A PBX (stands for Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone system designed to replace traditional landlines and allow businesses to facilitate inbound and outbound communications with their customers and prospects through an internet-powered phone network. It means that you can operate your phone system using any internet-ready device, like IP phones, softphones, web apps, and mobile devices.
PBX phone systems provide a wide range of features and functionalities to help businesses effectively manage their customer communications, both inbound and outbound. These may include inbound call management features, such as call routing and IVR, outbound dialing tools, call center reporting, video conferencing, SMS text messaging, and a lot more. The downside, however, is that these solutions might be costly to implement, especially for small businesses with tight budgets.
The solution to this is simple – free open-source PBX systems. Open-source PBX software solutions have become increasingly popular in the business environment. With an open-source PBX phone system, you can customize your PBX business phone app to meet the specific needs of your business. The best part, it’s a cost-efficient way to implement your in-house PBX phone system without compromising its capabilities.
If you’re currently considering your options, our open-source PBX software comparison overview will help you choose the right fit for your business. So let’s get started!
The Best Open Source PBX Software
Asterisk open-source PBX is probably the most popular solution and a great one to start our list with. It is the leading PBX open-source system out there that offers a huge feature list that is constantly growing. It is trusted and widely used by numerous businesses of all sizes from across the globe, and many cloud-based PBX solutions are built on the Asterisk system.
Asterisk offers all the common VoIP PBX features, including IVR (Interactive Voice Response), ACD (Automatic Call Distribution), rule-based call routing, call queues, voicemail, and conference calling. You can build a truly powerful IVR system with features like digit collection, audio playback and recording, calendar integration, database and web service access, and even speech recognition. With Asterisk, you can also leverage SMS text messaging capabilities.
The platform is completely free to use, and since it’s the most famous open-source PBX solution, there are tons of resources, online courses, manuals, web classes, and tutorials to help users make the most out of the platform. Overall, it might be the best solution for SMBs that need a reliable PBX phone system with voice and texting capabilities.
CallHippo is a cloud-based business phone system that offers both free and paid versions. The free open-source PBX plan includes some core features like call forwarding to any number or device, click-to-dial to enable customers to initiate calls to a business right from the website, voicemail, and SMS messaging. Paid plans include more advanced features like IVR, skills-based routing, call recording, call queueing, conference calling, real-time call monitoring, reporting and analytics, automated outbound dialing with multiple dialing modes, and much more. CallHippo’s free PBX is a great choice for small businesses looking to implement a basic business phone system to communicate with customers.
3CX is an open-source PBX system that is particularly known for its ease of use, while its features work on both VoIP and PSTN phone systems. 3CX offers basic call management features like IVR, multiple routing options, call queuing, queue callbacks, call recording, reporting, and click-to-call, among others. Besides that, the 3CX platform offers video conferencing based on WebRTC and an ability to connect live chat, Facebook, and WhatsApp, which enables businesses to offer omnichannel support. It can also be integrated with leading CRMs like Zoho, HubSpot, and Salesforce, as well as some helpdesk systems. 3CX would definitely be a reasonable choice for SMBs and startup companies.
SIP Foundry is an enterprise-grade platform and the biggest rival of Asterisk. It actually has pretty much the same set of features and capabilities, both basic and advanced. With SIP Foundry, you can set up a basic business phone system with all the calling features to effectively handle voice communications, including conference calling, video calling, IM and chat functionality, or a full-suite unified communications platform with lots of team collaboration tools. And you can easily customize it to fit the specific needs of your business. Given the variety of features and a high-security level, the platform is best suited for enterprises and large-scale organizations, particularly in the education and government segments.
OpenSIPS is a multi-purpose signaling SIP server that allows you to set up your own PBX and supports app-level functionality like voice and video calling. Its highly customizable routing engine enables you to efficiently route incoming calls to the best destination or gateway based on predefined rules. With OpenSIPS, you can also use SMS text messaging and instant messaging support capabilities. With a flexible plug-and-play module interface, you can easily add new modules for your desired functionalities. It’s recommended for businesses that have in-house IT staff with Linux experience and SIP knowledge.
OpenPBX by Voicetronix
OpenPBX is an open-source PBX platform that has been designed to operate with Voicetronix telephony equipment. It currently supports both traditional landlines and IP telephony services and equipment. With OpenPBX, users can easily build their own business phone system using PC servers running Linux and analog phone handsets. OpenPBX is packed with core telephony features, such as multi-level auto attendant, flexible music on hold, unlimited voicemail, caller ID, least cost routing, call display records, call parking, and more, making it a great choice for handling customer service and support. It’s suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that would like to implement a basic phone system for inbound call handling without sophisticated features and without requiring dedicated IT staff.
VoiceSpin is one of the best alternatives to free open-source VoIP PBX systems, with a wide range of features to manage inbound and outbound communications with customers and prospects. That includes ACD, IVR, call routing, call queueing, queue callbacks, call recording, missed call alerts, real-time call monitoring, reporting and analytics, and SMS text messaging. Advanced plans also include an AI predictive dialer with local caller ID and voicemail drop. Given the range of features, it’s ideal for both sales-oriented and customer-service teams. The platform can be easily integrated with the most popular CRM systems and other business apps. In addition, it offers APIs so you can customize your system to meet the specific needs of your business.
The only drawback of VoiceSpin compared to the open-source PBX software systems we’ve listed above is that it doesn’t offer a free version. However, if you compare their pricing to other popular cloud PBX software providers, VoiceSpin offers some of the most affordable plans and call rates on international calls on the market, making it an excellent choice for call centers operating globally.
Open Source PBX systems are great solutions for businesses that need a basic business phone system to handle voice communications with their clients and prospects. These solutions provide some core features to enable businesses to manage inbound and outbound calls like ACD, different call routing options, IVR, call recording, call monitoring, analytics, and a lot more. The ultimate choice will, of course, depend on the particular features and capabilities you are looking for.
The open-source nature means these software platforms can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business, making them flexible solutions for businesses of different types and sizes, however, you’ll most likely need an in-house IT team to set up and customize everything exactly the way you want it.
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