Installing 3CX Phone System for Windows
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Supported Operating Systems
3CX Phone System v14 is supported on the following operating systems:
- Windows 7 Professional (x64)
- Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
- Windows 7 Enterprise (x64)
- Windows 8 Pro (x64)
- Windows 8 Enterprise (x64)
- Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
- Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64)
- Windows 10 Pro (x64)
- Windows 10 Enterprise (x64)
- Windows 2008 R2 Foundation (x64 only)
- Windows 2008 R2 Standard (x64 only)
- Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise (x64 only)
- Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter (x64 only)
- Windows 2012 Foundation (max. 15 presence connections on IIS installations)
- Windows 2012 Standard
- Windows 2012 Datacenter
- Windows 2012 R2 Essentials (max. 25 presence connections on IIS installations)
- Windows 2012 R2 Standard
- Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter
Installations on Microsoft Windows Server Core versions are not supported. It should be noted that on client operating systems Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, Abyss will be used as the web server, whereas on Windows Server, IIS will be used.
Supported Hardware and VM Platforms
3CX Phone System is extensively tested to be run as a VM which eliminates the cost of separate hardware and adds high availability solutions based on the hypervisor infrastructure. Supported hypervisor platforms are:
- VMware ESX 5.X and above.
- Microsoft HyperV 2008 R2 and above. See our Hyper-V Page for the specific settings for running 3CX Phone System.
Avoid using 3CX Phone System on converted VMs (P2V) because a converted virtual machine might have timing issues, which causes the guest operating system not to sync with the timer of the hypervisor.
System performance depends on five key factors:
- How many simultaneous calls will the system handle.
- How many people will simultaneously connect to the presence server.
- If call recording is used.
- If VoIP Providers are used.
- If call routing built is mainly around queues and IVRs.
Based on these factors the hardware can vary from Intel i3 CPUs with 4Gb of RAM up to a multi socket/core system. General guidelines can be found online in these articles:
Firewall & Network Considerations
3CX Phone System allows two network topology deployment options:
- No NAT - no NAT is performed from public to a private network. The Network card’s IP address would be a public IP.
- Behind NAT - a firewall / router is between the internet and the PBX which performs network address translation. The Network card’s IP address would be a private IP.
No NAT Firewall Configuration
In case of “No NAT”, it is sufficient to use the built In “Windows Firewall” to secure the machine. You do not need to do anything as the 3CX Phone System installation will open all the required ports automatically.
NAT Mode Firewall Configuration
If 3CX Phone System is installed behind a NAT device, ports need to be forwarded. See the following guides detailing the requirements:
- The Firewall & Router Configuration Guide provides details on which ports to open.
- See also Ports Used by 3CX Phone System for the list of required ports that need to always be available (not used by any other service).
- Latest version of Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.
- Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5 or higher.
- You will need to have a good basic understanding of Windows Networking.
- A constant internet connection to erp.3cx.com on port 443.
- On demand connection to downloads.3cx.com/* on port 80 for 3CX Management Console downloads and additional information.
FQDN for the 3CX Phone System machine
An FQDN is required for the following reasons:
- Easy access to the 3CX Management Console.
- For easy management of IP phones and services in case of an IP change.
- To setup HTTPS for the console.
- To securely provision IP phones using HTTPS.
The FQDN must resolve on your LAN to the machine on which 3CX Phone System is installed, and from the internet it must resolve to your Public IP. You can choose to have a separate FQDN for internal and external connections or a single FQDN for both using Split DNS. Find more information on how to Create FQDN using Split DNS.
Preparing the Windows Host Machine for Installation
Tasks that MUST be completed before installing 3CX Phone System:
- Assign a static internal IP address to the host machine’s network adapter.
- Install all available Windows updates & Service packs before installing 3CX Phone System. The reboot after installing Windows updates may reveal additional updates. Pay particular attention to install all updates for Microsoft .Net before running the 3CX Phone System installation.
- Antivirus Software should not scan the following directories to avoid complications and write access delays:
- C:\Program Files\3CX PhoneSystem\*
In case the 3CX Phone System host machine has multiple network adapters:
- Disable unused network interfaces / Wi-Fi adapters.
- One active network interface MUST have a default gateway configured. It is illegal and wrong to have multiple network interfaces all with default gateways configured.
- Prioritize the primary network interface (the one with the default gateway configured) to the first position from: “Control Panel” > “Network and Internet” > “Network Connections”. Press the Alt key to reveal the File menu and click on “Advanced” > “Advanced Settings”. The “Adapter and Bindings” tab > “Connections” section will show your interfaces. Ensure that the network card with the default gateway is at the top.
