What’s the Difference Between Asterisk & Switchvox Phone Systems?

This is the first blog post of our 8 post series on the subject of Asterisk vs. Switchvox phone systems. Subscribe to our blog by submitting your email into the box on the right to receive an email notification for each blog post in the series.

An Overview of Asterisk & Switchvox

If you have been around business phone systems very long, you have certainly heard talk of Asterisk. It’s certainly with good reason that people are talking! Asterisk has been revolutionary for developers in the telecom industry. Inevitably, when talking about Asterisk, you have probably also heard talk of Switchvox. This also carries a reputation of dependability and ease for the user and is a product regarded very highly in the telecom world. Today, we will be talking about the differences between the two systems.

When talking about the two, it can get a bit confusing. What is a Digium Asterisk business phone system? What is a Digium Switchvox business phone system? Are they the same thing? Let’s face those questions here and bring clarity to these two respected systems. 

For the purposes of this blog series, we will look at both Asterisk and Digium Switchvox. But before doing that, let’s first define the main difference between the two products.

An Overview of the Primary Differences of Asterisk & Switchvox

Asterisk is a communications engine that transforms commodity computers into powerful communications servers. Asterisk is free and Open Source PBX softwareDigium is the creator and primary sponsor of the Asterisk project. Switchvox, based on Asterisk, is a full-featured, unified communications (UC) business phone system, and is designed for small to mid-sized businesses.

Let’s think of it this way: if you are going to buy a car, Asterisk is like buying the engine and already having the expertise to make that into your dream ride. You walk away excited with a vision of the end product in your mind. Asterisk is the DIY PBX. Switchvox is like driving off the lot in a shiny, new sports car and not having to do anything besides enjoying the smooth ride and new car smell. It’s a turnkey business phone system.



Why Have a Free Open Source Asterisk and a Commercial Switchvox Solution?

The answer is simple: while both products fit the larger universe of telecommunications technologies, they have very different purposes and are geared towards different audiences.

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