babyTEL’s success in Technology Services is a direct result of its commitment to providing top of the line customer support. Read what some of our customers have said about us.
Our support section will guide you through the process of setting up and using babyTEL Services.
Choose a service below to get answers to common questions:
CoveragebabyTEL provides local and toll-free numbers in Canada, the USA and other International locations.
Please check on our Coverage page for more information.
Can I Keep My Number?Want to keep your telephone number and enjoy the great features and savings of babyTEL? Then Local Number Portability (LNP) is for you! It’s easy and it’s free! You can switch your number to babyTEL as long as we offer LNP in your area.
Find out if babyTEL offers LNP service in your area on the Keep Your Number page
Switching My Number to babyTEL
How do I switch my number to babyTEL?
Simply indicate your wish to keep your number during sign up or when adding a new number. You will be asked to specify the number. It’s that easy! We will ask you to fill out a Letter of Authorization and send it back to us (by fax or mail), along with proof or ownership, which can be a copy of your most recent telephone bill showing your number, name and address. That’s all you need to do, we will take care of the rest!
Note that if you have a DSL Internet connection, which depends on your telephone line, you need to contact your telecom provider and ask to unbundle your telephone number from your DSL telephone line before switching to babyTEL.
How do I unbundle my telephone line from my Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)?
If you want to port your number but your Internet connection depends on your telephone line, you need to contact your telecom provider and request an unbundled DSL or ‘dry/naked’ loop, without cancelling your existing telephone line. Your provider will assign a new telephone number to your DSL connection, leaving your existing telephone number on a standalone line. Your telephone number is now ready to be switched to babyTEL!
How long will it take?
Transferring your telephone number will take a minimum of 5 business days from the date you start the transfer process by completing and submit the Letter of Authorization (LoA) and attachments.
Note that transferring your telephone number to babyTEL means a disconnection of that telephone number and account with your present telephone company and reconnection to the babyTEL network. Timing ultimately depends on how fast your former telephone company can process babyTEL’s request to port your telephone number. In practice we have seen delays of 3 weeks or more especially if the request form has not been properly filled or a valid proof or ownership was not provided initially.
Can I use babyTEL before the number is ported?
Yes! Simply activate your babyTEL account to begin using your new babyTEL line. You will be able to use your new babyTEL line to make calls to anywhere and receive calls from other babyTEL users even though number portability is still in progress. Incoming calls from non-babyTEL users will continue to ring your existing service provider line until the port to babyTEL is completed. Incoming calls from other babyTEL users will ring your new babyTEL line. Please note that billing for the first month of service starts once you complete the activation of your account.
Can a portability request be rejected?
No! If your current telephone number is still active (don’t cancel your service) and if your payments are up to date with your current telephone provider, your request will be processed.
- Getting Started
About VoIP and babyTEL
What is VoIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the transmission of voice traffic over an IP-based network such as the Internet. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the signalling protocol widely used as a VoIP standard for creating and controlling communication sessions.
A VoIP-enabled device can make or receive calls using SIP by connecting to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) such as babyTEL. VoIP calls to and from telephone numbers on the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) including Mobile numbers are possible by connecting through an ITSP.
What is a VoIP Service?
A VoIP Service is a telephone service that allows subscribers to use a high-speed Internet connection to carry telephone conversations. A company that offers VoIP services is typically referred to as Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP).
What is babyTEL?
babyTEL is an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) offering fully-featured telephone services for Home and Business users. Our plans come with many useful features such as Caller ID, Call forwarding and our advanced Unified Messaging service, which allows you to retrieve your voicemail by telephone or from your email Inbox.
What’s with the name babyTEL?
One story goes like this: in 1984, AT&T Corp. was split into Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) as part of a settlement related to a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust suite. The RBOCs became known as the “Baby Bells”, which sounds like babyTEL!
Actually, with babyTEL being such a memorable name, we could not resist adopting it!
Where is babyTEL available?
The babyTEL service is available across North America and in many international locations, giving you a wide choice of places where you can get a new telephone number or keep your existing telephone number by switching it to babyTEL. See our Coverage pages for more details.
Are there benefits exclusive to VoIP?
Yes. With babyTEL you get many great benefits that are not possible with a traditional telephone service. Here are just some examples of these benefits:
You can have multiple virtual numbers that all ring your telephone, so callers in far away places can make a local call to reach you.
Home users can connect multiple telephones on the same account and get the equivalent of two telephone lines – useful when you are on the phone and someone else at home wants to make a phone call!
