Monday, 11 April 2011

I'm still here! Also VoIP.

Again, sorry all for not keeping up with my old rate of blog posting. I recently became a father, and spent most of this weekend tidying the garden (it needed some urgent attention!).

I haven't had chance to sit down and get on with the DD-WRT stuff lately. On top of IPSEC, I also need to find a smaller DHCPv6 implementation that I can cross compile. 6MB is a bit large considering most routers have 4-8MB of flash. I've been looking at dibbler and wide-dhcpv6.

What I have done recently that may interest a number of you, is I've been getting my VoIP equipment set up again. A few friends and I started our own federated VoIP network a few years ago to call each other for free with no limitations, but I've extended my end to include DID numbers and (semi-)free international calls. I've been using asterisk to manage all my different inbound and outbound accounts as I have many VoIP devices I wish to use, although the came can be done without.

So, here's the setup for a single device:
For outbound calls, the absolute cheapest is voipcheap. They have many subsidiaries for varies countries and continents so the site you need may be different. The main two are VoipCheap.co.uk and VoipCheap.com. You set this account up on your SIP device. VoipCheap will give you 300 free minutes a week to selected destinations as long as you top up the account every 90 days. The minimum seems to be £10 for the UK one.

For a UK inbound number, try numbergroup.com. As far as I can tell, it's free for inbound numbers. Simply choose SIP as the destination and enter <voipcheap username>@sip.voipcheap.co.uk (or .com if you registered with .com). For a US inbound number (WA state), ipkall.com setup is similar, but they do make an automated call occasionally to make sure the number is still in use. If you want one in a different state, you can try Google Voice, although you need to set this up from a US IP address. This sets up a basic forwarding number, forward it to your ipkall assigned one.

That's it, you should now be able to make and receive calls to standard PSTN lines using your sip device. Remember to always dial the full number, including international and area codes. The only thing you're missing is caller ID. The first thing you need to do is verify the number with voipcheap. This will involve an automated call and typing in the digits read to you into your account settings page. You can only do this for the region you registered for VoipCheap in, mind. Once you've verified it, to actually use it you'll have to set it up on your SIP device. How to do this will vary so I'm not going to cover that here.

This setup works fine for a single user as you can only set one caller ID with voipcheap at a time, so if you're using this kind of setup to handle multiple numbers and phones, I'd consider using a paid outbound provider, numbergroup.com have very competitive rates and can often provide you with a contiguous group of numbers.

Anyway, hopefully that'll keep you all occupied for a while, with all the free international calls you'll all be making!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Andee,
    This is great post of yours and it helped me a lot.
    I was wondering whether you would know a website which provides inbound phone numbers in Poland with an option to divert incoming calls to SIP?
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ludvik, the only one I can find is http://www.actio.pl. But it doesn't look like it can be redirected to a SIP address. If you're using a softphone (such as ekiga) or a hardware phone (such as a Grandstream GXP2000) that allows use of multiple accounts that should work fine if you still want to use something like voipcheap. Otherwise you could consider using a small asterisk box to handle both lines and pass them off to a single-line phone.

    ReplyDelete