IP Telephony and home phone

I have not used much online services like Skype, but I would like to do a mostly hardware IP Telephone solution.
With the impending 3G shutdown I need to revert back to telephones.

What is a step-up from MagicJack? One line for home use. I might like an oldschool RJ11 handset too.(Is MagicJack OK?)
So two part question:
1) What hardware do you recommend?
2) What service provider? I assume it is SIP server I am looking for.
I almost bought a GrandStream VOIP desk phone but I really don't know what I am looking at.
Cisco IP Phones are also littered across ebay. Are they proprietary gear or open? Maybe needing IP phone software in their switches?

This might be a good task for an embedded arm board. A phone server. What is good for that in ports?
I'm using Google Voice and voip.ms service with obitalk.com device for many years. Of course, GV is special, not sure you can use it with your own device, but voip.ms is pretty standard. There is also twilio.com, they have a very convenient API, but you have to have a publicly accessible URL to control it.

P.S. sorry, writing from a phone, will be able to provide more info tomorrow
I like the GrandStream phones. They have a POE model for 38 bucks and instructions for Asterisk too.
What I am pondering is SIP trunk provider cost.
I went to sign up with one place and it was $100 bucks for the year.
With taxes and fees it shot up to $135. That was enough to make me reevaluate the whole proposal.
Vonage seems on par with the rest. Yearly sign-up required for cheapest rate.
If you have a closer look on IP telephony you wish back old analog telephony.
Telephony has became a privacy nightmare where it is IP based.
Problems are:

1. Metadata now get collected everywhere
2. Providers do not allow encrypted VoIP or provide Mickey-Mouse-encryption.
3. IP-Phones mostly come with crappy/risky firmware making hardware a risky investment.
4. If you want privacy and security, your communication partner needs to be on the same quality level.
5. Mobile communication is as rotten as Signaling System #7 is (SS7).

So what might be left are only a very few solutions with FreeBSD, where net/asterisk16 is one of them and probably the only one if you need it for professional use. Also have a look at the softphone net/linphone.
I could see where firmware updates would be important on these IP Phone devices.
features state-of-the-art security encryption technology (SRTP and TLS)
No too happy about punching a hole in my firewall for SIP either.
Thanks getopt for the security standpoint. So the communications between my Asterisk server and the SIP Trunk Provider would need to be secure. So I need to ensure the SIP trunk provider supports TLS and SRTP options.

I am less worried about phone surveillance and privacy aspect than I am with attacks on my open port on my firewall.
Not sure how I would feel about Google being involved in my home phone situation. They seem to EOL things too fast.
I think a lot of modern router boxes to which a telephone can be pluged can be configured to connect to a SIP server.

I think, this is the best solution: the router is always connected, for the internet, then it should take the task to
connect also to the sip server, then you can connect to it a normal telephone. Other solutions are perhaps unnecessary hardware redundance: unnecessary CPU (with OS), power supply, etc.
I have a APU2 FreeBSD wireless access point with almost no CPU utilization. I was thinking of adding asterisk to it.
But getopt raises a good point in that this feature should reside in a DMZ. So combining features sounded good but is not practical.
it was $100 bucks for the year...
With taxes and fees it shot up to $135
Is it just for service?
For example, voip.ms offers 85¢ per month for a number, then 1¢ per minute or up to 3500 minutes/month for $4.25/month.
It does support Asterisk.
I'm using devices from Obitalk (from $50, you can use any regular phone with them), they have a web interface to control/tune up.
Is it just for service?
Yes, Vonnage I was signing up.
That was 35% fees I saw that seemed hidden, and for $8.97month I had to sign for the whole year.
Very competitive market it seems. Lots of free trials, but that seems unlike me.

The "per minute sites" charge no/little taxes either I saw.
I dunno about some of these hardware interface devices often near free..
Is Asterisk on Arm a bad idea? I like homebrew with phone itself being only 'uncontrolled' device.
GrandStream phone routed(maybe VLAN'ed) to Asterisk. So I have a hardware idea.
Looking around I see porting your number being handled by other companies for some VOIP providers.
That was why I want mainstream provider. I have had the same phone number since 1991 and want to keep it.
I worry about the race to the bottom. Having to fish my phone number back from bankruptcy court or something stupid.
Willing to pay for a brand, but not their fees. 10 bucks a month is my budget here. $135 blew it before even trying it.
I see porting your number being handled by other companies for some VOIP providers
Porting-in works with Google Voice, voip.ms and twilio.com (I have done it myself). However, GV may not be able to port-in a land-line number directly.
By the way, GV usage (within USA/Canada) is totally free. In my case I don't care if they track my calls to my wife about buying groceries ;-)
All of the calls to this line will probably be telemarketers anyway, so I have no expectation of privacy.
I do like the idea of linking of two GrandStream phones with encryption. No real world need though.
I wish I could add a few suggestions.
1) Choose a good FOSS SIP client e.g. LinPhone, PJSIP (I like), etc
2) Use a VOIP service provider e.g. VOIPraider (I like), twilio, etc. Your choice provider will depend on your need.
3) Get a good IP phone hardware. I am rooting for PJSIP-based device but I could not find a new one online.

If you are interested in privacy, secured communication (SRTP, SIPS etc) and much more, you may need get your hands dirty. As much as I would support setting up your infrastructure (Asterisk with webGUI manager - freepbx.org), you may want to put it in a DMZ and only have one IP-phone device (outside the DMZ) using a third-party VOIP service for outbound calls. You can get a DID for inbound calls (e.g. from didww.com) if you want one.

I got a few (other) URLs for you; here they are:

In case you use Android devices, see:

Edit URLS!
Thanks I did research FreePBX as Digium is really the top contender in this space.
I like what I saw.
I need to study what the DID does
Another peace of hardware that you have perhaps always running is a smartphone (I do not have any).

You can keep your smartphone always connected to a sip server through an softphone app. Original android do not
need an app, it has a sip client in the base, but unfortunately many smartphone producers (not all) hide it in their
android distribution.
By the way, GV usage (within USA/Canada) is totally free. In my case I don't care if they track my calls to my wife about buying groceries ;-)

I'd normally be the last person to use GV or Skype. But a few months ago, MS made Skype Linux-unfriendly again. I got tired of jumping hoops to keep Linux Skype working, so switched to GV. Skype was costing me about $65/yr, and that was mostly for the phone number retainer. GV gives you a number for free - really trading ad-search loss of privacy - i.e., the cost is that they can parse your conversations for potential ad key link-ins. So, apparently GV thinks they can recoup about $50/yr based on my talks with the folks.

Like you, I use it for innocuous conversations like my folks (both 90-ish - so I try to call often) - or wife (groceries, etc). I see the tracking (location type) as far more onerous, and all of the providers do that regardless. But, thanks for the info. If I could do some kind of SIP setup for a little more security (like separate encryption), I'd be interested. Good thread.
Original android do not
need an app, it has a sip client in the base, but unfortunately many smartphone producers (not all) hide it in their
android distribution.
I'm happy that my HTC U11 has it under "Call accounts", and it perfectly works. Many VoIP providers let you setting up your caller ID, so I've set mine to my cell number, which is really convenient.