There are many reasons why an in-house phone system can be the right choice over a hosted VoIP solution. Each definitely has their advantages, but depending on individual situations one might be preferable to the other. For instance, you have existing phone service that you want to keep, but need a new PBX system and want the features that later technology has now made very affordable. In fact, Asterisk, an open source PBX software along with FreePbx, the front end that runs Asterisk and also open source, has allowed manufacturers to build business phone systems for a fraction of the cost using and developing proprietary software. And these IP PBXs are affordable and have no license fees, saving thousands initially and for years after. Here are our top picks for excellent affordable small business Asterisk based phone systems, all without licensing fees.
The Grandstream UCM 61xx series IP PBX appliances have been well received by the telecom and network community. After a few upgrades to the appliance's firmware that addressed some early issues, this product is becoming a go-to choice for small businesses that already connect to traditional phone lines and may want to add VoIP. The different UCM models primarily differ in the overall capacity and the number of FXO ports that can accept incoming CO telephone lines, otherwise they are all similar and all outstanding. The smaller models, the UCM 6102 and UCM 6104 have accordingly 2 and 4 FXO ports. In our view, four FXO ports would suffice for a majority of small offices, who have 3 or 4 lines plus a fax line which goes directly to their fax machine and therefore would not even have to connect through the appliance. The expansion in more phone lines would come from adding SIP trunks, connecting to a VoIP provider which will offer savings in overall telephone costs. For most companies the UCM appliances will handle the features they want, plus allow for substantial growth, all without license fees. The front-end GUI (Graphical User Interface) is easy to navigate and installation with Grandstream's GXP phones goes quite smoothly. This works well for the "computer or network guy" to take the phone system under his umbrella. Paired together phones and appliance, Grandstream has designed an IP-PBX that comes in at prices once thought of as impossible.
NOTE: *Grandstream has discontinued the UCM6100 series IP-PBX. Its replacements are the new UCM6200 series; the UCM6202 & UCM6204, etc.
Grandstream's new UCM6200 series ip-pbx primary difference is an upgraded processor and comes in as the best IP-PBX appliance and tops the 3 best ip pbx appliances for Asterisk systems (See all 3 and what's great about each one.). Grandstream continues to develop feature and performance enhancements for their UCM ip-pbx line. With this new series it is evident that their commitment to this product will continue for the foreseeable future.
For the best pricing and to read more about features and ratings on the Grandstream UCM6104 Phone System. For a Review of Grandstream UCM6200 Series Asterisk Appliance.
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Robust and feature packed is how we describe the Yeastar MyPBX SOHO appliance. Now expanding in North America, Yeastar has been a world presence with their IP PBX systems. With multiple language support on any of their appliances they are stretching their reach around the globe. With an affordable and dependable line of IP phone systems (think Yealink), the small MyPBX SOHO is a great choice for the small office or business with up to around fifteen phones. For those that need connections to traditional telephone lines an added card will allow for a start of two FXO lines with capabilities for more. We've added the MyPBX SOHO as a second affordable small Asterisk appliance now that Yeastar has updated their manuals and also placed easy to access video tutorials that take a user through installation, setup and how to make the system handle calls the way they need. It doesn't get any more affordable or easy then what this global company has done and that's why you'll be hearing a lot about this neat small exceptional IP-PBX. Paired with Yealink SIP phones, that are already in large use with Asterisk installations around the USA, a complete phone system will be extremely affordable and have just about every feature most companies would ever want.
NOTE: *Yeastar now offers the upgraded S-Series line of IP-PBX appliances.
The new Yeastar S-Series is designed for small and medium sized enterprises supporting up to 500 users. With auto-provisioning, an intuitive well designed management built on Metro UI for point and click configuration and excellent add-on apps that are tailored for specific business needs, the S-Series can be used for anything from hotel management to a call center. Yeastar offers free lifetime software/firmware upgrades and no hidden charges and or extra licensing fees. Yeastar S-Series datasheet