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VOIP reliability and ease of use?

by mike62 / March 22, 2006 5:58 AM PST

I presently have dial up but figure I could get a package deal from cable for my t.v. and high speed internet for about what I am paying for my BellSouth plan alone. All I see is about Vonage being advertised here in Tennessee I am sure there are others.

Anyway, they advertise $24.95 for unlimited services basically with all the stuff like caller id, 3 way, etc.

Is the telephone service/connection/clarity as reliable nowadays as my landline phone service?

Appreciate any recommendations.

Thanks.

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Reliable?
by Coryphaeus / March 22, 2006 8:57 PM PST

A couple of thoughts.

If your ISP goes down, no phone service.

Power failure, no phone service.

Some vendors have trouble with 911.

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Counterpoint...
by IndustryVet / April 13, 2006 12:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Reliable?

I've used Packet8 for a year, then most recently Vonage for a year. While I'm doing a disservice to myself, since when VOIP reaches critical mass it will engender all the miscellaneous charges that balloon the cost of analog service, none of commented issues are significant for the majority of persons and here's why:

My ISP does go down, but over the 2+ years of service they have gone down less than 5 times when I was thinking of making a call. Then, consider that most everyone has a cell phone, so like me, they would likely just pick it up and make the call using it and in a few minutes my cable modem was back online.

Power failures should never be a problem through simply having a $40 UPS behind both your router and PC. These days, no one should be without a UPS, they're just too cheap and prevent those crashes. Living in the lightning capital of the U.S., Tampa, no one goes without a UPS here.

Federal regulation has forced the VOIP vendors to all offer 911. Having registered my address with them, I have every confidence the service will equal the analog equivalent.

Folks, it's time for VOIP whether you realize it or not. I don't spend long hours on the phone so Vonage's $15 monthly service of 500 local and long distance service ends up saving me over $100 a year, and, I get the benefits of 3 way calling which becomes really useful once you try it and realize it's free. We are headed for a day when there will be NO analog service, mark my words. Just like your PC needs only a single digital network cable cable to bring everything into it from the outside world, so will your home.

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I Generally Agree
by tonyny77 / April 13, 2006 4:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Counterpoint...

Industry Vet,

I agree with you. However, I have these additional comments pertaining to the level of trust/reliance I have in my PC.

(A) You seem to have a modest-sized UPS; mine is the same, by the way. However, I don't use the UPS to sustain me during an outage. It's just big enough to allow for an orderly shut-down of my system in case the power is gone for more than 30 seconds. In fact, to help ensure I've got enough power, my monitor (a CRT) is off the UPS. By the way ... I wonder what percentage of home PC users have an UPS. As you said, I think we ALL need one, but I wonder how many people have one.

(B) I recently dropped long distance and all additional optional services for my POTS (landline) phone, but I've retained basic local service for the time being.

But I?d like to add that the notion of being so dependent on my PC is a little ''frightening'' to me. I do my banking and pay my bills online, as many of us do. I process/store my photos/videos on my PC as well. As a precaution, I use an UPS, as I mentioned above, and I do regular backups, too. However, for those who are less computer savvy and for those who cannot afford a loss of their system, I think the older ways of doing things will be around for quite a while.

When using/maintaining a PC gets as easy and as carefree as using a plain telephone, only then will I put total trust in these newer/faster high-tech ways of running our lives. Let me add that I?m not criticizing your choices at all; I?m pretty much doing the same things.

But I feel that things are presently a little too tentative to suit me. In other words, I worry a bit. If severe weather strikes my area or if one bit of the wrong byte corrupts my hard drive (on the boot sector, for example), I could be down for ?some time.? How long ?some time? is depends on many factors, of course: (1) When will the power be restored? (2) Have I got a spare hard drive sitting around and will my restore work? (3) If my DSL modem, router, or PC fails, how long will it take to get a replacement configured and get back online?

