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The Basics - VoIP

What is VoIP

1. What is VoIP? (Voice Over IP)

VoIP is a technology which routes your telephone calls over your existing Internet connection. This generally results in calls of the same quality as a regular phone, at a fraction of the cost.

2. Do I need a special Internet connection? Will my current high speed Internet work?

We recommend nothing less than DSL or Cable Internet. Hosted PBX will not function on dial up or satellite connections. Need Internet too? We work with various Business Internet providers to offer high speed business Internet in many areas of the country.

3. How can I test my Internet speed?

You can check your speed for free at http://www.speedtest.net/

4. Can I keep my existing telephone number(s)?

Yes, as a VoIP phone company, we offer number portability in almost all cases. There may be situations where your number is simply not portable, however, such a situation is extremely rare.

5. How can I be sure AstraQom is right for my business?

As business VoIP providers, we are committed to meeting and exceeding your needs. Call us or use our live chat at the right side of each page. You can also send us some details of what you are looking for using our contact form.

6. After I receive my IP phones, how do I get them to work?

Since your phones are pre-configured, all you need to do when you get them is plug them in! It's really that easy. Ensure that both the power cord and the LAN cord are plugged in correctly. A LAN cord will be included with your devices - one end of this goes into the LAN port on your device and the other plugs into your Internet modem. Once you have done this, it is a good idea to give a maximum of 15 minutes for the IP phone to register with our systems.

From there, just make and receive calls! If you aren't sure about any part of the installation process described above, just give us a call and our friendly consultants will walk you through the process.

7. What about security? Are my conversations secure?

Absolutely. We follow all industry standards for security to the letter.

8. What are the main benefits of choosing AstraQom as my business VoIP provider?

- Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

- Easy, Instant Software Upgrades

- More personalized, attentive client service

- Complete custom scalability, based on your needs

- We always offer custom packages

- User efficiency is boosted

- Far simpler to install, manage and make changes than   traditional landline telephones

- When we get new technology, so do you!

9. What is the uptime rate for AstraQom? Can I rely on AstraQom?

You certainly can. We offer a guaranteed 99.99% uptime and also have redundant network operations centers throughout the world.

Also, all of our systems are backed up on our own private double-backed network - to ensure you never experience long downtimes, even in the event of an Internet failure.

10. How good is the voice quality on your IP phone service?

We use only the latest technologies for our Virtual PBX systems. We offer a no-holds-barred money back guarantee for all telephone solutions. We believe you will never need to take advantage of it - but for your reassurance, we offer it anyway.

11. Is AstraQom like home VoIP services?

Typically, Residential VoIP, like Vonage or Skype, are designed to minimize bandwidth and keep usage down due to the structure of most Internet plans. However, our Virtual PBX runs on pure QoS (Quality of Service), prioritizing voice calls to ensure you never experience anything but crystal clear calls.

12. I'm convinced. How do I sign up?

We are excited to bring you on! Simply phone us or use our live chat at the right side of each page. You can also send us some details of what you are looking for using our contact form. Your signup starts with a short, but thorough, assessment. We will then analyze your unique needs, evaluate your existing technology and setup, evaluate your Internet connection and then propose a quote.

Because we believe in keeping our prices fair, we feel you will be pleased with our great prices! Call us to get started right away.

Virtual PBX

Hosted PBX

1. What is a PBX?

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a type of private telephone network. These are usually used within a company. The users of the PBX phone system share a number of outside lines for making external phone calls.

A PBX connects the internal telephones within a business and also connects them to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

One of the latest tendencies in PBX phone system development is VoIP based PBX. This is what we use here at AstraQom. Sometimes, it is also called IP Telephony. There are four different PBX phone system options:

- PBX

- Hosted PBX / Virtual PBX

- IP PBX

- Hosted / Virtual IP PBX

IP PBX is a software-based PBX phone system solution which helps to accomplish tasks that most businesses handle on a daily basis. It also brings the cost of running a business telephone system down, making it accessible to even small business owners.

2. Why would I want a Virtual PBX System?

Quite simply, you want a Hosted PBX system because they are more affordable, more capable of running business tasks and easier overall to customize for your exact business needs.

3. Can I have my greetings professionally recorded?

Of course. You simply need to provide us with an audio file and we can load it into your profile for you. Alternatively, you can choose our bilingual professional recording service.

4. Can my business replace its entire phone system with Hosted PBX?

Absolutely! We can create a package for you that includes everything from service to great prices and deals on your equipment. Have existing PBX equipment? We can use it with your solution to save you money!