Similarly a business can connect multiple locations to the same account and centralize its communications infrastructure to gain savings and usage efficiency.
If you travel with a laptop and connect through WiFi hotspots you can get ROAMbaby Desktop on your laptop or your mobile smartphone.
You also get great cost savings that we know you will like! For example, all calls between babyTEL subscribers are FREE anywhere in the world.
Subscribing and Order Tracking
How do I subscribe to babyTEL services?
To subscribe please visit the Plan page of the service you are interested in, click the “order now” button next to the Plan of your choice and follow the instructions to complete the subscription process. babyTEL will send you an email confirmation with instructions on how to activate your account.
How can I track my order?
First contact us by phone or email to obtain your tracking information. We will provide you with an Item Number or a Reference Number. Then go to www.canadapost.ca and click on “Track a Package” from the menu. Enter the requested information and click on “Track”.
My package arrived damaged. What should I do?
Contact us as soon as you receive your package to report the extent of the damage. If the equipment is still functional you can proceed with the installation. If not, babyTEL will issue you a Return Authorization Number (RMA) to return the damaged equipment and ship you a new one.
Can I change a shipping address once I’ve placed an order?
Yes, if your request arrives before babyTEL has shipped the package to you. Contact us in writing with the new coordinates. Be sure to indicate in your email: Your Account Number, the previous address you gave babyTEL and the new complete shipping address.
Setup and Installation
Will the babyTEL service work with my network setup?
Yes. Simply configure your SIP compatible equipment to connect to the babyTEL network using the SIP parameters we provide. For full and proper functioning of the babyTEL service and all other features, your equipment should be set up according to the detailed instructions provided by the manufacturer in their configuration guide.
Do I need a special Internet connection?
Depending on your Internet usage, it may be necessary to use a separate Internet connection for your babyTEL telephone service. At least 32Kbps in bandwidth is needed for each line used for voice only. 90Kbps must be available for each line that will be used for conventional fax calls (fax machine to fax machine) and data transmission (financial transaction terminals, alarm systems, modems). The reliability of data and DTMF transmission is totally dependent on the consistent quality of your Internet connection.
To use a connection shared with data traffic, you and your Internet service provider must have compatible routers that will prioritize voice packets in both directions.
What happens if Internet or power goes down?
You can receive your calls even if your Internet service is interrupted. You can specify any telephone number or cell phone where we will forward your calls if your IP device stops communicating with our network due to a problem at your end such as a power failure, equipment malfunction or Internet disruption.
Can my SIP device connect to babyTEL from behind my firewall?
Yes. However, for some firewalls you may need to make a minor adjustment to avoid a rare situation where incoming calls can be blocked by your firewall. If unsure of how to make the recommended changes below, refer to the firewall help or contact your firewall provider for assistance.
Consistent NAT: Firewalls that do no not use a Consistent NAT can block incoming calls. In this situation the firewall changes the address/port to which babyTEL needs to send the incoming call. If a call arrives at that moment, before babyTEL is notified of the new address/port, then that call will not reach your device. To avoid this, change your firewall setting to enable Consistent NAT.
SIP-aware firewalls: SIP-aware firewalls can prevent calls from reaching your device. If this is the situation, disable the SIP awareness option on the firewall.
Strict firewalls: In the case of very strict firewalls, such as the ones allowing traffic only on limited well-known IP ports, your incoming calls may be blocked. Add a rule to allow incoming UDP packets from nat.babytel.ca to be redirected to your device.
Online Account Portal
How do I log in to my online babyTEL account?
Select Login, located in the top right area of the babyTEL website and enter your User ID and Password. The User ID can be your 8-character Account Number, provided to you during sign up, or your 11-digit babyTEL telephone number.
Can I change my password whenever I want?
Yes, you can change your password whenever you want. In fact we recommend changing your password periodically to keep your account secure.
I forgot my password. What should I do?
Select the Forgot your password option and follow the instructions to have your password reset and emailed to you.
How do I change my personal information?
Login to your babyTEL account and select “Personal Info” in the “Account” section. Make changes as required and click Save.
How do I change my preferences?
Login to your babyTEL account and select the appropriate settings menu under the “Service” section.
How do I see the history of calls I made?
Login to your babyTEL account and select “Calls” in the “Account” section.
How can I view my account details?
Login to your babyTEL account and select from the different options in the “Plan”, “Service” or “Account” sections.