Call me paranoid, but this is why I feel things are a little precarious. It seems that a critical point of failure lurks around every corner.

Good luck.

Tony

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Maintaining POTS for local svc. is fine way for many
by IndustryVet / April 17, 2006 12:40 AM PDT
In reply to: I Generally Agree

Tony,

No issues with you keeping POTS if you're unsure. You also don't mention if you have a cell phone. One option I didn't mention is that all the services seem to offer a "dual ring" functionality, where all calls to your VOIP ring your cell phone and home VOIP line simultaneously, or, after a defined delay. This could give you more assurance.

Also, a little confused as you keep mentioning your PC and concerns about a boot corruption. Rest assured, your PC only figures into the VOIP picture as far as configuring options for your account, or being notified or listening to voicemails, which of course you can do through the phone. The bottom line is that a PC is little needed in the VOIP world, as far as being highly available to make the service work -- no PC outage will take your VOIP down, only a router, cable/DSL modem or upstream outage will take you down.

As far as a UPS, for those concerned enough, a $40 UPS dedicated to powering the router and cable/DSL modem and VOIP box will give you pretty long term backup since these devices don't draw that much current. I have a slightly larger UPS and share it with one of my PCs, but again, I'm not that concerned with the rare long term power outage -- my ISP outages last longer than electricity outages...

Again, I think if a person has VOIP -and- a cell phone, even if only a prepaid one for occasional use if you're not a huge cell fan, then you can safely rely on and get along with VOIP.

Thanks

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Understand Better, Now
by tonyny77 / April 17, 2006 1:57 PM PDT

Industry Vet,

Yes, I understand a bit better, now. I nearly had switched to VoIP, but we had some concerns. Among them was my worry about how vital the PC was in the VoIP link. Thanks to you, I understand the role of the PC much better.

We DO have cell phones and since we're pinching pennies a bit these days, realizing that landline long distance service and cell phone service was redundant, that's why we dropped the landline long distance.

Once I improve my confidence and understanding about VoIP, I'll certainly be ready to switch. I'm not thick-headed; just slow to change, sometimes. With me getting older (read ''less smart''), I need for technological improvements to be as simple or simpler than the technologies/methods they replace.

To make matters worse, although I used to keep extensive configuration and set-up info regarding my PC and all its peripherals, lately I haven't been as thorough as I used to be. This means that if something goes down, it's going to take a day or more to diagnose the problem, fix the problem or replace the component, which will require finding the manuals involved and the installation/set-up CDs. In other words, if I crash, it'll take a while to get back up.

Thanks for the info, though. I appreciate your help.

Tony

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VOIP
by cnetmmf / April 24, 2006 4:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Understand Better, Now

There seems to be a single reason to go to VOIP, and it appears to be to save money. Has anyone considered that in order to use VOIP, you must have an internet connection. That means that you are overlooking the cost of that internet connection in the total cost of a VOIP setup. DSL has some good rates, but that's at least $13 per month. And that rate is good only if you use landlines. Cable is even more and Directv even more. So depending on your source of IP connection you could be paying as much or even more for VOIP service when compared to landlines. BTW, I do have one great reason for VOIP and that is you can move and take it with you. My son lives in China, and he's getting it so our calls from US to China or China to US are LOCAL calls with NO long distance charges. He will order it here in the US and then carry it back to China. Oh, one final point, sooner or later the phone companies will have to increase their IP charges or offer other deals that will encourage retaining landlines. I think I'll stick with what I've got.

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Agreed, if you don't use the internet...
by IndustryVet / April 25, 2006 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: VOIP

Yes, you need to add the cost of broadband to the total cost of VOIP if you're not already using broadband. However, there are other benefits to having broadband. Not to repeat the advertisements, but it gets you back your phone while using the internet and things do download a WHOLE lot quicker. I don't know anyone that's gone to broadband who would ever consider going back. But, if it's not for you then it's not.

