Section 16.1. Softphones and Instant Messaging Software

16.1. Softphones and Instant Messaging Software

16.1.1. OhPhone

OhPhone and OhPhoneX are H.323 softphones that support Windows , Linux, and Macintosh. Unlike NetMeeting, OhPhone is open source, but it is not as polished. OhPhone is a part of the Open H.323 distribution (

16.1.2. X-Lite, X-Pro, and Eyebeam

Xten Networks produces several VoIP software products. No VoIP test lab is complete without X-Lite, the company's free SIP softphone for Windows, Mac, and thin-client (web-based) setups. Chapter 11 contains a few projects that make use of X-Lite.

Xten also produces X-Pro, a fully featured commercial SIP softphone for Windows, Mac, and MS PocketPC. Using a PocketPC with built-in WLAN and X-Pro, you could create a handy cordless SIP phone. Xten also makes Eyebeam, a SIP video phone (

16.1.3. LIPZ4

Zultys, a provider of embedded VoIP gateway devices, makes LIPZ4, a graphical SIP softphone for Linux and X11. The phone can be downloaded from

16.1.4. Firefly (SIP and IAX)

Virbiage produces a softphone that supports SIP and IAX signaling. This makes it a good choice for Asterisk-based networks or for using services like IAXTel, which support the IAX protocol (

16.1.5. IAXComm

IAXComm is an open source softphone for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It supports IAX only (http://iaxclient. sourceforge .net/iaxcomm/).

16.1.6. NetMeeting

Microsoft's NetMeeting softphone has been shipping with Windows since 98. It's a multipurpose H.323 client, offering voice, video, text chat, and white-boarding applications. It has a built-in directory services client that can make use of an H.323 gatekeeper or an ILS (Internet location service) server. NetMeeting is a worthwhile tool for any H.323 administrator (

16.1.7. MSN Messenger

A potential replacement for NetMeeting, Microsoft's MSN Messenger uses SIP to signal telephony and messaging applications that are tied to the proprietary MSN network service. Unlike NetMeeting, MSN Messenger supports the Macintosh, too (

16.1.8. iChat

Apple's instant messaging software includes voice and video messaging for users of Mac OS X. The instant messaging framework used is AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), a leading IM standard. iChat also makes use of SIP for call signaling, but can't be used independently of the AIM network, so it really isn't a good VoIP hacker's tool.

iChat supports videoconferencing in resolutions up to full screen, if you have enough bandwidth. The version that ships with Mac OS X 10.4 lets up to three participants videoconference simultaneously using a very slick, futuristic OpenGL interface. Perhaps the only drawback of iChat is that it doesn't support non-Mac users. Find out more about iChat at

Switching to VoIP
Switching to VoIP
ISBN: 0596008686
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 172

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