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UIC Softphone Software: CounterPath X-Lite Softphone for Windows, Macs, and Linux


The UIC Softphone telephone account and Softphone# get their names from a type of Voice-over-IP telephone -- a software telephone, or Softphone. A softphone is is a program that enables VoIP telephone calls, such as from your Softphone account and your Softphone#, from personal computers and other computing devices.

This Web page explains how to use the ACCC-supported softphone. UIC Softphone: The Residence Hall Phone Revolution explains how to open your Softphone account if you live in an eligible Residence Hall.

What You Need to Use a Softphone

To use your UIC Softphone# and password with a Software Telephone, you need the following:

  • a personal computer with a supported operating system:
    • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5, 128 MB RAM, 30 MB hard disk space,
    • Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista, Intel Pentium III or better, 256 MB RAM, 30 MB hard disk space,
    • Linux
  • that also has the following:
    • a microphone and speakers,
    • or a USB headset,
    • and a broadband Internet connection (such as Res-Net),

  • your Softphone# and Softphone password,

  • the ACCC-supported softphone software, X-Lite, by CounterPath Solutions, Inc.

  • And, if you will use the softphone software from off-campus, the UIC VPN software, to make it seem like you are on campus and to provide security for your phone calls. You may or may not need the VPN software for X-Lite to work. (I need it.) Even if you do not need it, the security that it provides is valuable.

The X-Lite, and the UIC VPN software, are free software, and there are no additional UIC charges for their use.

-- Forgot Your Softphone# or Softphone Password?

That's no problem so long as you know your UIC netid and ACCC Common password, which you needed to have to register.

  • If you forget your UIC Softphone account telephone number, Softphone#, you can find it on the Softphone Settings page, at the URL:
    Use your UIC netid and ACCC password to log into it.

  • You can also change your Softphone password if your forget it, or just want to change it, through the ACCC Passwords page:
    Here too, you use your UIC netid and ACCC password to log in.
-- X-Lite FAQ and CounterPath Product Knowledge Base Info

X-Lite FAQ, which includes a link to the X-Lite User's Guide (1.1Mb PDF file).

Downloading and Installing X-Lite
  1. Use your favorite Web browser to go to the CounterPath Solutions Web site:

  2. Click on the large X-Lite gray box on the lower right of the home page, beside Bria.

  3. This opens the X-Lite Download page. There are links in the middle of the X-Lite Download page to downloads of the install software for Mac OS X 10.4+ , Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and Linux. Click on the appropriate link for your OS to download and save the file to your computer.

  4. It is important to only have X-Lite open on only one computer at a time or the servers could get confused and you might miss some of your calls. Before you install it, when X-Lite asks whether you want it to be automatically opened when your computer starts up, say No. This will make it easier for you not to have more than one instance of X-Lite running at a time and can help with a problem with some firewalls.

  5. For Windows:
    1. Double-click on the downloaded file: X-Lite-Win32....exe
    2. Follow the instructions, clicking the radio button by I accept the agreement to accept the license agreement, and accepting the default path. Click Next> to go to the next screen.
    3. On the last screen, click the radio button Yes, restart the computer now and click Finish when finished.
    4. Windows Firewalls:
      • If you have a firewall like ZoneAlarm or ZoneAlarm Integrity, it is especially important not to set X-Lite to start up automatically when you reboot. While X-Lite gets along OK with ZoneAlarm after ZoneAlarm is finished starting up, if you try to open them both at the same time, X-Lite will fail to register your SIP phone account.
      • If you have the Windows XP or Windows Vista firewall turned on, allow X-Lite to pass through it.

  6. For Macs:
    1. Double-click the downloaded file: X-lite_Mac....dmg
    2. Click Agree to accept the license agreement.
    3. When the X-Lite window opens, drag the icon to your Applications folder to install it.
    4. Mac Firewall:
      • I did not have to make any changes to the Mac firewall to get X-Lite going on my Mac running Mac OS 10.4.10 on campus or at home. Your mileage might vary. I did do a Google search, and it appears that the ports needed are UDP 3478, 5060, 8000-8012, 10000. But try it first without modifying your firewall.

  7. You can delete the file you downloaded when you are finished installing X-Lite.

  8. If you will be using X-Lite on this computer off-campus, download and install the UIC VPN software as explained in ACCC Virtual Private Network (VPN) Gateway and the Cisco VPN Clients.

Setting Up X-Lite

The first time that you open X-Lite, it will automatically open the SIP Account Settings... box. But you can also open it yourself.

  1. If you are off-campus:
    1. Download and install UIC VPN software, if necessary.
    2. Open the VPN software:
      • Windows: Open the VPN Client from the Start menu.
      • Macs: Start the VPN Client in the Mac OS X Applications folder.
    3. Click the Connection Entries tab and double-click the uicvpn profile, or click on the uicvpn profile to highlight it and click the Connect button.
    4. Type your netid in the Username: box and your ACCC common password in the Password: box and click OK or press Enter. The client will remember your netid after the first time you use it.
  2. Open X-Lite.
  3. Click on the small down arrow tip in the right-most of the three boxes at the top of the X-Lite phone and select SIP Account Settings... from the menu. (The first time you open X-Lite it will open SIP Account Settings... automatically.)
  4. Click the Add... button on the SIP Accounts box. (Or highlight the line with your SIP account and click Properties.)

