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mzilikazi
Titel: VOIP, Linux, Mac, Windows  BeitragVerfasst am: 06.05.2006, 22:45 Uhr
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This post is not meant to become a flame war about best VOIP service/clients but rather may it become a guide for those interested in a FREE and OPEN VOIP solution.

Well the VOIP technology is just growing and changing so fast it's really hard to keep up with it all. The ideal VOIP client/application would be FOSS using open standards & technologies and crossplatform. I think most of us have heard of Skype. Unfortunately it has seemingly become the de facto for free VOIP but it is not FOSS and uses a proprietary codec. It also doesn't know ALSA. Just becasue it's commonly used and easy to set up doesn't mean we should encourage its use. Gizmo also has clients for all 3 major OS's. Unfortunately it too has a disagreeable EULA.

X-lite is sadly not FOSS however it does use open standards technologies/codecs.

Now, it just so happens that I make my living in the ISDN/IP based videoconferencing world and it is because of this that I personally would consider using X-Lite (or it's non-free counterpart eye-beam) as a VOIP client/ videoconferencing solution. The non-free version of this software could potentially replace 10's of thousands of dollars worth of expensive Polycom videoconferencing hardware. I have not personally used this tool (yet) but it does appear to install and function just fine on Linux and all tests seem to indicate that it is working. If you have experience with this client (or would like to gain some) please post.

The two most prominent FOSS phones (to my knowledge) are Linphone & Ekiga (formerly gnome-meeting). Linphone seems to be a fine app but again I've not yet tested it either. Also, it only supports SIP phone calls so it cannot talk to Netmeeting. Ekiga supports both SIP & H.323 so it is also able to connect with Netmeeting. Ekiga works quite splendidly here and the installation/setup is trivial. Just get the debs from the Ekiga site and use dpkg -i to install them. One bug I have noticed is that it does not exit very cleanly prompting a 'killall ekiga'.

Think your VOIP call is secure? Think again.
From the Gizmo site:
Zitat:
Please be informed that, notwithstanding the above mentioned, Gizmo Project will endeavor to provide all necessary assistance and information to fulfill the request of any designated competent authority.


Yeah you can bet that any and all service providers are going to do the same thing but wait, it gets worse: If no one opposes the FCC they're going to grant full access to your calls not to mention the FEDS are conducting research on VOIP tapping. They also intend to have full legal access to anything they want from telephone lines, email, searches, VOIP calls and anything else you can imagine. Soon they'll know what color underwear you have on (if any). Winken

This brings us to encrypted VOIP, (assuming it is not also made illegal)

*NOTE* As I understand it Skype is now encrypted but ONLY BETWEEN SKYPE USERS so again Skype is just not the best solution and it's creator once tried to make a living selling other people's music so.........

Enter Zfone.
Zphone is not (yet) a VOIP client but rather
Zitat:
The current Zfone software runs in the Internet Protocol stack on any Windows XP, Mac OS X, or Linux PC, and intercepts and filters all the VoIP packets as they go in and out of the machine, and secures the call on the fly.
.

So in a nutshell, you run zphone, then you run your VOIP client. If both end users are running zphone then your call is encrypted and secure.

I know that this is a broad topic and I am most definitely NOT a VOIP guru of any sort, furthermore I certainly haven't covered all of the available options here. If you want to try some VOIP calls let me know, I'm usually willing to give it a whirl.

One last tip. I was recently looking to buy a headset to use specifically with VOIP calls. I tried some standard mic/headset styles but did not really care for them and when I used those my sound card was effectively useles for any other purpose. After a bit of googling I came across the Sony playstation 2 USB headset which I promptly obtained locally for only $20 US. Any other USB headset was at least $35 US. Some of you will say "well duh we knew about that headset" but I am not a gamer and wouldn't know a ps2 from a gameboy if one of each fell from the sky. I would say that the headset works very well especially for only $20. Voices are clear and the single speaker is actually stereo. There are inline mute and volume switces. The mic boom could be a bit more flexible but it's working out OK. I really like the fact that I can still listen to some Audioslave while gabbing away on an SIP call.

To access the USB headset mixer from Linux try:
Code:
alsamixer -c 1

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eco2geek
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.05.2006, 04:33 Uhr



Anmeldung: 02. Mai 2004
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Very interesting. Thanks for the wrapup. I've been wanting to try VoIP for a while now, just haven't a) gotten a round tuit or b) really have anyone to call (can one get calls routed into the POTS with any of these packages, and how much does it cost?).

