Is FreePBX Right For Me?

Hi everyone,
I’m looking to implement a call menu system to offer some information to callers before forwarding their call along to a single, physical phone. My goal is to minimize the burden of having to constantly answer the same questions (operating hours and emergency closure) for every call.

Ideally, the call flow would look like this:

  1. Phone system picks up incoming call
  2. System plays back a pre-recorded message
  3. The caller is offered the option to press a key to forward the call to a physical phone.

I already have a Grandstream HT813 which I’m hoping will work, but if not, what hardware would you recommend? Is FreePBX the right way to do this?

I am not familiar with the HT813, but yes, FreePBX can do what you want. Essentially you will build out an incoming call route that would send the call to an IVR with your recordings and have one of the options tied to an extension (which would then ring your phone).

I noticed the HT813 has both an FXO and FXS port, so it seems like you could have it answer your analog line (POTS) line, route the call to a Freebox server (would most likely need to be run on a separate computer on your network) and then it would route the call to the phone connected to the HT813 assuming the caller wants to talk to someone vs just listen to the pre-recorded messages.

I would use Asterisk. Your requirements 1-3 are handled very simply:

 same=n,Background(silence/1&dir-welcome&dir-instr)  ;welcome message (add more if needed)
 same=n,WaitExten(5)                         ;give them a few more seconds to press a key
exten=_[*#0-9]!,1,Dial(PJSIP/1001)           ;any key


exten=_NXXXXXX,1,Dial(PJSIP/1212${EXTEN}@provider-1001) ; 7 digit dialing with your area code
exten=_NXXNXXXXXX,1,Dial(PJSIP/1${EXTEN}@provider-1001) ;10 digit dialing
exten=_1NXXNXXXXXX,1,Dial(PJSIP/${EXTEN}@provider-1001) ;11 digit dialing

Both are saved in “/etc/asterisk/extensions.conf”
For me learning Asterisk was a joy and it can run in almost any flavor of Linux, BSD, or Windows (wsl).

For newbies, jumping straight to Asterisk can be very difficult. FreePBX is the perfect example for what OP is looking for.

As others have stated, this is the simplest use case for FreePBX. You can check out this video series that will show you all the basic functionality of FreePBX.

Nah, I find Asterisk to be a simple program with a lot of additional features that don’t get used (or seen) by the majority of users (because they often aren’t needed).

What country are you in?

In many locations, there are VoIP providers that offer basic PBX features, often not much more expensive than those offering dumb pipes. This could save you the effort to learn and administer your own PBX.
For example, for US or Canada, take a look at, Callcentric and Anveo.

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