How does asterisk work?



  • So, here's the dilemma. I work from home and I am required to have a landline connection for voice services. I run pfsense as my firewall/router. I know there is an asterisk plugin, but having never used it I do not know if it will work for my plans. Really, I am looking for a budget solution for a network based phone (can be answered/managed from a PC) without going with a 3rd party VOIP provider.

    Everything has an asterisk client these days, i've even seen one for my t.v… so if asterisk does what I want, then we are in business.

    Basically, I hate being tied down to a desk, so I installed my actual workstation as a VM in hyper-V. this allows me to save space, and I can connect from anywhere, using the same static info. I will occasionally head to another room, take a tablet, laptop, etc. and remain connected to my VM. However if the phone rings, guess where I have to go, back to my desk to answer the call. If I could host everything from a centralized server and still maintain an active connection, I would be in heaven. I could even work from a hotspot at the local coffee shop, a beach in mexico, etc if I wanted and it would appear as if I were still at home as usual.

    I guess my simple question is, can I buy a decent phone/modem card for my pfsense box, install and configure asterisk, and then answer/dial calls from any PC on the LAN (including VPN)



  • I don't use Asterisk in Pfsense, however I do use FreePBX which is a Asterisk Management Portal (Asterisk with a GUI). I think that it is fantastic and you can get softphones for Android, Windows Phone, IPhone and your Computer. The two that come to mind are Bria which is not free, and Zoiper which is free and cross platform. The thing is that you will not be able to call out of your pbx unless you add in a FXO card which can be expensive and you would need to make sure that FreeBSD supports the card. I guess you could sign up for a sip provider but again I have not checked that functionality in the Asterisk implementation with in PfSense. For me I have a small data center in my home where I have bought a cisco router (2821), Some DSPs, and FXO / FXS card from ebay and made my own voice gateway. I then signed up for Magic Jack and use that to make calls in and out of my FreePBX setup. I purchased used Cisco gear from ebay which cost Less than $300 bucks and works very well. To buy a Digium FXO card on ebay will run you around $140 and then you can't say for sure if the hardware will work (driver support) in PfSense, unless someone on here has tried it. Phone (VoIP) can be tricky (CoS) and you may have some learning to do, but it's definitely worth the effort. I have my FreePBX setup in a Hyper-V VM, and I can take my Asterisk phone anywhere I go and still have connection. I don't even need AT&T voice service but they won't let me just get data from them.

    In short I'm sure you can do what you want to do as long as you can connect Asterisk to a SIP provider. In FreePBX and other implementations that I have seen this is not a problem. As long as PfSense's Asterisk implementation supports trunks then you should be okay. If it only allows you to create internal extensions for use to call from one branch office to another then you might want to think about putting FreePBX in a VM to get done what you want to do.

    Hope I answered your question



  • I've installed Pfsense 2.1.5 (FreeBSD 8.3) with the package of Asterisk 1.8 as a virtual machine on my Esxi 5.5 host.  Then I want freepbx 2.11 to act as the Asterisk GUI.  I'd appreciated it if someone could show me how to install freepbx.



  • @pwcpp:

    I've installed Pfsense 2.1.5 (FreeBSD 8.3) with the package of Asterisk 1.8 as a virtual machine on my Esxi 5.5 host.  Then I want freepbx 2.11 to act as the Asterisk GUI.  I'd appreciated it if someone could show me how to install freepbx.

    Freepbx does not run on pfsense.  Freepbx does not officially support any *BSD  and I think the chances of getting it working on 8.3 is more hassle than it is worth.  If you need more than a simple/basic asterisk setup it might be worth building a separate VM for that purpose, otherwise you should be able to do simple setups right from the pfsense gui.



  • AsterisksNow = Simplicity…

    The new one comes with fail2ban running already - which is nice.


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