- Do not install VPN software on your 3CX Server
- Ensure that all power saving options for your System and Network adapters are disabled (Set the system to High Performance).
- Do not install TeamViewer VPN Option on the host machine.
- Disable Bluetooth adapters if it is a client PC.
- 3CX Phone System must not be installed on a host which is a DNS or DHCP server, has MS SharePoint or Exchange services installed.
Installing 3CX Phone System
- Download the latest version of 3CX Phone System.
- Double-click on the setup file. Read the system requirements. Click “Next”.
- Read our configuration recommendations. Click “Next”.
- You will be asked to review and accept the license agreement.
- Select the installation folder path, 3CX Phone System will need a minimum of 10GB free hard disk space. You will need to reserve additional space to store voicemail files, recordings & voice prompts. Choose the location to install and then click “Next”.
- Select the Phone System Installation mode, select Standard Installation (Single Instance). Click “Next”.
- For the Virtual PBX Installation (Multiple Instance) - See Installing 3CX Phone System as a Virtual PBX Server.
- Select whether 3CX Phone System is about to be installed on a machine which is directly on the internet (no NAT configured - where the result of “ipconfig” command will result a public ip) or whether the server is behind a NAT device (NAT configured - where the result of “ipconfig” command will result a local ip). Select the appropriate option and click “Next”.
- You will now need to enter your Static Public IP Address, type it in and click “Next”. Furthermore check that the installation has detected the correct default network card.
- Enter your Server Administrator Email Address that will receive notifications. Click “Next”.
- Specify the FQDN of the machine on which you will be installing 3CX Phone System:
- Single FQDN, for example: “pbx.interobit.com”. The FQDN must resolve on your LAN to the machine on which 3CX Phone System is installed, and from the internet it must resolve to your Public IP. If the domain is not dedicated to the PBX and subdomains are used for other services, such as www.interobit.com, then you will need to use Split DNS on your router/DNS Server. Alternatively you can dedicate a cheap domain to your PBX. More information on how to Create FQDN using Split DNS.
- External FQDN and Local FQDN, for example pbx.interobit.com & pbx.interobit.local. If you do not want to dedicate a domain or use Split DNS, you can select to use a separate external /local FQDN. The external FQDN will be used for devices connecting from outside the LAN. Not recommended, because this complicates provisioning and slows connecting of the clients (as it can not rely on DNS but instead has to check both URLS). If you do not have the ability to create a local FQDN for the LAN , then you can enter the IP Address in the local FQDN field.
- No FQDN - If you do not want to connect to the PBX from outside the LAN, you can specify a local IP. IP phones or clients can not be used outside the LAN. Abyss must be used as the web server.
- Fill in the details of your SMTP server that will be used to send out email notifications. Click “Next”.
- Now specify the Management Console username and password. Make sure to use a strong password to prevent unauthorised access to your PBX. Usernames and passwords are both case sensitive. Click “Next”.
- 3CX Phone System requires a web server, “Microsoft IIS” or a bundled web server “Abyss”.
- If installing on a Server OS then IIS is the best solution.
- If you checked the option “I do not have an FQDN”, Abyss will be automatically selected.
- Abyss will be automatically selected if 3CX is installed on a client desktop OS (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10).
- If ports 80 or 443 are already in use by another service on the same host, then you must select Abyss because you can configure different ports for HTTP and HTTPS. The IIS option in 3CX does not allow you to edit web ports and are hardcoded to 80 and 443.
- If Abyss is selected, you will have the ability to change the http and https ports that the web server will listen on. Accept the defaults (http: 5000, https: 5001) or type in your own.
- If you have an SSL Certificate for the FQDN or domain that you entered, select “Import an SSL Certificate”. Otherwise you can choose the option to generate a self-signed certificate.
- The above image shows the Import Trusted SSL Certificate. Here you should import a “pfx” file and enter the certificate password in the Password field. If in Step 15 you chose “I do not have an SSL Certificate - generate one for me”, you will be asked for a company name and a certificate password so the certificate can be generated on the fly.
- Click “Install” to start the installation of 3CX Phone System. Setup will now copy all files and install the necessary Windows services.
Running the 3CX Phone System Configuration Wizard
The 3CX Phone System configuration wizard will walk you through a number of essential tasks that you need to do in order to get your system up and running.
- After installation is complete, double click the 3CX Management Console icon from your desktop.
