Remote Phones

User remote phone reconfiguration <-- click here.

 

Administrators: Port forwarding

Refer to "reconfigure your firewall", below.  Also see:
Port forwarding diagnostics and security considerations

 

Important: Make sure the phone works locally first

Before you can take a IP phone to a remote location (like a home office), the phone must be configured and verified working local to your  trixbox Pro .  In many cases, this is as simple as plugging the phone in to the same network as your  trixbox Pro .  If you are reading these instructions and you have already configured a phone on the local network, please read below for the "gotchas" about telecommuting.

 

Multiple phones behind one router/NAT

Many newer routers allow multiple remote phones to register from a single remote location.  For example, the Cisco SRP521W and SRP541W routers are able to do this.  However, this is highly dependent on the router/firewall.

Regarding the firewall/router between your phones and the Internet, here's some illustration of what we're expecting it to do (and indeed, what many SOHO routers do by default these days*):

Internal local area network - how phones are sourcing their traffic - what the PBX would see if it were on the same LAN with the phones:

Name/usernam Host Port
SOFTPHONE017 192.168.0.102 5060
SOFTPHONE012 192.168.0.103 5060
SOFTPHONE010 192.168.0.104 5060
SOFTPHONE009 192.168.0.105 5060



Firewall/router/gateway performing NAT (Network Address Translation), with an example Public IP of 1.2.3.4:

The phones are then all sourcing from the same public IP address, but different port numbers, which helps distinguish them. This is what the PBX sees when remote phones from behind the same firewall/router are registering to it over the Internet - note the identical IPs but different ports:

Name/usernam Host Port
SOFTPHONE017 1.2.3.4 1024
SOFTPHONE012 1.2.3.4 1025
SOFTPHONE010 1.2.3.4 1031
SOFTPHONE009 1.2.3.4 1040



IMPORTANT: The NAT/router controls and keeps track of the mapping between which port number on the public ip gets mapped to which phone/local IP address on the internal network.

For example:
public ip 1.2.3.4:1025 -> maps to -> private 192.168.0.103:5060

And vice-versa; the router/NAT to consistently send outbound traffic from the phone from the same port, and not remap it to something else. For example, traffic from a particular phone should consistently go out (or whatever public port it decides to use):
private ip 192.168.0.103:5060 -> maps to -> public 1.2.3.4: 1025

 

* - The above is standard behavior of SOHO routers such as the D-Link DIR-655, Cisco SRP541W, Linksys/Cisco M20 (very small 2-3 phone router - just an example), etc.

It used to be that we simply said that multiple phones behind a remote router wouldn't work, because the routers would dumbly try to register all the phones from the same IP and same port number - there was no way for the router to tell what return traffic went to which phone:

Name/usernam Host Port
SOFTPHONE017 1.2.3.4 5060
SOFTPHONE012 1.2.3.4 5060
SOFTPHONE010 1.2.3.4 5060
SOFTPHONE009 1.2.3.4 5060
     #This isn't going to work

 

VPN tunnels, using

If you are using a VPN to connect remote sites, you should not need to make any configuration changes to your firewall, router, or the IP phones themselves.  The purpose of a VPN is to connect remote locations as though they were all part of a single Local Area Network (LAN).  For this reason, as far as the trixbox Pro is concerned, the phones in locations connected through a VPN are on the same local network.

 

Firewall: SIP-handling features must be disabled

Most modern routers come with features like SIP ALG and SIP FIXUP pre-configured and "on" by default.  These protocols, in our experience, do more to hurt the telecommuter's quality of service than anything else, or prevent the phone from registering entirely.  If you own a router that has a SIP <insert helper function here> option enabled, please disable this option on the router to ensure proper operation.

 

Bandwidth Considerations

Each SIP phone call using the G711 codec uses approximately 80 kbps of bandwidth.  When you make a phone call from a remote IP Phone, the remote user's Internet connection requires this 80 kbps.  If their Internet connection is fairly slow in terms of broadband (1.5 Mbps down / 128 Kbps up is common for DSL customers in suburban/rural areas), the quality of their phone call may not be up to the same standard as a phone call initiaited from within your office.

The remote user's bandwidth is not the only factor that affects the quality of a phone call.  The remote user's Internet Service Provider (ISP) treats all traffic from the remote user's location equally.  For example, the user may be watching a video from YouTube on their computer while they try to make a call.  Both the YouTube video and the phone call are equal in the eyes of the ISP; however, the phone call is far more important in terms of traffic than the YouTube video.  Because the ISP does not prioritize traffic by type, the quality of the phone call can change during the conversation (you may notice certain noises on the line or even words dropping out).  This is not the fault of your trixbox Pro .  The remote user may need to upgrade their Internet connection and/or you may wish to implement a VPN.

 

Setting the time

Please see this article: Setting the Time

 

Reconfigure your Firewall

trixbox Pro - side:

In order to register a remote IP phone with trixbox Pro , you must forward the following ports.  Inbound traffic on these ports from the Internet must be forwarded to the internal private IP address of your trixbox Pro :

  • 5060 (UDP).  SIP signaling and call setup/teardown.
  • 10000-20000 (UDP).  RTP voice traffic.  A voice conversation picks a random pair of ports in that range, so the entire range must be forwarded.

