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192 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 24239 18-Jul-2008 19:26
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Hi all,

I am thinking about switching to a fully VOIP based solution but before I do I need to learn a bit about it.  I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you could help me answer.  I've looked around but everything I've read it either to simplistic or far to complex!

Basically my goal is to have a few phones throughout the house which are indistinguishable from normal phones except obviosuly they will communicate through VOIP so I don't need to pay the extra cost of a phoneline.  So here are a few questions:


1.  What sort of hardware do I need?  At the moment I have a WRT54GL with Milkfish installed (I don't really know anything about this apart from that it is for VOIP).  Could someone explain the function of Milkfish?  If I choose to buy some new VOIP phones is that all I would need? 

2.  I'm also strongly considering switching over to the Orcon+ network which would come with an Orcon HomeHub, which is actually a siemens gigaset sx763.  In its features it says it has a "Integrated SIP Proxy" and "Local Private Branch Exchange (PBX) support for up to 6 extensions (e. g. analog, LAN, WLAN)".  Can someone explain what the VOIP functionality is in this device and how it differs from the WRT54GL with custom firmware?  I suspect the Siemens device has a built in ATA?

3.  How could I hook this all up?  If I have an ATA in one room then how am I ment to connect phones in the other rooms?  Do I need multiple ATAs? 

4.  Is it possible once its all set up for these phones to act like normal phones in the way that if you just pick up and start talking on two phones in the same house you can hear eachother over the dialtone?

5.  What would be a good VOIP provider to look at?  I will probably end up waiting for Orcon's offering but it would be good to know who are the best providers out there?  People have been saying xnet looks good, but preferably I'd like to avoid buying any extra hardware, which xnet seems to force?


I think that's all my questions for now, thanks for your help! 



Daniel

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  Reply # 149259 18-Jul-2008 19:42
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dannyres: Hi all,

I am thinking about switching to a fully VOIP based solution but before I do I need to learn a bit about it.  I have a few questions that I'm hoping some of you could help me answer.  I've looked around but everything I've read it either to simplistic or far to complex!

Basically my goal is to have a few phones throughout the house which are indistinguishable from normal phones except obviosuly they will communicate through VOIP so I don't need to pay the extra cost of a phoneline.  So here are a few questions:


1.  What sort of hardware do I need?  At the moment I have a WRT54GL with Milkfish installed (I don't really know anything about this apart from that it is for VOIP).  Could someone explain the function of Milkfish?  If I choose to buy some new VOIP phones is that all I would need? 

2.  I'm also strongly considering switching over to the Orcon+ network which would come with an Orcon HomeHub, which is actually a siemens gigaset sx763.  In its features it says it has a "Integrated SIP Proxy" and "Local Private Branch Exchange (PBX) support for up to 6 extensions (e. g. analog, LAN, WLAN)".  Can someone explain what the VOIP functionality is in this device and how it differs from the WRT54GL with custom firmware?  I suspect the Siemens device has a built in ATA?

3.  How could I hook this all up?  If I have an ATA in one room then how am I ment to connect phones in the other rooms?  Do I need multiple ATAs? 

4.  Is it possible once its all set up for these phones to act like normal phones in the way that if you just pick up and start talking on two phones in the same house you can hear eachother over the dialtone?

5.  What would be a good VOIP provider to look at?  I will probably end up waiting for Orcon's offering but it would be good to know who are the best providers out there?  People have been saying xnet looks good, but preferably I'd like to avoid buying any extra hardware, which xnet seems to force?


I think that's all my questions for now, thanks for your help! 



Daniel


1. Milkfish is simply a SIP proxy server for your router. It doesn't actually give you a VoIP service. It's main use is to better support running VoIP phones behind a NAT firewall and also allows you to direct dial another device located behind the same router without requiring the call to go all the way to the VoIP provider and back. As a small user at home running Milkfish won't necessarily offer you any value.

2. The Homehub box has a built in FXO & FXS gateway which allows you to plug in an analogue phone. The WRT54GL offers no such features and you need to purchase a seperate ATA. Orcon don't have this feature active at present as their phone service is delivered over a true POTS solution from the exchange over your existing phone wiring rather than requiring you to plug your analogue phone into the homehub.

3. If you only need a single phone in the house then it's a simple issue of hooking the ATA into your existing wiring so all phones will work as they currently do.

4. If all phone are connected to the same port on the ATA then the answer is yes.

5. If you want to go with any VoIP provider you're going to need to purchase additional hardware since you don't have any VoIP capable device at present. Orcon will roll out a VoIP service in the future which would logically allow you to use your Homehub but have nothing in the marketplace yet. They are very much committed to offering their VoIP phone service over existing POTS lines to your house meaning that no ATA or rewiring is required. Their equipment in the exchange/cabinet effectively removes the need to have an ATA in your house and means that should power go out your phone will still continue to work.



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  Reply # 149271 18-Jul-2008 19:57
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Ah ok so Orcon's VOIP solution will be different from the rest of the marketplace as it currently is?  If I want VOIP right now I just need to buy an ATA and hook that up yes?  Or will the Orcon Homehub work as an ATA?  How exactly would I go about hooking up the ATA if I want to be able to use phones plugged in to any of the normal phone jacks around the house?  Would that require any special wiring?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 149420 19-Jul-2008 10:53
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As a follow up in wondering if xnet will consider supporting the Siemens Gigaset SX763?  :)  I want to use Orcon+ but they have no VOIP features so I would like to use xnet vfx...


Daniel

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  Reply # 149540 19-Jul-2008 22:43
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dannyres: ATA if I want to be able to use phones plugged in to any of the normal phone jacks around the house?  Would that require any special wiring?


If you wanted to you could break into your existing phone wiring at the demarcation point, run that into the DSL router for the naked DSL support and use a single ATA connected into the house phone wiring to support your internal phones..

If you're looking at doing this seriously I think the question you should be asking is not the how, as it's technically trivial.

The questions I'd be asking would be about reliability.  Right at this moment in time the old TDM/pots phone network is probably still more reliable than the IP infrastructure that supports DSL backhaul.  This of course is rapidly becoming a moot point as Telecom move the backhaul for voice to IP as well...

Cheers, Chris H.

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