Which VoIP Card Do I Need?
VoIP telephony cards let you terminate your existing phone lines with an Asterisk-based or open source phone system. VoIP cards from Digium, OpenVox, Rhino and Sangoma are popular with VoIP phone systems like Asterisk, Elastix, Switchvox and Trixbox. The available cards may be compatible with some proprietary phone systems as well.
Types of Interfaces & Ports
Connect lines from an analog, digital or wireless source to your business’ VoIP phone system.
The cards typically feature either a PCI or PCI Express bus type connector to install into a server. Cards are similar to ATAs or VoIP gateways, with the difference being that the cards can host echo cancellation modules and save space by being installed in a server.
Modular cards enable quick customization. Change out the ports to match your changing telephony environment. Some modular cards also support daughterboards that can be stacked on top of the base card. A single card can support dozens of ports that are easily interchangeable, meaning that you don’t have to purchase new equipment to accompany minor changes in your business’ telephony.
Digium’s founder created the original Asterisk software in 1999. Asterisk allowed computers to use VoIP telephony. Now, this popular open source software is widely deployed in phone system appliances around the world..
Products manufactured by Digium, including phones, Switchvox PBX appliances and cards, are designed to support all of Asterisk’s rich features.
Digium’s analog and digital cards feature a five-year warranty. They are manufactured through the strictest standards, ensuring complete quality and reliability. Digium also produces hybrid cards and specialized cards to support a number of additional features.
OpenVox is known around the world as a leading supplier of open source telephony equipment. The company is dedicated to open source telephony. The cards are designed to let end users build a customized phone system.
Cards from OpenVox include analog, digital and wireless interfaces. The wireless cards can be used to connect a phone system to a GSM network. Deploy mobile-to-mobile calling and SMS through installed SIM cards.
Rhino builds VoIP cards and a number of other VoIP solutions. The cards are available with analog and digital interfaces. A five-year warranty protects the cards against defects. These reliable products are designed to support open source telephony.
T1 channel banks and phone systems are also available. Rhino supplies everything that a business requires to deploy a reliable VoIP solution.
Sangoma was founded in 1984. They manufacture a number of products to support UC and VoIP in small businesses, enterprises, call centers and more.
VoIP cards from Sangoma are available with analog, T1, BRI, GSM and hybrid connections. Build a flexible phone system solution based entirely on Sangoma cards, which showcase their incredible expertise and experience in the telephony industry.
If you have any questions after reading this overview of VoIP cards, please don’t hesitate to contact IP Phone Warehouse. Our free pre-sales tech support channel has helped countless customers choose the right solution for their business. We can answer product-specific questions to ensure that the product you’re looking at will do exactly what you want. In fact, if you’re unsure, we recommend that you contact us by phone, email or Live Chat immediately.
IP Phone Warehouse staffs industry trained and certified engineers and technicians. Rather than struggling to piece together the cards and components yourself, ask us to do the work. Our staff is ready to build or provision a phone system to match your business’ specific requirements.
About Open Source
The cards available at IP Phone Warehouse are ready for open source phone systems including Asterisk, Elastix, Switchvox and Trixbox.
Q) What is “open source?”
After reading “open source” enough, you’re probably wondering what we’re referring to. An open source phone system’s source code is publicly viewable, meaning that anyone can modify it. This allows individuals to revise and improve the software, and businesses to easily customize the software.
The opposite of open source software is proprietary or “closed source” software. Certain programs on your computer require you to sign a license stating that you will not manipulate the software, and these are examples of software that are only editable by the original authors.
Is open source better than proprietary phone systems? Or vice-versa? Open source tends to allow more manufacturers to build accessories or components for the source. On the other hand, propriety systems are more likely to serve specified purposes or provide special features. So the answer depends on what type of phone system you want.
IP Phone Warehouse’s customer support and sales team is standing by during regular business hours to process orders and provide shipping information.
We offer many, MANY cards. Use the card configurators to put together the ideal card(s) for your phone system server. We also let you browse the countless configurations available; giving you a better idea about what kind of system you will be putting together.
Contact IP Phone Warehouse for questions regarding our products’ interoperability with your existing systems and other equipment.
Analog cards feature FXS and FXO ports. These ports connect the card to the PSTN or analog devices. PSTN stands for “Public Switched Telephone Network,” which is made up of all of the switchboards and lines around the world. In other words, a PSTN is representative of the phone company that provides analog lines to your business.
An Explanation of FXS • FXO
The FXS port is a Foreign eXchange Subscriber interface. Analog phones, fax machines and other legacy equipment connect to this port to receive a dial tone, battery current and ring voltage. An analogy to the FXS port is the wall plug in homes that connect to phones. Cards with FXS ports can connect to devices like phones and legacy equipment.
The FXO port is a Foreign eXchange Office interface. This port receives the analog line. A telephone cord connects the FXO port on a phone or legacy device to the FXS port on the telephony card. FXO ports on cards connect to the FXS port that leads to the PSTN.
FXO ports connect to FXS ports, and vice-versa. FXO to FXO, or FXS to FXS connections are not possible.
In practice, the FXO port tells the FXS port when the device is off the hook. While the FXS port tells the FXO port that a signal is being transmitted to the device from the PSTN or elsewhere.
Analog cards can use FXO ports to create failover connections. A failover line can be enabled when the primary phone system is offline due to maintenance or a malfunction. VoIP phone systems can also become inoperable if the Internet connection fails, which can happen from time to time. A failover line provides a safety net, letting calls still come from the PSTN through an analog line. Multiple failover lines can be established.
Hybrid cards enable different interface types to rest on the same board; For example, a failover line and a digital port on the same card. Multiple card types can also be installed in servers.
Digital cards are available with T1, E1 and J1 connectivity. T1 is the North American standard, which is why this connectivity type is featured on IP Phone Warehouse. Cards labeled as T1 may support additional formats.
T1 cards are typically in configurations or 2, 4 or 8 ports. Each port or span can typically support up to 24 simultaneous calls through T1.
Additional digital cards include ISDN-BRI ports that support basic rate interface. BRI is eight times faster than an analog line or 14.4Kbps modem. PRI is similar to BRI, except it has a greater capacity and is more popular in large businesses.
Like analog cards, digital cards can also support hardware-based echo cancellation. Models that do not have echo cancellation models are ideal for environments that only require software-based echo cancellation from another source. Cards with echo cancellation can reduce the load on the network.
Scale your Asterisk or open source phone system with a wireless card. The wireless cards can utilize the same SIM cards that are in your cellular device. Connect the phone system to a GSM network for mobile-to-mobile calling and SMS.
Cards can hold multiple SIM cards, with each SIM card supporting one channel. Forward calls to cell phones or text someone through your phone system. The GSM channels can also operate as mobile failover networks.
A hybrid card can support analog and digital connections. Bring FXS, FXO, T1 and ISDN-BRI connectivity into the same card. Hybrid cards are ideal for businesses that only require a few analog or digital connections, or for combining an analog failover with a digital card.
Additional Types of Cards
Besides analog, digital and wireless cards, manufacturers also build cards that serve specific purposes. These purposes include echo cancellation, data, transcoding, tapping and more, designed to drastically improve any calling environment. These functions may not be available on the existing cards or phone system.