911: It’s different
babyTEL’s 911 Service provides you with a reliable means of reaching help in times of emergency. It is important that you understand how it works, how it differs from traditional phone service and what you must do to ensure that it works smoothly – when you need it. It is equally important that you inform all other potential users of your babyTEL line of the differences and limitations.
For a more comprehensive description of this service, please visit our 911:it’s different page.
What payment methods do you accept?
At this time we only accept payment by VISA or MasterCard.
How do I update my credit card information?
It is important to update your credit card information before its expiry date changes or if you decide to use a different card. You can login to your babyTEL account to update this information online.
How can I view my invoices?
Login to your babyTEL account and select “Invoices” in the “Account” section.
How does babyTEL bill minutes?
In addition to competitive rates, babyTEL provides customers with even more ways to save.
- babyTEL does not charge you for calls to another babyTEL user: All calls between babyTEL users, anywhere in the world, are FREE and do not use up minutes included with your plan!
- babyTEL does not charge you for calls under 6 seconds long: If you reach a wrong number simply hang up right away; you avoid paying any charges or using up free minutes included with your plan.
- babyTEL does not round up usage to the nearest minute: Charges are based on 6 second increments after the first 30 seconds, so you do not pay full minute charges for partially used minutes.
How do I contest my usage charges?
If you wish to contest any charges on your account, please contact us in writing. Include your babyTEL telephone number and your mailing address for proper identification. Clearly identify the charge(s) you disagree with, including the date and time, destination, duration, and cost of the call. State the reason you are contesting the charge(s).
If you have reasons to believe that an unauthorized person is using your account, contact service@babyTEL.net immediately. You will be responsible for all the charges up to the time you report the account theft.
How will I be notified of rate changes?
All rate changes will be posted on the babyTEL website. Please visit the site regularly to stay informed.
Can I merge my multiple babyTEL accounts into one?
Yes. We can combine your multiple accounts under one account for billing purposes. Contact us for more information.
Support, Warranty, Return and Repair
If I need help or have a technical problem, what should I do?
First review the online “Support” and “Documentation” sections. If these do not provide a solution, please contact us for further assistance.
babyTEL provides customer care and technical support for all its customers 24 hours a days, 7 days a week. Live operators are standing by from 8 a.m. to midnight. We can be reached by email or phone. You can also login to your online account portal and select “Request support” in the “Service” section.
Can I get a refund for my babyTEL service?
Yes, within the limitations of the babyTEL money back guarantee.
What is babyTEL’s money back guarantee?
Please see our money back guarantee section of the website.
How do I return my my equipment to babyTEL?
Step 1: Contact us to request a Return Material Authorization (RMA) form. Complete the form and return it to babyTEL. We will then issue an RMA number and send it to you by email.
Step 2: Once you have received your RMA number by email, return the babyBOX along with the cable and A/C adapter in their original packaging to babyTEL. Only complete returns in perfect working order will be eligible for a refund of the activation fee. Ensure that you indicate the RMA number clearly on the front of the package.
Toll-FreeAccess your babyTEL account online to add a Toll-Free Number and give your callers an easier way to reach you.
As always, all calls between babyTEL users, anywhere in the world, are FREE! That means you will not be charged whenever a babyTEL user calls your toll-free number.
Already have a toll-free number but want the savings and features that come with babyTEL? No problem! Let us know and we’ll switch your toll-free number to babyTEL at no charge.
Rates of Toll-Free numbers used with a babyTEL voice plan:
Number type Setup fee Monthly fee Minutes included Excess minutes USA/Canada1 $10.00 $5.00 125 2.9 ¢ USA only2 $10.00 $5.00 125 2.9 ¢
Rates of Toll-Free numbers used with a FAX plan:
Number type Setup fee Monthly fee Minutes included Excess minutes USA/Canada1 $10.00 $5.00 100 3.5 ¢ USA only2 $10.00 $5.00 100 3.5 ¢
1. USA/Canada numbers can only be called from Canada or USA unless the caller is a babyTEL user.
2. USA-only numbers can only be called from the USA unless the caller is a babyTEL user.
Virtual NumbersAccess your babyTEL account online to add a virtual number and get a virtual presence in a new location where you can receive calls.
Rates of virtual numbers:
Number type Setup fee Monthly fee Residential Number $ 9.95 $ 4.95 Business Number in US $ 10.00 $ 2.00 Business Number in Canada $ 10.00 $ 3.00
Directory Assistance 411Dial 411 to access business, residential and government listings in Canada and the USA.
