How to fix AT&T U-Verse VoIP Issues with an Edgemarc

Working with VoIP for over 8 years…I’ve come to really dislike AT&T U-verse. If you have just one phone, you may not have (that many) issues. However, if you are trying to run a business with multiple phones…that’s when you can run into problems. The fix is easy…but it comes at a price if AT&T is the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your area (if it’s not…change ISP’s silly! Anything but wireless internet is usually better).

I will try to explain this with as “minimum-techie talk” as possible and let you decide. If you don’t care about all the details (hey some people want to know why they are spending the extra money for this thing hehe), skip to the bottom “Picking The Right Edgemarc” before just buying one!

Why the heck isn’t every ISP the same?

Well…not all Modems and Routers/Firewalls are created equal. It’s not just the hardware itself which restricts you (too many phones on a small cheap modem or router for example)…it’s also the software (firmware) that is on there AND how it’s configured…The problem with AT&T (and many others) are they don’t let you use your own modem. You are stuck using whatever they provide.

Many ISP’s would let you “Bridge” (reconfigure to work as a plain modem) your Gateway Modem (Modem & Router combo device) so you can use your own router. But, you may already know that AT&T doesn’t really support this EITHER. They say “DMZ Plus” mode is the best you can do…BUT that’s still not good enough.

Ok…So AT&T restricts what Modem I can use…so what?

By now, many people have heard of “SIP ALG“. There are various names that this can take form (i.e. SIP Helper, SIP Fixup, SIP transformations,etc)…BUT, they all do the same thing! They look at SIP (VoIP) traffic on your network (UDP/TCP but usually it’s UDP), and try to make sure it gets back and forth to the right places. The main problem is there is no IEEE standard for this, so every company can implement their own version of this. So, it tends to break VoIP (See the SIP ALG link above) more than help it. You almost always prefer to have SIP ALG OFF…but some devices require it ON to let VoIP work (generally good to avoid these devices…but keep reading!).

The OTHER problem with this is when ISP’s use SIP ALG to ensure their phone service (with is now more commonly VoIP service too!). So, basically, it affects 3rd party VoIP and you can NOT turn it off.

So what are my options?

Well, if AT&T isn’t the only option in your area, I’d switch to Cable internet, or another land line internet connection. DO NOT use wireless, microwave, satellite, 4G, etc…while they MAY work, they typically are not consistent enough to work as well as a land line internet connection for a BUSINESS. You can ask the wireless providers, and usually they will say “Of course VoIP works”…again it MIGHT (or you might have only problems on a few days out of the month)…but if you want a stable VoIP – NEVER use wireless.

OK…so AT&T is the ONLY option in my area…WHAT NOW?!

There is hope! I ran into this by coincidence one day (honestly!). A customer had a Motorola/Arris NVG AT&T gateway, and was setting up VoIP. Hooking up a D-Link DIR-655 to it in any configuration (DMZ Plus, “Bridged”, Double-NAT,etc) would NOT allow VoIP to work right. It had one-way audio at best, with no audio in most configurations.

However, he had an Edgewater Edgemarc router connected earlier with NO issues. What I thought?!?! YES it worked PERFECTLY in a PLUG AND PLAY setup. Sorry – a bit of nerd talk here – Double NAT with the Edgemarc in place, and VoIP worked PERFECTLY!!!

But HOW?!

Edgewater has a special operating system on their Edgemarc routers for VoIP. It’s called a VOS (VoIP Operating System). This basically implements an “Intelligent SIP ALG” which actually WORKS! It appears to look at the source and destination traffic, and correctly fix any issues with the VoIP traffic to make sure it works correctly. Not only does it do a great job ensuring your calls do NOT drop, and fix any One-way (or no) audio issues…it does a great job ensuring your call quality is crystal clear too!

You might be able to conjure another setup which works, but it most certainly will not be plug in play unless your phones “Just Work” when you plug them in.

Edgemarc can fix AT&T VoIP Issues?!

YES! But there are a few gotchas…

  • They are a bit pricey for small businesses (average 10 call licenses are around $500-$600 and go up from there!).
  • Limited concurrent maximum VoIP calls based on purchased licenses you have.
  • AND…Most models do NOT offer Wi-Fi (Though, this is easily resolved with a cheap Wi-Fi router connected to it).

Picking The Right Edgemarc

If you NEED Wi-Fi:

  1. Buy another 3rd party router and use just for Wi-Fi (like an Asus RT-AC87U or cheaper Asus). Recommended!
  2. If you have 10 or less concurrent call needs, you MIGHT be able to find an old Edgemarc 250w. Beware…these are a bit old, not too powerful, and 8×8 branded models must be factory reset to use them with other VoIP providers. Option 1 is much better!

If you DO NOT care about Wi-Fi:

The choice comes down to price and how many concurrent VoIP calls you need. That means…how many total active calls do you have at your busiest times (think of ad campaigns, busy seasons, etc). For many small businesses 10 calls will suffice. However, your concurrent call maximum will vary based on how heavy your phone call usage is.