There's also more to the "take it with you" aspect. I've taken my Packet8 with me to a hotel in Detroit that had free broadband and had my phone number ringing there (I'm single so no need to have the phone ring at the house when I'm not there).

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need for analog
by msmith978 / April 20, 2006 11:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Counterpoint...

I wanted to switch all my services, then realized analog is a necessity. I sell merchant services (set businesses up to be able to accept MasterCard and Visa). The credit card terminals are analog. I can't download the necessary software if I don't have an analog line. As long as we keep using credit cards and the manufacturers keep making analog terminals, there will be a need.

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Analog not necessarily a showstopper
by IndustryVet / April 25, 2006 1:53 AM PDT
In reply to: need for analog

Vonage (and others) now offers the capability to support a MODEM over their VOIP line through supporting a FAX line... this would likely enable you to transmit to/from your credit processing company.

I would suggest speaking with Vonage to see if they now of any of their users making this specific application work with their system. They may support a no risk test so that they could then add this to the list of successful applications of their technology.

good luck

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Why not capitalize on VOIP in the early stages?
by sewchicago / May 28, 2006 12:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Counterpoint...

I found a company that is offering a nice little residual payout for voip referrals. Out of respect for this forum I will not post the site here. If you are interested contact me at antoniodeon@hotmail.com

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Not as reliable...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 22, 2006 9:40 PM PST

"Is the telephone service/connection/clarity as reliable nowadays as my landline phone service?"

No. That's easy. Just look at how reliable your other internet use is.

Bob

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reliability
by rprough / March 23, 2006 7:06 PM PST
In reply to: Not as reliable...

I have got to dissagree with you Robert. But first, I will concede the fact that the phone will go out without cable or power in most cases but all that is a mute point when the only phones in the house are cordless and need power anyhow.
Certainly the chief factor for reliability and clarity lies with the cable systems integrity but there are many other factors involved like net congestion, jitter, latency, packett loss, etc. Internet phones (voip) do not require a dial tone either, the dial tone sound is just added because that is what people have become comfortable hearing over time. Certainly bandwidth does help alot.
If I had to choose between the two, I guess I would have to go with telephone company, but not by much. Only because I have an old rotary phone and they have battery backups at the central office in case of a power outage. Not because of clarity or reliability.

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Rotary Phone? Beautiful!
by tonyny77 / April 7, 2006 10:05 PM PDT
In reply to: reliability

I realize I'm not contributing much, but I just wanted to whole-heartedly agree with RP Rough's line of thinking and with the way s/he balances and values the issues at hand.

By the way, RP Rough still has a rotary phone around the house? Perhaps you've still got a turntable with some LP records, too.

Don't be quick to think I'm mocking RP Rough; I'm actually thinking s/he is wise for still having a rotary phone. And if RP Rough has some LP records around the house, too, I have to say that I'd admire that even more.

Tony

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Rotary Phone? Turntable& LPs? Got Em...
by Rick3904 / April 16, 2006 12:44 PM PDT

I have an old rotary phone in my house, left over from my Aunt & Uncle. Also have a working turntable and hundreds of LPs.

But since I have VoIP phone service, alas, I can't dial out on the rotary. Just spin it and nothing happens. But it answers calls just fine. Just finished a one hour call with my brother on the rotary. By the way, I have found my VoIP service (AT&T CallVantage) to be very reliable. The calls are clear, and you would never know you are not talking on a "real" phone. Only times it has been down have related to cable internet outages, which are not frequent. I use my home phone wiring so the whole thing is pretty transparent.

The VoIP is my only "home" phone, but as the last writer says, everyone, including me, has cellular, so in those rare instances of outages, the cell does just fine.

Regarding turntable/LPs, probably a function of my age (54). Have been collecting music since I was about 12, and I resisted the urge many have felt to dump their LPs. Probably have not bought any LPs since '85 when I got my first CD player, but they are still there, many in pristine condition. Now even the CDs are collecting dust, as I have digitized a good portion of my CDs (and some LPs too) and usually play through my computer which is integrated int my main stereo system. Yes, I still have a "stereo". It would be a stretch to call it a "home theater"!

