Asterisk VoIPBuster

VoIPBuster http://www.voipbuster.com/en/index.html offers free-of-charge calls to 40 countries. (But note that the same company that provides this service, (is now shown as Betamax GmbH of Cologne, Germany instead of Finarea SA ), now offers another service called Sipdiscount with a larger number of free destinations, at least for the time being; and an even larger number is offered by yet another service, VoipStunt).

Beyond the free 1 mintute limited calls, the fees for these services are now MINIMUM 10 EUR + VAT per 120 day period. A good deal for many, but not quite free. Rather it is unlimited calling for this period to some "free" locations.

For the most updated list of free destinations, please refer to Finarea SA's page, where the list includes also other sibling services.

Finarea SA are known to revise the list of free countries on their services, it is common for a popular country to be removed from one service and become available on another service, with their usual system where you must top-up with a certain minimum amount in order to make free calls lasting longer than a minute. If you join near the end of a scheme, this can be annoying, but you can of course still continue calling until your initial topup is used.

VoIPBuster has a SIP server that can be used as a PSTN Gateway. However, first you have to install and run the VoIPBuster software (Windows only) to get an account.

The list of free countries are constantly changing. You can also try other services run by the same company, Finarea SA of Switzerland , such as NetAppel, voipcheap, sipdiscount. However, it appears to be impossible to use Netappel with standard IAX or SIP client (including Asterisk), at least using the same username and password registered through the Windows client (which, instead, works for VoipBuster). Has anybody succeeded in doing that? if so. please write your comments in the NetAppel page.

Call charges appear to start at EUR 0.01 per minute, but are subject to sales tax (VAT). The VAT doesn't seem to be charged on the call itself but when you buy your credit, for example, if you buy 10€ of credit you are charged 10+16%=11.60€.

The sudden disappearance of a country from the free list may mean unexpected charges that deplete your account. The following "wwwatchdog" script, run by a cron job, may be used to alert a user by e-mail about changes in Voipbusters's "rates" page:

  1. !/bin/sh
# Copyright (C) Enzo Michelangeli 2005 -- hereby put in the public domain

WWWATCHDOG_DIR='/tmp/wwwatchdog'

RECIPIENTS="$1"
NICK="$2"
MONITORED_PAGE="$3"

OLDIMAGE="$WWWATCHDOG_DIR/$NICK"
NEWIMAGE="$OLDIMAGE.new"
DIFF="$OLDIMAGE.diff"

mkdir -p "$WWWATCHDOG_DIR"
lynx -dump "$MONITORED_PAGE" >"$NEWIMAGE"
if [ -e "$OLDIMAGE" -a -e "$NEWIMAGE" ]; then
diff -u "$OLDIMAGE" "$NEWIMAGE" >"$DIFF"
if [ -s "$DIFF" ]; then
( echo "$MONITORED_PAGE has changed! Differences:"
echo
cat "$DIFF"
) | mail -s \
"Detected change in page \"$NICK\" at $MONITORED_PAGE" \
$RECIPIENTS
fi
fi
mv "$NEWIMAGE" "$OLDIMAGE"
rm -f "$DIFF"


(Don't forget to chmod it "+x").
To install it, just create in crontab a line like:

  1. Every hour scan for changes on Voipbuster's rates
0 * * * * /home/myusername/wwwatchdog 'me@somewhere.com' 'vbrates' 'http://www.voipbuster.com/en/rates.html'


This second version of wwwatchdog detects ONLY modifications that indicate a change from "free" to "paid" destinations, and can avoid a lot of unnecessary mails triggered by cosmetic changes (especially frequent with SIP Discount's rates page):

  1. !/bin/sh
# Copyright (C) Enzo Michelangeli 2006 -- hereby put in the public domain

WWWATCHDOG_DIR='/tmp/wwwatchdog'

RECIPIENTS="$1"
NICK="$2"
MONITORED_PAGE="$3"

