News & Updates

Home/Latest News/Is an Onsite FreePBX really Free?
  • FreePBX

Is an Onsite FreePBX really Free?

When changing to a VoIP communication solution, companies often consider an onsite PBX. The FreePBX is one of the most popular onsite PBX solutions available.

For some companies, the FreePBX seems to tick all the boxes. But are there downfalls? Despite all the bells and whistles, what challenges exist for such implementations?

Most companies will adopt the use of the FreePBX because of its open-source license, which is free to obtain and use. There is much appeal as the FreePBX appears to offer full control over their telephony system. It also minimises cost as they do not have to rely on third-party proprietary PBX providers for support when implementing simple changes. The FreePBX is scalable, it allows the seamless addition of more users with no need to buy expensive software or hardware.

FreePBX: the Pros and Cons

Switch Telecom offers a VoIP SIP Trunk which is often used with the FreePBX solution. We work with a lot of companies that have chosen to go the onsite route; some are happy but others regret their decision for the following reasons:

The default installation of the FreePBX is insecure out-of-the-box, and it requires careful work to secure each of the dependencies (OS, DB, etc.) let alone the product itself. It permits the creation of endpoint and trunk configurations without authentication. Not only does it permit that, but it doesn’t even throw an alert or warning if, by accident, one creates such a configuration. This might not seem like a big deal; but if not set up correctly and carefully, the system can leave you vulnerable to fraud. And fraud can be a very costly exercise, often running into thousands of rands if not caught in time.

Usually ignored when considering the FreePBX, is the ongoing maintenance support. This support usually involves making sure that the FreePBX is up to date, all the security vulnerabilities are patched, and so forth. In most cases, as companies do not have dedicated FreePBX support, several of these important concerns become relegated and forgotten. For instance, in the last quarter of 2019, there was a sudden spike in FreePBX hacking worldwide, a lot of companies fell victim to international toll bypass fraud. What actually happened? There was a particular vulnerability that allowed the perpetrator to access a FreePBX remotely. Read more on our blog highlighting the importance of a layered approach to security. The monetary loss from this FreePBX vulnerability was extremely high for all the affected companies worldwide.

Good On-site PBX Skills are Rare and Costly

Another downfall to the FreePBX is you’ll need in-house skills to manage the system. We have helped numerous clients that have been left in the dark when their system administrator leaves. It is also very difficult nowadays to find employees with VoIP experience; let alone good FreePBX knowledge.

When considering the change to VoIP, companies should seriously consider the downfalls an onsite PBX brings with it. Companies should perhaps consider a cloud-based solution instead. Switch Telecom offers a Hosted Switchboard Solution that alleviates these downfalls and in particular those of the FreePBX.

Onsite vs. a Cloud-based VoIP Solution

Our Hosted Switchboard offers lower set-up costs compared to the FreePBX. And maintenance costs are eliminated. Your IT staff will have more time available to do other tasks and don’t have to spend time researching systems they might not have knowledge of. The PBX is cloud-based which also minimises your CAPEX outlay. For the FreePBX, particularly for some ongoing support issues, you will require technical expertise which will contribute to the overall cost. If you are using the Hosted Switchboard all support is free. Most importantly, the system offers a secure GUI interface. You can still do changes without having to have a degree in Computer Science. There are no security risks when you do these changes. And you can easily roll back a change.

FreePBX and the Lockdown

While business was in full swing at the beginning of 2020, suddenly the lockdown threw a spanner in the works. Overnight, businesses had to learn to work remotely. The FreePBX which catered for companies on a private network now needed to cater for users working remotely. Although possible; a lack of technical expertise or in some cases security requirements hampered business continuity. Some were left without telephony services and could not communicate. Others relied on non-sanctioned forms of communication like mobile phones or free conferencing applications.

The Switch Telecom Hosted Solution in this case allowed users to seamlessly operate from their homes. Most users simply took their phones home or made use of softphones. The Hosted Switchboard ensured that business continuity occurred seamlessly. Lockdowns have created a Home-Work hybrid environment where users are working from home on certain days and work from the office on others. Our solution allows up to three devices per extension. This means a user can have a phone at home and at the office and the two will work seamlessly together on one extension.  Best of all, our solution offers a free web-based softphone.

Are you struggling to implement changes on your FreePBX or are you are having sleepless nights worrying about the security of the system? Then perhaps it’s time to consider a cloud-based solution; like the Switch Telecom Hosted Switchboard.

Contact us now for more information.

Aug 12th, 2021|Latest News|

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

  • Switch Telecom Facebook
  • Switch Telecom Linkedin

News and updates

Loadshedding and your VoIP Solution

It seems that load shedding isn’t going away any time soon.  So, what do you do when the power is out and you still need to make and receive calls? When electricity is load shed, many communication methods, such as the internet, computers, and telephones are left without power. Even though load shedding is taking place throughout South Africa your clients, friends and family might be on a different schedule. This means that you could be missing their calls. This [...]

