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Recent posts by Marc on VoIP Insider

Simply put: Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is a no-frills method of moving files from one place to another. There’s no authentication, and there’s no encryption. It is, however, one of the most common ways to place a select version of firmware on a phone, and for our discussion, a Polycom phone.

Why Polycom? Well, it’s the golden standard by which we measure all other phones. Also, because it has the most confusing firmware.

So, why even bother changing firmware?

Well, you might not need to. However, we may change firmware on a phone for a few reasons:

  1. There might be a software bug
  2. There might be a vulnerability
  3. There might be an interoperability issue
  4. There might be a new feature

Typically, upgrading your

If there was a quirkiest IP phone system award, it would have gone to Elastix.

Elastix IP PBX was well known throughout the open source VoIP arena, and mostly for being the solution for all of your communication needs. In that, I mean on a single instance you had a PBX, Mail server, IM server, Fax server, Operator Panel, Agenda/Calendar, and a DHCP server. With add-ons, you can also have a CRM, and a Hospitality Management System. Whew!

Clearly, you didn’t have to use everything at once, but it was always confusing to me why they made such an effort to be the one-stop shop.

Issabel Open Source PBX is the reincarnation of Elastix PBX, and it’s more of the same. It’s a proverbial Frankenstein, …

If you tinkered with computers as a kid, worked in IT for more than thirty seconds, or stood relatively close to an IT person, you’ve probably heard of Netgear. They’re the de-facto standard in SMB networking and produce the iconic blue cased equipment that seems to keep ticking on, infinitely, like a Japanese quartz watch movement. If you feed it power, it will function.

Netgear is also known for its more economical price point, providing really great value for the SMB customer. It’s especially valuable for customers looking to deploy VoIP in their SMB environment considering the feature set offered.


Enter the Netgear FS728TP-NAS switch

The FS728TP-NAS is a 24 port 10/100, L2, PoE switch with a 192-watt power budget.
That means with a phone

foipFaxing has been the nemesis of VoIP systems for as long as VoIP has been a thing. If you had a good VoIP vendor in the past, they would generally recommend you stick to a landline, or PRI for your fax services. That was because faxing over protocols like SIP had proven to be completely unreliable due to the fickle nature of faxing over a best effort architecture. Even with the advent of T.38, faxing still was a problem child for many.

Enter FoIP, or Fax over IP. Specifically, Sangoma’s iteration of FoIP, which actually works. I believe we live in a time where things should just work, and we should stop dealing with custom problems born from custom solutions. Sangoma offers Fax Station, which

A while back we published this video above on setting up the Adtran Total Access 908e as an FXS gateway. To recap a little, an FXS gateway allows you to connect analog phones or stations, to a VoIP based system. It does that by providing an analog interface like an FXS port to which you connect your analog phone, and through the use of witchcraft, translates the signal from analog to digital.

To clarify a little bit more if you’re new to this technology: when we talk about analog gateways, we are generally referring to two types of interfaces, or ports; FXS and FXO.

FXS stands for foreign exchange station, but to get to the points, it’s what PROVIDES dial tone to a device …

I’ll admit it. The term “Software Defined” or “SD” is as big a buzz phrase as “The Cloud.” I’m not a huge fan of buzz nomenclature, but sometimes it is the best way to describe a concept in a familiar way, especially when discussing technology. If I were playing devil’s advocate, I’d ask: Isn’t everything software defined? Yes, mostly it is, but when you say SD, or SDN (software defined networking), you imply a new iteration of conventional thinking. A new way of doing things, a more flexible, better way.
No longer are we bound to the holy gospel of Cisco, or dedicated internet circuits. We can do things with more intelligent, dynamic, and overall thoughtful methods. Gone will be the days of individually configuring …


As consumers, users, hobbyists, and VoIP professionals, you have a lot of questions, and we’d love to answer them all. But, we can’t answer them all. At least not all at once. So to get started, the marketing department sent me a list of regularly searched questions that have to do with VoIP that I can answer.

Are VoIP calls traceable?

Yes. They are very traceable if the call has to traverse the internet, or the public switched telephone network at some point in its journey. You can’t do anything on the Internet without some sort of digital trail being left behind.

Sure, you can surf with what’s no being called a “VPN”, which is just a way of securely proxying your traffic to someone

learningWhen we first learn that Elastix had suffered an untimely demise, we were a little surprised. The good folks at Palo Santo had built a well-known and loved the platform that seemed to do all its capabilities. Elastix’s popularity was widespread across the globe, which now causes a problem for those still using a platform that’s no longer commercially supported.

While you can still download, install, and use Elastix, you won’t be receiving any updates or security patches, and for businesses that rely on VoIP technology as a critical service, that’s a big problem. Thankfully, our friends at Sangoma created a script to move your Elastix configuration to a new installation of FreePBX, for those of you considering it as an alternative. This is possible …

A few weeks ago, I wrote about redundancy in the cloud, mainly using AWS (Amazon Web Services) as an example.

Today, we’ll talk about how to connect multiple regions together through a VPN so that systems can synchronize local IP address to local IP address. Some systems will allow you to send backups and perform a restore over the Internet to public IP addresses, but in the event, you are using one that doesn’t, a VPN will be required. Connecting different regions together is important because sometimes entire regions on a cloud platform can suffer from catastrophic failures as recent events will prove. Placing all of your eggs in one basket, as they say, is a bad idea. Unfortunately, when it comes to AWS, there …

cloud-computing-1989339_1280Make no mistake, almost everything is becoming a cloud based service. Still running Exchange? You’re living in the past, my friend. Phone systems are, of course, no different. While I’ll maintain there are huge advantages to running an on-prem system (mostly cost and low latency), there are a lot of conveniences of having your system in the cloud. Now, when I say cloud, I am referring to platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services for this specific post.

Let’s talk a little about the conveniences of a cloud hosted phone system. First, it makes deploying remote phones a much easier process, mostly because every phone is now remote. It also allows anyone traveling abroad to bring their phone with them, and with Internet …