This article is almost a year old and some of the information is now outdated. While it is certainly possible to run Asterisk on a WL-520GU router, there is now a better router that has been released since we bought ours. It has a whopping eight times the memory and flash, and a CPU twice the speed of that in the WL-520GU - this is the best consumer-grade router with open-source firmware we've ever seen. If you intend to run Asterisk on a router, we recommend the new Asus RT-N16.
We have also discovered that USB flash drives (at least the ones we have tried) are not up to the task of long-term use. So, you may wish to instead use a CIFS share, or connect a USB hard drive instead of a USB flash drive. Additionally, Asterisk may be installed on many other devices such as the Seagate Dockstar
or many NAS devices such as the Western Digital MyBook Live. If you have a favourite, please comment and let us know what it is and why.
The original article is below, in case it is still helpful for anyone.
Yes, you read right. For this project, we're going to tell you how we built a fully functioning Asterisk PBX out of a $25 router. We designed this project because we wanted an Asterisk server for use as a home PBX that could be built relatively easily, used as little power as possible, and cost as little as possible. The best part is, a lot of the heavy lifting such as compiling Asterisk has already been done for us. All we need to do is install it.
The first version of this article was published on the VoIP Tech Chat forum
in August 2009. The article that you are reading right now is the latest version. The forum no longer allows us to edit the original post so we have moved it here.
A common question people ask is, "Why do you need a PBX for your home?" The answer is we wanted telephone features that we haven't been able to find for a price we're willing to pay. Now, we can have nearly any feature we want. Some of these include termination failover, custom incoming Caller ID, and call recording. The best part is that when we're done, the device will still function as a router. You won't even need to wedge another AC adapter into your power strip.