Rhino Review

By Business.com Editorial StaffLast Modified: January 5, 2018

The Rhino Ceros 3U is customizable IP PBX equipment that runs open-source software. It has an unmarked chassis and weighs 25 pounds.

This PBX system measures 5.25 x 17 x 13.5 inches and comes in an all-black design. It has a removable top lid, and on its front panel, it has an aluminum plate, a five-button keypad and an LCD display that resellers and organizations can customize with their names. In addition to being mountable on a rack, it can sit on a table and mount on a wall. It has a washable air filter, two internal fans keeping it cool, rubber bumper feet and mounting brackets.

The Rhino Ceros 3U is available in different configurations. However, the base configuration has an Intel Core motherboard, 500 SATA hard drive, 1GB DDR3 RAM and a 400-watt power brick. This base model can easily serve as a small-business PBX system. You can upgrade the Ceros' storage to a 1TB hard drive or a solid-state drive. Memory upgrade tops out at 32GB DDR3 RAM, and you can add an optional, hot-swappable 400-watt power supply.

Port selection on this PBX phone system includes six USB ports as well as PS2, VGA, DVI, HDMI and audio ports, plus an integrated 10/100/1000 NIC port. With these input ports, you can attach an external monitor, a mouse and a keyboard to the unit and also deploy it as an IP PBX system.

Rhino preloads the Ceros 3U with AsteriskNow, free open-source PBX software based on Linux. However, the company will also install any Asterisk-based Linux distribution of your choice. The three other such operating systems offered for the Rhino Ceros 3U are FreePBX, PBX in a Flash and Elastix. These software programs help your organization build your own unified communications platform and managed telephony networks with custom features.

While these open-source Asterisk-based operating systems are free and make it possible to add new features to the Rhino Ceros 3U, they also require constant updates and tweaking. Therefore, Ceros may be a ready-to-go PBX solution, but customizing it for your organization's needs means that you need to know how to use Asterisk and be familiar with deploying back-end software for PBX installations. In addition, while you can get core PBX features for free from these Linux-based software programs, add-ons, custom features and hardware support are not always free and may end up costing more than paid bespoke PBX software.

The Rhino Ceros 3U is a full-featured PBX system with a rich port selection and customizable hardware and software. However, it is not available directly from the manufacturer and runs an open-source operating system. Therefore, you may end up paying extra for third-party support and advanced PBX features.

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Business.com Editorial Staff
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