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counterpoint 2
by IndustryVet / April 13, 2006 12:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Not as reliable...

See my first counterpoint. Few of us deal with life and death situations (if you're a doctor the least of your concerns is saving a few bucks through VOIP), therefore the few times that I'm done over 2 years make picking up my cell phone to make the call no big deal.

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I would disagree
by biker020 / April 27, 2006 12:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Not as reliable...

Granted, it all depends on your Internet ISP. I have FTTH (Fiberoptic) broadband service and VoIP with the same company, Paxio, and they have been very reliable. The calls are clear domestic and overseas. I have a cell phone for each adult in our family for emergencies, so I stopped paying for the $77/month to have a landline awhile ago. The one weakness that I see with VoIP is with faxes. I am able to send faxes without a problem, but receiving them with our analog machine is a pain. For that I have a free efax number just to receive faxes.

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my sister has it
by kdupes / March 23, 2006 7:09 AM PST

My sister set it up in atlanta in the summer time. She has since moved to Belgium and hooked it up there to her broadband internet.
It seems to work perfectly fine. Sounds clear, she has no complaints.
Plus it's very nice to be able to talk to her as often as I like.
Even though she is in Europe it's like calling her here in the U.S.

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VOIP
by bfrieday / April 6, 2006 9:44 PM PDT
In reply to: my sister has it

New house with all the Bell outlets and not used.
Have gone with Vonage and so far it is great. Sound is clear and it is great phoning long distance without worrying about time.
Bill Frieday (Wasaga Beach, Ontario)

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VOIP-Intersting discussion
by dermotw / April 6, 2006 10:55 PM PDT

Answered most of my questions. Have an elderly person at home and so will retain a land line. Keep one old style hard wired phone that will operate even if the power goes out.

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The Service is Great
by cmgjp / April 6, 2006 10:57 PM PDT

VOIP I love it and it works Great!! I have had Packet8 for over a year now with great service, I have all the extra's. The true problem, internet service. Your VOIP is at it's best ONLY if your internet service is reliable. My internet service has gone to pot. I keep a cell phone on all the time. Someday maybe there will be a reliable internet service everyware. I live out in the country so I have very few choices. Look at www.packet8.com

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packet8
by smlp / June 22, 2006 8:12 AM PDT
In reply to: The Service is Great

glad someone likes packet8, i had them and they were awful!! service went out for 2 days, they wiped out my acct, charged me 59 bucks to leave, bad dervice RUN FROM packet8

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AT&T vs. Vonage
by lashend / April 7, 2006 12:00 AM PDT

I was a pretty early subscriber to VOIP technology - because I'm a real cheapie! I used to have AT&T CallVantage. I think I paid $20 per month plus taxes plus long distance, and my bills ranged from about $24 to $30 a month in total. As I said, I'm a real cheapie, so I decided to switch to Vonage. Now I pay $15 a month plus tax (which ends up just being a few dollars, since you don't pay all the standard telephone taxes) for everything I need. (The $15 package includes up to 500 anytime/anywhere minutes, while the $25 package you seem to be mentioning is unlimited; I figure there's no way I'll ever need to talk on the phone more than 8 hours each month!) So now I've tried both AT&T CallVantage and Vonage, and I would wholeheartedly recommend AT&T and wholeheartedly discourage Vonage. Here's why . . .

AT&T. I never had a single problem. One feature I like is that you can sign up to have an email sent to you when a voice message arrives in your phone; the message can also be attached to the email. Everything worked flawlessly; that's about the only comment I can make.