5. Can I test the Virtual PBX service first?

Not yet convinced? We offer a commitment-free 7 days trial of our Virtual PBX service, so you can get familiarized with our features and know us better.

6. Is it easy to make changes to my Virtual PBX account?

Very easy! You have several options at your disposal. You can log in to your account online, which you will be provided with at the time you sign up or you can simply telephone your Client Relationship Manager. Our support team will always be more than happy to assist you.

7. My business has very unique needs, how do I choose the right VoIP Phone service?

AstraQom VoIP solutions are specifically designed to be customizable. This means that whether you are a sole proprietor or a large multi-national corporation, we can design a package to suit your needs! If you are a business that is looking for a solution that takes away the headaches and management issues found with on site equipment, AstraQom is the answer to your needs. While we do have packages and plans, they are only a guide. We will always strive to work with you in creating a solution that matches both your needs and your budget!

Additionally, when comparing our business VoIP solutions to traditional analog phone systems, costs to own and operate are much, much lower with VoIP technology. As if that isn't enough, if you choose to switch to AstraQom we will make sure the rate you get is 20% lower than the rate you're paying your current business phone provider!

8. How long would it take to activate my Virtual PBX system?

Our standard activation time is 5 business days from the moment when your complete order is received.

Aroba Long Distance

What is VoIP phone

1. What is a long distance calling service?

A long distance calling service is a telecommunication solution used by businesses that already have a phone service provider, but they wish to make cheap long distance calls, usually through a Business VoIP Phone Service.

2. What is the difference between Aroba and the other long distance calling services?

First, Aroba does not change the way you currently use your phone. Thanks to your account details being pre-configured in the device, you no longer need to dial access numbers or enter PIN codes. Secondly, our prices are unbeatable!

3. Do I need to be connected to the Internet to use this long distance calling service?

No. Although the service uses VoIP technology to send your calls, you will be able to use it with your landline.

4. Do I need to buy hardware in order to get the VoIP Phone service?

No. As a courtesy, the Aroba Long Distance device is provided to you for free.

5. Do I need to notify my current phone provider that I intend to use Aroba?

No. When you make a call, Aroba identifies the type of the call (local, long distance, international) and sends the calls via AstraQom, without affecting your current landline's functionality.

6. Will long distance calling appear on my landline bill?

No. AstraQom will issue a separate invoice containing your long distance calls or package.

7. How do I install the Aroba VoIP Phone device?

You will be ready to make long distance calls in two easy steps: first, connect the Aroba device to your phone wall jack and then connect your regular phone to the device. It's that easy!

8. Do I need to get a package to use the service?

With Aroba, you have the freedom to choose; you can opt for one of our destination packages, or to pay exactly what you use, on a pay-per-minute base.

9. Can I call destinations that are not included in my package?

Of course. No matter what package you chose, you have the possibility to call any other numbers. Your extra calls will be charged per minute according to AstraQom's long distance calling rates.

Hosted Asterisk

Cloud Services

1. What is a VPS?

A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a virtual machine that shares the resources of a hardware platform with other virtual servers. However, a VPS basically represents a set of virtual resources of a dedicated server, having its own allocated resources - memory, CPU, disk - its own operating system and operating independently, similar to a dedicated server, allowing the owner to configure it according to its business needs.

2. What are the main characteristics of a Virtual Private Server?

The VPS CPU is the part of a dedicated server that a certain user is allocated.

RAM memory is a very important component; the more applications running on a server, the faster the RAM is exhausted.

Isolated server space. The allocated space and the installed or uploaded applications are isolated from the other users, which means that the data can only be accessed by the owner of the VPS and the space is strictly reserved to him.

Access Root refers to the total access to the VPS. You can install any types of applications, any types of scripts or settings, which, in case of a shared server, might cause issues to the users sharing the space.

3. Does AstraQom get involved in the configuration of my PBX?

As part of the standard service, AstraQom will only install your server and PBX of your choice. You are free to configure the PBX according to your business needs. However, if you need help with the configuration or you would like AstraQom to configure it for you, this is an available add-on.

4. What are the PBX systems that you can provide?

AstraQom provides installation and consultancy for the following Asterisk PBX systems: Elastix, FreePBX, PBX-in-a-flash, TrixBox, Asterisk, Goautodial. Freeswitch distros available are Fusion PBX and Blue.box, while other PBX systems we can offer are: SipXsecs and Kamailio.

