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Vonage?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
does anyone here use this type of internet phone service? If you do would you care to share you experience with me. I am looking to switch from SBC's $60 a month charges to a $25 a month Vonage plan. Seems like a good deal, but I am curious as to the performance of the voip services.
any input would be appreciated.
Thanx, Randy


Vonage.com
post #2 of 13
I'm on the $25 per month UNLIMITED plan. The Linksys Telephone Router was FREE and it accepts a connection to any 'regular' phone.

The quality is 85% of a regular landline. Voices are heard clearly except for some annoying echoing, and other miscellaneous noises like faint static and ringing. If my broadband is down, so is my phone service; my cell phone is my backup. If the electricity is down so is my phone; my cell is my backup again.

The billing is done via my ccard and I can easily view it via Vonage's website. I can configure my voice mail to pickup and can hear the messages on any computer with an internet connection.

Even though I get annoying static and echoing, the low price per month easily outweighs the 85% quality. Even 911 service is available (you have to register) and Vonage's website accounting is decent enough, although a bit slow.

I say try it but WHILE YOU STILL HAVE YOUR REGULAR LANDLINE. If you can live with 85% voice quality, you won't be dissatisfied with Vonage.

Hope this helps.
8) 8) 8)
post #3 of 13
hi, I am on Vonage over a cable connection with Comcast, and am EXTREMELY satisfied with the service. I have been using for a few months now.

1. call quality: just as good as a regular phone and sometimes better (I often call to and get calls from overseas) and people are often surprised at the quality, as if I was calling from across the street. However they have occasionally complained about a wee bit of delay, and I have heard an echo a couple of times. But really overall quality has been GREAT!

2. cost: I downgraded to $15 / month plan recently. Couldn't be happier. I still get 500 minutes to call anywhere in US or Canada, and I get cheap rates for calls overseas.
They also reduce their prices every once in a while, as they achieve better economies of scale.

3. features: automatic notification of voicemail messages by email is sweet!

The only downside I can think of is the fact that you're dependent on your broadband connection for your phone service. Cable was down for a week for me at one point, so I was out of phone as well as a result! Very annoying... convinced me to get a pre-paid cell phone as a backup.
post #4 of 13
I don't see the purpose of having a home phone nowadays. Cell phones are much more conveniet.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by ThinkingDifferent
I don't see the purpose of having a home phone nowadays. Cell phones are much more conveniet.

yes they are more convenient and expensive. Also, if and when you ever have two teenagers at home you will realize how important a home phone is.

Thanks to cygsid, and cj3209 for your input. I am going to get the $25 a month set up with Vonage and have my job issued cell as my back-up, and get a pay-per-use cell phone for any other situations.
One other thing, I have a router/4port switch I use with my broadband, and use all 4 ports for computers and playstation2. My question is, will I need another port for the phone adapter?
Thanx again for your help, Randy
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by MagicFingers
yes they are more convenient and expensive. Also, if and when you ever have two teenagers at home you will realize how important a home phone is.

Thanks to cygsid, and cj3209 for your input. I am going to get the $25 a month set up with Vonage and have my job issued cell as my back-up, and get a pay-per-use cell phone for any other situations.
One other thing, I have a router/4port switch I use with my broadband, and use all 4 ports for computers and playstation2. My question is, will I need another port for the phone adapter?
Thanx again for your help, Randy

the most reliable configuration is with the vonage adapter box placed ahead of the router in the chain of devices, so yes you should be ok.
post #7 of 13
Does it work with DSL?
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #8 of 13
I am also looking at dropping my land lines and have several questions.

1. What is the phone adapter like. ie ethernet in and out connections. Vonage gives directons for connecting into your existing home phone system. So is there external connections on the adapter to connect up to the phone terminals?

2. Do you get a dial tone when you pick up the phone? Going from analog to digital I don't think you would but I would like to know. The fax machine won't dial without one. Has anyone tried to recieve faxes without having to pay for the extra fax service?

3. How does it effect your bandwidth? When someone is using the phone or if someone just leaves the phone off the hook?

Thanks reg
post #9 of 13
1) The phone adapter is basically a Linksys Phone modem; it has two built-in phone ports that connect to any phone and a couple of ethernet ports for connecting to your router and/or other computers

2) I get a dial tone after about three beeps. No, I haven't tried using a fax.

3) I haven't measured the bandwidth loss (I have a cable modem) but I can't imagine that it would be that much.

Hope this helps.



post #10 of 13
From what I hear, the federal goverment has not started taxing this type of phone yet. So is the 24.99 your total cost per month minus what ever long distance / international / info calls you make?

reg
post #11 of 13
I don't know about the Feds but I do know that some local municipalities are requesting Utility Users Taxes from most of the 'internet' phone companies - Vonage is one of the largest.

I haven't seen any UUT taxes yet on my phone bill but I anticipate one in the near future - there's too much money at stake for government NOT to collect UUT taxes.

What I DO see is some FET Tax and a Regulatory Recovery Fee, both only a few dollars (I think it's a small percentage of my total bill).

You know what they say about the two sure things in life...






Quote:
Originally posted by reg
From what I hear, the federal goverment has not started taxing this type of phone yet. So is the 24.99 your total cost per month minus what ever long distance / international / info calls you make?

reg
post #12 of 13
Did vonage just implement this new feature:

where if your internet/vonage phone is not working, it'll automatically send the phone call to your backup phone number [mobile/different phone] that's stated in your account?


also, is there a way to put a splitter on the phone #1 port on the phone adapter, so you can use a fax machine for [very occassional] faxing w/out having to unplug the phone line connected to port #1 every time you want to fax?



hope someone can help w/this Thanks
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by badtz
Did vonage just implement this new feature:

where if your internet/vonage phone is not working, it'll automatically send the phone call to your backup phone number [mobile/different phone] that's stated in your account?


also, is there a way to put a splitter on the phone #1 port on the phone adapter, so you can use a fax machine for [very occassional] faxing w/out having to unplug the phone line connected to port #1 every time you want to fax?



hope someone can help w/this Thanks

yes it does.
if you have an account there you can use
most any number you want.

I ordered Vonage on the 8th after looking into the costs.
You can buy the phone adapters at Radio Shack,
bestbuy, blah blah.. and get a rebate back that more or
less makes it free. But you have to have an account for
60 days first.
Vonage will give you the same phone adapters
for a $9.95 shipping charge when you sign up.
Cost for me hookup through :
phone adapter 10.00
one time setup fee 30.00
first month up front 25.00
when the sales person at vonage gave me the
total cost of setup-- roughly $70.00, I balked and said
that I'd call back. she immediately offered to waive the setup,
and waive my first month fee. I took it. heck it's worth the
10.00 just to try it.
now if they are like AOL, and after a month I tell them
I don't want the service anymore.... maybe they'll give
me another free month

As far as Faxing
Motorola has a nicer phone adapter than the Vonage
linksis for 20.00 more. The main difference is that the
adapter has 2 data plugs for fax along with the 2 phone jacks.
maybe this modem would work without needing to pay
the increased cost to Vonage for their fax service, one reason
I think Vonage raises the price is because you get a fax # in
addition to your phone number. I'd have to go through their
help section to verify the extra # though. but you can do
that yourself I'm sure.
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