Good Bye Telco .. Hello VOIP - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 12:56 pm Thread Starter
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Good Bye Telco .. Hello VOIP

Well I decided to give my local telco the boot today and go with VOIP (Voice over IP). For those of you that don't know what VOIP is, it allows you to make calls using your internet connection and an adapter. You dont even have to change your existing phones. You do have to have a broadband internet connection though. No dial-up.
Anyways.. I decide to go with Voip.net as my provider. I picked the $19.95/mo residential plan which gives me Unlimited calling throughout Canada and the US, as well as all those other feature like Call waiting , forwarding, voicemail, etc.
I also had them give me a dedicated fax number as well for an additional $4.95/mo.
Setting the system up is quite easy. It takes no time at all. Mine was a little different though. I had to have it work with my intercom at my gate as well as the security system. The customer support line was awesome. They are very helpful in getting you up and running.
Once mine working properly, I made my first call. The quality was outstanding. You could not tell that you are using the internet to make a call. The person on the other end couldnt even notice the difference. I will now be paying around $25.00/mo as apposed to $130-$180/mo with the local telco. A savings of $1,260 - $1,860/year with all the same features plus more.
The only drawback is that when your power goes out, so does your ability to make calls. No big deal to me , I have a cell as well.

Just thought I would share the saving tip with everyone

Cheers

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Ed Bruce
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post #2 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 3:08 pm
 
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Cool!

So how do you get the call from your cable to your existing phones? Supposedly my cable isp is getting ready to offer this and I am interested...

Were the other features include in the 19.95? Wow what a deal!
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post #3 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 3:20 pm Thread Starter
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Yup..All those features plus MORE for $19.95

You connect a ethernet connection from your Modem or Router to the adapter box they give you, and then, you plug a normal phone cord from the adapter to the phone jack in the wall. The wiring at the main phone box at your home has to be re-wired (not hard to do, my pal did it for me, I just can't remember what he did. Customer Support helped him) Then plug your phones in the other jacks in the wall.
Here is a link to the company I used www.voip.net

Cheers

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post #4 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 3:24 pm
 
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Tnaks Ed...
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post #5 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 3:38 pm
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Do you have to sign a contract with them and how long is the present price good for ?



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post #6 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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No Contract required..

I believe that is there regular price. There are other plans that are cheaper, depending on what your usage is.
I paid up front.....

Monthly plan $19.95
1 time setup $34.95
Shipping fee $11.95

Total $66.85

Your monthly plan doesnt start until you start using the service. I believe they even offer a money back gaurantee

Cheers

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post #7 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdBruce
Yup..All those features plus MORE for $19.95

You connect a ethernet connection from your Modem or Router to the adapter box they give you, and then, you plug a normal phone cord from the adapter to the phone jack in the wall. The wiring at the main phone box at your home has to be re-wired (not hard to do, my pal did it for me, I just can't remember what he did. Customer Support helped him) Then plug your phones in the other jacks in the wall.
Here is a link to the company I used www.voip.net

Cheers

I have Vonage and happy wiith it. All I did was unplug the incoming phone wires outside the house from the external box. That's it. Ran a 6" phone wire betweren router and a line splitter with two jacks. Ran one line from there to the wall jack which made all the house phones active and from the splitter to a phone in the office. You could put the splitter on the wall jack and it will do the same. Connected a second one between the router and the fax machine.



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post #8 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:30 pm
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Like Raffy, I am very happy with Vonage. Living in a rural area, my phone bill was $80 a month thru Verizon to have a local Baltimore number. And Verizon always messed my bill up with charges that were not mine. Now it's $25 a month with many more features. I hooked it up myself. You just unplug or unhook the wire coming from outside and run a regular phone wire from the Vonage router to any phone jack and any phone is the house will work.

