No doubt the most interesting feature is the SIP server and configuration is well documented with plenty of on-line manuals. If you use an external SIP service there’s nothing to do as the firewall is already configured to allow SIP communications through. Your first step for the SIP server is to assign a dynamic DNS address to the router’s WAN port and for this we set up an account with www.dyndns.com. Next, you need to enter your domain name in the router’s SIP Settings page and decide how you want to control incoming and outgoing calls. Note that the price only includes five SIP user licenses but you can purchase more from Intertex.
At this stage you’re ready to go and can use pretty much any SIP client on the LAN. We successfully tested using a Linksys SPA921 IP telephone and Windows Messenger. For the latter you must upgrade to v5.1 and also apply a small registry fix to allow simultaneous support for .NET and SIP communications. You also need to set up SIP from the Accounts tab where you provide a sign-in name which can be anything as long as it’s followed by your domain name.
The simple home page gives away few clues as to the level of SIP features behind it.
Using a basic headset we found SIP calls between two Windows Messenger users to be extremely clear. In fact, we used this mode of communication to discuss the router’s more esoteric settings with Intertex support in Sweden. If you want more from your SIP services the Surfinbird routers also offer an optional SIP software switch upgrade, which enables an extensive range of PBX style functions such as simple extension numbers for easy internal dialing, incoming call mapping, custom dial plans and much more.
The Surfinbird also supports, as standard, outgoing calls from a SIP phone to a landline and incoming calls from a landline to a SIP client. You need to use the supplied cables and splitters to provide PSTN access on the ADSL line but with this in place LAN users can dial out to a landline by entering a prefix of your choosing. Inbound PSTN calls can be routed through to a SIP client on the LAN or either of the handsets attached to the line ports on the router. There’s more as you can enter a SIP URI from the router’s web interface and use one of the PSTN handsets to call it up.
The price may be comparatively high but the integral SIP server does add a lot of value to the SurfinBird routers. As you’d expect, configuration will take a while but there’s plenty of on-line documentation to help and the level of voice related features on offer from the IX68 is quite remarkable.