All about the DrayTEL Service
What is DrayTEL?
It is assumed that you already understand Voice-over-IP (VoIP) - that's the method of using your Internet connection (normally broadband) to carry voice calls, instead of using your regular telephone line.
DrayTEL is a Voice-over-IP service, providing a registrar (locator service) for your VoIP device and also a PSTN gateway. The registrar function involves the central DrayTEL server registering your location and device so that any other people calling your DrayTEL number/address is routed through to you, wherever you are. The PSTN gateway facility is your link to the world outside of VoIP - being able to receive and make calls to people with regular phone lines or mobile phones, worldwide.
DrayTEL integrates all of this, offering great rates, convenience and incedible flexibility. Best of all, DrayTEL offers stacks of value added services at no extra cost, and pay-as-you go for chargeable calls compared to other providers who charge monthly subsriptions for extra services and calls. Only calls to the PSTN calls are chargeable (see costs later); incoming calls and all outgoing calls to other compatible VoIP users are free of charge - so get your friends and colleagues all signed up too!
DrayTEL is based in the UK so we offer prompt support and pricing for additional services is in Pounds Sterling. We allocate British PSTN phone numbers for incoming calls/faxes. DrayTEL is, however, available to anyone anywhere in the world - not just UK users. You're welcome to join and use DrayTEL from anywhere!
What do I need to use DrayTEL?
Firstly, you need some sort of broadband or other high-speed Internet connection. VoIP will also work over ISDN, and even analogue (dial-up) Internet connections, but that is not recommended. Then, you need some method of actually making the voice calls, you can use DrayTEL with any SIP compatible hardware, for example a router with VoIP phone ports (e.g. DrayTek Vigor series), an Analogue Phone Adaptor, a standalone SIP phone or software on your PC. If you use a software VoIP client, we recommend using a headset rather than speakers for best quality.
What if I don't have broadband access?
Even if you don't have broadband, or you're away from your broadband line, you might still want to take advantage of DrayTEL's low calling rates. Once you have a DrayTEL account, you can dial a UK 0845 number (that call is charged at 'Lo-Call' Rate) and make calls to any destination at your normal DrayTEL rates, using your pre-paid credit. You can also pick up your answerphone messages (voicemail) from any phone worldwide by dialling an 0845 number.
What are DrayTEL's features?
- SIP Registrar. Your SIP device (e.g. VoIP-enabled router) logs into the DrayTEL SIP Server to know that it's online. You can then receive VoIP calls from any other compatible user.
- SIP-to-SIP (VoIP) calls. You can dial any other DrayTEL user just by dialling their DrayTEL user ID on your VoIP device. The call is, of course, completely free of charge. You can also call to users of other SIP services, depending on your VoIP device and we provide short codes to other peering SIP providers. PSTN-to-VoIP Calls. DrayTEL will allocate you a real telephone number so that any person on the PSTN (a regular phone line or mobile phone) can call you. This is routed through to your VoIP device or software so that you can receive the call. That's a real phone number to receive calls on.
- VoIP-to-PSTN Calls. In this case, the user with a SIP device lifts his handset and dials a PSTN telephones number. The call is then passed to the DrayTEL gateway, which then connects the SIP user to the remote PSTN number. The cost of the call is deducted from the SIP user's pre-paid calling credit. You can check your current credit and call history on the web site at any time.
- PSTN-to-PSTN Calls. Now with DrayTEL, when you're away from your VoIP phone, you cal dial into the DrayTEL service from any regular phone (an '020' local call number, not high rate or premium) and then make calls using your existing DrayTEL calling credit at your normal DrayTEL call tariff. Use it from landlines, mobiles and payphones for calls worldwide.
- Answerphone/Voicemail. Callers can leave a message when you don't answer a call, or are busy. Their message is then emailed to you as a sound file which you can listen to from anywhere in the world! This extra service is can be activated free of charge after your purchase of £10+VAT of calling credit. There are no ongoing rental charges for this service - it remains active as long as your account does. You can also pick up your messages remotely by phone by calling a UK 0845 number ('Lo-Call' Rate).
- PSTN Access to DrayTEL.If you're away from your VoIP device/phone, you can dial a UK 0845 number from any phone line or mobile, enter your account number/password and then make calls using your DrayTEL credit at your low DrayTEL rates plus the cost of the 0845 call ('Lo-Call' rate).
- Call Forwarding/Diversion. Divert your DrayTEL account to any phone number, worldwide. Anyone calling either your SIP address or your DrayTEL PSTN number will be put through to your forwarded destination, wherever you are. The cost of the diverted leg is deducted from your DrayTEL calling credit at normal DrayTEL rates. You can turn the diversion on/off when you choose.