As you know, the FCC is telling VoIP/broadband suppliers that they must implement the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), just like regular telephone service providers have to. (CALEA makes it mandatory to allow the gubmint to tap your phone, without your knowledge, and have access to your records.)

Whether Congress will eventually make VoIP (or any other kind of) encryption illegal remains to be seen.

In an age where computers are increasingly powerful and storage capacity is increasingly large, in the hands of a government reacting to post-9/11 fear and paranoia, and in the hands of businesses that want to sell, sell, sell...your privacy is toast.
 
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t-bone
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.05.2006, 06:37 Uhr



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I have found to KPHONE to be simple and fun to use...I also recommend:

http://www.voipuser.org/

Enjoy! Sehr glücklich

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mzilikazi
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.05.2006, 16:12 Uhr
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t-bone hat folgendes geschrieben::
I have found to KPHONE to be simple and fun to use
Enjoy! Sehr glücklich


I had a difficult time finding documentation for Kphone. Does Kphone also support H.323 or is it only SIP? What about STUN support?

Two other clients I found:

SJphone proprietary non-FOSS but has clients for Linux Mac & Win.

Cornfed SIP User Agent which has GTK interface as well as a cli interface. This is also commercial software and a brief test showed that it did mostly nothing. Perhaps digging through the documentation would help but given the ease with which other FREE softphones just work I see no need to spend my time trying to get a commercial software app working and spend my time debugging it. One positive aspect is that is does include an SDK. If you are a developer and would like to customize Cornfed for your own personal business this might be very appealing.

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Neuer_User
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.05.2006, 16:41 Uhr



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The best FOSS VOIP client I´ve seen is surely Twinkle (http://www.twinklephone.com). It´s scriptable, supports many codecs and is in the debian repositories.

Cheers,

Michael
 
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t-bone
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 08.05.2006, 07:03 Uhr



Anmeldung: 12. Sep 2005
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Supports SIP and STUN.

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Zuletzt bearbeitet von t-bone am 27.06.2006, 06:06 Uhr, insgesamt ein Mal bearbeitet
 
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mzilikazi
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 26.06.2006, 21:44 Uhr
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An almost off-topic post (but not completely). I wanted to use Ekiga for some video calls. I went and bought 3 different USB web cams for approx $30-$40 US each. Each one is pure junk. The best frame rate I could get was approx 10fps. This is completely unacceptable if you want some good video. I found a better alternative in an old Sony video camera purchased at a pawn shop for $40. Of course you'll need some way to connect the video camera to your pc. I already have a BTTV chip tv tuner w/ video in so this was no problem. You can get one for < $20 if you need. The BTTV cards are supported out of the box in Kanotix. Now I have 40-50 fps for the same money as the cheapo USB cameras AND a video camera. No it isn't cute and cuddly and does not sit on top of my laptop display but it works damned well.

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bluewater
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 04.07.2006, 02:34 Uhr
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Found this while perusing apt-cache search alsa

http://ihu.sourceforge.net/index.html

apparantly its a low latency VOIP app..the PR for it is besides encryption blah blah is

"Good audio performance: IHU was born to give the best audio performance, low latency above all. For this purpose IHU is compatible with ALSA, now the default Linux sound architecture, but also with JACK, a low latency sound server. For the audio compression, IHU uses Speex, a codec optimized for speech (and completely free and open source)."

apt-get install ihu - Qt VoIP softphone with an own, encrypted protocol

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Roughnecks
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 04.07.2006, 10:16 Uhr



Anmeldung: 13. Dez 2004
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X-Lite is not a good piece of software, at least it was not last summer. configuration was more than strange and it looks crappy, and it feels crappy. i wouldn't recommend it to give it to anyone who is used to "just use software". maybe they improved it meanwhile, but from my experience from a year ago, keep your hands off X-Lite.

i also recommend Twinkle, but maybe it is also not good for average users, because it is a mighty tool and you can't switch to a simple user interface.

about encryption: i do not think the US congress are stupid enough to make voip encryption illegal. it's not only terrorists (they'll just talk in a language you do not understand), it's also business who use voip. and companies need secure communication. the USA are not the only country doing industrial espionage Winken

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mzilikazi
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 20.11.2006, 20:46 Uhr
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Wengophone has come a long way it seems and it's also GPL.
Not tried it yet - anyone else?

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