Comments about GrandStream GS-UCM6102 UCM6102 innovative IP PBX appliance

GrandStream GS-UCM6102 UCM6102 innovative IP PBX appliance

The UCM6100 series is an IP PBX appliance designed to bring enterprise-grade unified communications and security protection to small and medium businesses in an easy-to-manage fashion. Powered by an advanced hardware platform and software functionalities, the UCM6100 series supports up to 500 users and offers a turnkey solution for converged voice, video, data, fax, security surveillance, and mobility applications without any extra license fees or recurring costs.


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Bought this for our business because it would cut our phone bills by 60% if we went with VoIP. For what it is, the system is quite powerful. Having voicemail for each extension plus IVR is fantastic. I do not use this as a router, but I have it plugged into the router as if it were just another computer in the system.

We have three SIP trunks coming into the system and have it hooked up to three VoIP phones. I have a single PSTN coming into the FXO that we use as a fax line (FXS to our fax machine) and as a backup in case our VoIP goes out. So far, everything is working well together.

I took off one start for setup. Even with documentation this system was on the harder side to set up and I would say I'm intermediate in the consumer IT area. Once I got everything figured out though things seem to be going well. The easy part was getting it hooked up to the network and getting the phones detected and extensions made. The hard part was getting the unit configured for the SIP trunk settings and making/receiving calls to and from the PBX device; documentation could have been better in this area.

So far, we are happy with our purchase, considering there were not too many other alternatives for small business PBX systems in our price range.

You want a small VOIP PBX? This is a good option.
I have this running with 6 Grandstream phones in a small Home Office setup. It has two FXO ports for analog (POTS) lines. Now a lot of you may think this is funny, but I have some old Ooma's and I put two of those on the FXO ports and it works (I know--but Ooma output is all analog).

The good:
This is a small dedicated telephony computer, about the size of a paperback book. Low power. The OS (asterisk version) is very complete. The system seems to run without much care and feeding (good because it replaced a 30 year old Panasonic key system). The Zero Config that works with Grandstream phones and includes network discovery.

The phones (not reviewed here) have EHL function. This is great! Good headset pair ability. I'm mentioning it here because the settings are in this PBX.

The questionable:
The manual in the box is a joke. There is actually good documentation on Grandstream's site, but there's not even a url in the "manual". This should be highlighted in the Amazon seller's description.
The Asterisk OS/Grandstream version is pretty complex with hundreds of parameters, mostly for telephony and SIP (naturally). but it you don't know this, the on screen prompts are not a lot of help. I will say the 'hover over" and "i" icons are a start, but only a start.
Default options should let you "run" out of the box. With just a PBX, that doesn't work.

The poor: None yet. We'll see how the software updates perform.

As far as IPPBX-in-a-box goes, this device is pretty awesome for the price point. I've been running an ancient Trixbox CE install (asterisk 1.6 from 2010) for many years and finally decided to ditch the VM in favor of an appliance. This is the first appliance I've found that comes close to an out-of-the-box IP PBX solution.

Grandstream has done a pretty good job of skinning and simplifying the asterisk/FreePBX UI and putting together a solid offering. The processor is a bit slow at times when using the UI, but it seems to handle calls fine. Seems to work exceptionally well if you have a pure GrandStream environment. There might be a bit of a learning curve for the uninitiated, but if you have previous asterisk or pbx experience administering the unit won't be a problem.

PROS
* One of the best custom Asterisk/FreePBX releases I've seen
* Easy setup of most stuff (queues, ring groups, extensions, etc.)
* POE powered (WAN port)
* Dual FXO ports for POTS dial & 911 backup gateway
* Dual FXS ports for legacy phones & devices (fax)
* Shared line/legacy call park behavior can be configured to emulate legacy PBX behaviors
* Small form factor
* Integrated LCD (helps more than you'd think)
* Some software hooks for specific providers (3CX)

CONS
* Processor is a bit slow for administration
* No _streaming_ music-on-hold (you can upload MP3's, just not stream live/internet radio)
* GrandStream software has occasional bugs (check their forums)
* Upgrading the firmware can sometimes be a multi-stage/cumbersome process

The differences between hosted VOIP and in house are too numerous to list here, but in my experience the cost are in totally different ball parks. I purchased this for my home office and as a demo unit so that potential customers can hear and see before they buy.

