VPN Softphone vs Physical Phone

I am new to VOIP and have a couple questions. I have the latest build of freepbx. System is up and working fine. I want to test a phone for external use. I have a polycom 330 that works fine on the internal network. I can not get it to work externally though. My question is can a Voip physical phones be used externally without a vpn connection? I have installed the 3CX softphone on my android phone and it works fine without a vpn connection. thank you.

As kerensen said, you can and has given you some solid advise/methods if you were to but I’d still strongly advise against doing it especially as you say you are new to VoIP/FreePBX. A VPN is your best solution in this case IMO.

Short answer is Yes, the Polycom Phones work fine across the internet without a VPN. You can provision them from the EPM locally and then edit the generated file in /tftpboot or use the phone’s web admin to change the private IP to the public one. Better yet, use a registered hostname in case your server address changes later on.

The real issue is exposing your box on the internet. Many posts exist covering this but I would be very cautious with passwords, Permit/Deny IPs, and only open access to necessary ports from specific hosts using a HW firewall.