Head to Head: Trixbox Appliance Versus PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance

June 16, 2009 by Garrett Smith

As you may have noticed, VoIPSupply.com has recently discontinued sales of the Trixbox Appliance. We will continue to fully support existing Trixbox Appliance customers, but we are focusing our efforts on the PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance as our recommended hardware solution for users of Asterisk, Trixbox, 3CX and other SIP based communications platforms.

Some of you may be familiar with PhoneBochs, but for those of you who are not, I have put together a basic feature comparison between the Trixbox Appliance and the PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance. The PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance offers true “telco grade” build quality and performance and is a suitable server hardware platform for Asterisk/Trixbox installations of all sizes.

Form Factor(s) Available:

  • Trixbox Appliance – 3U Only
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – 1U or 3U
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: Available 1U form factor helps conserve real estate in the rack.


  • Trixbox Appliance – Gigabyte
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – MSI / Intel
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: PhoneBochs utilizes MSI / Intel Industrial grade embedded motherboard in their 1U and 3U Asterisk Appliance models.


    • Trixbox Appliance – 1.6GHz Intel Dual Core (Base Appliance) or 1.8GHz Intel Dual Core (Enterprise Appliance)
    • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – 1.6GHz Intel Dual Core (1U Appliance) or 2.2GHz Intel Dual Core (3U Appliance)
    • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: Supports Intel Dual Core CPU @ 2.2GHz.



  • Trixbox Appliance – 512MB (Base Appliance) or 1GB (Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – Crucial Technology ™ Memory, 1GB or 2GB (PhoneBochs 1U), 1GB up to 8GB (PhoneBochs 3U)
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: 3U Asterisk Appliance supports up to 8GB of Crucial Technology RAM for higher load applications

Hard Drive(s):

    • Trixbox Appliance – 2 x 80GB RAID 1 (Base and Enterprise Appliance)
    • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – Only Western Digital and Hitachi Hard Drives, 2 X 80GB RAID 1 Standard (PhoneBochs 1U and 3U), Optional upgrade path to 2 X 160GB RAID 1 or 2 X 1TB RAID 1.
    • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: Choose the storage size that is appropriate for your application, choices ranging from 2 X 80GB SATA to 2 X 1TB SATA RAID 1. Uses only industry leading Western Digital and Hitachi SATA Hard Drives


Onboard Ethernet:

  • Trixbox Appliance – 2 x 10/100 Ethernet Interface, Onboard 4 Port Switch (Base and Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – (3) Gigabit Ethernet Onboard
  • Advantage – DRAW

Available PCI Slots:

  • Trixbox Appliance – 2 Full Length PCI Slots, 1 Full Length PCI-Express Slot (Base and Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – 2 Full Length PCI Slots (PhoneBochs 1U), 4 Full Length PCI Slots + 3 Full Length PCI-Express Slots (PhoneBochs 3U)
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: 3U Appliance can support 4 PCI and/or 3 PCI Express Cards.

Onboard Display:

  • Trixbox Appliance – 20 Character x 4 Line Backlit LCD (Base and Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – None
  • Advantage – Trixbox Appliance

Available Power Supply(s):

  • Trixbox Appliance – Single 300W Power Supply (Base Appliance), 2 x 400W Hot Swap Power Supply (Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – Single 220W Power Supply (PhoneBochs 1U), 2 X 350W Hot Swap Power Supply (PhoneBochs 3U)
  • Advantage – DRAW

Maximum Number of Concurrent Calls (Supported):

  • Trixbox Appliance – 48
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance -96 (3U Appliance)
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: 3U Appliance can support up to 96 concurrent calls


  • Trixbox Appliance – Prices Range from $849 (Trixbox Basic CE Appliance) to $1749 (Trixbox Enterprise Appliance)
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – Prices Range from $649 (PhoneBochs Mini) to $1999 (Premium 1U Appliance)
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: PhoneBochs appliances are available at a wide range of price points to suit most budgets and applications.

Manufacture/Build Quality:

  • Trixbox Appliance – Average*
  • PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance – Excellent*
  • Advantage – PhoneBochs Asterisk Appliance: Based upon similar actual annual unit sales figures (sample) and resultant RMA/Defect/DOA incidence….PhoneBochs is the clear winner in terms of manufacture build quality and attention to detail.


  • Christian Blaine

    I feel this is a very biased article. You do make some very valid points, but many are misleading. In some of these comparisons, you are dead on, Phonebochs beats trixbox in some areas. But you are really skewing facts on plenty of these points.

    In regards to memory, you make it seem as though the trixbox cannot also handle 8 GB of RAM. This is incorrect. The unit normally does not ship with more than 1 GB, but it can be upgraded to 8, just as the Phonebochs. This comes at an extra cost, just like the Phonebochs (Price points that you did NOT mention in the comparison of prices).

    In many cases, you compare unlike models to one another. You should have only compared the 3U units, as they are comparable, but bringing the Mini and 1U into the mix is apples and oranges.

    Some of your comparisons (Price, Power Supply) seem to be more of a preference than an actual clear cut edge to either product.

    As for the Maximum number of concurrent calls, you compare a “tricked out” top of the line Phonebochs against the base trixbox. Had you used a trixbox with the same upgrades you allowed the Phonebochs, it would provide the same results.

    And most importantly, you completely ignore one issue…The fact that the trixbox Appliance will be supported by trixbox, alongwith the software installed on it. There is something to be said about having “one neck to choke”. I know many people like the peace of mind in having one company to worry about for their entire system.

    This doesn’t not come off as a comparison, as you clearly skew facts to make the Phonebochs look better. I love both of these products, and both units have their own pros and cons. But you go out of your way to promote the Phonebochs. This should have been an article solely about your preference of the Phonebochs, rather than a sham of a comparison.

    For Shame Voip Insider, For Shame.

  • Cory Andrews

    Christian – thanks for sharing your thoughts. Without splitting hairs on what I agree wholeheartedly is a subjective topic, let me also add that the Trixbox appliance is a good product. I do also acknowledge the comfort level gained for some users in having “one neck to choke”.

    My advocacy for PhoneBochs is not without bias, as we (VoIPSupply) have actively resold both products for quite some time. I am simply conveying my opinion, based upon much firsthand experience with both products, that PhoneBochs offers superior hardware and a wider range of configuration options at a similar price point. Hardware defect rates and DOAs with the Trixbox appliance, again in my experience, are well within industry norms. Hardware defect rates and DOAs with PhoneBochs product, based solely upon our experience, are considerably less.

    To me, it’s a case of one company almost completely focused on producing awesome hardware, and another company leveraging the bulk of their considerable talent and resources toward making awesome software. It is very difficult to do both.

    PhoneBochs, although a very small outfit in terms of headcount, also offers very competent support for both their hardware and Trixbox software.


    I do agree with the fellow Christian. At every feature that Trixbox had any advantage, I didn’t write any comments about it. But at every feature that PhoneBochs had an advantage, you do.

    When we want to see this kind of review, we just go to each manufacturer’s website and compare for ourselves.

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