May 14th, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Port for Free – 100% Discount on the Once Off Charges

Port your existing geographic or non-geographic number to Switch now and save up to 50% on your current call charges without the inconvenience of changing your number. Porting allows you the freedom to change from your current service provider to a more cost-effective Switch Telecom VoIP Solution. 100% Discount on the once-off porting charges for ports activated in the month of March 2022. Quick, easy and non-disruptive. Applies to Geographic and Non-Geographic landline numbers. Offer valid until the 31st of [...]

Feb 28th, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Toll-Free and Non-Geographic Numbers Should No Longer Hold Businesses Hostage

Excessive pricing from the country’s incumbent provider of 0800, 0861 and 0860 numbers will see call centres, large corporates and other businesses porting these numbers come 07 March 2022. That’s according to Shannon Swanepoel, Managing Director of independent telecoms firm Switch Telecom, as the ICASA-stipulated date from when companies will be able to port their well-advertised and much-valued 0800, 0860 and 0861 numbers, draws near. “We expect significant porting in favour of more agile and transparent operators without complicated and [...]

Feb 28th, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Porting of Non-Geographic Numbers

Porting of non-geographic numbers is finally a reality. In a General Notice issued by ICASA on the 15th of December 2021, the Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, announced that the Number Portability Regulations in Government Gazette No. 41949 dated 01 October 2018 will come into effect on 07 March 2022. Mobile and geographic number portability have had a major impact on the consumer. And now, porting of non-geographic numbers will further positively impact the market. Consumers and businesses will now be [...]

Jan 13th, 2022|Categories: Latest News|

Your VoIP Service and the Festive Season

Your VoIP service is going to save you a lot of money during the festive season. Using your VoIP service to contact friends and family. Calling internationally can be cheaper than calling them on a local mobile number. (This obviously depends on the destination you’re calling). There are also numerous ways to stay connected to your customers without being tied to an office desk. This means you can relax and unwind with the knowledge that your customers can still get [...]

Dec 3rd, 2021|Categories: Latest News|

VoIP Rollout: SEESA, Intelys and Switch

Background Our Client: SEESA (PTY) LTD offers a wide range of consulting services which include Skills Development, BEE Consulting, Labour Law and outsourced HR functions to over 36000 clients nationwide, across multiple industries. SEESA conducts a large portion of their business telephonically and is exceedingly reliant on their communication system. They have a staff complement of over 900 people based in 19 different branches across South Africa. Our Partner: Intelys Technology Africa is a Networking and Security Specialist, offering full-spectrum [...]

Nov 18th, 2021|Categories: Latest News|

Telephony deployment simplified with Switch Telecom’s Auto-provisioning system

The demand for cloud telephony services is at an all-time high. VoIP services and Hosted PBX solutions are becoming increasingly popular with small and large enterprises. There is a much lower barrier to entry in comparison to traditional PBX and telephony solutions. VoIP rollouts are usually easier and turnaround times are usually much quicker. Being in the cloud affords hosted PBX telephony solutions the flexibility that a physical telephony solution can't.  Adding and removing extensions is quick and easy. Routine [...]

Oct 6th, 2021|Categories: Latest News|

Our VoIP Softphone is Now Available

Switch Telecom has launched its very own browser-based VoIP Softphone. It's compatible with most internet browsers. It was specifically designed for desktop use but can also be used on a mobile phone. The solution is free of charge for all Switch Telecom Hosted Switchboard clients. The VoIP Softphone Features When using the Softphone a user can make and receive calls via the easy-to-use interface. They can put callers on hold and they can also do attended and unattended transfers. Users [...]

Aug 30th, 2021|Categories: Latest News|

Is an Onsite FreePBX really Free?

When changing to a VoIP communication solution, companies often consider an onsite PBX. The FreePBX is one of the most popular onsite PBX solutions available. For some companies, the FreePBX seems to tick all the boxes. But are there downfalls? Despite all the bells and whistles, what challenges exist for such implementations? Most companies will adopt the use of the FreePBX because of its open-source license, which is free to obtain and use. There is much appeal as the FreePBX [...]

Aug 12th, 2021|Categories: Latest News|

Your VoIP Solution and the END of 2020

Your VoIP solution is going to save you a lot of money during the festive season. Using your VoIP solution to contact friends and family. Calling internationally can be cheaper than calling them on a local mobile number. (This obviously depends on the destination you’re calling). There are also numerous ways to stay connected to your clients without being tied to an office desk. This means you can relax and unwind with the knowledge that your customers can still get [...]

Dec 7th, 2020|Categories: Latest News|

Title

Go to Top