Dave
Monkton, MD
and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC
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post #9 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:43 pm
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What type of ISP do you have and how much does that cost?
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post #10 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:47 pm Thread Starter
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Vonage is very good as well. I didn't go with them because for the exact same plan that I got with VOIP for $19.95, Vonage charges $39.99 with the exact same options. As well VOIP charges $4.95/mo for a dedicated fax number with your service,. Vonage charges $12.99


Cheers

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post #11 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:49 pm
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yeah, i'm using vonage too. works very well. have two lines with unlimited service - $50/month. could have gone with one line, but wanted to have a dedicated home office line. took about ten seconds to hook up.
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post #12 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 4:51 pm Thread Starter
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Shaw Cable is my ISP. I pay $24.95/mo


Cheers

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post #13 of 15 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 8:05 pm
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No doubt VoIP is the coming thing and I'm pretty sure it'll eventually replace analoge copper for residential voice coms. Many are quite happy with it. What's harder to find are the disadvantages. Though few, they are there. (this list is by no means conclusive).

1. 911 service.

a. Who takes your call for help? Since you're not directly wired into a local system - your 911 call may well wind up at your provider. In another state. They'll have to call back to your local emergency services or cross conect ya. You can alleviate this by setting up your local dispatch/call center on a speed dial.

b. Most areas have a system in place that as soon as you call 911, the call center has access to your location information (address, name, etc). This may well not be a big deal - unless you're having a stroke or some problem that limits your ability to talk. Your local call center you called with speed dial may not have any way of knowing who or where you are. VoIP systems - mostly - aren't able to provide location/subscriber information to the call center. But, this is changing.

2. Reliability
a. As was mentioned, your communications chanel is totaly dependant on your internet connection. Personaly, I'd susggest ensuring you're using a good LAN design, quality equipment and a UPS on all your gear.

b. I'd also want to be sure I had a 'real' LAN, not a home system based on "Internet Connection Sharing". What with worms, viri, et all - it'd be a real downer to loose not only your I-net connection, but your ability to call tech support in one fell swoop. Gateway routers and home type switches are cheap - use 'em.

c. Consider your connection. If you're on DSL, you're likely already paying your local phone company for a wire pair. Even if it's through your ISP. You may well be able to negotiate with your phone provider for some kind of package that'll save $$ for both. If cable - research all the 'shared bandwidth' issues. Though no where near as impacting as it used to be, durring busy usage you may experience degradation of sound quality. Also remember since TV cable services aren't considered a "Utility" in many areas, they've lower standards for reliability, availablity and customer service - though this is quite variable to area/provider.

There's progress being made to 'fix' the 911 problem. Rest of it is simply 'best practices'. VoIP can be a great deal! Just be sure you're aware of the gotchyas and can deal with 'em. Like any new tech - VoIP has some wonderful potential, but, it's not perfect, yet.

Tate

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post #14 of 15 Old Oct 9th, 2005, 8:01 am
 
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I just canceled Vonage and here is why:
  • internet connection speed at 4meg down 512k up
    • measured both many times and confirmed
    • all routers set at highest priority for Vonage
    • all firmware at current levels
  • work from home
    • company has a VPN connection requirement that eats up lots of upload bandwidth
  • while connected via VPN and on calls
    • there would be periods where I would still hear folks speaking but had no upload (me speaking to them) capability
    • no other computer attached
    • other times the calls would just lose their connection
    • support was great however could not resolve
      • in fact this worsened my voice quality
  • next is the ability for my Directv tivo to call home
    • you must degrade the call signal quality to allow this connection however when done, you have a 50/50 chance you'll be able to connect
Now I want to be up front here...if I didn't work from home I'd be back on Vonage asap because when all is set to a higher quality (eats more upload bandwidth) setting it is terrific and folks can't tell. At some point the ISP's will be offering a better upload speed and I may be able to get back on. As well, TiVo may start allowing wireless connection to the net allowing for updates without a phone line.
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post #15 of 15 Old Oct 9th, 2005, 5:00 pm
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I have had no problems with Vonage and I have two gabby teenagers. I do not use it for anything other than voice and I have a cell phone back up. Vonage has set up 911 service in our area. I use Comcast for ISP and TV at $94.00 or therabouts a month. I live in a rural area so I am limited as to choice and Dish and Direct TV do not work here...too many trees. I am getting Vonage and high speed cable ISP for less than my old dial-up service (RCN) and my Verizon phone.

Dave
Monkton, MD
and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC
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