As an admin for a telephone system, possibly one of the most useful things you can do is monitoring your peers and trunks. There are 2 great reasons you should do so:
1. You can respond to and resolve issues with your system before your users know about it, and you can be in the know if someone reports “none of the phones are working” when in fact only 1 or 2 are not working
2. You can actually know when there is a problem with the system – where you otherwise might not know there is a problem until someone calls on your mobile to say your office number is not working
I have 2 scripts running every 15 minutes to email me with the details of any down extensions and trunks. This is done in Crontab with the line:
*/15 8-18 * * Mon-Fri /usr/Peermonitor.sh
and similar for Trunkmonitor.sh. This line says to run every 15 minutes between 08:00 and 18:00 every Monday-Friday
Because our VOIP phone system is on the internet there is no geographical restrictions. That means we can purchase a telephone number in any country, and forward the calls to our FreePBX system. Many countries allow anyone to purchase a number in that country, some, such as France, place restrictions that you have to prove you are a resident in that country.
We are going to set up a phone number on our system from UKDDI, currently you can get free UK geographic numbers here.
These telephone numbers are referred to as “DDI numbers” or “DID numbers” depending on which country you are from!
There’s no denying that setting up an inbound number can be frustrating sometimes. If you’re a SysAdminMan customer and have set up an inbound number that’s not working then just open a support ticket and we’ll have a look why.
If you’re not a SysAdminMan customer then there’s a couple of troubleshooting guides here –
Sending the call to our FreePBX system
There are 2 different ways this could happen and will depend on which call provider you are using. The 2 different methods are –
- Our trunk “registered” with the call provider. This tells the call provider what IP to send the calls to
- We enter a SIP URI in the call providers control panel telling it where to send the calls.
If you enter a SIP URI in your call providers control panel I suggest keeping the number the same as the DDI number you purchased. For example if you purchased the number 441604123123 and your FreePBX server IP address is 18.104.22.168 I would suggest setting to SIP URI to send the call to as SIP:[email protected]
Setting up our number in UKDDI
Here’s our number set up in UKDDI. We are entering a SIP URI and forwarding the call to our FreePBX server IP. Notice I am keeping the number in the SIP URI the same as my DDI number, that’s important later on
UKDDI telephone number
If you get annoying telemarketing calls then it’s really simple to block the caller ID with FreePBX. First you need to ensure the caller ID module is installed, see here for more info – http://sysadminman.net/blog/2014/freepbx-2-11-guide-updating-and-installing-modules-5922
Blocking a caller via the Web GUI
First we need to go to the Blacklist menu option
FreePBX is very flexible and has many calling features. Most of these are deployed as modules that can be added to the system as required.
You should keep the modules on your system up-to-date for security reasons.
First select Module / Module Admin from the main menu
FreePBX module admin
Setting up a SIP phone to connect to our FreePBX extension is fairly straight forward. All phones set up are a little different, and you can normally do the config through the phone itself, or a web GUI. Normally the web GUI is easier but below is a guide to basic configuration of a Yealink T22P handset. This is a good choice for a phone, and relatively inexpensive (although it seems no SIP phones are really inexpensive!) Setting up a softphone would be similar.
There are lots of screenshots below, but we only really need 3 bits of information –
- Server IP Address
- Extension Number
- Extension Password
Note: SysAdminMan servers run a security application called fail2ban. This monitors for incorrect registration attempts and blocks the IP if it sees too many incorrect attempts. While setting up your extensions it’s possible (likely!) that you will not get it correct the first time, so open a support ticket asking for your home/business IP to be whitelisted, so it doesn’t accidentally get blocked.
Here’s what I did to set up my phone and make a test call …
Enter the phones settings menu
Creating an extension in FreePBX is very straight forward. There are a lot options, but we only need to enter a few. We will be creating a SIP extension, most softphones and VOIP phones are SIP compatible.
Select Applications / Extensions from the main menu
Add FreePBX extension
After you receive the login details for your new SysAdminMan FreePBX virtual server the first thing you are going to want to do is log in and change the administrator password.
For extra security SysAdminMan servers use both Apache and FreePBX security to restrict access. Both these access methods use the same account details.
Also all SysAdminMan server use HTTPS to access FreePBX. Because this uses a locally signed certificate you will get a warning when you first connect. This is normal and you should only see it once. Once the certificate has been accepted you should not see the warning. If you’d like more information on what a locally signed certificate is please see here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-signed_certificate
Browse to the URL in your welcome e-mail
Accept the web server certificate
I’ve had a few customers recently using the SysAdminMan VPN:PBX template with an existing on-site pfSense gateway. The VPN:PBX template has Asterisk, FreePBX and A2Billing installed, along with OpenVPN setup to allow secure connections to the VPS.
pfSense can be used as an OpenVPN client/gateway so this makes a great combination for a secure off-site PBX.
Here are some setup instructions for configuring pfSense with the SysAdminMan VPN:PBX template.
1 – Obtaining the OpenVPN client certificates
When your SysAdminMan server is created 3 files will be generated that are required to configure pfSense as an OpenVPN client. These files can be e-mailed to you or retrieved from the VPS using a program like WinSCP. The 3 files are –
These 3 files identify an individual OpenVPN client. If you are just connecting a single gateway this is all you will need. If you’d like instructions for creating more certificates please open a support ticket.
2 – Installing the Certificates on pfSense
Next we need to install the 3 certificates above in pfSense. The 3 files (ca.crt, tplink.key and tplink.crt) are text files which we can open with notepad, or something similar, and copy and paste the contents in to the correct place in pfSense.
First select “System/Cert Manager” from the pfSense menu. Then we click to add a CA –
I wanted to setup extensions on my Free PBX system. This will allow me to transfer calls to different users, fantastic. I am not keen on spending extra cash in extra handsets, I am keen to use mobile phones we already have as our extensions, I can only talk to one person at a time. The technical word I need is soft phone. I can also use these types of phone through a laptop too.
Before I used the soft phone, I found the blog post Using Android with FreePBX – a SIP extension for free really helpful
We have iPhones I am advised that the. X-Lite is great on Android phone and PC but it won’t work in background on iPhone. By background, I mean when the app isn’t active – so potentially no incoming calls.
Instead we are using Media5-fone Pro VoIP SIP Mobile Softphone, it is the unique SIP Softclient with Wideband and HD Voice Audio Quality for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, it requires Requires iOS 4.3 or later. The Media5 Facebook page has up to date information about the product too.
You install the Media5 fone on your iPhone like any other app. When you open the app it looks like you are using a normal handset, except the Media5 phone is linked to your FreePBX. You can still come away from the app and use your mobile phone as usual.
Linking the Media5 fone to the FreePBX was easy. I had to enter my username (extension) and password / secret and was away.
I’ve used a few different Android SIP clients as extensions on FreePBX and my current favourite is CSipSimple
Installation and setup is straight forward. There are several built in configuration profiles for call providers, or you can choose advanced and enter your FreePBX server details to use CSipSimple as a FreePBX extension.