OLDIMAGE="$WWWATCHDOG_DIR/$NICK"
NEWIMAGE="$OLDIMAGE.new"
DIFF="$OLDIMAGE.diff"

mkdir -p "$WWWATCHDOG_DIR"
  1. Note: use "links": "lynx" is untested in this context
links -dump "$MONITORED_PAGE" >"$NEWIMAGE"
if [ -e "$OLDIMAGE" -a -e "$NEWIMAGE" ]; then
diff -y -W 160 --suppress-common-lines "$OLDIMAGE" "$NEWIMAGE" \
| egrep ' free .*[0-9]|[0-9].* free ' \
| sed -e 's/[|][^a-z]*/|-->/;s/$/|/' | tr '|' '\n' >"$DIFF"
if [ -s "$DIFF" ]; then
( echo "$MONITORED_PAGE has changed! Differences:"
echo
cat "$DIFF"
) | mail -s \
"Detected change in page \"$NICK\" at $MONITORED_PAGE" \
$RECIPIENTS
fi
fi
mv "$NEWIMAGE" "$OLDIMAGE"
rm -f "$DIFF"


The "trial" free-of-charge-calls are limited to 1 minute each. If you transfer at least EUR 10.00+VAT via Visa/MasterCard, PayPal or Pay-by-Phone (at least these are the options in Germany) you can do free-of-charge-calls for 120 days. After this period, you must deposit EUR 10.00+VAT for an additional 120 days.(update 10mar06)

With your username and password you make an entry to your sipconf:

[voipbuster]
type=peer
host=sip1.voipbuster.com
username=YOURUSERNAME
fromuser=YOURUSERNAME
secret=YOURPASSWORD


You can now use
Dial(SIP/NUMBERTOCALL@voipbuster)

in your extensions.conf dialplan.

If you have difficulty calling, it may help to have
register => YOURUSERNAME:YOURPASSWORD@sip1.voipbuster.com

in your sip.conf.

Currently, G711alaw, G723, G726 and G729 are now supported; iLBC and GSM should be added soon.
Update 10MAR06
If you live in the US, it might help to add a qualify=yes statement to the above and regularely check your ping time since this provider is based in Europe.

  • At the time of writing, "sip.voipbuster.com" and "iax.voipbuster.com" still work (and support more codecs), however they are deprecated and will be removed.

The NumberToCall is always in international format: 00 + country code + area code + local number.

You can see a list of International Land Lines ready for your extensions.conf, though first you should check it and test it out.

VoIPBuster http://www.voipbuster.com/en/index.html offers free-of-charge calls to 40 countries. (But note that the same company that provides this service, (is now shown as Betamax GmbH of Cologne, Germany instead of Finarea SA ), now offers another service called Sipdiscount with a larger number of free destinations, at least for the time being; and an even larger number is offered by yet another service, VoipStunt).

Beyond the free 1 mintute limited calls, the fees for these services are now MINIMUM 10 EUR + VAT per 120 day period. A good deal for many, but not quite free. Rather it is unlimited calling for this period to some "free" locations.

For the most updated list of free destinations, please refer to Finarea SA's page, where the list includes also other sibling services.

Finarea SA are known to revise the list of free countries on their services, it is common for a popular country to be removed from one service and become available on another service, with their usual system where you must top-up with a certain minimum amount in order to make free calls lasting longer than a minute. If you join near the end of a scheme, this can be annoying, but you can of course still continue calling until your initial topup is used.

VoIPBuster has a SIP server that can be used as a PSTN Gateway. However, first you have to install and run the VoIPBuster software (Windows only) to get an account.

The list of free countries are constantly changing. You can also try other services run by the same company, Finarea SA of Switzerland , such as NetAppel, voipcheap, sipdiscount. However, it appears to be impossible to use Netappel with standard IAX or SIP client (including Asterisk), at least using the same username and password registered through the Windows client (which, instead, works for VoipBuster). Has anybody succeeded in doing that? if so. please write your comments in the NetAppel page.

Call charges appear to start at EUR 0.01 per minute, but are subject to sales tax (VAT). The VAT doesn't seem to be charged on the call itself but when you buy your credit, for example, if you buy 10€ of credit you are charged 10+16%=11.60€.

