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What is Asterisk? (VoIP PBX Software)

What is Asterisk?

Asterisk is an open-source software program published by Digium that you can use to enable a PC to run as a server for a VoIP service. Asterisk can also be used to develop telecommunications applications.

Because Asterisk is an open-source system, you have full access to Asterisk’s source code. With this open source software, you can develop your own services and features based on Asterisk's capabilities and components. Asterisk software is free to download and use. Generally, you shouldn't need any extra hardware with Asterisk either.

The biggest selling point for Asterisk is that it allows you to turn any computer into a fully functional IP PBX. Asterisk was made to run on Linux, but other Asterisk servers include BSD, Windows, and Mac OS X. However, with a bit of technical knowledge, you can configure Asterisk to run on pretty much any operating system.

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Provider Plan Features Rate/min. Trial Period Setup Fees Monthly Fees Details
Upgrade your phone service with Jive Voice
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Hosted PBX
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Price per user per month

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*Rates shown do not include E-911 charges, taxes, and surcharges. Most providers offering unlimited calling have restrictions and some rates shown are promotional rates based on term contracts or promotional periods. Be sure to read individual providers terms and conditions before you buy. Rates and features displayed for each provider have been sourced from provider's site and other online sources. While we strive to display current information, be sure to check directly with each provider as their plans, pricing, and features are subject to change.

Many people use Asterisk to develop PBX (public branch exchange) systems for their businesses. Asterisk can be used to create a fully operational PBX that can run on any computer. Asterisk has made it especially easy to use their program to build your PBX by providing you with a turnkey PBX solution.A PBX is the system that a business uses to route phone calls within an office, and to control traffic for incoming and outgoing calls. Originally, a PBX was a piece of hardware that had to be operated entirely by hand. A full-sized PBX could fill the better part of a small room.

Asterisk Gateway

Gateways are VoIP systems that allow you to bridge the gap between analog and digital data so that you can integrate analog phones into your office VoIP system.

Gateways are often required when you are using a SIP trunk service to enable a traditional hardware PBX and analog office phone system to work with VoIP. That is, you can get VoIP for your office without replacing your phones or other equipment.

Asterisk IVR

IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, means that a customer calling your company phone can operate through the menu by using voice commands. This can greatly improve your company’s customer experience. You can build an IVR program with Asterisk so that your office phone menu will be arranged in the way that you think is best.