5. Who manages the VPS hosting?

The AstraQom Hosted Asterisk is an unmanaged service, which means that VPS server administration is done by you. Server administration, monitoring the services on the server and installing other software are however available with the purchase of a management package.

6. Will my VPS be affected if a VPS on the same server consumes too many resources?

No. The resources are guaranteed, as they are set to be dedicated at an operating system level. A VPS that requires access to more resources than it has guaranteed will be allowed to access them only if the physical machine has physical resources available. Otherwise, access is denied to avoid affecting other virtual machines.

7. How many IP addresses are provided with a VPS?

You are allocated one IP address for each VPS, with the option to acquire additional IP addresses.

Auto Attendant

Business Phone System

1. How does the Auto Attendant Service work?

Auto Attendant is basically a Virtual PBX that takes over the calls coming to your landline and uses advanced features to handle and distribute the calls. In order for the Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system to process the calls, you will need to forward your existing landline to an AstraQom number. Once a call reaches the hosted phone system, it will be handled according to your desired settings and re-distributed back to the landlines of your employees or departments.

2. What are the features of the AstraQom Auto Attendant?

The AstraQom hosted phone system has the following capabilities:

- IVR (Auto-Attendant)

- Customized Music on Hold

- Black List

- Answering rules

- Call Forwarding

- Call Logs

- Hunt Groups

- Find me/ Follow me

- Call Identifiers

- Conference room

- Call Queuing

3. Why would I want an Inbound Hosted PBX System?

Quite simply, you want a Virtual PBX system because they are more affordable than a traditional PBX, more capable of running business tasks and easier overall to customize for your exact business needs. With an Automatic Call Distribution system, your business can now have the professional image it truly deserves.

4. Can I have custom greetings played to my callers?

Definitely. You can record your own personalized message to greet your customers. You simply need to provide us with an audio file and we can load it into your profile for you. Alternatively, you can choose our bilingual professional recording service.

5. Can I have voicemail boxes in the AstraQom Virtual PBX?

Yes, you can definitely set Voicemail boxes in the AstraQom phone system.

6. Can I test the Auto Attendant service first?

Not yet convinced? We offer a commitment-free 7 days trial of our service, so you can get familiarized with our features and know us better.

7. Is it easy to make changes to my account?

Very easy! You have several options at your disposal. You can log in to your account online, which you will be provided with at the time you sign up or you can simply telephone your Client Relationship Manager. Our support team will always be more than happy to assist you.

8. How long would it take to activate my ACD business phone system?

Our standard activation time for ACD systems is 2 business days from the moment when your complete order is received.

Colocation Services

Colocation Dallas

1. What are Colocation Services?

Colocating means hosting your PBX and/or other VoIP applications offsite, in a data center where server space and expenses are shared with other companies.

2. How do I get access to my servers?

Our Data Centers are open 24/7 and you receive uninterrupted physical access to your servers at any time.

3. What services do I need to contract for my equipment to work?

With Colocation services, you don't need to worry about any additional resources to pay or maintain, all are included in your colocation fee i.e. Internet connection, AC, fire detection and suppression systems, humidity control, on-site security, electricity.

4. How much does the installation cost?

Installation is on us. We want to help you grow and benefit from high-end technology without an upfront payment.

5. Is my equipment safe from being accessed without authorization?

Definitely. Security is number one priority in a data center. With 24/7 security and surveillance, strict badge/biometric access, access logs and locked cabinets, your equipment is safer from outsiders or other tenants than in any other place.

6. What happens in case of an interruption?

Nothing is left to chance when it comes to the availability of your servers. Your applications will be kept functional even during power or Internet outages due to the multiple power and connectivity redundant systems in place in our data centers.

Virtual Local Phone Numbers

Local Virtual Phone Number

1. What are Virtual Local Phone Numbers?

A Local Virtual Number is an inexpensive solution allowing businesses to have a local presence anywhere, just by adding numbers from different area codes to their main phone number. The Local Virtual Numbers enable callers to contact businesses at only a local cost and attend to conference calls from any location.

2. Why should I have a local virtual number for somewhere I do business, when I am not located there?

Virtual Local Phone Numbers allow clients to feel as if they are dealing with a locally based company. This tends to promote trust and a feeling of reliability, even though your actual location may be very far from the client.

They can also break down barriers to sale conversions by providing a contact number which saves clients from long distance charges.

3. Do I need an existing telephone service to use Virtual Local Phone Numbers?

Yes. You will need an existing telephone service in order to use a local presence number. AstraQom assigns a number to you and forward any calls made to that number to your actual telephone location. If you also require voice services, AstraQom is pleased to also offer these services.

