Why I gave up on voip (for now)

Voip used to be a big hype, but nowdays you don’t hear a lot about it. I thought that was because it gained wide adoption. But maybe not. At least in the company I work, we went back to a regular telephony system after having constant trouble with the voip installation.

From time to time, I hear or read about Asterisk and Freeswitch. That made me curious for some time now. Also I wanted an alternative to Skype for a variety of reasons: It’s protocol is proprietary. It’s not available on all platforms (e.g. openmoko). On Android, it drains the battery and friends tell me they get constant log-in and out notifications. And finally, the computer has to be on to receiceive calls.

So, I thought it’s time to dig into voip. After all, some of the standards are 10+ years old, so it has to be mature, right? So I ordered a Zyxel Prestige 2000W Wifi handset and a Grandstream HT 386 analog adapter, both from ricardo.ch (something like ebay). The first shock was that the wifi phone doesn’t support WPA, but only WEP. Some further research revealed, that most wifi sip phones only support WEP… WTF … At least it supports ad-hoc mode. So I could hook it up to my openwireless.ch mesh network. But then it doesn’t seem to support STUN NAT traversal. So I installed freeswitch on my alix router, as I often read that its better and more modern than asterisk. But configuring this stuff turned out to be hard. I tried around a lot, and some things work, while others don’t. All in all it’s far from what I want it to do. Namely have the wifi handset here and the grandstream adapter at my wife’s mother’s place. So they could call each other whenever they want for free and don’t have to have to computer turned on for that.

I ordered the freeswitch book….