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What is Asterisk PBX?

Asterisk is a software based PBX (private branch exchange) that runs on Linux, BSD, and MacOSX operating systems. Asterisk can provide all of the functionality of a traditional PBX and much, much more. Asterisk can do VOIP (voice over IP in several protocols and can integrate with legacy telephone equipment. Asterisk services include Voicemail, CallerID, Conferencing, Call Forwarding, Directory, Interactive Voice Response, Call Queuing and more.

Who owns Asterisk?

Although officially created and written by Mark Spencer of Digium, Inc., Asterisk is Open Source which makes it free to distribute and free for anyone to use. Today, updates and enhancements come from multiple contributors around the world.

How can I use Asterisk?

Asterisk has multiple uses. Here are only a few (of many) uses for Asterisk:

  • Asterisk can replace a proprietary PBX system like those found in most small office environments. Legacy PBX systems are often difficult to maintain and upgrade. Maintenance and support for legacy systems can also be very expensive over the life of the system. Because Asterisk is Open Source, upgrades and support are freely available.
  • Asterisk can use VOIP (Voice Over IP) to make cheap long-distance calls over the Internet. VOIP calls are technically as good as analog calls with no loss of audio quality whatsoever.
  • Large phone companies use Asterisk as a central hub to switch phone calls through their network often saving them millions of dollars as compared to proprietary telephony solutions from other companies.
  • Asterisk can incorporate wireless VOIP phones which you can use whenever you travel. Take your company extension with you, whether you are in the office, at home, or away, Asterisk will route the call appropriately.
  • Setup an Asterisk system at home and develop a messaging system with Voicemail and Directories to rival those of large companies. An extension for everyone at home with their own Voicemail.
  • The possibilities are endless!
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