Vonage. I have had nothing BUT problems. I've spent hours and hours and hours emailing and talking (or waiting on hold, as it were) with Vonage customer service reps, most of whom seemed like David Spade in that credit card commercial, where he just wants to say "NO" to the customer. Most didn't have a clue how to help me, and I resent how much time it took to fix this problem - which turned out to be a fix that needed to be made from their end. I continue to have problems. Here are the problems I've had:
- Hooking up the Vonage router box caused my internet connection to zap in and out. I'm reasonably good with computers, did all the reasonable troubleshoots, etc; the fix ended up being a programming-type glitch on the Vonage end. This problem is now fixed.
- I missed quite a few calls. Callers told me that my number would simply hang up on them, or that it would ring interminably. This, for the most part, has been fixed.
- I continue, however, to have a problem receiving calls from certain phones. I realized this when a former colleague called me and told me she thought I'd changed my number to avoid calls. She had tried to call me using the local seven-digit number and received a message saying that my number is "unallocated." On a whim, she tried again, using the seven-digit number plus area code, and got through successfully. It makes me wonder how many people have had this problem. Vonage has not yet even responded to my message from two days ago asking for help with this continuing problem.
- It is nearly impossible to get someone to respond to you on the telephone help line.
- Email help response often takes days
- My Vonage router box also, for some reason, seems to pick up the local Oldies 104.1 radio station. I prefer to work without Motown in the background, and so I (again) emailed Vonage for help (since it's impossible to get real help on the phone). They basically sent me a sassy reply saying that, "Well, sometimes that happens. There's probably a radio tower nearby. Too bad for you." There may possibly be a nearby radio tower, but I will note that (a) I have never seen one; and (2) my AT&T router box did not give me this problem.
- The router box has an irritatingly bright blinking light, which I've taken to covering with a towel. This probably isn't a reason to enroll in or avoid Vonage, but, to me, combined with all the other problems, it's "another" disadvantage.
- I can still get a message emailed to me when a voice mail message arrives, but there are two shortfalls in this service: First, it can take up to several hours to arrive via email, which, to me, kind of defeats the purpose (AT&T emails came immediately); and second, it doesn't tell you from whom the call came (the AT&T emails did).

So, my advice: Pay a few extra bucks for AT&T and STAY AWAY FROM VONAGE . . . or you might, like, me, regret it . . .

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vonage
by the_mjb / April 7, 2006 2:13 AM PDT
In reply to: AT&T vs. Vonage

I have had vonage for a year, and the only trouble i had was with the modem, replaced this and have had no problems after this, the price maybe a little too high, compared to broadvoice, but that may come down? As for the 911 calls, I haven't called it more than two times in twenty years, both times by accident. As for service being disrupted by power or cable interruptions, I always have a cellphone in my pocket.

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Find ''Vonage'', Replace WIth ''AT&T''
by Reframmellator / April 7, 2006 5:40 AM PDT
In reply to: AT&T vs. Vonage

I've had VoIP for about 16 months now, and it's been AT&T CallVantage, a decision driven mainly by availability, although Time Warner is now in my exchange and I will likely switch soon.

The point of my title is that I could replace ''Vonage'' with ''AT&T'' in the previous post's gripe list, and I could pretty much claim it as my own. Except for the Oldies 104 part - I'm surprised no one tried to charge you extra for that.

From reviews I've read, it seems that most providers have uneven levels of service. By that, I mean that some CallVantage customers get flawless service, and some, like me, get an unacceptable level of downtime (it's been an average of 1-2 times per month).

Incidentally, a cable tech checked my lines and made sure everything was OK, but he told me that a weak cable signal usually first manifests itself in internet connection problems.

I've kept VoIP because we have cell phones and because I save almost 50% vs. Verizon or MCI on local monthly service. There are some neat ideas, such as e-mail notification of voice mail; remote voice mail access; PC access of voice mail; easy call history access; and some others.

There are also some downsides, such as a need to dial a ten digit number always (although that day is approaching for us all); an inability to use your local answering machine; no indication at the phone that you have voice mail; and no indication that your phone is verklempt until a) you try to use it or b) someone calls your cell phone and tells you that your phone service is verklempt. You may have cable TV and internet service during this entire time, but no phone. I keep a special pen on top of the Linksys router to hit the reset button, whch invariably restores the phone service. And yes, AT&T replaced this router once already - the second one is only marginally better.

