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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the IdeaSIP service?
2. What is SIP and what does it stand for?
3. How do I join the IdeaSIP service?
4. How much does it cost to use IdeaSIP?
5. How can I call another user?
6. How do I log in?
7. How can I call a regular telephone from my IdeaSIP account?
8. How can people with regular telephones call my IdeaSIP phone?
9. How do I contact support?
10. What comes with the free service?
11. How do I use the free voicemail?
12. How do I change the email account that my voicemail gets sent to?
13. What kind of phones can I use?
14. How do I block calls?
15. How do I activate Do Not Disturb and what does it do?
16. What networks do you peer with?
17. How can I call a US toll-free number?
18. What other toll-free numbers can I call?
19. Is IdeaSIP communication secure?
20. How do I use the Conference Calling feature?
21. Does IdeaSIP support ENUM?
22. What is ENUM and how do I make ENUM calls?
23. What is my SIP URI?
24. Do I need multiple accounts if I want multiple phones to ring?
25. Why is it that I get one-way audio (where the people you call can hear you but you can't hear them, or you can hear them but they can't hear you) ?
26. How can I delete my account?
27. How can I connect to the service using Asterisk?
28. How does Call Forwarding work?
29. I just received a message saying I wasn't allowed to purchase any more IdeasOUT minutes. What's going on?
30. I have 5 IdeasIN numbers, but I no longer see the option to purchase any more. Is this a bug?
31. I can't seem to renew my Enhanced Voicemail service. The renew option is no longer available.
32. How do I configure my SIPURA/Linksys SPA device so that IdeaSIP will let me log in and dial?
33. What is the proper dial string for my SIPURA/Linksys SPA ATA?
34. How can I use a regular Jabber client with IdeaSIP's IM?
35. How can I contact a Google IM user with IdeaSIP?

1. What is the IdeaSIP service?
IdeaSIP is a SIP-based communications service, which enables voice and video communication between people all over the world. For a more detailed explanation, check our Learn More pages

2. What is SIP and what does it stand for?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol, a method of sending messages back and forth over the Internet. For more detail, read "What is SIP?"

3. How do I join the IdeaSIP service?
To join the service, sign up at our signup page

4. How much does it cost to use IdeaSIP?
Being a member of the IdeaSIP service is absolutely free. You get all the basic features of the service, including unlimited free calls to other IdeaSIP users. The only thing you have to pay for might be your own broadband Internet service, unless you're using the service from a compatible hotspot.

5. How can I call another user?
Before you can call another IdeaSIP user, you must have a SIP-capable phone. SIP-capable phones can be either software or hardware, and you can even use an adapter to convert your regular phone into a SIP-capable phone.

Once you have a SIP-capable phone, you must configure the phone to log into IdeaSIP (see 6. How do I log in?)

After you are set up and logged in, calling another user is as easy as dialing his or her IdeaSIP phone number (1-101-XXX-XXXX)

6. How do I log in?
IdeaSIP's basic log in configuration is:

  • Username: 1101XXXXXXX
  • Proxy: proxy.ideasip.com:5060
  • Domain: proxy.ideasip.com
  • STUN Server: stun.ideasip.com

Please note that login info may vary from phone to phone, and certain phones may require additional settings for optimal performance.

7. How can I call a regular telephone from my IdeaSIP account?
In order to call a regular telephone, you'll first need to purchase IdeasOUT Minutes . As calls to regular telephones go across the phone company's lines, we have to pay to use those lines, and these calls aren't free. Fortunately, the line usage rates are far less expensive than standard telco service rates. You'll be able to check our rates page to find out what those rates are very soon.

To dial a number inside the US, Canada, or any country which uses 1 as its country code (Bahamas, Barbados, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, Montserrat, American Samoa, Dominica, Domincan Republic, Grenada, Guam, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Midway, Nevis, Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands), simply dial a 1 followed by the area code and then the number (eg. 1 718 555 1212).

To dial a number outside that area, dial 011, 00, or 001 FOLLOWED BY A * and then the country code, area code, and the number. For instance, to dial the Waldorf Hilton in London, one could dial 011* 44 20 7836 2400.

8. How can people with regular telephones call my IdeaSIP phone?
If you want to receive calls from regular telephones, you must have an IdeasIN phone number. This will be a premium service, coming soon. Once in place, you will be able to purchase a number from many cities throughout the world. Calls to this number will be forwarded to your IdeaSIP phone. There will be a small monthly fee for this service. Rates are determined by the country in which you purchase your number. There are, however, several sites which provide free numbers in certain markets that can be forwarded to your IdeaSIP number. One of these sites is http://www.ipkall.com offering numbers in the Olympia, Washington, USA area. Also, we peer with SIPBroker, allowing you to use any of the SIPBroker dial in numbers to connect to your IdeaSIP number. For a list of dial in numbers, see http://www.sipbroker.com/sipbroker/action/pstnNumbers. Dial one of those numbers, then dial *850+. For instance, if the IdeaSIP number you were trying to reach is 1-101-123-4567, you would dial: *850 11011234567.

