Amazon ad
MyPBX SOHO by Yeastar delivers excellent functionalities and a robust feature set to power a small office at an affordable price. With no license fees, this PBX supports up to 32 users and can easily be configured to accept phones from Aastra, Polycom, and Yealink, among others. Management is very intuitive and easy to navigate through its web based GUI interface. Adding users and configuring settings is straight forward. Just check a few boxes, choosing options from the dropdown list, and then complete the text fields and you'll be off and in operation in no time at all. With multi-language options, Yeastar's small PBXs are very popular worldwide and are now a go to choice in the USA. With improved documentation, online video tutorials and customer support, Yeastar is gaining in popularity. They offer some great solutions including a hotel app and now have teamed up with Loway offering Queumetrics an excellent highly rated ACD app that is both robust and reliable. Both Yeastar's MyPBX and the newer S20 are both top choices.
More about the Yeastar MyPBX SOHO
Manufactured by Allo the Nano2Pbx comes with 6 ports that can be configured either as 4 FXO and 4 FXS or 2 FXO and 6 FXS, as well as 50 IP extensions. This gives small business users the flexibility to make this one device capable of handling several connection variations. This PSTN/VoIP business phone system is easy to install and can connect up to any SIP IP phone. This robust PBX supports up to 50 IP extensions and 6 Analog extensions and can handle 32 IP and 8 TDM simultaneous calls. Easy to set up it also includes a one-on-one 45 minutes basic setup session.
Note: Allo's Asterisk PBX appliances have taken a back seat to their other hardware and are no longer easily found available.
Sangoma offers their S Series IP phones which are the only phones built
purposely for FreePBX and manufactured specifically for FreePBX systems
only. There are a lot of Linux, Asterisk, FreePBX installations worldwide
which would match well with these Sangoma phones. And of coarse Sangoma's
FreePBX appliance and the newer PBXact UC devices, which are the systems
intended for these phones, will be a great match. The S line includes 5
different models from the economy S205 to the executive models, the S700
The S-300 2 line phone has become a popular low cost, feature rich phone choice for users of FreePBX systems. These affordable quality VoIP solutions are gaining in number and popularity.
Sangoma's new PBXact series starts with the 40 (The PBXact 10 has been discontinued and is no longer in production, not that it wasn't popular, it was so popular that they had trouble with suppliers keeping open the supply chain.) and is capable of handling up to 40 users and 30 calls. At its core runs an Intel Celeron Quad-Core processor with 2GB of RAM. A feature rich Asterisk appliance on top of which lies FreePBX (owned by Sangoma) the 40 comes in under $900.00. Some of this SMB device's features are Flexible Time-Based Call Routing, a Built-In Conference Bridge, Fax to E-mail, Voicemail, Support for Video Calling, Text to Speech, Calling Queues (ACD) and IVR. The 40 does not have any FXO ports and is not capable of accepting any, however the larger PBXact UC devices do. So if you need to connect a couple of traditional phone lines, then take that into consideration.
Both Sangoma's PBXact UC and FreePBX version are top picks.
Sangoma has built a great reputation and is known to manufacturer excellent interface cards. Now that they have moved into the SMB Asterisk UC IP-PBX market we expect good things from them. They have a complete line of IP phones, their S series phone, which is built for use with FreePBX and will compliment the PBXact 40 with easy installation and easy configuration to make a great system.
More about Sangoma PBXact UC and FreePBX
Note: The Elastix NiniUCS appliance has been discontinued by the manufacturer, and is now difficult to find.
This SIP appliance will support 50 SIP endpoints (IP phones), up to 32 concurrent calls, and allow for an optional 4 Port FXO or 4 Port FXS port card for either traditional phone lines (FXO) or telephones (FXS). It is built with Elastix, a usable front end that has its own unique look and feel. Adding a 4 Port FXO card* will allow the connection of up to 4 traditional CO telephone lines.
*Note: Adding an FXO or other card(s), if needed, will bring the cost of the Elastix MiniUCS over $1000.00.
Supporting up to four concurrent calls using the G729 compressed codec, which requires more processing power than G711, the iCallDroid spot Asterisk IP-PBX is a low cost solution for up to 16 extensions. This Linux based WiFi IP-PBX solid state appliance built by OpenVox Communication Co. Ltd., a Chinese based company founded in 2002, minimizes both power consumption and price, but delivers a robust feature set on both the PBX side, as well as for the router. You'll find support for multi-level IVR voice menus, with IVR jump function based on time conditions and QOS (Quality of Service) to keep voice traffic at a priority, all at an affordable price. Designed with a small office environment in mind, the iCallDroid spot will handle just about any business communication need with an easy to manage interface and a five year warranty.
