The announced shutdown at year’s end of the popular Voxalot SIP account aggregation service due to “rising costs of operation” has left many VoIP enthusiasts searching for an alternative.
Though finding a direct replacement for the easy-to-use Voxalot is difficult, one service, PBXes.com, comes very close.
Both Voxalot and PBXes.com allow advanced VoIP users to combine separate accounts on a virtual server (or, in the currently popular vernacular, the “cloud”) so that user-authored dial plans can direct inbound and outbound calls from a single VoIP adaptor through the most appropriate channels (e.g. international calls through one service, SIP URI calls through another, etc.). Both services allow separate accounts to be bridged so that incoming calls to one can be directed out another.
Still making the transition from Voxalot to PBXes will require a bit of somewhat complicated tweaking. Fortunately Voxilla user “Beaver” has written a very easy to follow “How-To” that greatly simplifies the switch.
Before you start, a word of warning: You’ll need to establish a PBXes.com account. When you do, don’t be turned off by PBXes.com’s web site. It inexplicably features a horizontally scrolling image of the backsides of 38 soccer players while annoying chirps and shrieks as painful as nails on chalkboard scream from your computer. As soon as the page begins to load, do yourself (and your aural channels) a favor by locating and clicking on the tiny “Sound Off” link at the feet of the leftmost soccer player. Once you get off this page, PBXes is quite useful, and a lot less painful.
Let’s get started. Locate all your DIDs and SIP credentials, and follow Beaver’s excellent instructions that follow:
Login to your PBXes.org account. Select “Extensions” -> “Add Extension” -> choose “SIP”. In “Extension Number” enter “100″, which creates “your name-100”. For me, it’s “me-100”.
In “Display Name” enter what you please. Choose a password and enter it in “password”. Click “Submit”. Re-click the red bar at the top of the page.
Go to “Trunks” -> choose “Add SIP Trunk”. In “Trunk Name” enter what you please, (for example an easy to distinguish VSP, such as “IPKall, “callcentric“, etc. In “Account – username” enter your VSP user name. Enter your VSP password in “Account – password”. In “Account – SIP Server” enter the VSP server’s URL or IP address (for example, for IPKall it is “voiper/voiper2.ipkall.com”).
Now submit and reconfirm.
In “Inbound Routing” -> choose “Add Incoming Route”. You must check boxes “Extension”. Go ahead and use “100″ which we have set up earlier. Submit then reconfirm. For now, leave “Trunk” and “Caller ID Number” blank. Once you can make a successful call, you can modify these.
In“Outbound Routing” -> choose “Add Route”. Set “Route Name” what you please. I set them by route function: “TollFreeCall”, “memberCall”, etc. In Trunk Sequence pull-down, select the one you setup “SIP/xxxx”. Chose “Valid for all numbers”. You should set other settings here later. For now, leave them blank. Submit then reconfirm.
Now set up your ATA as follows:
Proxy: pbxes.org (pbxes.com may work also);
User ID: me-100 (PBXes extension);
Password: password of the extension.
Make an inbound call to your number. It should now work. Now test with an outbound call.
Now you can go ahead and set up your dial plans and trunks. We’ll leave that for a later how-to.