You can make up to three enquiries during a single call!
The cost is only $4.00 per call.
Directory 411 ListingbabyTEL can offer number listing in the White Pages only by customer request. If you would like to list your babyTEL number in the White pages, please email us at email@example.com. Note that additional fees may apply for this service.
For listing in the Yellow Pages, please contact the Yellow Pages directly.
- Other Topics
Travelling with babyTEL
What happens if I make a call from a location in a different time zone?
The time shown in the call log will be displayed in the time zone you specified in your profile. For example if your time zone is Eastern Standard Time and you place a call from your babyBOX telephone at 20h00 from a city on the west coast, the call log will show 23h00 EST.
Can I connect my home phone adapter to telephones in another country?
Yes, as long as they are equipped with an RJ-45 jack (typical North American phone jack) or an RJ-45 adapter. You may also need a power plug adapter.
Can I use ROAMbaby Desktop or ROAMbaby app from anywhere in the world?
Yes, as long as you can connect to high-speed Internet.
Can I receive calls on ROAMbaby Desktop or ROAMbaby app when traveling?
Yes. Your babyTEL number follows you everywhere you go in the world.
Voicemail from babyTELSee the babyTEL Telephone User Manual for full details.
How do I access my telephone mailbox?
To access your mailbox from using your babyTEL line simply dial *98. The system will prompt you to enter your passcode. If calling from a different line, dial your babyTEL telephone number and when the greeting starts to play, press *. You will then be prompted to enter your passcode.
How does Voice-to-Email work?
With this option every message that is deposited in your telephone mailbox is emailed to your email address. Your voice messages arrive at your PC as standard emails with audio file attachments. You can then listen to your messages on your computer. Just like any email, you can permanently save, organize, or delete these messages from your computer.
Note that when voice-to-email is enabled, your messages will be kept in your telephone mailbox for three days, during which time you can still call your mailbox and listen to them over the phone if needed.
To enable or disable voice-to-email, login to your babyTEL account and select “Messaging Parameters” in the “Services” section.
What do I need to listen to my voice messages on my computer?
You need three things:
- Enable the Voice-to-Email service. This can be done from your online babyTEL account.
- A sound-equipped computer, i.e. with a sound card, speakers, etc.
- Software that can play wav files, e.g. Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, etc. Note that most players can be downloaded from their respective websites for free.
How many messages can my mailbox hold?
Your mailbox can hold 300 messages. This is the total of New and Saved messages.
How long is a message kept in my mailbox?
Messages are kept for 30 days. Any message that has not been saved in 30 days will be automatically deleted. You extend the life of a message by 30 days each time you save it.
What determines the date and time stamp on the messages in my mailbox?
The date and time affixed to your messages indicate when they were deposited in your mailbox or last saved by you, in the time zone specified in your babyTEL account.
What is the maximum duration of a message that can be left by a caller?
A caller can leave a message up to five minutes (300 seconds) in length.
What is the maximum duration of my personal greeting?
You can record a greeting up to 15 seconds in length.
What is the maximum duration of my spoken name recording?
Your spoken name recording can be up to 5 seconds in length.
Ensuring Quality and ReliabilitybabyTEL has implemented extensive measures to ensure the reliability and quality of its services. Read our technical summary below for more details.
Technical summary on babyTEL reliability and quality measures
- Redundancy and Fail Over: babyTEL service equipment is deployed in a modular infrastructure designed for high-availability with core network elements deployed in redundant, scalable configurations. Fail over strategies are in place for cases when network devices malfunction or communication links are broken.
- Intelligent Outbound Routing: Typically outbound call traffic is routed through the Least Costly Route (LCR). When an outbound route fails babyTEL will automatically avoid routing outbound calls on that route. Utilizing outbound routes from at least four (4) different carriers, babyTEL is in a position to ensure near perfect outbound availability.
- Strict Security Processes: Security protocols are used to protect against unauthorized access, while Session Border Control (SBC) devices and use of private addressing for core VoIP elements protect against malicious attacks.
- Mission-Critical Hosting Facilities: babyTEL service equipment is hosted at secure data centers specifically designed for mission critical telecommunication applications.
- Optimized Internet Backbone Connectivity: babyTEL procures Internet connectivity from providers with state of the art IP backbone networks optimized to carry traffic over fast and reliable optical fiber technology. These networks are counted among the primary backbones that comprise the Internet.
- Premier Telco Carrier Peering: babyTEL connects to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by peering with premier national and international Telco carriers.