Disable SIP handling features on your firewall or router.  In most cases, these features will interfere with VoIP traffic.  Different manufacturers use different terms:

  • SIP ALG / Application Layer Gateway.  (Seen on Linksys/Cisco)
  • SIP Fixup.  (Cisco)
  • SIP Markup.
  • SIP Session Helper.
  • SIP Translation.
  • SIP Transformation. (Sonicwall)

Turn off any of the above.

For a full list of ports used by remote applications, read How do I verify ports for remote operations?

Remote user's side:

In addition to above, each remote user also needs to open* the following ports on their (remote-side) firewall:

  • 5060 (UDP), responsible for call setup and teardown.
  • 10000-20000 (UDP), which are RTP ports used for the transmission of audio.

*-Allow; in other words, do not block outbound VoIP traffic on the remote phone firewall.  Port forwarding is usually only necessary on the PBX side.

Do not put the phone in a DMZ.

Internet access to TCP port 80 (HTTP) on the phone must be blocked.

Tip: Since the PBX is hosted elsewhere, you may also find SonicWall Configuration (newer) helpful for SonicWalls on the remote user's side (only).

 

How to reconfigure your phone

Remote users must also change the registrar server option within the phone itself.  See below for directions for your particular phone type.

Introduction

Phones located on the same Local Area Network as the trixbox Pro register using the following FQDN:

sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com
(replace the "N"s with your Server ID number - e.g. s012345...)

When you take a phone away from the Local Area Network, you need to change the name to the following:

sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com
(e.g. s012345x...)

Notice the x after the Server ID, as in eXternal.  It is required for all remote phones, except for office-to-office VPN tunnels.

The registrar string can be changed manually on each phone that will be used remotely.  Following are step-by-step directions for each phone model:

 

Polycom Phones

See these directions with photos and screenshots

For firmware revision 1.6.x or later:

  1. Obtain the IP address assigned to the phone, and browse to it -
    1. Press the “Menu” button
    2. Select “Status…”
    3. Select “Network…”
    4. Select TPC/IP Parameters…”.  The IP Address will be shown on the LCD display.
  2. Browse to the IP address using your web browser.  Example: http://192.168.1.100
  3. Click on the “Lines” Link and authenticate
  4. Username “Polycom” (case sensitive)
  5. Password "456" (if this doesn't work, you may need to contact Fonality Support for your phone admin password).
  6. Scroll down to the field labeled Address, in the line you want to use, for example Line 1
  7. Change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number.  In other words, add an "x" after the number, but before the dot.
  8. Click the “Submit” button when finished changing these settings
  9. The phone will automatically reset once the changes are made

See these directions with photos and screenshots

Fix the time/date:

  • Log in to the phone using steps 1-2 above.
  • Click the General tab.
  • Click the "Time" sub-tab.
  • Change the NTP server from "sNNNN.pbxtra.fonality.com" to "us.pool.ntp.org"
    (or internationally, pool.ntp.org)

For earlier Polycom firmware revisions:

  1. Obtain the IP address assigned to the phone, and browse to it
    1. Press the “Menu” button followed by the “Select” soft key twice.  The IP Address will be shown on the LCD display
  2. Browse to the IP address using your web browser.  Example http//192.168.1.100
  3. Click on the “Registration” Link, and authenticate
  4. Username “Polycom” (case sensitive)
  5. Password “456”
  6. Change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number
  7. Click the “Submit” button when finished changing these settings
  8. The phone will automatically reset once the changes are made

 

Softphone for PBX

The Softphone is available for Mac and PC users.  The instructions below follow the PC-user's configuration steps, however these instructions are virtually identical for the Mac.  For Mac users that do not own a two-button mouse, you can accomplish a "right-click" by holding down the control key on your Mac and then pressing your mouse button.

  1. Right click on the screen of the softphone.
  2. Click on "Settings".
  3. Click on the "SIP Accounts" on the left side labeled " sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com " where the Ns represent your server number.
  4. In the field labeled "Domain" change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number.
  5. Check the box labeled "Manual Override", circled red in the screenshot below.
  6. Click the button labeled "Apply".
  7. UNcheck the box labeled "Manual Override"
  8. Click the button labeled "Apply" again.

Steps 5-7 may not make sense, but due to the code within the softphone client, you have to "trick" the application into realizing that it is currently being deployed remote to the Fonality server.  You only have to do this once.

4804softhones.JPG

 

Aastra Phones

  1. Obtain the IP address assigned to the phone, and browse to it
    1. Press the "Options" key
    2. Press the Down arrow on the buttons below the LCD screen to option "Network Settings" and press the right arrow to Enter
    3. Enter 22222 and press the right arrow to Enter
    4. Down arrow to "IP Address"
  2. Browse to the IP address using your web browser.  Example http//192.168.1.100
  3. Enter authentication information
    1. Username “admin” (case sensitive).  Do NOT login with 'user' regardless of Aastra's documentation.
    2. Password “22222”
  4. Click on the "Global SIP" link
  5. Change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings (Registrar AND Proxy Server) to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number
  6. Click the “Save Settings” button when finished changing these settings
  7. The phone will will need to be restarted for the changes to take effect
  8. Pull the power on the phone and plug it back in.