- Call Forwarding automatic time schedule. The forwarding to your chosen destination (as above) can be turned on only at a certain time of day automatically.
- Group Calling. Set up to two other DrayTEL accounts to ring simultaneously on the same incoming PSTN phone number, allowing more people to pick up incoming calls. This might be ideal, for example, if you have three engineers in different locations and you want any of them to pick up incoming support calls. Each location still has their own DrayTEL account but can share the same incoming phone number.
- Download Call History. You can download your call history in a generic 'CSV format' file, suitable for loading into spreadsheets or other software, listing the time, date, destination and cost of all calls your make for up to the last three months.
- Fax-to-Email. This optional service gives you your own dedicated phone number (UK 0870 or 0845) for people to send you faxes on. The fax is then immediately forwarded to your chosen email address so that you can view it anywhere in the world or in your own office without wasting paper.
- Non-Expiring Call Credit. Call Credit for PSTN calls is purchased Pay-as-you-go, so there is no ongoing commitment or fixed monthly charge. Call Credit doesn't expire - it doesn't have to be used within a specific time period as long as the account remains open/active.
- Multi-Device Calling. You can have your DrayTEL account active (logged in) on up to three devices, anywhere in the world. This means that when someone calls you, a phone can ring in more than one location, for example at home and at work simultaneously, so wherever you are, you can answer the call.
- Music on Hold. When your device places a call on hold, the DrayTEL server will play pleasant music to the other party so they know they've not been disconnected (requires SIP device with SIP 'hold' facility).
- Speaking Clock. Check the date and time whenever you like (dial 9123 from your handset).
- Call Transfer. Transfer call to another DrayTEL user/location (requires VoIP device with SIP 'hold' facility).
- Local ('Geographic') Area Code of your choice* You can get your own telephone number with any UK area code you like (e.g. London 020...) for callers to reach you on from anywhere in the world. There are no ongoing rental charges for the number (a call must be received at least once every 60 days to keep the number active/allocated). Only 1 free geographic number is allowed per DrayTEL account after purchasing £10 call credit.
- Caller Display. DrayTEL will deliver the Caller ID of all calls to your VoIP equipment or software (except where witheld or unavailable of course). Caller ID is also shown in your DrayTEL answerphone (voicemail) messages when they are emailed to you. Physical display of the caller ID does also require a VoIP device/phone which can deliver/display the caller ID.
- *141 - Withold ID. You can withold your own outgoing Caller ID when required, just by prefixing *141 before you dial the destination number. Alternatively you can set your account to permanently withold the phone number to PSTN destinations.
- 999 Emergency Services Access. Access to Emergency services is available via DrayTEL, to customers based in the UK mainland. Users must register their details, for access to emergency services. All users should maintain alternative methods (for example landline or mobile phone) for emergencies. Also, your VoIP service is not available if your VoIP device (router, PC adaptor) loses mains supply (unless you have a UPS for power backup or your device runs on battery power). Please ensure that any users of your VoIP service/device are aware of this.
In the schematic diagram above, the regular phone/mobile users can call the Vigor2600V users, and the Vigor users can call them, all via the DrayTEL gateway - basically, anyone in the digram can call anyone else in the diagram. The Vigor users can of course also make and receive calls from other VoIP/SIP users on the Internet, free of charge. Calls from the PSTN to your DrayTEL 0870 or 056 number are charged to the caller at their normal rates. There is no call charge to the called person (you!). The phone numbers shown in the diagram are not real numbers!
DrayTEL Compared to other VoIP Services
To see how DrayTEL compares to other dealing VoIP services, click here.
What does DrayTEL cost?
Basic DrayTEL membership is free. For costs of additional services click here.
Does DrayTEL have an 'unlimited' calling plan?
DrayTEL's UK Talk call plans offer a range of fixed monthly minutes to UK landline and Mobile destinations for a monthly subscription fee. Calls to 0845/0871 numbers are not included in the plans and are charged at the DrayTEL Silver tariff.
Is DrayTEL the same as DrayTek?
No. DrayTek is a manufacturer of equipment (routers, firewalls etc). DrayTEL is a provider of VoIP services (Registrar, PSTN Gateway etc). The two organisations are independent from each other though of course DrayTek recommend DrayTEL as their preferred SIP provider and endorse their operation and trading style. DrayTEL, of course, recommend DrayTek products for the DrayTEL service as they provide the highest compatibility and allow you to use all DrayTEL features.
I've still got some questions before signing up!
Please do check the details here and in the user guide thoroughly, as most common questions are already answered but if you have any other questions which are not mentioned here, please contact us at
How do I sign up?
To open your DrayTEL account, please click here.