When it works, call quality equals or betters that of a traditional land line. I'm probably going to go to Time Warner digital phone service, which offers seven digit local dialing and answering machine compatibility. I know four people with this service - three love it and one hates it. The hater has the same problems I've had with AT&T and that the previous author has had with Vonage.

So - I've compared CallVantage to owning a British sports car. It can be great when it all works, but always pack your tools and a pair of coveralls, and expect that you'll be walking instead of driving occasionally. The more I hear from others, the more I'm convinced that all providers have some level of unevenness in their service, and when it falters, it's at much higher levels than we have come to expect from our telecom infrastructure.

Finally, for safety reasons alone, I recommend you avoid VoIP if you don't have a cell phone. Of course, if all your landline sets are AC powered, your probably wouldn't notice a change in service when the power goes out - which is why every home should have some phone that can operate independently of household AC current.

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Some corrections to 'Find ''Vonage'', Replace WIth ''AT&T'''
by Brad Hansen / April 20, 2006 1:39 AM PDT

Disclosure: I work for AT&T. But I have nothing to do with the CallVantage service, other than being a satisfied customer (yes, I do pay for the service).

Some corrections:
> an inability to use your local answering machine.
Just set your CallVantage voicemail to answer after 10 rings & set your answering machine to answer after something less than 10 (including any extra rings for ''no messages waiting'' feature that a lot of answering machines have). A setting of 6 rings or less should be OK with just about any answering machine. But considering the features of the CallVantage voicemail, I don?t know why you?d want to use an answering machine.

> no indication at the phone that you have voice mail.
My phone's message waiting light works just fine with CallVantage's voice mail. Check your phone & make sure that it supports ''central office'' or ?phone company? voice mail indication.

A strong suggestion:
> no indication that your phone is verklempt?
Well, this is true for any phone service. Reframmellator didn?t specify his network setup, but I suspect that his cable modem is authenticating to the cable ISP (that?s the default setup). The CallVantage service folks regularly attempt to download updates to the router software that improve quality of service. But unless you set your cable modem (or DSL modem) to ?transparent? or ?bridging? mode and use the LinkSys router to authenticate to your ISP, then those software updates can?t be downloaded. That?s because if all you do is plug your router into your modem, the router is isolated on your local network and can?t be directly addressed from the Internet. The ?out of the box? firmware in my router gave pretty poor voice quality and I experienced two dropped calls. But once I found out from my DSL provider how to switch my modem to ?bridging? mode (required changing various modem settings using both browser & telnet ? ugh!), the LinkSys spent about 5 minutes upgrading its firmware & voice quality improved a lot. Since then, it?s been updated a few more times & after the first week of service I?ve never experienced an outage.

So I suspect that Reframmellator (and most others experiencing problems) are still using the ?out-of-the-box? firmware, and unless you?re getting a brand-new router (i.e., one that hasn?t been sitting on the shelf for a few months) you?re not getting the best quality you can get. And this suggestion probably applies to most VOIP providers, so even if you don?t use CallVantage, you should probably find out from your provider how to update your router firmware. CallVantage will do the updates automatically for you, but only if you do that one-time setup on your home network to enable it.

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Seven-Digit Dialing? What's That?
by tonyny77 / April 7, 2006 10:59 PM PDT
In reply to: AT&T vs. Vonage

I'm being facetious, but in my part of Virginia, we had to forget about 7-digit dialing about 6 years ago.

I live in a distant suburb of Washington, DC ... about an hour away. We're right on the border between areas you'd call rural and areas that are suburban. Yet, because of more area codes needing to be added, 7-digit dialing is out of the question.

