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How to Make Phone Calls through Switchvox from Your Firefox Browser

Switchvox Fire DialerLast week I received a new snom 320 phone from our Network Administrator who is building out our VoIP Network and being an IT guy I set out to discover extensible features.  So, as I find them I’ll post about them here.

Switchvox has authored the Switchvox Fire Dialer Extension; it’s a Firefox Browser Plug-in that integrates the Browser with Switchvox to make VoIP calls directly from your computer.

I found this plug-in to be exceptionally simple to install and configure. Here are the steps I took.

Things You’ll Need

  1. VoIP capability on your network.
  2. Firefox Web Browser.
  3. A microphone and speakers or a headset on your PC.
  4. Inform your Network Administrator.

Regarding #3, you’ll definitely want to discuss this with your Network Administrator first because having phone conversations through your PC is going to put some voice traffic on your network.  Our VoIP implementation that we have in our offices today is segmented such that our Voice and Data are on separate network segments and so trying out the Fire Dialer meant that I’d be taking voice over the Data network. Not a huge deal for a single user but that might present some problems for our Data Applications if everyone in our office attempted to do this.

Step 1

Environment

Determine what version of Firefox you’re running by clicking the Help Menu and then selecting “About Mozilla Firefox.

Determine your version of Firefox

You can locate the version number here.

Firefox Version Number location

Step 2

Download

Download (opens new window) the Fire Dialer plug-in that supports your Firefox Web Browser version. The download options will look like this.

Fire Dialer Download Link Options

After clicking the Download link the Firefox plug-in installer dialog will launch. Click the “Install” button.

Fire Dialer Install Dialog

Note: I have verified directly with Digium that this plug-in was created by Switchvox. I don't have any reason to believe that they should not be a trusted source.

Once the installation is complete you’ll be prompted to re-start Firefox.

Step 3

Configuration

After you’ve restarted the Firefox web browser you’ll need to configure Fire Dialer. To do so, go to the Tools --> Add-ons menu option.

Firefox Add-ons Management

This will launch Add-ons management console. Click the Options button for Fire Dialer.

Firefox Ad-ons Management Console

You’ll need to add some information here.

  1. The IP Address of the PBX (Switchvox box for me).
  2. Your Phone extension.
  3. Your Phone password.

Fire Dialer Configuration

Click Save. You’re now ready to go dialing!

Step 4

Kick the Tires

Using your Firefox web browser, navigate to a web page that has a Phone Number displayed as text. I’ve navigated to our Home Page.

Web Page Phone Numbers

Over-score the Phone Number that you wish to call.

Highlighted Phone Number for Fire Dialer

Place your mouse cursor over the over-scored phone number and right click on your mouse. This will launch the context menu. Choose the Dial option and get ready to call.

Fire Dialer Context Dialing Menu

Oh, make sure that you either have your headset on or your mike and speakers ready :)

Posted by Vic Berggren on Wed, 09 Jul 2008 13:05:57 -0500

Feedback re: How to Make Phone Calls through Switchvox from Your Firefox Browser

It doesn't work, always the same error: Fire Dialer Error: Did not get a response from the Hostname/IP Address (IP) you provided in your Fire Dialer Preferences. Perhaps your PBX is offline.

Any help?

Posted by: Tomas at 7/29/2008 6:15:53 AM | Tomas

Tomas, double check that the IP Address you're using is actually the IP address for your VoIP PBX. The error you've described seems to indicate that either the VoIP PBX is not available... if it is online then you might not have the correct IP Address.

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 7/29/2008 7:44:49 AM | Vic Berggren

Hello Vic,

thx for answering. I'm doing tests for clicktodial 'softwares' (these one could be the best option), and asterisk is in my machine (localhost).

If I change the IP address for the IP of the official asterisk, the result is the same.

Posted by: Tomas at 7/30/2008 4:53:53 AM | Tomas

Ah... Ya know, I can't say for sure if Fire Dialer supports this in a pure Asterisk environment because I never tried it. The plugin was designed by Switchvox to interoperate with the Switchvox interface. I'll put an email into Digium and ask about this.

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 7/30/2008 7:39:20 AM | Vic Berggren

Hi Vic, did they answer to you? I suppose that it won't work :-(

Thx!

Posted by: Tomas at 8/7/2008 7:04:30 AM | Tomas

Hi Tomas, sorry for the delay in following. I have confirmed that Fire Dialer only works with Switchvox.

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 8/8/2008 6:40:19 AM | Vic Berggren

I installed the Fire Dialer following all the above steps--when I highlight and click on a number to dial it sends the call to my phone which starts ringing with the number except it has a 9 infront of it. I went in to the options and changed the the digits to discard but it didn't fix it. Please help

Posted by: Jimmy at 10/20/2008 3:34:57 PM | Jimmy

Fire Dialer Error: Got an invalid response from the Hostname/IP Address (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) you provided in your Fire Dialer preferences.

I tried using the hostname and using the IP address, neither work...

Posted by: e at 11/18/2008 5:29:44 PM | e

Hi Vic,

I'm running into a small problem - I'm sure it has something to do with my outbound call rules or something but for some reason when I dial using fire-dialer my Switchvox adds a '9' and a '1'. So if I click on "780-123-4567" the number that displays on my phone and that Swtichvox will attempt to dial is "917801234567". This is annoying because all calls with a "9" are designated to go through my analog channels...whereas my preference would be to have these calls dialed "as-is" and go through my VOIP provider.

Any suggestions?

Otherwise this is a great tool and if I can get it working my staff will love me.

Posted by: Gord at 1/15/2009 2:23:20 PM | Gord

I'd have to go back and look at it Gord, my calls are set up to go out analog and not sip.

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 1/15/2009 5:04:56 PM | Vic Berggren

It looks like the version of Fire Dialer that I wrote about does not work in FireFox 3.0. I've upgraded since I wrote this post. I believe you can handle this in the plan rules. I need to go look at ours to see.

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 1/15/2009 8:40:12 PM | Vic Berggren

Thanks Vic. What's the latest version? I've got Fire Dialer 1.2.7 on Firefox 3.0.5

Posted by: Gord at 1/30/2009 9:50:55 AM | Gord

The latest version can be downloaded here: http://www.switchvox.com/sv?page=firedialer

Posted by: Vic Berggren at 1/30/2009 10:20:35 AM | Vic Berggren

It seems to connect to port 443.... What kind of service/format does switchbox use?
Maybe we can write a litte app tha thears there, and pass the logic to plan asterisk instalation..

Posted by: KillFill at 4/19/2009 6:43:01 PM | KillFill

Vic,
I am running the same problem as Gord had where I click on 770.xxx.xxxx it would ring to my phone but as soon as I pick up my phone it disconnects my line and shows "ring to 91770.xxx.xxxx" Do you have any suggestion?

Thanks,
Erick

Posted by: erick at 9/29/2010 3:44:31 PM | erick

I installed the Fire Dialer following all the above steps--when I highlight and click on a number to dial it sends the call to my phone which starts ringing with the number except it has a 9 infront of it. I went in to the options and changed the the digits to discard but it didn't fix it. Please help

Posted by: exporters of fruits and vegetables at 10/7/2010 3:27:11 PM | exporters of fruits and vegetables

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