4. Is there special equipment to buy to purchase a Local Virtual Phone Number?

No. You are simply assigned a local virtual phone number for the location of your choice and calls are forwarded to the device or telephone number of your actual location. The only equipment needed is your regular device used to make telephone calls.

5. Do I need to be an AstraQom customer to have a Local Virtual Number from you?

No. If you do not have services from AstraQom we can forward the Local Virtual Number to another number you have.

6. How long does it take for my Local Virtual Number to be configured?

Whether you are an AstraQom customer or not, your Local Virtual Number will be ready to use in 24 hours.

7. Can I get multiple Local Numbers from different cities or countries?

Yes. You can purchase as many Local Virtual Numbers you need from the cities or countries you want.

8. How can I order a Local Virtual Number?

All you have to do is give us a call and we will take care of everything for you.

9. What is your coverage in terms of international Local Virtual Numbers?

Thanks to its global reach, AstraQom covers over 50 countries. You have the option to choose between Toll Free Numbers, geographic numbers and non-geographic (national) numbers.

10. Can I port a Virtual Number in or out?

Once you have chosen a number and activated your service, you own your number; as such, you can bring your number to AstraQom from another provider or, if you find our service unsatisfactory, you are free to port your number at any time. Please note that number portability may not be available in certain countries.

11. I could not find the city I was looking for, how can you help me?

AstraQom's international coverage is constantly expanding, adding new cities once in a few months. Just let us know what type of number you would like to have and we let you know as soon as the area is covered.

12. Can I change the forwarding number later?

You can change the number your calls are forwarded to at any time using our online WebCare portal.

13. How do I make calls using my DID?

Please note that Virtual Phone Numbers are designed to be inbound-only numbers; that means that you can only receive calls on your number and cannot dial out.

14. How many calls can I receive at the same time?

If you are using your Virtual Phone Number together with your AstraQom service, your number will share the number of lines (channels) with your existing service. If you do not have an AstraQom service and wish to forward your calls to a phone line outside the AstraQom network, you will benefit from one line included at no additional cost, which means that you can receive one call at a time. You may opt for additional channels to be added, however please note that your capacity also will depend on how many incoming calls your forwarding line can support.

15. Can I track my incoming calls?

Yes, AstraQom enables you to view all calls made to your Virtual Phone Numbers online, using the AstraQom WebCare.

SIP Trunks

SIP Trunking

1. What is SIP Trunking?

SIP Trunking connects a PBX to the Internet using VoIP and is a service used by the Internet Telephony Service Providers to deliver telephone services.

2. Why should I use SIP Trunking?

If you have already invested in a PBX solution for your business, you will need phone lines to work with your installed equipment. The SIP Trunks will provide the connection you need in order to receive calls and to connect with the outside world.

3. What is the difference between SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX?

While with the Hosted PBX solution your entire configuration is hosted and managed from our servers, SIP Trunking allows you to install your own PBX or Call Center on-site or hosted on your own servers and maintained by your own IT staff.

4. What is a bi-directional trunk? Do you offer it?

A bi-directional trunk connects both to the outside networks, allowing you to place calls from your PBX, as well as from the outside networks to your PBX, enabling incoming calls to be received. AstraQom's SIP Trunking solution is based on bi-directional trunks.

5. What is the difference between one and multiple registrations?

One registration means that all calls will be sent to and received from one single IP address corresponding to your server. All the numbers configured on a registration will use the outgoing Caller ID of the main number set up on the registration. Multiple registrations allow you to configure multiple servers or devices, each with its own separate location and main DID Number (Direct Inward Dialing).

6. What is aggregated trunking?

Aggregated trunking enables you to select any number of DIDs (phone numbers) to be configured on your trunk with any number of channels (lines). That means that instead of having to pay a 1:1 ratio (1 number: 1 line), you will be able to share your capacity between all your numbers and channels will be allocated dynamically once calls come in.

7. Do you support Asterisk?

AstraQom supports all the major PBX types, including Asterisk PBX.

Vanity Numbers

Vanity Toll Free Numbers

1. What is a Vanity Number?

In a nutshell, a Vanity Number is a Toll Free or regular local number that spells a word when replacing the digits in the phone number with the corresponding numbers or a telephone dial pad. Numbers that contain digit patterns or repeating digits are also considered Vanity Numbers or Gold Numbers.

