[kwlug-disc] UBB, VOIP, and my wallet

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Mon Jan 31 16:29:27 EST 2011

On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 15:55, John Van Ostrand <john at netdirect.ca> wrote:
> My usage is way down. Everyone has cell phones so we don't really too much on the VoIP phone. The teenagers don't call any more it's all texting now.

I could live with my cell, but I don't want to change my "home"
number. To be honest, I could probably not even answer it, and just
have voice mail email to me and I can call back from my cell.

>> - Is Trixbox still the way to go?
> It's one option and a good one if you intend on using a typical PC. It's a CentOS distro with asterisk and lots of add-ons. It may be overkill for a simple phone line.
> [..snip..]
> Since low-power was a recent thread you could consider a Cisco (nee LinkSys, nee Sipura) ATA. You need a model with an FXS port (to connect to phones). Once your phone number has been ported to Unlimitel you would disconnect your home wiring from the telco and plug the FXS port into one of your wall outlets. Then connect an answering machine and you have a conventional phone service with call waiting and caller id.

I already have a server running 24/7. It serves media to my TV via
mediatomb, and provides storage and backup for my other machines
(mine+wife's laptops, my desktop). I may end up getting a lower-power
dedicated device, but for the moment I'll just use as much of what I
already have as possible.

I actually wired my house, so I have everything terminate to a
patch-panel in the basement. My house is voip-ready, the problem is
I'm voip-lazy.

> If you want a voice menu to thwart marketing calls (call 886-4748 for an example) or offer more features like voice mail to email you could put asterisk on a home router using OpenWRT. That's a little tricky I suspect.

I haven't been able to get OpenWRT to work on my Netgear WNDR3700 (it
boots, but fails to bring up PPPoE to teksavvy). I'd be reluctant to
start working on my in-use WRT54G (I'd imagine it might be a little
ram-constrained). I could probably find a used one cheap, though...

> Expect to pay about $100 new.

Doesn't sound so steep when you consider it would only be five months
to recoup savings from switching off of Bell? :D

> There is an asterisk user group in Toronto called TAUG with a low volume mailing list. It could help you out too.
> The traps that you'll find is that when you are doing a heavy upload or download voice quality may suffer. If you are uploading the remote caller will have trouble hearing your voice. On download it will be hard to hear them. Stop the download and it goes back to normal.
> This can be overcome by using traffic shaping on your firewall and on the ISP service. Don't expect many ISPs to offer VoIP traffic shaping though. Unlimitel does and I imagine Packetworks may.

I've tried to enable QoS on my WRT54G, and always found it unstable. I
have a WNDR3700 which is much faster, and has more RAM. But as I said
above, I haven't got that working yet.

I'd love to enable shaping for many reasons. Netflix & bittorrent
(bulk but not timely data) kills any online games (tiny but timely
data), etc.

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>

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