9. How do I contact support?
You can contact support using our Support Form. We will get back to you as soon as possible to resolve any issues you may have concerning the service.

10. What comes with the free service?
Currently, with the free service, you get:

  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail*
  • Conference calling
  • Call waiting
  • Speed Dial
  • Call return (*69)
  • US Toll Free Calls
  • 411 Directory Services
  • Do not disturb
  • Call blocking
  • 3-Way Calling**
  • Call forwarding***
  • Instant Messaging
  • Video Calling

* Basic voicemail is free. Enhanced voicemail is a premium service.
** 3-Way calling depends on the hardward/software used to call. Not all devices are compatible with 3-Way calling.
*** Call forwarding is currently to any SIP URI or ENUM number.

This list may change as time goes on, however, as we shall try to stay current with all the latest technology trends to ensure you have the best service possible.

11. How do I use the free voicemail?
Free voicemail is not active by default. In order to activate it, log into your IdeaSIP account, go to the basic services menu, and activate your voicemail. Your voicemail will receive calls for you when you're not logged into the service, or if you don't answer after a certain number of rings. Recorded messages will be emailed as attachments to the email account associated with your IdeaSIP service (the account you specified when you registered with IdeaSIP). To change the email account associated with your voicemail, see 12. How do I change the email account that my voicemail gets sent to?

12. How do I change the email account that my voicemail gets sent to?
To change your email address or other personal information, go to the user management section of the IdeaSIP site. Change the email address in the user information section and DON'T FORGET to save the changes.

13. What kind of phones can I use?
Any SIP-capable phone will, in theory, work with our service; however, SIP is a new technology and is ever-changing. Some older phones may not be compatible with all of the features of our service. If you have a question about a particular phone, try posting a message to our forum and asking if anyone there has experience with that phone. Phones come in two basic types: hardware and software, but there are also adapters to allow you to use regular telephones on the SIP service.

14. How do I block calls?
To block calls, go to the user management page and click on Standard Services. You can add, remove, and edit numbers that are on your blocked list. You can also select what type of call blocking you use. You can choose to automatically send blocked calls to voicemail, or to answer blocked calls with a denied call message.

15. How do I activate Do Not Disturb and what does it do?
To activate Do Not Disturb, dial *78 on your IdeaSIP phone. Dialing *78 toggles Do Not Disturb on and off. You can also activate Do Not Disturb by going to the user management page and clicking on Standard Services. When Do Not Disturb is active, all incoming calls will either go directly to voicemail (if you have voicemail turned on) or directly to a busy signal without ringing your phone.

16. What networks do you peer with?
We currently peer directly with several networks, including SIPPhone, and Free World Dialup. We are also peered with SIPBroker, and, through them, are able to peer with literally hundreds of SIP networks. You can find more information about our peering arrangements on our numbers page.

17. How can I call a US toll-free number?
There are two ways to call a toll-free number. The first way is simply to dial the toll free number directly. The second way is to dial * plus the toll free number to use a different toll-free provider. Because IdeaSIP does not charge for toll-free calls, we're at the mercy of sometimes congested networks. If you place a call and get a busy signal, you may need to hang up and try again.

18. What other toll-free numbers can I call?
Check our numbers page for a list of the numbers and networks you can call for free.

19. Is IdeaSIP communication secure?
Currently, we do not implement a level of TLS security for IdeaSIP communications. This means that, like regular telephone communications, your communications could be intercepted and heard. We are working to provide this additional layer of security as soon as possible, but whether or not you will be able to take advantage of it depends on the hardware or software phone you're using to access the IdeaSIP network. We will work to keep you updated on this important issue.

20. How do I use the Conference Calling feature?
To make a conference call, you dial 100-XXX-XXXX. You can use any 7-digit number you choose. All parties call into the same number, and they will all be connected into the call. The first caller in will hear a message telling him he's the first caller. The message will stop when any other callers enter.

21. Does IdeaSIP support ENUM?
Yes. We support ENUM lookups through the 4 most popular providers right now, e164.arpa, e163.info, e164.org, and enum.org.

22. What is ENUM and how do I make ENUM calls?
ENUM is a method by which one can take a regular phone number and use it on the Internet. It's more complex than that, but that's the simple answer. In order to dial an ENUM number, you need to first dial *164 then the number you wish to dial. If you want to register your own ENUM number, you can do so either via SIPbroker or by going to http://www.e164.org

23. What is my SIP URI?
If you're calling an IdeaSIP user by URI, you can use <username>@ideasip.com where <username> is your 11-digit number without any dashes or spaces -- eg. 11011234567@ideasip.com

24. Do I need multiple accounts if I want multiple phones to ring?
No. You can log in several phones using the same account, and they will all ring when a call comes in to that account. The first phone to pick up answers the call. If you wanted the ability to have different lines or transfer calls from one place to another (home to work, one room to another), you'd need to have multiple accounts.

25. Why is it that I get one-way audio (where the people you call can hear you but you can't hear them, or you can hear them but they can't hear you) ?
In order for IdeaSIP calls to work properly through a NAT router or firewall, you must use STUN (using the stun.ideasip.com server), or you must use port-forwarding on your router or firewall. Some SIP capable phones, however, don't work with STUN or have broken STUN implementations. In cases such as this, port-forwarding will be required to ensure 2-way audio.
 