2. Why choose a Vanity Number instead of a regular number?

Vanity numbers are an excellent choice for all businesses, providing the callers with a simplified way of memorizing a number.

3. My business is small and locally oriented. Can a Vanity Toll Free Number help me?

Yes! Vanity Numbers are an excellent choice for all businesses, even small, locally established companies. Vanity Numbers can also be local numbers and can be the reason clientele from your city or area remember your service before any other service.

4. I have an extremely large business. We have multinational offices in multiple countries. Can your Vanity number solutions still benefit me?

Yes! AstraQom has a global coverage of over 50 countries and although choices might be limited in some countries, we will always work on finding your desired number. Your Vanity Phone Number can be used for clientele contacts from any country - regardless of location!

5. Do I need existing telephone service to have a Vanity Phone Number solution?

You do need an existing telephone service in order to take advantage of our Phone Number Words. However, you do not have to search out another provider - We can create a bundle for you including telephone service and a great Vanity Number - allowing you to save money and the hassle of dealing with separate accounts with different providers.

6. Do I need special equipment to use a Vanity Phone Number, like adapters or other specialty gear?

No! No special equipment is needed in order to use your Phone Number Words. You will of course need a telephone and telephone service. AstraQom can provide your telephone service in a convenient bundle as well if you like! If you decide to go with one of our excellent PBX systems for your telephone service, we can provide the equipment for that as well.

7. I have existing services with AstraQom. Can I add a Vanity Number to my solutions?

Yes! We would be happy to add a vanity phone number for you. Contact your Business Relationship Manager at the phone number you were provided and a vanity toll free number order will be placed immediately upon your acceptance of our quote.

Live Receptionist

Phone Answering Service

1. What is a Live Receptionist?

Live Receptionist is an Answering Service. All calls are forwarded to us and are answered in your company name.

2. How does having a Live Receptionist help my business?

A Virtual Office Assistant gives you a Live Receptionist without the costs and space considerations. Call Answering Service offers you affordable call handling and a dedicated, local phone number in your chosen province or city. All calls are answered in your company name. This means you will never miss call, at a fraction of the price of hiring a full time receptionist. All calls are answered by AstraQom's highly experienced and professional 'receptionists'.

3. Can I choose how my calls are answered?

Yes, you can send us a script and our Live receptionists will follow it point by point.

4. How do I receive my messages?

The messages are forwarded to you by email. The email includes the name of the person who called, the time when the call was received, the message and also a callback number.

5. Can you also transfer calls or you only take messages?

Yes. You can decide if you want your calls to be transferred or if you want our receptionists only to take messages.

6. Do my callers have to call a different number to reach the Live Receptionist in your office?

No. Our representative will have an extension assigned in your PBX to be able to answer calls coming to your main number and transfer them accordingly.

Wholesale VoIP Termination

VoIP Termination

1.What is VoIP Termination?

VoIP Termination is the process of routing calls from one Internet Telephone Service Provider to another, across the globe.

2. How does VoIP Termination work?

The AstraQom network will be set up to accept the calls coming from your equipment (using your IP address) and terminate them to the dialed destination. Once the call is established, you will be charged for the duration of the call according to your negotiated rate.

3. How do I know what is my current usage?

AstraQom enables you to monitor your usage via the AstraQom WebCare platform, where you will be able to view and download your CDRs (Call Detail Records).

4. What type of rates does AstraQom wholesale VoIP Termination offer?

AstraQom offers both CLI and non-CLI routes to over 160 world destinations.

5. Do you have backup interconnections in case a route fails?

Yes, AstraQom is interconnected to multiple carriers and will automatically or manually switch routes in the event of a failure.

6. How do I know if a VoIP Termination rate changes?

Once the rate sheets are updated, you will receive a notification indicating the updated routes and a new rate sheet.

7. Do I need a static IP address to send calls?

Yes, your Termination account can only be configured with a static IP address.

8. How do I change my IP address?

You may request the change of your IP address by emailing our Customer Service team. Please note that additional charges may apply for changing/ adding IP addresses.

9. How do I instruct the callers from my network to dial out?

The general format accepted by AstraQom is the E.164 format, i.e. country code + number.

10. I am having trouble configuring my VoIP switch, can you help me?

Yes, through its consulting division, AstraQom also offers technical assistance for configuring VoIP equipment. Please visit our Consulting page for more details.

11. How do I pay?

Our VoIP Termination service is prepaid, thus you need to make a payment before starting to use the service. You will be able to make calls until your prepaid limit is used up.

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