Learning about VOIP products

TLDR at the bottom.

My workplace is looking to get our phone system up to date. We currently have a shared connection coming into a handful of handheld wireless devices.

We talked with our current phone provider about updating to something better. They want a $1200 installation fee to plug in 4 phones into ethernet cables we have to run ourselves, plus $600/mo for the privilege of zero simultaneous calls and 1000 minutes/mo. I figure I can do better.

I have been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how this stuff works on Google. Here is what I got so far:

  1. I plug desktop phones into our network.
  2. I somehow connect them to a SIP provider, this step seems optional though?
  3. Then I connect the SIP provider or phones to a hosted PBX system. Instructions MIA.
  4. Profit?

Reading up on the 3CX “how-to” guides, they say that I plug a username and password into the phone and it can suddenly make calls so long as it has internet. I must be skipping a step though, because how does the phone know to connect to 3CX vs any other PBX provider?

Long story short, how am I supposed to go from desktop unit to phone calls?


Setup Asterisk as your local PBX. Do you have under floor Cat5e? If so, isolate the viop traffic from the rest of the network.

Then what? I assume I can run it in a VM, but how do I go from PBX to phone numbers? I assume I cant just say “I own this phone number now.”

Network is already setup with a few different vlans for security cameras and POS devices and whatnot, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

You need a DID, direct inward dialing.

Incoming calls hit the DID, and with the provider you selected, you set up the destination. This will usually be your Asterisk or 3CX server. This is what handles virtual assistant, voicemail, and call routing.

I’ve used voip.ms for DIDs in the past, and found their rates and documentation to be good.


Other providers offer the same service or operate in different countries, but regardless of which one you select, you’ll want one or more DIDs.

IMO, find a local/regional 3cx reseller/provider. I am one based out of VA, USA and our prices are way different than that you have described. No pushing you my way, but speaking from the other side as a VOIP reseller, you can definitely do better. Setting it all up yourself is doable but requires a fair bit of knowledge and effort for a first/one time thing. I will caution and add that not all VOIP phone/handsets work with 3cx, however they do have a pretty good desktop app and decent mobile app as well. With that sometime a firmware flash is needed to “join/bind” the phone to a new VOIP provider.