Book Image

The 3CX IP PBX Tutorial

By : Robert Lloyd, Matthew M. Landis, Matthew M Landis
Book Image

The 3CX IP PBX Tutorial

By: Robert Lloyd, Matthew M. Landis, Matthew M Landis

Overview of this book

Traditional PBX systems have often been expensive and proprietary. With 3CX, you can now create an easy-to-use, complete, and cost-effective phone system on Microsoft Windows. This practical guide offers the insight that a reader needs to exploit the potential that 3CX has to offer.This practical hands-on book covers everything you need to know about designing, installing and customizing 3CX to create an all-inclusive phone system. It takes a real-world approach that walks you through all aspects of 3CX and its features. From installing the software, to backing things up, to understanding what hardware you need – this book covers it all.The 3CX IP PBX Tutorial will take you from knowing very little about VoIP to almost expert level with detailed how-tos on every aspect of 3CX. Starting with the basics, and covering the free version of 3CX as well as the more advanced features of the Enterprise version, you will learn it all.In other words, this book covers numerous topics such as installation and configuration of 3CX, choosing a VoIP Provider, integration of a trunk into 3CX, the commonly used 3CX hardware, and backing up your phone system.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
The 3CX IP PBX Tutorial
About the Authors
About the Reviewer

Hardware versus software phone systems

Traditionally, phone systems were a piece of hardware designed to be a phone from day one. Also the phone handsets and everything else involved with the phone system was designed by the same vendor to work with the telephone box. Most often you couldn't take a handset from one phone system vendor and plug it into a phone system from another vendor. In other words, the vendors were using proprietary protocols and communication methods. One nice aspect about this "one vendor" design is that, when you got a bundle, it was made to work together and you had (at least theoretically) few interoperability issues. This, of course, came with a price in dollars and limited the ability to integrate the phone system with the rest of the computerized things going on in your office.

Then Asterisk came along and changed people's expectations about what phone systems should cost and what they should be able to do in terms of being integrated with existing computer systems. Now, instead of paying thousands of dollars for a phone system, you could take a free version of Asterisk and load it on an aging server that you took out of service and have a phone system at a low cost. At first, only experienced technical people used Asterisk because there was a lot of command line and editing text files involved, but then easier-to-use web interfaces were added to remove some of the complexity.

The following table compares hardware-based and software-based phone systems:

Hardware-based phone systems

Software-based phone systems

Complete bundle

Not a bundle—integration of components is required

More Costly

Less cost up front

Not well-integrated with your computer system

Integrates well with your computer system

Usually installed by a specialist

Because of familiarity with Windows, it is more common for hobbyist or businesses to "do it yourself"

Rock solid day-to-day operation (99.99% uptime?)

Less rock solid day-to-day operation

Support contract for ongoing maintenance

Often supported by the company IT person