Asterisk, the world's most popular open source communications project, is free, open source software that converts an ordinary computer into a feature-rich voice communications server. Asterisk makes it simple to create and deploy a wide range of telephony applications and services, including IP PBXs, VoIP gateways, call center ACDs and IVR systems.
Asterisk is released as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and it is available for download free of charge. Asterisk is the leading open source telephony project and the Asterisk community has been ranked as a key factor in the growth of VoIP.
Astrerisk Supported hardware
Asterisk needs no additional hardware for Voice over IP. For interconnection with digital and analogue telephony equipment, Asterisk supports a number of hardware devices, most notably all of the hardware manufactured by Digium, the creator of Asterisk.
Asterisk-based telephony solutions offer a rich and flexible feature set. Asterisk offers both classical PBX functionality and advanced features which inter-operates with traditional standards-based telephony systems and Voice over IP systems.
Asterisk Supported protocols
Asterisk supports a wide range of protocols for the handling and transmission of voice over traditional telephony interfaces including H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), and Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP).
Using the Inter-Asterisk eXchange (IAX) Voice over IP protocol Asterisk merges voice and data traffic seamlessly across disparate networks. The use of Packet Voice allows Asterisk to send data such as URL information and images in-line with voice traffic, allowing advanced integration of information.
Asterisk provides a central switching core, with four APIs for modular loading of telephony applications, hardware interfaces, file format handling, and codecs. It allows for transparent switching between all supported interfaces, allowing it to tie together a diverse mixture of telephony systems into a single switching network.
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