 

Grandstream Phones

GXP2000

1. In a web browser, from a computer connected to the same local network - Browse to the IP address of the phone. You can find the IP address on the phone LCD screen
 Example:http://192.168.1.100

2. If prompted, enter the password: admin

3. Click on the "Account 1" link at the top of the page

4. For both the SIP server field and the Outbound Proxy field, change sNNNNi.trixbox.fonality.com to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number

5. Click "Update"

6. Restart/reboot the phone

Your Grandstream GXP2000 is now ready for remote use.

Budget Tone 200

1. Browse to the IP address of the phone in your web browser. This can be found by pressing the menu key and going to option 2, and then pressing menu again.
2. Enter the password: admin
3. Click the "Account" link.
4. For both the SIP server field and the Outbound Proxy field, change sNNNNi.trixbox.fonality.com to  sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number
5. Click "Update"
6. Reboot the phone

Your Grandstream Budget Tone 200 is now ready for remote use.

 

Cisco Phones

For historical reference - Cisco phone Support was discontinued circa 2011 (approximate date).

Reprogramming Cisco phones requires participation from Fonality Support, and the Cisco phone needs to be configured for remote use at the location of the trixbox Pro .  Please contact Fonality Support for assistance.  In preparation, you will need to determine the IP address used by the trixbox Pro , and prepare each Cisco phone as described below.

  1. Press the “settings” Button
  2. Press 9 for "Unlock Config"
  3. Enter the MAC address (case sensitive). You can find this on a label on the bottom of the phone in the middle. It is 12 characters long containing numbers, and usually letters as well. Toggle between Number and Alpha as needed to enter the MAC Address.  Press Accept when finished
  4. Press 3 for "Network Configuration"
  5. Enter 27 for "Alternate TFTP" and set it to YES, then Press "Save"
  6. Press 3 for "Network Configuration" again, and enter 7 for "TFTP Server", then Press "Edit". Enter the IP address of the trixbox Pro server, then press Accept
  7. Press Back twice
  8. Disconnect the power cable from the phone, and then reconnect it

 

It might be necessary to clear the old settings from the phone, and to repeat the above process if the settings are not picked up from the trixbox Pro .  If you need to clear the settings in the phone, use the following steps:

  1. Press the “settings” Button
  2. Press 9 for "Unlock Config"
  3. Enter the MAC address (case sensitive). You can find this on a label on the bottom of the phone in the middle. It is 12 characters long containing numbers, and usually letters as well. Toggle between Number and Alpha as needed to enter the MAC Address. Press Accept when finished
  4. Press 3 for "Network Configuration"
  5. Enter 28 for "Erase Configuration" and set it to YES, then Press "Save"
  6. Disconnect the power cable from the phone, and then reconnect it
  7. Re-program the TFTP Server setting as described above

Contact Fonality Support for assistance with changing the configuration files on the trixbox Pro in accordance with your new extension numbers.

 

Snom Phones

For historical reference - not currently supported.

  1. Obtain the IP address assigned to the phone, and browse to it.
    1. Press the “<” key twice, followed by the soft key below the word “IPAdr” in your LCD display. This will show the IP address on the LCD display.
  2. Browse to the IP address using your web browser.  Example http//192.168.1.100
  3. Click on the "Advanced" link on the left side of the screen
  4. Change the "Update Policy" setting to "Never update, do not load settings"
  5. Click "Save" to save this change
  6. Click on the “Line 1” link on the left side of the screen
  7. Change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number
  8. Click the “Submit” button when finished changing these settings

 

Swissvoice Phones

For historical reference - not currently supported.

  1. Obtain the IP Address assigned to the phone and browse to it
    1. Press the “OK” button under the “Menu” display on the LCD
    2. Scroll down to “Admin Settings” and press “OK” again
    3. Click “OK”  for “Current settings”
    4. Click “OK” for “Network Configuration”
    5. Press the down arrow button to scroll down one position to see the IP Address
  2. Browse to the IP address using your web browser.  Example http//192.168.1.100
  3. Click on the “Administrator” button, and log in
    1. Username admin
    2. Password admin
  4. Click on the “SIP configuration” link on the left side of the screen.
  5. Change the sNNNNNN.trixbox.fonality.com settings to sNNNNNNx.trixbox.fonality.com where the Ns represent your server number
  6. Click the “Submit” button when finished changing these settings

 

Troubleshooting

If a remote phone suddenly stops working or loses its extension

The most common cause of a phone "suddenly" failing to register with your  trixbox Pro is due to configuration loss.  The phone may lose it's configuration because it was powered off for too long, or a router gave it a different TFTP server IP than the  trixbox Pro and the phone couldn't find a configuration on that TFTP server.

In this case, you must bring the phone back to the office in order to flash it and re-download configuration settings.  For this reason, if a telecommuter lives many hours away from his/her office, we recommend a softphone as softphones do not suffer from configuration issues.

 


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