The sudden disappearance of a country from the free list may mean unexpected charges that deplete your account. The following "wwwatchdog" script, run by a cron job, may be used to alert a user by e-mail about changes in Voipbusters's "rates" page:

  1. !/bin/sh
# Copyright (C) Enzo Michelangeli 2005 -- hereby put in the public domain

WWWATCHDOG_DIR='/tmp/wwwatchdog'

RECIPIENTS="$1"
NICK="$2"
MONITORED_PAGE="$3"

OLDIMAGE="$WWWATCHDOG_DIR/$NICK"
NEWIMAGE="$OLDIMAGE.new"
DIFF="$OLDIMAGE.diff"

mkdir -p "$WWWATCHDOG_DIR"
lynx -dump "$MONITORED_PAGE" >"$NEWIMAGE"
if [ -e "$OLDIMAGE" -a -e "$NEWIMAGE" ]; then
diff -u "$OLDIMAGE" "$NEWIMAGE" >"$DIFF"
if [ -s "$DIFF" ]; then
( echo "$MONITORED_PAGE has changed! Differences:"
echo
cat "$DIFF"
) | mail -s \
"Detected change in page \"$NICK\" at $MONITORED_PAGE" \
$RECIPIENTS
fi
fi
mv "$NEWIMAGE" "$OLDIMAGE"
rm -f "$DIFF"


(Don't forget to chmod it "+x").
To install it, just create in crontab a line like:

  1. Every hour scan for changes on Voipbuster's rates
0 * * * * /home/myusername/wwwatchdog 'me@somewhere.com' 'vbrates' 'http://www.voipbuster.com/en/rates.html'


This second version of wwwatchdog detects ONLY modifications that indicate a change from "free" to "paid" destinations, and can avoid a lot of unnecessary mails triggered by cosmetic changes (especially frequent with SIP Discount's rates page):

  1. !/bin/sh
# Copyright (C) Enzo Michelangeli 2006 -- hereby put in the public domain

WWWATCHDOG_DIR='/tmp/wwwatchdog'

RECIPIENTS="$1"
NICK="$2"
MONITORED_PAGE="$3"

OLDIMAGE="$WWWATCHDOG_DIR/$NICK"
NEWIMAGE="$OLDIMAGE.new"
DIFF="$OLDIMAGE.diff"

mkdir -p "$WWWATCHDOG_DIR"
  1. Note: use "links": "lynx" is untested in this context
links -dump "$MONITORED_PAGE" >"$NEWIMAGE"
if [ -e "$OLDIMAGE" -a -e "$NEWIMAGE" ]; then
diff -y -W 160 --suppress-common-lines "$OLDIMAGE" "$NEWIMAGE" \
| egrep ' free .*[0-9]|[0-9].* free ' \
| sed -e 's/[|][^a-z]*/|-->/;s/$/|/' | tr '|' '\n' >"$DIFF"
if [ -s "$DIFF" ]; then
( echo "$MONITORED_PAGE has changed! Differences:"
echo
cat "$DIFF"
) | mail -s \
"Detected change in page \"$NICK\" at $MONITORED_PAGE" \
$RECIPIENTS
fi
fi
mv "$NEWIMAGE" "$OLDIMAGE"
rm -f "$DIFF"


The "trial" free-of-charge-calls are limited to 1 minute each. If you transfer at least EUR 10.00+VAT via Visa/MasterCard, PayPal or Pay-by-Phone (at least these are the options in Germany) you can do free-of-charge-calls for 120 days. After this period, you must deposit EUR 10.00+VAT for an additional 120 days.(update 10mar06)

With your username and password you make an entry to your sipconf:

[voipbuster]
type=peer
host=sip1.voipbuster.com
username=YOURUSERNAME
fromuser=YOURUSERNAME
secret=YOURPASSWORD


You can now use
Dial(SIP/NUMBERTOCALL@voipbuster)

in your extensions.conf dialplan.

If you have difficulty calling, it may help to have
register => YOURUSERNAME:YOURPASSWORD@sip1.voipbuster.com

in your sip.conf.

Currently, G711alaw, G723, G726 and G729 are now supported; iLBC and GSM should be added soon.
Update 10MAR06
If you live in the US, it might help to add a qualify=yes statement to the above and regularely check your ping time since this provider is based in Europe.

  • At the time of writing, "sip.voipbuster.com" and "iax.voipbuster.com" still work (and support more codecs), however they are deprecated and will be removed.

The NumberToCall is always in international format: 00 + country code + area code + local number.

You can see a list of International Land Lines ready for your extensions.conf, though first you should check it and test it out.

Created by: dieck, Last modification: Sun 05 of Apr, 2009 (19:03 UTC) by andreslucena
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