How To Configure A VoIP Server?
Running your own VoIP server allows you to have complete control of what's going on with the server. You also have the highest amount of privacy, which is critical for certain businesses such as healthcare and those in the security industry. In this article, you learn how to install and how to configure a VoIP server. While there are many VoIP servers available, the steps to get one running are fairly similar for each. We've tried to generalize them, so you have the best overview across all servers.
The VoIP server should be installed on a computer that can act as a gateway. Meaning, it's main use will be as a server and not a workstation. It will also have access to the Internet and workstations within your local network will have access to it. This gateway server should be protected as well - firewall, virus software, and strong passwords.
Installing A VoIP Server
Once you've chosen a VoIP server, the next step is to run the installation. This is no different than installing any other app. Once the initialization completes, there will be a few prompts, which are covered next. Depending on the server you're installing, the order of prompts may be a little different.
Local Address. One of the first prompts you'll receive is for your machine's local address. This is the IP address of your server. Something such as 192.168.10.100 is what it will look like. You may also be prompted for a port, which is the same port that this machine uses for the above IP address.
Public Address. A static IP address lets external computers access a specific machine. Because this IP never changes, the machine provides reliable access. A static IP is available from your Internet provider. If you don't have a static IP, this can remain blank.
Create/Restore/Update PBX. Since you are installing the server for the first time, choose create.
Number of Digits for Extensions. Each user on your network that will make VoIP calls needs an extension. Extensions are usually three digits, but you change that if there is a need. Perhaps you have over a thousand employees and need four digits.
Create an Administration Account. Create a username and password for your admin account.
Select VoIP Gateway or Provider. Select the VoIP provider that you're using. You may also need to put in their address, which will look similar to this: providername.com.
Account/External Number. This is the phone number that comes from your VoIP provider. It is what the outside world uses to call any of your users. When someone calls the number, they will enter in the extension of the user they wish to speak to.
Your server should now be installed. The next step is to configure it.
How To Configure VoIP Server
Server configuration really consists of adding all of your users that will be making VoIP calls. For some servers, this can be done during the installation. Although you often have the option to skip it.
Login into your server and access its admin page through your web browser. It should look something like this: https://localhost:3300/manage. Log into the page with your administration account.
Once logged in, there will be a number of areas that you can navigate to. Look for users. Once there, click to add a new user. You'll be prompted for the following:
- Gateway Address - IP address of the VoIP server that was just installed (i.e., 192.168.10.100).
- SIP Address - IP address of user's computer or SIP phone.
- Email address
- Extension - Create a new extension for this user.
- User Password
Do this for each user that you want to have access to the server.
To test your VoIP server, install one of the many available free softphones. It will have a configuration section to add an account. Use one that you set up from the above step. Enter in the server account details such as:
- Phone Number
- Admin password
- Server IP address
Once you've completed the softphone setup, its interface should update and recognize that you are now connected to the server. You can dial a user extension to connect with another internal phone or dial a number to connect with the outside world.
Installing and configuring a VoIP server is not difficult as long as you follow the steps specific to each server. Most everything can be completed during the installation, including adding users. As your company grows, you can also add users through the server administration panel as well. Once everything is complete, you can call both internally and externally using your new VoIP server.
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