The RenegadePBX Pro 75 by VoIP Supply is their latest model in the
Renegade lineup and supports extensions and 45 simultaneous calls. With some
great features that make setup easy, like Quick-Start Installation Wizard,
Zero Touch Provisioning using their Redirection Service and EndPoint Manager
Module this IP-PBX will be a great addition of any SMB. When using Sangoma
IP Phones (Sangoma owns VoIP Supply) Zero Touch Provisioning is available.
This VoIP IP-pBX comes in at a very good price point and is ideal for businesses looking to seamlessly integrate their VoIP phones, SIP trunks, and PSTN connectivity while improving team collaboration and productivity with advanced phone features. For the best price on the Renegade PBX Pro75 Amazon ad.
The open source RenegadePBX by Voip Supply line starts with the mini (shown above) which can support 1 PCI Express telephony card for telephony connections including a T1 (PRI), as well as FXO and FXS, which makes this IP-PBX very adaptable. It can be purchased with either Elastix, FreePBX or AsteriskNow installed and can handle up to 100 extensions and 75 concurrent SIP calls. Voip Supply was bought by Sangoma in July 2017. NOTE: When adding a telephony card the cost may be more than $1000.00.
If your installation is new, and even if it's not, the best choice for phones are ones from the same manufacturer as the appliance. This makes sense for easy installations, quick and well thought out feature configuration and access to support issues with the manufacturer. So, Grandstream UCM with Grandstream IP phones (the affordable GXP1700 series are outstanding), the Yeastar MyPBX or S20 VoIP PBX with Yealink IP phones and Sangoma's PBXact 40 UC device with Sangoma's S series IP phones. (We name these three because they are our top 3 picks (2017)). Additionally, you'll find that some manufactures suggest specific models of their phones.
More and more, Asterisk based IP PBX manufacturers are designing their "systems" build around features that are bug free when using a particular phone. Namely, a set of models that have been created to match by that same manufacturer. Although Asterisk has excellent capabilities to work with a variety of SIP IP phones, some features when configured behave slightly different with different phones. In some cases a feature of an appliance may not even work with some models of phones.
Grandstream's UCM6xxx series just keeps getting better and better. Their latest version, the UCM6202 and UCM6204 uses a more robust processor while the feature set and GUI are same showing Grandstream's commitment to this IP-PBX appliance. It truly is a unified communications platform that will handle multiple communication technologies such as voice, video calling, video conferencing, video surveillance, mobility options and facility access management. It integrates with CRM applications like Salesforce, all without any licensing fees, costs-per-feature or recurring fees. That however, doesn't mean that you're all on your own. Grandstream publishes guides, manuals, how-to articles, and offers both an online support forum, an online trouble ticket system and a YouTube channel for how-to tutorials. All of which is helpful for any user or administrator of these systems.
With an Auto Discovery and Zero Configuration of Grandstream SIP endpoints and a setup wizard, this appliance can be setup easily and quickly. And it is very affordable.
More on the Grandstream UCM6202 and 6204
NOTE: The UCM6102 & UCM6104 have been discontinued by Grandstream and being replaced by the UCM62xx series IP PBX.
The Grandstream UCM 6102 comes with 2 FXS and 2 FXO Ports built in to connect to two traditional CO telephone lines. This allows small companies to gain the advantage of VoIP without the need to totally disconnect from their existing telecom carrier. With no licensing fees you just add VoIP connections and additional extensions as needed. Grandstream's auto-configuration has made adding their GXP IP phones a breeze. This easy to setup IP-PBX comes with support from Grandstream.
Grandstream's UCM 61xx series IP-PBX: 2014 Product of the Year winner.
More about the Grandstream UCM6102
NOTE: For those that want a great end of life* IP-PBX, the 6102 and 6104 can be purchased at an exceptionally low price.
Recommended the UCM6202 and 6204 IP-PBX; newer versions of this great predecessor.
The Grandstream UCM 6104 comes with 2 FXS and 4 FXO Ports built in to connect to up to four traditional CO telephone lines. This allows small companies to gain the advantage of VoIP without the need to totally disconnect from their existing telecom carrier. With no licensing fees you just add VoIP connections and additional extensions as needed. Lessen your existing telephone charges by reducing the number of incoming traditional lines and adding a VoIP provider's service. Grandstream's auto-configuration has made adding their GXP IP phones a breeze. This easy to setup IP-PBX comes with support from Grandstream.
More on the Grandstream UCM6104
AastraLink Pro 160 Designed directly for companies with up to 25 users with 50 extensions and who may already be using traditional telephone lines, the AastraLink Pro 160 comes with 6 FXO ports built in, more than enough for most small offices. Designed to pair with Aastra's 4 series and 5i (recommended) IP phones, their auto-provisioning feature makes configuration easy, including setting up a phone and then having it connect from home. Initial installation is a breeze, just connect the 160 to the network and then connect the first phone. For multi-site businesses linking together several AastraLink Pro 160 appliances creates a WAN linked office environment.
Note: After Mitel aquired Aastra the AastraLink Pro160 was discontinued.
More on the AastraLink Pro 160