Every customer I have talked to has remarked that the call quality is excellent, and I was able to find a provider with great quality and pricing: it only cost me $14 to get an account and 2 DIDS (phone numbers), one local, and one 800 number, and my calls are at .009 per minute with QuestBlue (they are not the only or best Trunk company, just convenient and good for small companies or to get a quick set up working). After making roughly 50 calls I still have $10 balance. It is perfect for a small business. And if I ever start using 10,000 minutes a month (about $90), the rates are even cheaper or I can get an unlimited plan for $45 a month from another carrier. Oh, and you can have multiple Trunk Providers at the same time, which makes porting and shopping for cheaper rates much easier.

As an IT person I strongly recommend this product. It gives you direct control over your PBX, which is powerful. I worked for a hosted VOIP/PBX company, and even on the best day support calls would take half an hour or so to get processed. When there is an emergency and everyone starts calling in at the same time that wait time grows to a couple hours or more. With your own PBX, you don't have to wait on anyone (well, maybe your IT person), you or your support person just logs in and makes the change and it is immediate. Make a test call to make sure you got the results you wanted and you can move on.

I received no compensation of any kind for this review, I just strongly believe in housing IT assets is the way to go and this product is the epitome of my argument. This is a complete PBX server for a very reasonable price, and after upgrading it to Asterisk 13 it has far more features than most SMB's will ever need.

P.S. I recommend if you are not an IP phone expert to get the Grandstream phones with it because you can use the zeroconfig utility to provision all the phones for you. I went with a Grandstream GXP2130 and a Polycom VVX400 (to see the difference in setup) and it was far easier to provision the Grandstream GXP2130-I didn't even need to read the instructions for it because it was self explanatory. I had to manually configure the VVX400, which would not be a big deal if you were doing a couple phones. For more than a couple you would have to use the XML tool. Ona ten phone set up going with the Grandstream phones would probably save 3-5 hours of setup time (you have to update the phone firmware as well).

Edit: Best side effect of this phone system? Scammers and spam callers just give up for the most part.

I'm a total newbie when it comes to telephony, so setting up the UCM6102 was a bit of a chore, as I had to learn about SIP trunks, DIDs, SIP originations and terminations, etc. I had some difficulty getting everything to register properly, but after watching a few youtube videos and reading through forums, I finally got everything to register properly. The UCM6102 is remarkably powerful for its size and price, and though it took some time and effort, I'm set up now with a very professional PBX system for my small business.

I purchased a Yealink T48G, which works flawlessly with the UCM6102 (though because it is a different brand, it doesn't support the zero config). I also have a few virtual extensions using SIP apps on various iPhones. These work great for keeping us connected even when we're out of the office.

I ended up using a SIP trunk from Vitelity, and even though I've increased our calling capacity with multiple lines it looks like my monthly phone costs will be over 90% cheaper than they were before!

I normally don't write reviews, but after getting this set up I have to say it's fantastic - they did an A+ job. We have a workshop and it was going to be a pain to drag phone lines out there and figure everything out, I decided to see if I couldn't put in an VoIP system (in the house).

I initially bought a 4 port Cisco box but it required a separate IP PBX - if you're thinking of that, don't bother, just buy this. As best I call tell Cisco has nothing even close.

My configuration is to outbound analog lines and about 8 internal phones around the house and shop - one system is an analog DECT system for the 2 lines and i bought Cisco 504G IP phones for the shop. I'm not yet using the outbound VoIP lines.

This isn't plug and play, but that's ok - it's a powerful system. You need to be reasonably techno-savvy and have some patience to figure it out. I configured it behind my firewall. If you're doing that you should just connect to the LAN port and forget about the WAN connection - you don't need it (I took me a while to figure that out - if you connect both, they have the same MAC address and conflict).

Once up and running I was able to set up multiple outbound routes, so if one line is busy it just falls over to the second. I set up internal HotLines, e.g., just push a button on the 504G's and it will call the other phone (house <-> shop), wife loves it, husband on speed dial. I still haven't moved voice mail over, but plan to do that shortly. I also create call groups, extension groups. I was able to get back 7 digit local dialing with the outbound routing capabilities.

