If you've ever contemplated migrating your company's phone system to voice-over-IP (VoIP), but shied away due to the perceived expense or complexity, Draytek's new all-in-one Vigor IPPBX 2820 might help you change your mind.
Designed firmly with the smaller business in mind, at heart it's a fully-featured four-port ADSL router and firewall (based on Draytek's existing Vigor 2820 router) with added IP PBX switchboard functions supporting up to 50 IP phone extensions.
In addition it features dual wide area network (WAN) capability, allowing you to configure a backup internet connection (ADSL, cable modem or 3G) in case your primary ADSL line goes down. Alternatively, you can run two internet connections and use policy-based load balancing to manage traffic between them.
Not much larger than a standard ADSL router, all the ports are arranged at the front of the device, with the power cable at the rear. This allows it to fit in an optional rack-mount adapter.
Adjacent to the four local area network (LAN) ports - only one of these is a Gigabit Ethernet port, the others are 10/100Mbps ports - are two WAN ports. An RJ-11 port connects to the internal ADSL 2+ modem, while the other is a standard 10/100Mbps Ethernet port for use with an external ADSL or cable modem. There's also a USB port for a 3G dongle - many popular models are supported, but you should check with Draytek before purchase. The USB port can be used for printer sharing if you don't need the 3G support.
Four additional ports distinguish this from a normal router: two ISDN ports, plus ports for an analogue phone and a PSTN landline. The latter are useful for emergency use in case of router power failure. The ISDN connections can be used for voice or as WAN failover.
The web interface is easy to navigate and fairly well laid out. Two wizards make light work of setting up first the WAN interfaces and then the basic PBX functions. The IPPBX 2820 supports up to six different SIP accounts, but the simplest solution for a small business is a SIP trunk service offering multiple incoming lines on a single SIP account. Draytek offers SIP services with call plans starting from £19.99+VAT per month for five lines.
Once you've set up the SIP services, you can start configuring the PBX facilities. It supports everything you'd expect, including hunt groups, per-extension voicemail and auto-attendant voice prompts and music-on-hold for incoming calls. The PBX wizard helps you set up the hunt groups, but extension details need to be edited manually. It's easy enough to do, but you really need to plan your phone system first. Draytek has some excellent free online tutorials and guides for those unfamiliar with VoIP or PBX management.
Up to 50 IP phones can be connected via your LAN or on remote sites via the WAN - Draytek models can be automatically configured by the router. Analogue phones can be used by the addition of a suitable analogue telephone adapter.
The IPPBX 2820 has all the PBX functions most people would need, and then some. You can set up call blocking and dialling plans, and modify these according to schedules based on your office hours. Voicemail can optionally be emailed to individual extension users.
The IPPBX 2820 also has the same excellent enterprise-level router and configurable SPI firewall capabilities as the Vigor 2820, including full content security management powered by SurfControl and support for up to 32 concurrent virtual private network (VPN) tunnels. A VPN software client is provided on the CD. There's no Wi-Fi, but Draytek says that an 802.11n version will launch later in 2010.