They have MANY models. Your results may vary depending on YOUR specific internet usage. However, here are some general recommendations to help you make a decision. These devices can handle more than what I state below, but I recommend using my guidelines vs the datasheet 😉

Small Business 1-25 device (less than 100Mbps Internet Speeds)

Edgemarc 4550
For most businesses with less than 100 Mbps ISP Bandwidth Speeds.
1-15 Phones with 1-15 Computers = 30 devices.
Good for up to 15-20 Concurrent Calls.
Lowest Model for Lowest Price – I’d recommend the 4700 for best performance though!

5 or 15 Concurrent Call Licenses (Please verify licenses)

Small-Medium Business 25-100 devices

Edgemarc 4700
For Business with 25-100 devices with up to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit) ISP Bandwidth Speeds.
50 Phones with 50 Computers.
Good for up to 100 Concurrent Calls.

5, 15, or 50 Concurrent Call Licenses (Please verify licenses)

Medium-Large Business 100+ devices with up to 500 concurrent calls

Edgemarc 4800
Best for Medium to Large Call Centers with up to 500 Concurrent Calls.
Make sure your U-Verse Bandwidth can handle this many calls!

15 Concurrent Call Licenses (Please verify licenses)

Huge Call Centers with 1000 and 2000 concurrent calls

Edgemarc 7301 or 7400
7301 can handle up to 1000 concurrent calls!
7400 can handle up to 2000 concurrent calls!

If you’re getting 1000+ calls and have 1000’s of devices…you’re going to spend tons of cash on one of these – But…WHY are you on U-Verse?! I doubt they even offer the speeds you need to run this much VoIP, you should look at Fiber Circuits or other business class connections. However – if you want the best – these two models are it!

7301 – 100 Concurrent Calls (Please verify licenses)

7400 – 50 Concurrent Calls (Please verify licenses)

SO Many Options! What Should I Do?!

Licensing can be increased after the fact…BUT you get the best savings on the router when you buy it with the licenses upon initial purchase. SO, you want to do your best to figure out an accurate amount of licenses before you buy your Edgemarc. Afterwards, you can always buy more licenses!

A good start is to find out how many maximum calls your VoIP service even allows. There is certainly no point in buying more than that! It’s also not guaranteed to mean you need that many either. Check your call logs (if you have them) to see how many calls you get at your busiest times.

I still don’t know what to get…

I’d recommend the Edgemarc 4700 with 15 Concurrent Call Licenses for a good starting choice. It supports fast internet speeds, and up to 100 concurrent calls (which is a lot more than most business do!). It’s never a bad thing to have more power than you need, but it IS bad to not have enough!

For the setup…it’s usually plug and play unless you have a static IP. I personally have setup 4 of these so far with ZERO additional configuration 🙂

If you plan to purchase an Edgemarc thanks to this information, please consider supporting this site by purchasing through the links in the article (It costs you nothing additional).

We appreciate your support – Thank you!

(Originally Posted January 8, 2017)

Using Alexa with Kodi – Chrome Launcher with FireTV Fix

I have been working on getting Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) working with my Kodi home theatre. It’s been a very fun project so far using this cool plugin with Kodi and Alexa by rsummer816:

It takes some work to get it setup with Amazon’s Developer stuff, but it’s worth it (when it works right…it’s a Beta and going under changes per the dev right now). It will be super awesome when it works all the time, but even the current stability is pretty impressive to folks when it works.

Biggest issue folks run into is “Server can’t communicate with Kodi” or similar error. That’s usually your AUTH key being wrong so make sure (triple check) you entered it in ALL CAPS and 100% accurately like it appears in the Alex App on your phone. Once you have the Alex Service Plugin installed on Kodi, and you have your key entered – RESTART KODI.

In Kodi 16 (Using latest KodiMaster v3 Build) I just searched for Chrome Launcher in my addon repos and installed it. You may have to find the repo to install this if you don’t already have it in your repo sources (Google it!). I left the Chrome Launcher configuration for “Chrome install location” to default (tried to browse to find Chrome but I failed…so the default worked magically after restarting Kodi…lots of trial and error initially for me here!).

The key is to install the GooglePlay version of Netflix and Chrome (Pandora too maybe but I’m still testing that). FireTV (and FireStick should be the same) currently uses an Android version based on Lollipop 5.x…So, I found the compatible ARM Android APK’s to install via sideload. You can sideload apps in several ways, but I recommend adbFire (I use my Mac for this stuff vs Windows).

After sideloading these applications, make sure you RESTART Kodi again (or the whole FireTV/stick if you run in to issues).

If all works right, you’ll see Chrome launch the Netflix link and you’ll have to log in (typing in info was glitchy but keep trying…it works! Check the box to keep you logged in). If you don’t have the GooglePlay version of Netflix installed, it will tell you that you need to install the mobile Netflix App. If you have that installed already, you’ll have to now log in to your account IN the Netflix App (the Amazon Netflix app should be fine still, but the Alexa stuff will use this version).

