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I have an old server lying around and I am thinking of using it as an internal telephone server. Its main use would be to set up a 1 to 1 telephone system that could be used internally to connect to different users in different offices.

I have looked at software like Asterisk, but it seems that this is mainly for external telephone systems.

Is this possible to do with Asterisk (or other software) or is this not possible without involving a VOIP company?

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Asterisk is perfectly capable of doing what you want. What's wrong with it? – Michael Hampton Aug 28 '12 at 0:44
From what I read about it, it seems to be aimed at external telephone systems, but it's definitely on my consideration list as it's open source. – Jake Elsley Aug 28 '12 at 0:46
I don't know what you were reading, but it probably wasn't the Asterisk web site. It explains some of the many uses of Asterisk. – Michael Hampton Aug 28 '12 at 0:49
Having implemented several rather complex internal/external PBX systems for businesses, I can say with some authority that asterisk is just as suited for internal use as it is for external. – EEAA Aug 28 '12 at 0:49
Yes I think it was an unnoficial website, so that could explain the unfair view of the software. Thank you for the link Micheal - Asterisk does sure have some good uses. OKay that sounds promising ErikA. – Jake Elsley Aug 28 '12 at 0:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Asterisk will be able to easily do what you need. There's no reason it can't be used for an internal-only telephone system. If it will truly be internal-only, there's no need to involve a VoIP company for service.

Additionally, I will add that learning asterisk, while fun, is a pretty steep learning curve. Unless you have very specific demands or a lot of spare time on your hands, I'd use one of the many asterisk distributions that come pre-configured with a nice GUI, control panel, etc. I typically frown on GUI control panels (cPanel, Webmin, etc.), but in this case I feel it's a good alternative. I've used Trixbox and Elastix, both of which work quite well. They won't do anything you couldn't do manually with a vanilla asterisk install, but they'll make it a lot easier to implement more complex call routing, applications, IVR stuff, etc.

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That sounds very promising - thank you. I will take a look at them distros and consider using them. Cheers, Jake. – Jake Elsley Aug 28 '12 at 1:10
Another application I came across is 3CX - the free version allows only four concurrent connections, but setup wise that seems alot more easier. I doubt we will ever need more than four connections at once anyway. In addition their software comes with a PC application which can run on the desktops without requiring VOIP phones - all we'll need is a headset. – Jake Elsley Aug 28 '12 at 12:18

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