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I am setting up a PBX that external users will connect to and I was wondering how important PBX placement was.

Are calls routed through the PBX itself, or do they go directly through the provider that provides the SIP address to the PBX, or is it dependent upon configuration?

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is it dependent upon configuration?

It surely is. And the configuration will depend on your requirements. If you do recoding, call recording or if your external users are behind a NAT or unable to contact your SIP provider directly, you can't bypass the PBX in the media path.

The asterisk extension option for a direct media communications path is either "canreinvite" or "directmedia" depending on the version. It has a couple of prerequisites to really work as intended - refer to the docs for details.

If you have external users in external networks you are not in control of, I would suggest not assuming that a bypass mode would work when planning your infrastructure requirements.

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