[lug] VOIP advice

Daniel Webb lists at danielwebb.us
Fri Sep 16 03:42:14 MDT 2005

On Thu, Sep 08, 2005 at 02:28:31PM -0700, Rodolfo Estrada wrote:

> When I am out of town, usually in Mexico. I want to 
> transfer my local calls to my location in Mexico. In 
> both places I have broadband. 
> Where do I start looking for the solution?
> Is VOIP linux a good option? 

If you've got the time to set it up, teliax.com or nufone.net as your service
provider, asterisk on Linux as your voip server, and get an "FXS" box such as
the Sipura SPA-2002 (~$80), which has a phone line jack that goes to a normal
phone (actually, it has two phone lines).  That's what I'm doing as my home
phone service, and as long as the broadband is up, it works well.  Teliax has
local number portability for some Denver numbers, Nufone doesn't.

It wouldn't really matter if I was in Mexico or anywhere else (except for the
greater lag of course).  I'm using nufone.net for my toll-free DID (incoming
line), they charge $0.02/minute for incoming or outgoing calls, and $25
"vanity fee" if you want to choose your own number.  The nice thing about a
toll-free number is that it is portable like a domain name, so even if you
move or change providers you can keep the same number.  That's still not
universally true for local numbers, as you'll find out if you need to keep
your current local number and shop around.

Unfortunately the copper wires where I live are totally shot and we have DSL
outage at least once a month, usually more.  If your broadband isn't perfect,
expect dropped calls and complete outages fairly often, much more than with a
traditional phone.  That's the main downside of voip: more things to go wrong.  

This solution I just recommended is not one where you will get much
hand-holding, though, so you may want to look at other ideas if you're not
ready to spend 20 hours or so setting up asterisk and getting everything
working right.  The advantage is that you are in total control, not locked to
a provider like easier solutions.  

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