Recommended *WRT router to run Asterisk?

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Asterisk Users 16 Comments


For users who 1) don’t have a QoS-capable ADSL router and 2) would
like to run Asterisk with a couple of SIP trunks, I was wondering what
hardware is recommend to run any of the main open-source *WRT projects
to which Asterisk has been ported:


Thank you.

16 thoughts on - Recommended *WRT router to run Asterisk?

  • Are you saying ADSL as in a generic term for broadband router or do
    you really mean that the router also acts as a DSL transceiver?

    Most of the open source firmware projects do not support DSL and rely
    on separate hardware to do the DSL, just like they rely on separate
    hardware for cable modem internet.


  • On Tue, 16 Nov 2010 09:42:33 -0500, Mark Deneen

    Sorry about that. Ideally, the unit should be both an ADSL modem +
    router, but apparently, most of them are just routers so that the user
    would have to turn their ADSL router into a modem/bridge and connect
    the *WRT-moded router.

    If someone’s been running Asterisk on that kind of hardware for SOHO
    use, what would you recommend? Apparently, those are hardware that
    come up often in forums:

  • I never saw the point of spending $100 for something that is so limited.
    You can spend a little more and get something like an ALIX board that
    is so much more capable and still fanless/low power.

    The 2d3/2d13 are very nice for the price.

    If you really want to run on a small router like this, the Netgear
    WNR3500 is a decent device and can be found for around $90.


  • I’m running Asterisk 1.4 on a WRT54GS that I picked up off ebay for < $50.
    The WRT54GL doesn’t have quite enough memory so I went with the GS model.
    I’m running OpenWRT on it. I was mostly experimenting with it but ended up
    installing it at my parents’ house as a kind of “batphone” solution. I also
    hung a couple of SIP phones off of it giving them a couple of different
    extensions, one of which works across a WIFI connection. Their WRT54GS
    connects to my Asterisk 1.8.0 machine using IAX. Both endpoints are behind
    NAT. Works pretty well for me.

  • I have a similar setup in an office but sip directly back to the main
    server – not sure what the value add to the local asterisk is, except
    “intercom” calls would not have to leave the lan, but isn’t that the
    purpose of reinvite ?

  • When I first set it up I was using only SIP connections without an Asterisk
    box on the remote end, just like you mentioned. I had numerous NAT
    problems, which I now believe were caused by a really lousy router on the
    far end. Since I’m behind NAT on both ends, I wanted to switch to IAX to
    see if that would help. It did and it was a fun learning experience to get
    Asterisk going on such a limited piece of hardware. Now it just works with
    almost no maintenance.

  • Holy crap! I just found these on CircuitCity’s web site for $29… I
    bought three to play with 🙂 Is anyone running on a Dockstar in
    production? For a small SIP only office this may just be ideal!


  • I use the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH with openwrt here. They are great for
    remote locations with a few sets — you can have them hook up to the
    central server over an openvpn tunnel.

    I have ~20 sets hooked up to one with no issues at all. That being
    said, we probably only hit 7 or 8 concurrent calls at any point during
    the day. Even so, the resources on the router are not close to

    If you do try it, make sure that you do not have the iptables nat
    helper module installed. It’s not helping you and causes problems
    when the router is the sip server and not hosting a sip client.


  • Jeff LaCoursiere wrote:
    Not really “in production” But for a SIP/IAX Asterisk box, it works!
    there is a Dockstar hacking site that “de-nuts” the boot code and allows
    booting from a 1-2 gig flash ( I have not had good luck with 4 and 8 gig
    flash, but it could be the flash sticks. Loading Debian squeeze onto the
    flash, configure Debian not to use the swap, then wget and compile
    Asterisk. the make file needs to be modified to specify arm5 rather than
    the longer name configure generates. adding some additional packages to
    the Debian load will be needed. Lenny also works. the Dockstar only has
    128M of ram. the more expensive Sheeva I believe has more, but for a
    small office or home it just sits there and works! remember to noload
    all the unwanted modules as well.
    I am no Linux eggspurt, but I got this working, with the help of Google,
    in a few hours.

    Sometimes smaller is better, or at least it can be fun!

    John Novack

  • On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 9:26 AM, Darrick Hartman

    If you shop around / wait for deals, you can find the Buffalo for
    ~$70. I’m sure that the ALIX rigs are low power, just like most
    routers. However, most routers also come with a 4 port switch + plus
    one WAN interface. The ALIX boards get you at most 3 independent
    interfaces, but I don’t believe that they can act as a switch.

    A 400 MHz MIPS is fairly close to a 500 MHz Geode. However, you can’t
    get the asterisk g729 module for mips. I can’t say I would want to
    transcode on the ALIX system, though.

    For a small setup or for a setup at home, it’s really not a bad deal.
    Especially if you want something to do NAT for you.


  • Interestingly for commercial units, I’ve had the opposite experience –
    I’ve found that my (business) customers just will not pay for something
    tiny that’s capable of supporting 30 phones… I did have a look at the
    GuruPlug stuff recently, but it’s just not going to be sensible for me to
    put any effort into it as people won’t buy it. Even my smallest box at
    150mm square is verging on the unbelievable for some people – especially
    those used to a PBX taking up a whole rack, or having 2 or more large
    units bolted to a wall…

    Still, for home/hobby use these little things are great!


  • Hi,

    No we can not add a DSL modem.But i saw on the net that this works for call
    forward feature on TDM400 FXS card.So i tried it.The data is entering the
    CFIM family in the database which can be seen but only the call is not


  • It seems to me that there’s definitely a break point below which very
    small hardware platforms are really only suitable for hobby or very
    niche applications. I once ran Astlinux on a Gumstix board just to see
    if it was possible. But beyond embedded applications it actually
    creates problems to have such small hardware. OTOH, net-tops like the
    the Fit-PC2i are really very interesting, and servicable in small


  • The problem is people want to find the $50 embedded solution and then
    use it where the $1000 solution is really needed.

    What is nice is when the $50 hardware and the $1000 hardware run exactly
    the same software so other than the drivers for the hardware itself,
    everything else behaves the same way and its easy to move around
    configurations to grow. (I am not talking about asterisk specifically,
    just generally about routers, backup devices, media servers, etc)

  • On Fri, 19 Nov 2010 10:15:40 -0500, jon pounder

    And what’s even better, is when the customer is fine with spending
    $1000 for a box that only costs $50 😉

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I’ll investigate the different
    options listed above.