In the end, if you're looking to take your phone system to the next level, have a decent amount of technical skills and are willing to figure it out, this system is just fantastic!

I replaced a uc320+spa8800 with this unit and so far the users are happy. Some interesting issues were solved with this unit such as;
- caller id in the first ring
- one way audio when calling from "some" mobile carriers
- locked fxo port that only gets solved with a reboot
- verrrry slow gui
- never knowing what config change will result in a reboot

I am keeping a close eye on it and based on how it goes this may very well be my goto unit for my under 20 user base.

This is a very good and very flexible device with many features and usages. The quality and stability of the voice and general operations is very good. I have never had the device crash or any other kind of major failure. The big downside of the device is the lack of documentation. The manual is a basic outline of all the setup menus. It provides no information as to what happens if you set this Vs that. There is no discussion or examples provided. The terms are in telco language for example you will never find anything called analog phone line in.

I had very little problems setting it up, I read the manual in advance of the device arriving. Had a general idea of how I wanted to try to set it up. It requires some experimenting to learn how the device really works. A new firmware release has come out since I owned the device, it added many new features. I expect that over time the feature set will continue to improve.

One example of where I had problems is I changed the admin password as one of the last things after completing the basic setup. I locked myself out. What I later learned is there is a 16 char limit however the form or the manual does not tell you this. So if you put in 17 char password it says successful but the password will not work. You can recover by typing in the first 16 char. This is typical of the rest of the manual, it tells you that you can blacklist a number but it does not tell you what happens when you do. You need to find out by experimentation. I continue to learn nice features the device has/new ways to set it up though reading the on-line form hosted by grandstream.

My usage of this device is likely different then most. I have medical issues and sleep at odd times. I need for my family, doctors and others to be able to call me but the continues telemarketers, spoofers, SPAM’s had me to the point where I was considering doing away with the phone or something. It was affecting my health. I had bought and returned call block devices that was not effective. Mostly because the number are spoofed and continue to change.

I created an 2 Level IVR (IVR plays caller a message that you record then routes the call based on touch tones selected). The first level ask them to press X if they are a real person. The 2nd level gives them the option of either leaving a voicemail or ring the phones to see if I am home. If they select ring it goes to a ring group so all my phones ring. After 30 sec it then goes to voicemail. All this worked perfectly the first time I set it up. It solved the problem!

The device will e-mail you a wave file when you get a voicemail. It includes the caller ID name/number, time of the call. The device will also detect if the call is a fax machine and e-mail you an PDF of the fax image. This part all works well.

As I continued to learn about the device I created addition inbound rules. People that I know like Doctors, Family, Friends, etc - I list these numbers in a separate rule that goes straight to the ring group. So they no longer need to go though the IVR menus.

The Drug store plays these recording at all hours, so I have a rule setup so that caller ID goes direct to voicemail with no options.

The spamers and other trash does not make it though the IVR menus but I blacklist them so the device hangs up on them without even going to the menus. To them it sounds like the number has been disconnected.

Since I have owned the PBX I bought 2 grandstream phones - A 1400 and 3725. Both are VoIP so they connect to my network and can be anywhere in the house. The 3725 has wifi. These phones act like extensions so you can use them as intercoms. The 3725 is an android desk phone so you can run various apps, have contacts that sync with iPhone, calendar, etc. Both the phones have good speaker phones built in.

Once you have all this, you can make outgoing calls to SIP providers using your network. This means long distance phone calls are very cheap and you never know the difference since they work on your land line phone. The PBX routes calls based on rules you setup. When using the phone you can’t tell if it has used the local phone company analog line or a internet provider.

My iPhone has a soft phone client so it is also an extension of the system. I can answer/make calls on my home phone line using the iPhone from either my home network or from other wifi locations using VPN. My Mac also has a soft phone so its an extension also. The clients are free (the ones I am using).

The PBX provides you with a complete log of all calls that you can use for many reasons.

I am very happy with the PBX, not only has it solved the SPAM/random phone call problem, it has opened up many other options and features. I recommend this PBX with the caution that you need to be willing to experiment and do a little reading between the lines to figure out how things really work.

excellent

Excellent Product. Working perfectly.

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