- Standards-Based Solution: The babyTEL solution was developed around a reliable, scalable communication infrastructure based on the industry standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
- Around-the-Clock Monitoring: Around-the-clock Network Operations Center (NOC) staff continuously monitors performance of all service equipment to ensure rapid problem detection and resolution.
- Customer Service Focus: The babyTEL NOC and Customer Helpdesk are staffed by experienced engineers and 24/7 service agents. Our staff is highly trained, competent and dedicated to quality service and customer satisfaction.
In addition to doing everything possible to maintain reliability and quality, we’ve put together some customer guidelines to help our customers understand how they can play a role in safeguarding the quality and reliability of their network.
Customer guidelines for ensuring VoIP quality and reliability
How can you build redundancy into the solution?
The most common cause of VoIP service disruption is Internet problems, power failures or device malfunctions. It is important to consider the frequency and likelihood of such outages, the impact they may have and your level of tolerance to them and the costs you are willing to incur to mitigate risk and lessen impact.
For outgoing calls, you can make use of cell phones as backup. If you are a business where telephone service continuity is critical, consider keeping a couple of regular lines as backup.
For incoming calls, there are three types of failures to consider.
Telco Carrier failure: In this case a PSTN carrier is unable to deliver your calls to babyTEL so people who dial your telephone number from the PSTN are unable to reach you but calls from other babyTEL customers still work.
VoIP Provider failure: In this case the VoIP service provider is unable to process your calls.
Customer failure: In this case babyTEL is unable to deliver a call to the customer equipment due to equipment failure or Internet failure.
It is virtually impossible to protect against the first two types of incoming call failures. The best way to mitigate the risk of these types of failures is to choose a reliable provider carefully. babyTEL is such a provider.
To guard against service access and voice quality problems related to Internet failure, ensure a robust high-availability Internet connectivity solution with sufficient bandwidth is in place. Also be sure to configure a ‘Service Continuity Number’ via your babyTEL online portal. This is a feature where if we are unable to send an incoming call to your device, we will redirect it to the number you specified. That number can be on the PSTN or mobile network. Home and small business users may use a cell phone for this. If a business with multiple office locations redirecting calls to another office may be an option.
- Bandwidth Requirements
- Calculate required bandwidth (see www.bandcalc.com). Rule of thumb is that in each direction for each line you need 32kbps for G.729a and 80kbps for G.711u. Both codecs are supported by babyTEL across the network.
- Pay attention to upload speed. Most ISPs provide lower upload than download speeds.
- Also pay attention to the monthly Internet usage of the DSL/Cable plan.
- If you use a lot of bandwidth for video, file archiving or other applications, having a dedicated Internet link for VoIP or implementing Quality of Service (QoS) on your single data link will greatly decrease the probability of voice quality problems
- Having a robust Internet connection from your premise to babyTEL will also decrease the probability of voice quality problems. Ask your technician to test the path of IP traffic to babyTEL to ensure minimal packet loss and delay.
- Security Considerations
To ensure that your IP PBX is secured from outside intrusion:
- Do not give out your babyTEL account or SIP password.
- Always use long, difficult to guess passwords for your extensions.
- Ask your IP PBX technician to avoid using standard SIP ports if possible and ensure that the IP PBX authorizes SIP requests so it does not divulge your extension numbers to SIP scanners.
Also for safety reasons, plan out your E911 capabilities and test 911 calls to the public safety providers to ensure your address (ANI/ALI) delivery is correct for each location.
When it comes to service continuity and high availability babyTEL has had a very impressive track record.
Our Track Record
babyTEL launched its VoIP service in 2004. Since inception we’ve had our share of outages, some due to issues under our control, others due to different telecom carriers that are outside our control. It is worth noting that no carrier is infallible!
Overall, our service has been stable with incident-free periods lasting months at a time. In recent years we’ve achieved an average monthly up time in excess of 99.95%.
Our worst performance to date was a one month period around October 2010, where certain regions experienced only 98.3% availability for inbound calling. The rest of the network maintained above 99.9% availability for inbound and outbound calling during the same period.
This poor performance resulted from a series of problem events that originated at different carriers that we peer with.
Such a sequence of events was not only unprecedented, but statistically highly improbable. But it happened! And while we are sorry about the impact this had on our customers, preventing our peering carrier switches from failing is outside of babyTEL control. We did, however, learn valuable lessons in how to streamline working with our carrier partners to troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly and through follow-up meetings with them we established new processes that improve preparedness and help us deal more promptly with such situations should they occur again.