How to set up port forwarding for your particular router is well beyond the scope of this document, but instructions can be found for most routers and most common applications Here.

26. How can I delete my account?
We don't have an interface on the web for this, since there's always the possibility that you might delete it accidentally. If you want to delete your account, however, feel free to email tech support and request it. If there's money in your account or a dialin number associated with the account, be prepared to give username/password information for confirmation.
 
When we get a free moment, we'll put a request interface on the website that will ask for username, password, and confirmation in order to delete the account.

27. How can I connect to the service using Asterisk?
An excellent, in-depth writeup on how to configure Asterisk with IdeaSIP can be found here

 
You need to add this to the [general] section of your sip.conf:

register => <username>:<password>@proxy.ideasip.com/<username>
 
And then add these lines to the bottom of the sip.conf file (obviously, in both of these, you need to replace <username> with your username and <password> with your password.

[ideasip]
type=friend
secret=<password>
username=<username>
host=proxy.ideasip.com
insecure=very
fromdomain=proxy.ideasip.com

In your extensions.conf file, add:

exten => _1101XXXXXXX,1,SetCallerID(Your Name <11011234567>
exten => _1101XXXXXXX,2,Dial(SIP/${EXTEN}@proxy.ideasip.com)
exten => _1101XXXXXXX,3,Hangup

You could also add contexts to handle dialing other things if you wanted. If you wanted a catchall extention to handle ALL calls and sent them to IdeaSIP, you could have something such as:

[outbound-to-world] exten => _X.,1,SetCallerID(Your Name <11011234567>
exten => _X.,2,Dial(SIP/${EXTEN}@proxy.ideasip.com)
exten => _X.,3,Hangup

You would then need to add a sip.conf entry for whichever phone you connected to the Asterisk server and use the context of [outbound-to-world] for that peer.

28. How does Call Forwarding work?
The Call Forwarding item in the standard services page is for forwarding an incoming call to another location. When Call Forwarding is set to Active, all incoming calls will be forwarded to the number or URI in the 'Forwarding URI' box. This can either be a phone number or a SIP URI for another account or another SIP service somewhere.
 
Be aware, however, that if you forward your calls to a landline or cellphone, it will use IdeasOUT minutes for the call. If you have no IdeasOUT minutes, it will simply fail if you try and forward it to a landline or a cellphone. It also MUST be in the form that you would use if you dialed it directly (i.e. 1XXXXXXXXXX or 011*XXXXXXXXXXX) etc, etc. The 011*, 00*, or 001* are important things not to omit).

29. I just received a message saying I wasn't allowed to purchase anymore IdeasOUT minutes. What's going on?
You haven't done anything wrong. As a precaution to prevent against credit card fraud, we've limited the purchase of IdeasOUT minutes to $25 every 5 days. We may vary that amount or time limit in the future, but for now, that's the limit. This is ONLY for IdeasOUT minutes, and there is still no limit on how long you can talk to another IdeaSIP user or peer.

30. I have 5 IdeasIN numbers, but I no longer see the option to purchase any more. Is this a bug?
For reasons of preventing potential credit card fraud, we currently limit a user to having only 5 IdeasIN numbers. We reserve the right to alter that number in the future, but for now, 5's the limit.

31. I can't seem to renew my Enhanced Voicemail service. The renew option is no longer available.
You are only able to renew your Enhanced Voicemail within 2 months of its expiration. This should give you plenty of renewal opportunities, and should limit possible confusion.

32. How do I configure my SIPURA/Linksys SPA device so that IdeaSIP will let me log in and dial?
1.) Login to your Sipura via web interface
2.) Press the Admin Login link in top right corner
3.) Press the advanced link in top right corner
4.) Select the Sip tab
5.) Scroll down to Nat Support Parameters
6.) Select yes for 'STUN enable' and yes for 'STUN test enable'
7.) Enter stun.ideasip.com for STUN Server
8.) Submit all changes
9.) Select Line 1 Tab
10.) Scroll to NAT settings
11.) Select yes for NAT Mapping Enable
12.) Select yes for NAT Keep Alive Enable
13.) Submit all changes at the bottom of the page

33. What is the proper dial string for my SIPURA/Linksys SPA ATA?
(*xx|**x.|011*x.|00*x.|001*x.|x.)

34. How can I use a regular Jabber client with IdeaSIP's IM?
IdeaSIP uses the standard Jabber protocol, so all you need to connect with the IdeaSIP IM is a Jabber client of some kind. IdeaSIP supports both secure and insecure socket connections as well as http and https.

Your Jabber-compliant IdeaSIP username is:
username@chat.ideasip.com

35. How can I contact a Google IM user with IdeaSIP?
Google's server name for IM is talk.google.com, so you'd simply add username@talk.google.com to your buddy list.


IdeaSIPSM is a ServiceMark of Infinideas, inc.
Copyright 2006 Infinideas, inc.