For the benefit of those living in areas that haven't been affected in this way yet, it means that even if you just wanted to call your neighbor and even if he's in the same area code, you still need to dial 10 digits. It's not a big bother, of course, and you'll certainly get used to it, but when it's first implemented in your area, it requires a change in your way of thinking.

This makes use of the term ''area'' obsolete, now, because neighbors can actually have different area codes. On a more humorous note, have you noticed we're still saying ''dialing?'' How many of us are actually still sticking our finger into a dial-hole and turning it to enter a digit? Not many, of course, yet we still say ''dial.'' Funny.

Tony

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Vonage counterpoint
by IndustryVet / April 13, 2006 12:29 AM PDT
In reply to: AT&T vs. Vonage

I have used Packet8 for a year then switched to Vonage for a year (no issues with Packet8, Vonage was just cheaper). I have had none of the problems below, and, admittedly, the author mentions most of them have been rectified for him.

AT&T scores no points for emailing about voicemails. Vonage does this also and you can listen to them through your computer.

I know several other persons at the office that use Vonage and all are happy with it.

Always consider, you can find any service, any product that someone, anyone, is willing to complain about. Make your own independent determination based upon independent ratings such as from CNet, and, look into return and refund policies. I think you will find Vonage worthy of consideration.

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Cut the chains
by porlockgirl / April 7, 2006 3:55 AM PDT

After a shakey start last August (which turned out to be a fault in the phone company's main line) I am now a very satisfied user of VoIP. My ISP is Speakeasy and I pay 24.95 for free unlimited calling in the US, Canada and Mexico and also in 20 countries (more being added soon) all over the world.
I call England frequently and am never charged, no matter how long the call. I have saved over $150.00 a month. I keep a cell phone, which I only use once every three months when Speakeasy performs a systemwide maintennance between the hours of midnight to 3 am.
This service is reliable and the clarity is amazing - better than my land line was.
Check it out at http://www.speakeasy.net/refer/156165.

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QuantumVoice was my choice.
by Don Dorland / April 7, 2006 4:56 AM PDT

I spent several hours over several days determining which service was the best deal for me...and I haven't been disappointed by choosing QuantumVoice. I wanted toll free calling, both outgoing and INCOMING, with FAX capability, voicemail, etc. For $39.00 a month, great voice quality, no service outages, and timely top notch customer service (props to Jeff Durling) taking care of a couple of problems, I'm a pretty happy guy. If I had to complain about something, it would be that they couldn't port my local Verizon land line number that I've had for 20+ years; not a big deal in the over all scheme of things.

I suggest that you check out some of the other web sites such as www.voip-info.org (has a wealth of useful info and links), and www.dslreports.com (click on FIND SERVICE, scroll down to OTHER FUNCTIONS and click on TOP RATED ISPs, scroll down to VOICE OVER IP PROVIDERS) (also click on REVIEWS next to FIND SERVICE) to get an idea of what users throughout the USA have to say about their VoIP experiences.

FYI: I have a cable connection via Time Warner since early 2002, and run Earthlink, not RoadRunner or AOL broadband. I've never had a problem running any programs on my computer while talking on the "internet" phone during peak system wide ueage (8:00 AM to 9:00PM). I've used QuantumVoice since January 2006. My daughter and son-in-law had Vonage in Virginia and moved to Ohio with no problems in reconnecting service even though they had to change cable providers (Cox to Time Warner in VA, Armstrong in OH).

Collapse -
Still not for non-geeks
by badsponge / April 7, 2006 5:27 AM PDT

I have Vonage. It's not as reliable as POTS, but I still prefer it because of the cost. Sometimes people tell me I sound like I'm on a bad cell connection, and sometimes I can't get a dial tone. I have to reset the router to make it work again. It's annoying, but I don't mind when I think how much money I'm saving. My ISP is Charter with 5mb down/512kb up, so I know speed isn't a problem.

Overall, I'm happy with it, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone like my mother-in-law who can't deal with technical issues herself.

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