Suggest hard phone for remote behind NAT?

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by cgallery, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. cgallery

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    I'm testing out 3CX a little bit.

    So far I'm using a GXW-4104 and Aastra 9133i. My 3CX server is located at my office where I have a dynamic IP. I use dyndns.org.

    I had ultimately wanted to be able to use the hard phone on a portable remote basis. For example, when I am working on-site for a couple of days it would be nice to drag a hard phone with me.

    However, it seems like this 9133i phone isn't up to the task. While the manual says you can use a FQDN instead of an IP address for many settings, when I try to use mydomain.dyndns.org for proxy or registrar I get a "no service" from the phone but when I use the actual IP address that mydomain.dyndns.org points to, it works fine.

    Also, no STUN client. I was able to workaround that (for testing) by setting the IP address of my home router in the NAT IP settings. It would be so nice if this also support dyndns.org names (it doesn't) as I would be able to actually use these phones as remote phones pretty nicely.

    The brochure for the 9143i says it supports STUN and is really a 5-series stuff into the 9133i box (I like the 9133i box, it looks nice to me). But I'm hesitant to try one. I looked at the manual online and it doesn't say much about STUN. Hmmm...

    So basically, have you guys found any good phones for remote use behind a NAT to a 3CX server also behind a NAT?

    Is Cisco the best way to go?
     
  2. Fatboy40

    Fatboy40 New Member

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    Well the Cisco SPA525G2 I've bought to test remote extensions works brilliantly over even a weak Wi-Fi connection, however, this is to a 3CX install at the office being published to a static IP.

    I can't comment on whether or not the Cisco SPA's can use an FQDN rather than IP for their proxy settings.
     
  3. cgallery

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    Well thanks for the input, that answers half the equation.

    I'm also going to call Aastra today and ask them about my problem with FQDN's. I wonder if they have any unpublished firmware or other input. I think I read somewhere that someone had a problem inheriting DNS from the router, which prevented the domain lookup on the phones from working. But I'm a little foggy on that, as I've been reading a ton lately and my wires may be crossed.
     
  4. KerryG

    KerryG Active Member

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    Cisco, Yealink, and Grandstream phones work excellent for remote locations.
     
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  5. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    I've used the SPA942 , a number of Linksys and Grandstream ATA's, and even some Mitel sets, behind NAT using STUN and FQDN. I'm wondering if the problem you were encountering (the FQDN issue) had something to do with the set not being able to get to a DNS server.
     
  6. cgallery

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    For now I've shelved the FQDN issue just to see if I could get the phone to function correctly. I still think I'm doing something wrong or that this phone won't do what I want.

    I can configure the phone and boot it up. In connects from my home NAT router to my work NAT router (via dynamic DNS) and I can make calls and receive calls. But if I leave the phone for about 2 minutes, I can no longer receive calls. When I check the home router (where the phone is connected) I can see that the connections from the phone have dwindled to zero (from a high of about six). It seems like once this happens, the 3CX server at work can no longer see the phone.

    I've tried various settings on the phone (session time/registration renewal timer) to keep the connection open, to no avail. There is no setting for "keep alive."

    So I switch to looking at the 3CX server and there is a setting for "keep alives" that I enabled. Didn't help, and I didn't think it would. That is apparently for between 3CX and a voip provider. Also found a time interval to poll endpoints and set that to 30 (default 0) and that didn't help, either.

    I'm really thinking I started with the wrong phone for what I want to accomplish. I think no matter what I'm going to want a phone with a STUN client.

    But I'm so new to this I can't discount that I'm missing something obvious.
     
  7. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    You will want a set with STUN, with out it, you may be able to make calls, but will probably get one way audio and incoming won't work. I've tried it with an HP mobile phone with a SIP client (iPaq 510). No STUN, no audio.

    Once a remote set registers with 3CX, it will only be the router at the remote end that need to "remember" that port 5060 goes to the IP of your VoIP phone. Some routers are better at this than others. This, of course, is if you haven't done any port forwarding at the remote end. If you own and have control over that router, then you can try setting up forwarding. If you are using the set in various locations when travelling, then you don't have that luxury.

    3CX will retain the registration for about a half hour, if it doesn't receive another in that time, it assumes that the set is no longer there.
     
  8. cgallery

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    Okay, thanks for all the help, I think I'm beginning to "get it" now.

    I ordered a Cisco phone on the supported list. I'll give that one a shop and move this Aastra to the shop for testing there, where it will be on the local network.
     
  9. sigma1

    sigma1 Active Member

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    With a little tweaking the AAstra work well as remotes, but the Cisco SPA-5XX series is rather easy. The Grandstream line as good and in my opinion Yealink is a rather cheap phone.
     
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