+1 on the fax service. In addition to SRFax, take a look at Faxage and Nextiva.
Many fax services offer a device for connecting a traditional fax machine. It looks like an ATA, but it actually receives the fax locally and transmits it by HTTPS, so it’s both secure and reliable. However, you probably won’t need it. Instead of printing a document, filling and/or signing it, then feeding it through a fax machine, use Acrobat or similar to fill and/or sign electronically, then ‘print’ to fax using your provider’s driver.
Anecdotally I have one debian wheezy machine doing several thousand pages a week, over a couple of dozen t38faxmodem routed via hylafax and postfix using asterisk as a t38 gateway and with 99%+ accuracy on a $5 DO vm.
Unfortunatelt, any effort to update it has failed dismally, Fax is in my case a lost art on Asterisk,.( On fusionPBX it works just fine though)
I pulled the last 90 days (all that’s available) and for all lines, the monthly average is 4000 minutes for both in and out combined. I assume it would increase in the upcoming months as we should have more business then. Per the info from @sorvani, we would be looking at ~$50 a month with VoIP.ms.And there is always the chance that we could spend more on calls because we don’t know how many callers receive a busy signal now.
Would VoIP.ms even consider working with us or are we too small? I find it hard to get pricing and information from potential vendors when I tell them I am only a step above “kicking the tires” at the moment.
We have bundled phone/internet now. I don’t know how much our internet service fee would increase if we drop the phone portion so it is harder to present a comparison. Assuming our internet would go from $100 to $150, that would leave $200 for phone before taxes. If the internet provider really hit us with a higher rate, I suspect we could save half on our voice service. I would also need to factor in the time and money to maintain the FreePBX. I don’t see it as work, but I’m not signing the checks, either.
You might be able to convert to SIP trunks, with the same provider, with no change in price. Most of the other SIP trunk options mentioned rely on the public internet to carry your traffic – introducing latency, jitter, voice competition with your data bandwidth, etc.
is not $50. That would be 4000 minutes.
Sorry - Yes, 4000 minutes. I now fixed my mistake above. !!
There is no such thing as too small with vendors like VoIP.ms and Skyetel as you simply spin up an account and link a credit card.
This is gong to be the only potential problem. You have residential internet service wrapped in a business billing scheme. This tell me that you have coax based internet service from your local cable provider.
For the majority of the SMB, this will still suffice just fine. But will be something to look into prior to porting numbers.
This is why simple providers like VoIP.ms and Skyetel are the best choices. You simply create an account, buy a number for a buck, and test the connection from wherever you host the PBX at to the provider.
I always recommend putting a self host FreePBX on Vultr or Digital Ocean. Then instead of worrying about the connection to the provider, you only worry about the connection from your phones to the PBX. As the VPS providers all have good backbones to pretty much everything on the other side.
Only if you like lock in and a lack of flexibility.
So things like not being able to call another user down the hall just because your internet blinked.
As opposed to now? Having bundled Internet/Phones means they are using the providers hosted solution for their voice.
If it makes a difference, our current internet is labeled as “Business Class”.
That doesnot mean the service is any better or has any guarantees.
It does, too!! They said so …
We do have a second internet feed which could get us going in short order if using registration authentication depending on registration interval time. I tend to lean away from cloud-based services. I understand them and realize I use it everyday. I just prefer as much equipment in-house as possible. Probably just me and it does create a type of liability.
I just did some quick reading. I’m not super familiar with VOIP. From what I was reading it sounds the a VOIP Gateway is strictly hardware. The VOIP(PSTN) gateway would plug into your analog line that comes into your house. The PBX would then connect to the Gateway via IP. I think your looking for something called a SIP Trunk. The SIP trunk would go over your high speed internet from the SIP Provider to your PBX. This would completely eliminate your analog line. This is from some quick reading. I could be wrong, but this is what I understand.
Thanks @markanu. I now have residential VoIP phone service which allows me to connect my FreePBX server. This allows me to work out basic configurations before a potential switch at my place of employment. I’d hate to have started this at work with a broken legacy PBX system with everyone wondering when the phone service will return. I have much more to learn.
That’s when I came here to seek help understanding the switch to IP-based phone communications. I didn’t understand that there was SIP trunk service that allowed many concurrent connections without committing to individual channels for each. I didn’t see any possible savings until then.
That is when you hire a professional. This is something I talk about all the time. Things like FreePBX are a snap to install, but to get all the little things right takes knowledge and some would say skill.
How many times is the typical SMB solo IT guy going to deploy a PBX in his career? Once or twice, maybe. Spending the time learning to do it is a waste of his company’s money. Hire a professional to design and implement your solution, and train you on the admin tasks to maintain and update. Then they walk away and you have a solid working system.
That didn’t work out too well on our current system. My company asked me to install that one and I told them similar to what you are saying. After this company (recommended by a national affiliated partner) installed and walked away, we had an issue. I emailed. No answer. I called and left a message. No return call. Multiple times. I ended up learning as much as I could to get us going again. I am sure we are not using many of the features of that system, but it does what we need to do.
Having a professional come in doesn’t always work out like you are suggesting. Right now, we have the time which is mainly me working on this at home.
Sometimes “bundled” means there is just “one” bill – so the copper lines are not physically coming off the same pole.