Avoiding Unwanted Calls
Unsolicited telemarketing calls are an annoyance to everyone. Unfortunately babyTEL (as with all other telephone companies) cannot block these calls because there is no central list of telemarketers to draw from. However, there are several things you can do to reduce their occurrence, or eliminate them altogether.
- Canadian users can register with the CRTC’s DNCL (Do-Not-Call-List) service at www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca. This is a free service.Note: Certain telemarketers are exempted from the DNCL rules, such as:
- Registered charities
- Political parties, riding associations and candidates
- Organizations with whom you have an existing business relationship
- Use babyTEL’s star feature *60 to block calls from the last number (if that number is known).
- Use babyTEL’s star feature *77 to block ALL calls from anonymous (private) numbers.
- Calls from certain social organizations can be anonymous, such as a hospital or a shelter. If you use the *77 feature, a valid call may be blocked.
- Some fraudulent organizations use Caller ID spoofing, which is the act of disguising their caller ID information as something you might trust.
- If you suspect you have been a victim of telephone fraud, contact your local anti-fraud agency immediately. [CANADA] Canadian users can call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, at 1-888-495-8501 or go to www.phonebusters.com. [USA] U.S.A. users can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on-line at: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. They can also file a report with the National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) at 1-800-876-7060.
Safe Practice: At all times, do not give out sensitive information over the phone unless you are certain of the caller’s credentials. When talking to an exempted telemarketer, you may ask that your number be placed on their internal do-not-call list if you do not wish to be contacted. They are obliged to comply.
Securing Your Phone Service
Criminals diligently attempt to penetrate vulnerable unsecured telephony networks and equipment. Compromised equipment can allow hackers to make thousands of phone calls to international destinations. The cost of these fraudulent calls remains the responsibility of the equipment owner.
babyTEL is urging its customers to take certain precautions to ensure the security of their telecommunication equipment is not compromised.
Here are some things to consider:
- Password protect your wireless connection
- Never give out your SIP credentials
- Never use default passwords.
- Regularly review your call patterns and call volumes
- Block international calls from your babyTEL account if not required
- Block long distance calls from your babyTEL account if not required
- Your babyTEL usage policy will prevent new calls once the usage policy limits are reached. You can request your babyTEL usage policy to be adjusted to a reasonable level. Note that the usage policy does not affect existing calls, only new calls are blocked.
- Never disclose your SIP passcodes in emails or forums.
Useful web links:
- VoIP Security Alliance: http://voipsa.org
- VoIP Security tools: http://code.google.com/p/sipvicious/w/list
- Blogs: http://blog.sipvicious.org
Other considerations specific to SIP Trunking customers
- Get a Firewall
- Password protect your wireless connection
- Harden your perimeter
- Never provide users with SIP credentials
- Never use default passwords
- Regularly review your call patterns and call volumes
- Implement real-time user credit limits
- Review Automated Attendant and voicemail outbound dialing capabilities
- Remove routing to high-risk destinations
Hardening Your Phone System (IP-PBX) Against Intruders
- Auto Route Selection: Configure Auto Route Selection (ARS) to block international, toll charge and 900 numbers from being called. The best practice is to block any user who doesn’t need to call these numbers to prevent anyone, including after hours staff or cleaners, from making charged calls.
- Administrative Password: Ensure the system’s administrative password is set, and change it regularly to prevent the possibility of abuse.
- Voicemail Passwords: Ensure that all voice mailboxes are configured with 8-digit passwords to prevent unauthorized users from changing greetings or accessing messages.
- Unused Extensions: If an extension is not in use, disable it.
- Common Area Phones: Remove line appearance keys from phones in common areas, and restrict outbound calling on them. Courtesy phones are the greatest risk, along with lunchroom phones and phones in areas the public can access.
- Call Back/Call Bridge Passwords: Configure 8-digit passwords on any enabled call back/call bridge account, and use ARS to block calls with charges.
- Call Detail Record Logging: Enable CDR to keep records of all calls, including calls that were attempted but blocked by ARS. The records show call times and extensions used.
- Make sure your IP-PBX rejects unauthorized requests safely: When an INVITE or REGISTER is to be rejected for any reason, always reject with an invalid password/hash response instead of letting the requester know whether there was a matching user or peer for their request. On Asterisk this can be accomplished with the configuration setting ‘alwaysauthreject=yes’.