Linksys SPA8000-G1, A First Look

At a glance

Product Name: Linksys SPA8000-G1
Data Sheet: Linksys SPA8000-G1 Datasheet
Estimated Price: $299.95
Pros: Under $40 per FXS port.
Cons: The unit we tested runs hot, like a Mac PowerBook. The release version has a cooling fan.

Introduction

Businesses and ITSPs have long-needed an inexpensive way to connect legacy analog devices to a VoIP network, and Linksys announcement of the SPA8000 — an eight-port FXS Analog Terminal Adaptor device — early this year had many eagerly anticipating its release.

Finally, that time is here. The Linksys SPA8000 is expected to be available in the United States in early September.

We’ve been testing a unit Linksys made avaialble to us for several months, and see several different use cases:

  • As an ITSP Demark: ITSP’s can offer up to 8 independently configured analog lines;
  • Adding VoIP trunks to a legacy PBX: By connecting the Linksys SPA8000 FXS ports to the PBX trunks, that old PBX can now make VoIP calls;
  • Adding analog phones to a IP PBX: The most expensive part of a PBX upgrade is upgrading the phones, now upgrade the PBX, keep the phones, and upgrade over time.

Build/Design

 

Linksys SPA8000 Front View

Linksys SPA8000 Front View

The Linksys SPA8000 is a larger ruggedized departure from the usual Linksys SPA ATA form factor. The case is metal and desk or wall mountable, and looks like it belongs in a wiring closet.

The FXS ports can either be connected by eight RJ-11 jacks or an Amphenol (RJ-21) connector, as is more common in the wiring closet.

The unit also has the common SPA series routing capabilities, with 10/100 Ethernet WAN and LAN ports.

 

Linksys SPA8000 Rear View

Linksys SPA8000 Rear View

 

 

Our evaluation unit was an early prototype and did not include a cooling fan. The unit runs hot to the touch. The production version has a cooling fan and should run cooler.

Ease of Use/Installation

The Linksys SPA8000 has the same web interface as the other Linksys SPA series devices.

 

Linksys SPA8000 configuration interface screenshot

Linksys SPA8000 configuration interface screenshot

 

 

Those familiar with the configuration of SPA series devices won’t have any problems configuring the Linksys SPA8000.

The documentation includes the usual easy to follow Linksys SPA8000-G1 Quick Install Guide.

Features

The Linksys SPA8000 includes a router and eight independently configurable FXS ports – either eight RJ-11 jacks or an Amphenol (RJ-21) connector.

The other features are common Linksys FXS port features:

  • Eight voice ports (RJ11) for analog phones or Fax machines – Up to 16 Simultaneous Active Calls
  • Impedance Agnostics – 8 Configurable Settings
  • Call Waiting, Cancel Call Waiting, Call Waiting Caller ID
  • Caller ID with Name/Number (Multi-national Variants)
  • Caller ID Blocking
  • Call Forwarding: No answer, Busy, All
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Call Transfer
  • Three-way Conference Calling with Local Mixing – Up To 8 Simultaneously
  • Message Waiting Indication – Visual and Tone Based
  • Call Return
  • Call Back on Busy
  • Call Blocking with Toll Restriction
  • Delayed Disconnect
  • Distinctive Ringing – Calling and Called Number
  • Off-hook Warning Tone
  • Selective/Anonymous Call Rejection
  • Touch Tone Phone Keypad Configuration with Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Fax: G.711 Pass Through or Real Time Fax over IP via T.38

Performance/Innovation

This is the least expensive 8-FXS Port gateway currently available and actually costs less than most other four FXS port gateways.

The unit has a very Cisco wiring closet feel.

Conclusion

The Linksys SPA8000 sets a new price point in the FXS gateway market. The cost of the Linksys SPA8000 is less than most competitors four port FXS gateways. Need more than eight FXS ports? Seriously consider buying multiple Linksys SPA8000, the price discount can offset the administrative overhead of multiple devices.

The Linksys SPA8000 will be very attractive to VoIP providers, multi-tenant environments, and businesses that want VoIP trunks without replacing their existing PBX infrastructure.

Be Sociable, Share!