Summary:

Many people like the open source VoIP software Asterisk, but it’s tricky to set up, even for tech-savvy folks. Aretta has developed a hosted version of Asterisk called NetPBX PRO, which offers a friendly setup and has a full range of sophisticated features.

2370051810_5e41046a8e_b

We’ve looked at a number of VoIP-based business phone systems in the past. There’s certainly no scarcity of them, so most users should be able to find a feature set and pricing that will meet their needs. Aliza’s guide to planning for a phone system is a good place to start.

Many people like the open source VoIP software Asterisk, but it’s tricky to set up, even for tech-savvy folks. Aretta has developed a hosted version of Asterisk called NetPBX PRO, and given it a friendly setup. The company has been in operation since 2006, and is now offering a “white-label” service to resellers.

Because Aretta is based on Asterisk, it offers a full range of sophisticated features, including support for softphones and mobile applications, as well as conference bridging. Aretta can port numbers in most locations in the US and Canada, and offers local numbers in 43 countries. Aretta offers phone support during business hours, and 24/7 emergency service.

Aretta prices its services based on how many simultaneous calls you need to make or receive. Each simultaneous call takes what Aretta calls a “channel” (think in terms of number of “lines” rather than “extensions.”) Aretta offers an online system that will generate a quote, but in general, you can either pay $20 per channel per month plus 1.9 cents per minute for incoming and outgoing calls, or you can opt for a flat $40 per channel per month. It’s a flexible system: you can delete or add channels online in seconds if your needs change.

While Aretta claims excellent reliability, you can choose to purchase a system under which your phone service will automatically be moved to a backup data center if needed. This service is offered for $5 per channel per month (minimum $25).

If you like, Aretta will also sell you pre-configured VoIP phones, too. I didn’t try them, but getting plug-and-play equipment is one of the things I liked about RingCentral.

Aretta is offering a demo account which is fully functional for 30 days. WebWorkerDaily readers may go here and enter demo code WWD2010. It only takes a couple of minutes for the system you request to become available.

Photo by Flickr user kozumel, licensed under Creative Commons.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub. req.):


Comments have been disabled for this post