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Which is Better for VOIP Windows or Linux?

written by: KateG•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/16/2009

If you want to get setup with VOIP, but you are not sure whether Linux of Windows would be the best choice for running it, you have come to the right place.

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    Replacing your traditional phone service with Voip can be a great thing. It will certainly be a very good thing for your wallet. That being said you want to get your Voip onto the best possible set up. Which begs the question, would it be better for you to hook up your voip to a Windows based PC or a machine that is running on Linux? A fierce debate that often seems to be a quagmire,will get some harsh scrutiny today. We will take a look at the case for each side and then come to a decision.

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    The Case for Windows (At Home)

    Choosing Windows for your Voip needs gives you a greater range of choice. There are plenty of Voip, and Voip like tools that have been created to run on a Windows based PC. If you have a Windows based PC then you can go to an electronics store and get everything that you need in one box. No fuss and no stress over having to find everything and buy the hardware separately. You can also be assured that the install will be pretty simple since the wizard will take over.

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    Some VOIP Options for Windows

    Some of your VOIP options for your Widows system include

    • AOL Instant Messenger
    • Brosix
    • Cisco IP Communicator
    • Gizmo5
    • Google Talk
    • Jabbin
    • MindSpring (2000 and XP Only)
    • Minisip
    • Revation Communicator
    • Yahoo! Messenger
    • Skype
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    The Case for Linux (At Home)

    The case for Linux is the case for control. If you have Linux then you have access to the command line. You can also get up close and personal with your software. Making alterations to the software is the king of control. You will be able to tweak things (if you have the skill). The case for Linux is also the case for cost control. Linux operating systems are usually free, and so is their software. That means that with the right choices you can get up and running at hardware costs only. In the end it may be possible to get your Linux based Voip at zero dollars a month. After all, you already pay for your Internet connection.

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    Some VOIP Options for Linux

    If you are looking for VOIP services for Linux, then try these software choices:

    • Coccinella
    • CommuniGate Pro
    • CounterPath X-Lite
    • Ekiga (formerly GnomeMeeting)
    • Empathy
    • Gizmo5
    • Jabbin
    • KCall
    • KPhone
    • Linphone
    • PhoneGaim
    • SFLphone
    • SIP Communicator
    • Twinkle
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    So Which is Better?

    That depends on what type of user you are. If you have the skills to back it up, then choose Linux for your Voip. The costs and control make it worth your while. If you happen to be skill light, then go with Windows for the ease of setup and wizard style controls.

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    VOIP and Business

    When it comes to business, getting VOIP is going to be a hands down Linux affair. Because most Linux based systems are made to function as both desktops and servers, the ability is there to scale phones and have multiple VOIP lines running off of the system, especially as most companies need multiple phone numbers to function properly. If you want to get that done, then try a piece of software like Asterisk that makes a Linux based PC into a VOIP server.