> Calling to PSTN?

How to connect my SIP server with a traditional phone line. Are you calling your Grandma?

Most people's Grandmas probably don't have access to Skype or an IP phone. So how can a person with an IP phone make a call to Grandma? In order to call a traditional telephone with an IP phone, all you need is a "middle man" between the digital and analog worlds.

How do you connect Analog & IP network?
Although a traditional analog phone line (PSTN) and an IP phone line are designed with very different networks in mind, a call from a traditional analog phone can connect to an IP phone – just like Grandma can still use a black rotary dial phone to call her grandson's iPhone, if she wants to. To connect an analog phone line and an IP network, you just need a device or service to convert your analog audio signal into digital audio data, and vice-versa. 

There are a few ways to do this:

The first option is usually best for personal or single household use. For example, Vonage uses this method for their customers to connect to PSTN lines. To use this ATA device, you just need to hook up your analog phone and internet cable (network cable) to it.

The second method is good to use for either small or large purposes, depending on the capacity of your hardware. Some PSTN Gateways offer only a couple of ports (lines), while others offer hundreds. The drawback of this option is the cost of purchasing and maintaining the equipment. Also, you will need someone who understands computer networking and SIP to set up the Gateway properly.

The third method is, in my opinion, the best. You do not need to install any hardware, and any hardware that you may choose to install usually requires a minimum of technical knowledge and training. This third option comes with additional benefits, such as DID, a billing feature, cheaper international call options, etc. The drawback of this option is that your phone connection and quality are dependent on service providers. I’ve experienced troubles with some known providers, so you do need to be careful when choosing one of your own. 

Looking for SIP devices and services to connect to PSTN?

Below are some devices and services we have tested with Brekeke PBX. You can find sample configurations for most of the devices and services listed here. Some of the services even give you a US phone number for free!
More information on SIP devices and services are available at our interoperability wiki

NOTE: If you are planning to use more than one ITSP service or a combination of Gateway and ITSP, then we recommend that you use an IP-PBX instead of a SIP server. IP-PBX software is designed specifically for such an environment, so configuration is much simpler. 

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