Have Comcast Business for voice and data one modem for the internet and one modem for the voice. I'm looking to get a differenent voice modem so I can run a total of 3 lines. 1 dedicated for fax, and 2 for actual talking(voice). Would like to get it setup where I can put people on hold and transfer call between the two lines. Comcast doesn't talk much about it as the don't have their own equipment for this setup. All Comcast mentioned was look into get a PBX or Avaya system, all though they don't provide support for it.
I'm very familiar with the way routers, switches and networking for computer function, but when it come to phone its not my ball park. Any help and links would be great, thanks.
faxing over VoIP is hit and miss. You might get more hits than misses or vice versa but if anyone guarantees 100% success without end-to-end control of your network and the destination network, they're lying. You can improve your chances by avoiding the cheapest possible provider (who will route based on least cost rather than shortest/best route) but it's still not guarantee.
Would you be opposed to using a softphone on a PC or must you have physical phones? If you do need a physical phone, get an IP based one so you don't have another ATA in the mix. You can have multiple lines on one IP phone (or one line multiple times)
And when I'm lying in my bed, I think about life and I think about death
And neither one particularly appeals to me
I currently use the fax line for outbound fax which works 99% of the time. You lost about about the "IP" phone. Work consists of talking all the day long on the phone, but I never looked into the softphone for pc. Have two people on the phones that would need to transfer call between the both of them as well as put people on hold, not sure if softphones do that.
The box you get from comcast sounds like it's an ATA (analog telephone adapter)... so the device has an IP address but it converts the signal so you still get to use your old analog RJ11 phone with it. The downside is that they only support one incoming call at a time (ignoring call-waiting etc)
IP phones (either a real physical IP phone that plugs into your network like any other device) or a softphone are much more flexible. One phone can support multiple telephone numbers and multiple lines for each telephone number. You can hold/xfer/call-park/call-pickup/etc - pretty much anything you want but it's *dependent* on your provider offering the options in the package you pick.
You could, however, get the cheapest package from a SIP provider and run your own asterisk server (an IP centrex PBX - what Comcast alluded to) but you then have the overhead of maintaining it yourself. Some linux distros make that part easy, but even when it's easy it's difficult when you have an esoteric situation you want to fix.
You also have bandwidth limitations to deal with. Factor in 80kbit/s for each call in each direction (so two concurrent calls will require 160kbit/s both up and down.) Doesn't sound like much but without traffic shaping you might run into problems.
Personally, I would research some SIP providers and probably go with softphones on each PC and a headset. At the very minimum, you should be able to hold/xfer between them with no problems. You don't add another IP device into the mix and you have the ability to record calls (ignoring any legal ramifications)... Quality of service would be your only issue. It's easy to control on an IP basis but what if your user is downloading at the same time?
How would I got about setting up a softphone, would I forward all the call from Comcast to softphone?
I'm not sure you can do it with comcast since they probably like to control everything.... but, at a bare minimum, you'd need the SIP server IP address, the SIP username/password and possibly a SIP proxy server IP (depending on the provider)
You plug those details into the softphone and it makes/receives calls directly as if it's a real phone.
In your situation, I would probably have comcast as the fax line and research SIP providers who offer the features you want... they will have the full details on how to set it up.
Also, take a look at xlite as a softphone... it's a bit limited (they want you to buy the full edition) but for one account it does the job. Personally, I use twinkle, but it's linux only
The features you are describing are available on Comcast Business Class Voice with no additional equipment necessary. the features are called Call Transfer, and perhaps Call Park and Call Retrieve. You could also call between two voice lines simply by dialing the last 4 numbers and can set up a Hunt Group such that all calls would roll to the second number if no one answers the first or it was busy
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