Businesses that are in the process of switching to the VoIP telephony solution by installing one from scratch or upgrading the existing system, usually have two options to consider: Asterisk and FreeSWITCH. Of course, WebRTC, OpenSIPs, and Kamailio have their own role to play in the VoIP telephony industry, but for the communication needs of end users, Asterisk and FreeSWITCH are common VoIP technologies that provide the base for building a comprehensive communication solution. Before actually investing in Asterisk or FreeSWITCH development services, you may want to explore the similarities and differences between Asterisk and FreeSWITCH. You may also want to check whether FreeSWITCH is really better than Asterisk or not.
In this blog post, we will cover this interesting topic to provide more details on whether FreeSWITCH is better than Asterisk to meet your end to end communication and collaboration needs or not. We will cover the following pointers:
So without further adieu, let’s delve deeper into this insightful topic.
Asterisk is the pioneer VoIP software development technology, which was used to build the best telephony system by Mark Spencer back in 1999. Right now, it is managed by a company called Digium. The company invests in the growth and development of this open source PBX system. Moreover, it also provides hardware for telephony solutions at affordable rates to businesses and providers. It can run on Linux and other Unix based platforms. It can be installed on servers or the cloud. It can bridge connections between VoIP and local telephony systems.
An Asterisk development company can develop different types of VoIP solutions to meet end to end communication needs such as conferencing solutions, multilevel IVR systems, voice broadcasting solutions, IP PBX software, and more.
FreeSWITCH is a distant cousin of Asterisk. It was formed and launched by a team of former Asterisk developers. As it is built by former developers of the Asterisk team, they knew the strengths and weaknesses of Asterisk and built a VoIP software development platform that is more robust and better than Asterisk. It is managed and maintained by a company, called SignalWire, which is formed by the original contributors of the FreeSWITCH platform. It can also be installed from scratch on servers or the cloud. Moreover, it can also connect VoIP with PSTN to bridge communication between SIP based and traditional telephony systems. It can also be used to build a reliable system with video, chat, and WebRTC.
A FreeSWITCH development company can develop all communication and collaboration solutions that can be built using Asterisk. It can also build some more solutions that require more robustness and scalability like class 4 and class 5 Softswitch solutions.
Both Asterisk and FreeSWITCH are used to build diverse telephony solutions. Both are open source VoIP platforms. Both were invented as an open source PBX system and also share major communication and collaboration features like IVR, call forwarding, call transfer, call hold and retrieve, conference calls, reports, and more.
To understand whether FreeSWITCH is better than Asterisk or not and whether you should invest in FreeSWITCH development services or not, it is necessary to know the difference between both of these platforms used for building different types of VoIP solutions.
For a moderate number of concurrent calls, both, Asterisk and FreeSWITCH provide good quality of call (QoC) and good Quality of Service (QoS). However, as the number of concurrent calls per second increases, the quality might get affected if you are using a platform based on Asterisk. However, FreeSWITCH is tested and proven its worth as one of the best solutions to deliver superior quality of call and service even when the number of concurrent calls increases. This is the reason a FreeSWITCH custom development company prefers using FreeSWITCH for building VoIP and telephony solutions that need to handle massive call amounts such as solutions for wholesale VoIP business. Even for conferencing solutions, FreeSWITCH delivers excellent quality of control compared to Asterisk based solutions.
FreeSWITCH definitely has more features and functionalities to offer, unlike Asterisk which still struggles in offering all competitive features. For example, a conferencing solution developed using FreeSWITCH can enjoy more features without investing in custom development by a FreeSWITCH development company. FreeSWITCH developers have developed various features and functionalities that app_conference of Asterisk based conference bridge lacks. For example, a conferencing solution developed using FreeSWITCH development service can mute all participants, plus, bridge two conferences. This is not possible with the Asterisk conference bridge.
There are several features that are available in FreeSWITCH and do not need additional investment, unlike Asterisk based solutions.
Asterisk uses a modular design and shared libraries. On the other hand, FreeSWITCH is also modular in structure, but it uses several open source software libraries, which are ready to use. This performs several jobs without adding code for the same as the APIs and libraries perform those jobs and keeping code lighter than Asterisk based systems. Some of the open source libraries used by FreeSWITCH are SQLite, mod_spandsp, Apache portable runtime, Sofia-SIP, libspeex, libSRTP, etc.
The architecture of Asterisk makes it a bit complex and it often struggles to handle a high number of concurrent calls.
It is complicated to give exact hardware requirements for Asterisk or FreeSWITCH based solutions because they can vary depending on various factors. From system to system and process to process, developers would decide the hardware and processing power needed to keep the system up and running. To get a fair idea of the usage of the system to compare the worth of investing in Asterisk and FreeSWITCH development services, here is the requirement for hardware and software. It is a minimum requirement to use features of a PBX solution with 15 extensions and it would support five to six concurrent calls.
As you can see FreeSWITCH will need higher hardware and software configurations compared to Asterisk.
If we talk about supporting the number of concurrent calls, maintaining the quality of calls, offering real time video calls with stunning experience, and similar aspects, then definitely FreeSWITCH is better than Asterisk. However, if you think about expenses, then Asterisk developers have done a fair job to keep the requirements of system configurations low. Moreover, Asterisk has been in the industry for many years, so hiring an Asterisk development company compared to FreeSWITCH would be cheaper. However, with the same configuration, more concurrent calls can be handled without compromising the quality of calls.
The performance and scalability of FreeSWITCH based solutions are exceptionally great and that has pushed it to the favorite list of many FreeSWITCH developers. It also has some innovative features, which are not possibly available with its counterpart.
Thus, we can say that FreeSWITCH can deliver excellent performance and value over money, which definitely makes it better than Asterisk for many companies and developers.
In conclusion, there are several advantages of using FreeSWITCH over Asterisk in the process of developing different telephony solutions. Thus, it is replacing Asterisk in many companies that have to handle a huge number of concurrent calls, video calls, conferences, etc. However, Asterisk can be low maintenance and deliver more value if a business is running over a smaller scale and would continue doing so or running short of budget for developing a telephony solution.
Depending on the use case, Asterisk and FreeSWITCH can beat each other, but in general, FreeSWITCH is definitely better than Asterisk in all aspects at the moment. Even the latest version of Asterisk cannot provide the performance delivered by a FreeSWITCH based solution.
That is the reason FreeSWITCH is replacing Asterisk in multiple companies.
We, Inextrix Technologies, have been offering VoIP custom software development services in both Asterisk and FreeSWITCH and we often guide our clients to select the right development base and platform for their solution. We can help you, too.
If you want to upgrade your existing telephony system or if you are in the process of switching to a better telephony solution, then our FreeSWITCH development services can cover you completely. We are popular as a leading FreeSWITCH custom development company that provides tailored solutions based on customer requirements. To discuss your project requirements and how we can help you with our expertise, contact us.