  5. The Account tab opens first.
    The Properties of Account1 Account Tab
    The information that you fill out here is:
    • Display name: You can put what you want here or leave it blank
    • User name: your UIC netid
    • Password: your Softphone password
    • Authorization user name: leave blank
    • Domain:
    • Domain Proxy: leave as is, with Register with domain and receive incoming calls checked and the target domain radio button selected.
    • Leave the Dialing plan as is also: #1\a\a.T;match=1;prestrip=2;
  6. Now click the Voicemail tab.
    Voicemail tab
    This one is easy:
    • Check for voice mail: check.
    • Number to dial for checking voicemail: 2222
      X-Lite will change this to something very complicated. That's as it should be.
    • You can change Send calls to voicemail if unanswered for xx seconds here if you wish. 30 seconds is the maximum.
  7. Click OK then Close.
  8. Where it says "Ready" in this image of the X-Lite softphone:
    Connected X-Lite softphone
    it will give the progress of your account registration:
    1. Initialize
    2. Discovering Network
    3. Registering
    4. Followed by the result of the registration
      • Registration Error
      • -or- as shown in the image:
        Your username is: your netid
  9. If the error message is that the Registration timed out, it is probably that you are using X-Lite off-campus and haven't connected with UIC VPN or a firewall problem. See Downloading and Installing X-Lite.
Using X-Lite

The X-Lite telephone looks like a cellphone and works pretty much like one also. So if you've ever successfully worked your way through using a cellphone, you should be successful with X-Lite also. Here are a few tips.

If you are off campus,
Open the UIC VPN software and connect to UIC before you start X-Lite. You might not need the VPN for X-Lite to connect from off-campus -- I do -- but even if you don't, the VPN will keep people from capturing your phone calls on the Internet.

To use X-Lite,
Open X-Lite. It must Initialize, Discover the network, and Register and then say Ready Your username is: yournetid for you to use it. It will allow you to dial numbers if it hasn't gone through the entire process, but nothing will connect.
To dial an:
* On-campus phone, dial only the last 5 digits and click the large green phone button on the right.
* Off-campus Chicago area phone, dial 9-1-area code-phone number and click the large green phone button.
* And an off-campus long distance phone, dial 9-1-area code-phone number and click the large green phone button.
Example of long distance call -- US Naval Observatory Time)

To end a call:
Click the large red phone hanging up button. (Not the small red phone one on the screen; that one means you've missed call(s).) In this example, I clicked on the yellow envelope to dial voicemail.
Hang Up button

For a record of the calls you send and receive -- or -- to edit or use your Contacts:
Click the right pointing arrowhead in the bulge on the upper right of the X-Lite phone to open the Calls & Contacts panel.
* The green "person" at the top labeled "Available" is your status; you can change this with the dropdown list to its left.

On the Calls Tab:
* The calls with red telephones are missed calls; the ones with gray phones were completed.
* Double-click on any call that you can make -- outside calls don't have the necessary 9- or 9-1- at the beginning -- and X-Lite will redial the call.
* Point your cursor to a call and a yellow box will open with all the details about the call.
* Right-click (Control-click on Macs) on a call to open a menu that allows you to phone the number, to add it to your contacts, or to delete the call from your call logs.

On the Contacts Tab:

* To add a contact from scratch, click twice on the Contacts button. (Add Contact... is the first item on the menu that opens, which is why clicking twice opens the Add Contact box.) Don't forget the 9-1-areacode for outside calls. And don't forget to select a Primary number.

* To call a contact's Primary number, double-click on the contact's name.
* To call any other of the contact's numbers, Right-click (Control-click on a Mac) on the name, highlight Call, then click on the number you want to call.
* To edit a contact, Right-click (Control-click on a Mac) on the contact's name, and select Edit....
* To find a contact by name, type any part of the name in the search box (the text box with the magnifying glass on the left side).
* Drag and drop contacts to move them from one group to another.

On the Browser Tab:
* Type a keyword or keywords in the box at the top, select a Web search or a search of the CounterPath Support Form (for questions about X-Lite) and click Google Search. This opens your default browser and returns a general Web search or a search of the CounterPath Support Forums, respectively, for your keyword(s).

To use your Voicemail:
* When you have new voicemail, there will be a small yellow envelope at the bottom toward the left of the X-Lite phone's screen. You can click it to dial the voice mail number.

* Or you can just dial 2222 yourself or make a Voicemail contact.
When it connects, it will ask for your password.
This is your Softphone password; type the numbers on the X-Lite phone's keypad.
Press * for:
Main menu
Press 1 for:
New messages
Press 2 to:
Go to other folders, including the folders for old messages.
Press 0 to:
Record your name and busy and no answer messages. For these messages, you press 1 to accept the message you have recorded, 2 to listen to the message that you have recorded, and 3 to record a new message.
Voicemail by email:
Your voicemail messages are also sent by default to your email account. Each time a new voicemail message comes in, an email message is sent to your email account with the voicemail attached as a .wav file. In most email programs, you can click on the attached file to hear the voicemail in your email. This is really cool.
Sample voice mail email message
Even if you can't hear your voicemail on-line, you will know who sent it -- or at least their phone number -- and when, so you can choose whether and when to go to pick it up.

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