The tricky part is getting Alexa service to work right. I’ve been creating entries in the utterances for each move/tv show that I’ve added to my library.


Tv Shows:
PlayTVIntent play {Rick and Morty|MediaName}
PlayTVIntent play {Rick and Morty|MediaName} Season {SeasonNum}
PlayTVIntent play {Rick and Morty|MediaName} Season {SeasonNum} Episode {EpisodeNum}

PlayTVIntent play {Avatar|MediaName}
PlayTVIntent play {Bladerunner|MediaName}
PlayTVIntent play the movie {Avatar|MediaName}
PlayTVIntent play the movie {Bladerunner|MediaName}

KODI TIP: Any app that lets you “Add to Library” (i.e. Specto – Fork and others), will work with this Alexa “local library” function 🙂

If you don’t already have an Amazon Echo/Dot, or FireTV/Fire Stick…please consider purchasing one from these links (It helps support this site and does not cost you anything additional!)

(Originally Posted November 26, 2016)

Vitamin for PS Vita released

The gates have opened!!!

Long story short:

Team Freek = TheFloW, Major_Tom, and Mr. Gas.
Some asshat leaked their Vitamin preview and started the scene drama…Major_Tom and Mr.Gas said they are out sadly 🙁However, TheFloW remains with SWEET updates from the official 1.0 release. There are dump compatibility issues with MANY games…1.1 is out which improves the dumping but not really the compatibility. 1.2 is coming out soon (today maybe), and will have MUCH better compatibility.

Vitamin Download:

Keep an eye on Reddit’s /r/VitaPiracy and TheFloW’s twitter to get the latest updates…on what is now the most exciting scene activity that we’ve seen in a LONG time.

For those who say this is bad – I don’t think so, because Vita is officially declared dead by Sony. No longer supported ONE month after I purchased mine…so…I think this is a classic console now, and the era for it’s roms is now. No more AAA titles are planned for it, and lemme tell you … From the selection of games out there – It’s clear why the console didn’t make it too far:

  1. No GOOD hacks for it for long time. Previous Rejuvination hack was limited in accessibility. PSP emulator hacks on PSVita are cool…but not native Vita hacks.
  2. LAME set of games for it, unless you love JRPG’s…then it’s the best console in the world for you ;p I bought mine just to play Uncharted (seriously..)

Anyways – Have Phun 🙂

If you are looking to purchase a PS Vita to join in on the fun…please consider purchasing from these links (It helps support this site and does not cost you anything additional!)

(Originally Posted August 31, 2016)

Windows and Linux together?

Yep…It’s true. Microsoft and Ubuntu have teamed up to make a Bash prompt for Windows 10 (64-bit).

Check it out:

You have to be on the right version of Windows (Dubbed “Anniversary Edition”) to install Bash.

Non MSDN and Enterprise editions can easily upgrade now to the desired version. They will either get the update automatically (or you can check for updates). It’s rolling out, so if you don’t have it yet, you can get it manually from here:

MSDN and Enterprise editions must download the new ISO, and do a Windows update in order to upgrade to the required version that can install Bash. I thought that sucked…but whatever. You’ll need Enterprise Build 14393.

If you’re on the right version, you can get updates and find the “Windows Linux Subsystem” under Add/Remove Windows Features.

What to expect? A Beta…some stuff works but core functions are still being developed. the command “ifconfig” doesn’t work yet, and some devices aren’t being detected quite well (as simple as I can put it).

If you run in to issues running ping, dig, curl, etc – Run BASH as an Administrator. That solves a lot of errors.

I’ve also heard Bitdefender, and other firewalls, can cause lots of issues with Bash. Disable them and test. AVG even seems to have a spot specifically for Bash somewhere in the advanced settings.

Happy Windows BASHing ;D

Want to buy Windows 10 Pro or Home (64-bit links provided)? Please consider purchasing from these links (It helps support this site and does not cost you anything additional!)

(Originally Posted August 23, 2016)

PS Vita 3.60 Root


PS Vita 3.60 firmware is hacked.

You can’t run iso’s and other ‘piracy related’ things (yet), but you can run homebrew and other root required (native) PS Vita apps.

More to come in the near future as this opens the floodgates for developers to make whatever they want.

You can find out more info (and install the exploit) from here:

And…the local server was recently released, but only for Windows folks:

UPDATE: Offline Installer VPK available for Henkaku:
(Tested and verified this is working for my Vita. Be exploited already from Henkaku website, then install the offline installer.)

Great News for the PS Vita Scene!

If you are looking to purchase a PS Vita to join in on the fun…please consider purchasing from these links (It helps support this site and does not cost you anything additional!)

(Originally Posted August 2, 2016)

Uncharted 3 – PS3 – 1.19 Artemis r4 NCL file

I needed it for Artemis r4, so I updated it for version 1.19 thanks to the info found here:

NCL File Download

Put it in your /dev_hdd0/game/ARTPS3001/USRDIR/USERLIST/ directory and enable it as usual (Refresh list if you already have Artemis loaded)…Enjoy!

(Originally Posted Feb 15, 2016)

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