Best Setup for Remote Location

I’m in the process of setting up a VoIP Freepbx phone system in a somewhat remote location, albeit it with a low (17ms) ping time. I’m trying to decide between a local server, or a hosted server. I’m leaning to using a hosted server, at least in the beginning. But that opens another question: what company should I go with. We are in southern BC, Canada. I’ve used rentpbx in the past. But I really wish they had an option to start with a fresh freepbx 14 install. I’ve made a system through them using pbx in a flash 2, and freepbx 2.2. I then upgraded my way to freepbx 13. Is this the best route?
What exactly does pbx in a flash do for me that straight freepbx wouldn’t? They do offer freepbx 10.13.66. Should I go with that and then upgrade to 14? If I do want to go if PIAF, it seems like I would have to start at freepbx 2.2, and upgrade my way to a current system. Rentpbx has servers in Seattle, which would be nice for less latency. Also, using the nerdvittles discount, I can get the hosting for $15 dollars a month.

Pretty much, do you guys have any opinions on whether I should go with hosted or local. If hosted, any opinions on which company. And also, what exactly does PIAF alongside freepbx do for me? and would I be better off just going with pure rentpbx 10.13.66?

Also, what are your opinions on wazo? Should that be a consideration? I don’t know much about it, but it seems like it might be a good future option. I know I’m asking about it in a FreePBX forum, so I don’t expect many positive remarks, but I’m curious how you all feel about it. A while back, I tried setting up a wazo system, but quit when I ran into a roadblock in setting up fop2.

How about using a Raspberry Pi for a local server? We probably won’t have more than 10 concurrent calls. And it seems like a pretty good, cheap option. I think I’ve read about difficulties in installing freepbx on a raspberry pi, but what about incredible pbx. What is the difference between freepbx and incredible pbx. Maybe it is an entirely different, inferior system. I really don’t know.

Apologies for the random babbling, these are just some of the things I was wondering about, and I figured you guys would have some opinions.

Unless you are a capable linux admin, you need a simple complete firewall, especially if you are going hosted. IMO, the integrated Firewall in FreePBX Distro is easily the single best reason to use it over any other distro. The other clear strength of the FreePBX Distro is that it’s continuously supportable. Years ago, had you installed the Distro based on FreePBX 2.10, the system could have been upgraded in place continuously to keep current.

I’m sure Pi’s have their place. If pressed, I would opine that their role is not as a server in a business environment. But I’m funny that way.


Do you have more than one location, if you went with a physical server you host could you host it in a non-remote location and have the people at the remote location connect to it?

This is what I would do if I went with hosting.

As far as hosting providers are concerned, you might want to take a look at this:

I don’t personally use them but considering Schmoozecom (now Sangoma) collaborates with CyberLynk on this their support of FreePBX must be top notch…

Piaf, the older versions, is derivative work, essentially a fork based on FreePBX maintained by someone who does not appears to be on the best of terms with the FreePBX devs…

Apart from possible grief I am not sure what you would get…

Piaf 5 is apparently based on the same thing as elastix 5… It’s no longer based on Asterisk/FreePBX but the 3CX stuff now…

The last thing I would put in a remote location is hardware which, by design, uses a storage method known to be unreliable.

The question is not whether the SD card will get corrupted, it’s when…

The same could be said for an hard drive but it usually takes much longer and you can use technologies such as RAID to limit the chances of your PBX going down because the storage medium got corrupted…

I am not against the PIs, I actually have a 0, 1, 2 and 3 but would never use this for a PBX…

Good luck and have a nice day!


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The latest PIAF version (5) no longer is based on Asterisk/FreePBX, but on a completely different software (3CX).
Once on good terms, the developer behind nerdvittles products and FreePBX makers went very much apart over discussions about the opensource or non-opensource nature of FreePBX distro and FPBX 13.
That’s one of the reasons why nerdvittles got on board with 3CX and other Asterisk based distros (like Wazo and Issabel).

However things seemed to have cooled down a bit, and the latest IncrediblePBX version features FreePBX 13 and Asterisk 13 along with some extra software installed to facilitate securely connecting remote clients and remote access and other software. On the distro, the FPBX firewall is designed to do that.

I started out a few years ago with PIAF (FreePBX 11) and then switched to using the FreePBX distro because of some commercial modules that I wanted to have but weren’t available on IncrediblePBX.

As it turned out this was a good decision. If I had stayed with PIAF or Incredible PBX, I would now be stuck with a very old version with no upgrade paths or been forced to reinstall a completely new version to make use of FreePBX 13 and 14.

When using FreePBX distro, you are more or less guaranteed to be provided straightforward upgrade paths to new FreePBX versions, Asterisk versions and operating system upgrades.

With Incredible PBX this might not be the case at all, as I have seen.

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Thanks for your responses. I’m now currently planning to go with straight freepbx. @Marbled seems pretty nice. They are definitely more pricey than rentpbx, but it appears to come with a couple of normally paid modules (EPM, sysadmin Pro). I remembered one of the larger reasons why I was leaning towards going with an onsite server, to be able to between extension calling in case of internet outage, which isn’t rare here.

We have a spare PowerEdge R410 that I am considering flashing with the freepbx image. Do you guys think that that server can handle what we need? 10-15 simultaneous calls, max? Usually around 1 or 2?

Thanks again for your helpful advice.