- Enter the username and password that you specified during setup, select the language you would like to use and click the “Login” button. Note that the username and password are both case sensitive. The "Configuration Wizard" will be displayed which will walk you through the initial configuration step by step.
- Choose the number of digits that extension numbers should have. This cannot be altered later. Click “Next”.
- Select your country and time zone settings and click “Next”.
- Configure the Operator Extension by entering first name, last name and email address. This is the default destination for inbound calls. Confirm that the VoiceMail Extension number is appropriate for your installation and click “Next”.
- Specify the countries or regions to which calls can be made. Calls to countries which are not selected will be blocked. This feature reduces the risk of VoIP toll fraud. Select the countries you would like to allow and click “Finish”.
You have now completed the initial configuration of 3CX Phone System. You will be redirected to the quick 3CX Phone System Management Console. The Quick Start page will show you the next steps you will need to take.
Upgrading From a Previous Version of 3CX Phone System
If you are running an old version of 3CX Phone System (9, 10) you must upgrade to v11 SP 4a, and then to v12 SP 6.1 before following this upgrade procedure. If you are using 3CX Phone System v12 SP 6.1 or v12.5 you can go to v14 directly.
If upgrading from 12.5 ask your users to upgrade their 3CXPhone clients to the latest version to ensure in place updating to v14. See our guides with instructions for installing and upgrading 3CXPhone Clients for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac.
Step 1: Backup your configuration & Uninstall the old version
- Make a backup of your current configuration using the 3CX Backup and restore tool.
- Tick the options to include in your backup, then choose where to save your backup. Warning: Do not choose to store the backup inside any of the 3CX Phone System installation folders as these folders are removed during the uninstall process.
- Uninstall the current version from the Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features.
Step 2: Install 3CX Phone System v14
- Download 3CX Phone System Version 14
- Proceed with the installation as documented above.
- Complete the 3CX Configuration Wizard.
Step 3: Restore your configuration
- Go to the 3CX Management Console
- Go to the “Backup and Restore” node. Click on the “Location” button. Select the location where your backups are stored (Local Disk or FTP) and configure the “Select folder path” to the folder where your backup is located. Press OK. After this you should see the backup from the location together with the backup details and size.
- Select the backup you want to restore and click “Restore” button from the toolbar.
- The management console will log out and the restore process will start. When the restore is complete, an email will be sent to the Administrator email configured during the setup. This means that the restore completed, was successful and you can login to the 3CX Management console.
Activating your License
Without a license, 3CX Phone System will work for up to 2 simultaneous calls. If you require more, then you will need to activate a license. There are two ways to access the activation page in order to activate a license, you can either click on the “Activate License” link in the Quick Start page or directly from the “Settings” > “Activate License” node, from within your 3CX Management Console.
Enter your License Key, Company, Contact Name, E-mail, Telephone, Country and the name of your Reseller (The company who you bought 3CX from) and click on “Activate” to activate your license.
- This information will be sent to our license key server to activate your license key.
- To be entitled to your first year of free upgrade insurance, your details must be correct. These details are reviewed by 3CX and if they are not correct the upgrade insurance will not be activated.
If you license your 3CX Phone System and then reinstall on a new machine, change hardware, or the local network topology changes (for example the local MAC address changes), you will need to re-activate your licenses.
Note: Packets between the 3CX Phone System server and erp.3cx.com should not be filtered or inspected. If you run DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), license key activations will be rejected.
System Prompts Language
3CX Phone System ships with a US English prompt set by default. Prompts are recorded voice files that are played by the system to callers and users of the system. For example, when a user picks up their voice mail, the system prompts will instruct the user what buttons to press in order to hear or delete voice messages. To change the system prompts to a different language:
- Go to “Updates” > “System prompt sets” node, select the prompt set you wish to use and click on “Download Selected”. The prompt set will be downloaded to your machine.
Note: Download only the prompt set that you need.
- Go to “Settings” > “System prompts” > “Manage Prompt sets” at the top of the screen.
- Select the prompt set that you have downloaded and click on “Set As Current Prompt Set”. The system will now use this new prompt set.
- See our guides with instructions for installing and upgrading 3CXPhone Clients for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac.
- Find instructions here on installing 3CX Phone System as a Virtual PBX Server.
- See the Hyper-V Page for the specific settings for running 3CX Phone System on Hyper V.
- Check Ports used by 3CX Phone System for the list of ports that must always be available.
- The Firewall & Router Configuration Guide provides details on which ports to open.
- Recommended Hardware Specifications for 3CX Phone System.
- See our guide on how to use the Backup & Restore feature within the 3CX Management Console.