Cover Your Asterisk: Uncovering Clones and Counterfeits in Telephony Cards

By Gayle Magee

A concept image of a magnifying glass with a wooden handle on a textured white surface showing the word authentic but magnifying the word fake resembling counterfeitting

Digium created and is the innovative force behind Asterisk, the most widely used open source telephony software in the world. Our revenue sources, which help to maintain and develop the project, come from the commercial sale of our telephony cards, turnkey solutions, commercial licenses, and support. Every time you buy (or sell) genuine Digium products or services, you contribute to the Asterisk project.

Without Contributions, Where Would Open Source Be?

Thanks to the Asterisk community, its popularity has grown worldwide. The downside of this explosive growth is the uprising of Asterisk “clone” cards manufactured in China and available to unassuming online. It’s extremely important to understand the various types of card manufacturers, why it matters which type you purchase from, and what you can do to report them:

There are 3 types of card manufacturers:

  • Legitimate card manufacturers: These manufacturers use their own technology designs and sell them to consumers under their own brand name.
  • Cloners: A big step down from that includes manufacturers who copy outdated card designs from legitimate companies (such as Digium), copy them, and then sell them under their own brand name.
  • Counterfeiters: This category includes those who manufacture replica cards and claim or imply they are authentic Digium cards.

Why It Matters

We applaud legitimate ways of making money with Asterisk, but not illegitimate attempts to capitalize on the hard work and effort that has been put into the Asterisk name. Cloners and counterfeiters mislead customers into thinking they are receiving authentic or “Digium Certified” cards, when they are in fact receiving cheaply made knockoffs, causing damage to our brand name and Asterisk’s reputation. Not only do they cause damage to our brand, they can be extremely unsafe to use.

Here are some of the several reasons not to use counterfeit cards:

  • They are not built to the rigorous specifications of authentic Digium cards, and do not have the proper safety certifications
  • They are not individually tested prior to shipping
  • They use the cheapest available parts
  • They do not come with a warranty
  • They do not come with any technical support
  • They do not give back to the open source community
  • Insurance does not cover damage caused by uncertified technology parts

When you purchase authentic Digium products from our website or from resellers, including our world-class telephony boards, you are funding the future development of Asterisk. This ensures you will have a stable platform with the features you need to run your business effectively.

Here are additional advantages to purchasing authentic Digium cards:

  • A five-year warranty
  • Digium’s Exceptional Satisfaction Program (ESP) money back guarantee
  • VoiceBus performance – patented high-performance architecture
  • Digium created Asterisk and wrote the drivers which guarantees greater compatibility
  • Complimentary (free) installation assistance – technical support from the company that created Asterisk
  • Optional hardware echo cancellation, especially important for FXO ports
  • ISO 9001 certified manufacturing process
  • Made in the USA
  • Certifications include CE , UL, RoHS, FCC and more

Not only was Digium the first vendor of telephony interface cards built specifically for Asterisk, but it has always been the market leader, with over 50% of the world’s board business. Click here for more detailed information on why you should choose authentic Digium cards.

What Can You do to Help?

When you see anyone offering a suspect “Digium compatible” card, please bring their site to our attention by emailing us at [email protected]. Our internal team will review the site to ensure they are not misleading the public.



Click here to Cover Your Asterisk!


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About the Author

Gayle Magee

Gayle Magee is the Director of Customer Success and Worldwide Distribution Sales at Digium, Inc. She joined the firm in 2007 from ADTRAN, Inc. as the Director of Distribution. Prior to ADTRAN, Gayle was the Director of Sales for Inter-tel and Executone Information Systems, Inc. Earlier in her career, Gayle held various VP and Director positions at large systems integrators and then was a partner in a Unix Based communications start-up, responsible for design, marketing and sales. Gayle has her B.A. in Computer Science and Management from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and her husband Gary live in Pinehurst, NC and they travel extensively.

See All of Gayle's Articles