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Poll: Do you use VoIP service at home?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 18, 2007 9:56 AM PDT

Do you use VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service at home?

- Yes, and I love it. (Tell us why.)
- Yes, but I don't recommend it. (Why?)
- No, but I'm considering it. (Why not now?)
- Not anymore. (Why not?)
- No, I'll always use a landline. (Tell us why.)
- No, I only use cellular service.
- VoIP? What's that?

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Land line. . .
by Coryphaeus / October 18, 2007 12:59 PM PDT

Reason? Since I'm retired from SWBell/now AT&T, I get my service for free. Two lines. Dial-up Internet Service. Free. Well, actually I have to pay about a buck-eighty for some kind of tax.

I love it when I get these solicitor calls telling me they can save me money on my phone service. I ask them, "Can you beat free?" The conversation ends quickly.

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free is great, if you can get it
by howardjs01 / October 19, 2007 6:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Land line. . .

You are lucky. The high cost base of the old time phone companies is one reason they charge several times more than my VOIP provider gives even though the service is lower quality.

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Don't get VoIP if your landline is your only lifeline!
by squallie2 / October 22, 2007 7:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Land line. . .

I read your post regarding getting a free land line service from your job, however the point is not what you pay, it's what you receive. I can attach two cans to a string and talk to my neighbor for free too, doesn't make it a good value. I basically have free VoIP by virtue of having signed up for a cable TV and Internet package; otherwise I would never choose their phone service over a true landline. Perhaps it isn't yet perfected; perhaps the service isn't as good, all I can say is I would be wealthy if I had a nickel for every time a problem occurred. I just thank God for cell phones!!!

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Poll: Do you use VoIP service at home?
by WirelessDog / October 19, 2007 9:46 AM PDT

Quality and service is much better but they are not there yet. I should not have to "reboot" my VoIP gateway once a week to restore functionality as I do with my Packet 8 service. Customer service is still lacking as well, if you can get to them. So I would say they are 90% there so its a good value.

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Vonage is Cool!!!!
by cshabazz / October 19, 2007 12:49 PM PDT

I have been using Vonage for about 5 years and it has been great. Every once in a while I have a problem with my bandwith, but it's from Time Warner not from Vonage. The account access features let you manage all the functions and the 911 feature really works well. I have used the call forwarding function all the time. Time Warner cable went down and and just befor I forwarded all my calls to my cell phone. I did not lose one call and they all came thru fine. Time Warner was down for one week. About the clearity, it sounds just like the hardline does. I am really happy with the service and voip technology is getting better all the time. Vonage, keep up the good work!

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I have Vonnage and never reset
by JBeck460 / December 21, 2007 5:09 AM PST
In reply to: Vonage is Cool!!!!

I have had Vonnage for three years and no problems to speak of. My cordless phones tended to be in conflict with the wireless router, but I changed that and went to the Dect 6.0 phones and no interference. I currently have two lines one deicated fax and one home line for 43 bucks, great value for me.

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Try this for a 'reboot' fix
by yankeeharman / October 22, 2007 1:09 AM PDT

The problem I had was similar to this one, having to rest the VoIP unit everyday. It was solved by placing an EXTRA router between the cable modem and the VoIP unit, as there had to be some incopatability with the units. I have since been using Primus Lingo for several years now, and I am VERY happy with the service.

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vonage rocks
by knelson276 / October 19, 2007 9:51 AM PDT

I used to pay almost 50 bucks a month with verizon for a landline, and that didnt include any long distance calls. Now i've only been paying 14.95 + tax, and that includes 500 min anywhere in the US and some other countries. So total bill is always under $20. think they have an unlimited plan for 24.95 and my isp just came out with a voip plan for 29.95, dont know what they thinking but i plan to stick vonage. vonage also comes with alot of the features that landline companys charge for like voicemail, caller id, and call forwarding. you can also check your voicemail from any computer connected to the internet. and no i dont work for or represent vonage in any way, just love the service.

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Yes, and I love it...but my callers don't.
by gdstuart / October 19, 2007 9:51 AM PDT

I have Vonage service on Comcast's network....and there's the rub. My callers complain about echo, and I hear it when I call my wife at home, from either my cell or office landline. Having the two vendors means the problem doesn't get solved--they blame each other. Beware of this situation. If I had it to do again, I'd probably go for Verizon FIOS, but like a dummy, my email address is, and it would take years to accurately change it over.

Geoff Stuart
Philadelphia, PA

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Skype augments my landline
by punterjoe / October 19, 2007 10:01 AM PDT

There are many things the circuit switched legacy phone system does exceedingly well, and some things that VOIP excels at. I feel no need to be monogamous. When a skype to skype call - or video chat is an option, I will often put up with the sometime dicey quality of VOIP to make the call, but most people I know have never heard of skype or VOIP and don't care... I actually still know a few stubborn luddites with rotary phones! I use VOIP for the particular things it does well, and POTS for everything else. It's nice to have choices.

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Lingo VOIP Telephone
by waynek1 / October 19, 2007 10:07 AM PDT

I love this service. I make a lot of long distance calls and don't have to worry about using my cell minutes up. I also have friends in Canada and its free long distance. Cell phone isn't. I use Lingo and it has worked every time I needed to use it unless my internet is down.

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VoiP VS Landline
by DonnaLutheran / October 19, 2007 2:01 PM PDT

I have tried Comcast phone service, Vonage, landline and SKYPE. The Comcast phone service and Internet would fail on numerous occassions. Their customer service said it was failing in the night also while we were sleeping. I took three days off work to wait for their technicians to come out and fix the problem and they never did fix it. I tried switching back to Verizon and it took them almost two months to switch me back so that I could keep my old number.

I canceled both the cable internet and phone and I'm back to a regular landline. I now use dial up (for free through the University).

I have had SKYPE for a few years and when I use it to dial out or call it when I call in; reception is very clear - which I find amazing as I am connecting at 38kps now.

Mostly we use the landline though as we have the complete package with free long distance.

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Your mistake was using Comcast as a provider
by TJGodel / October 20, 2007 11:53 PM PDT
In reply to: VoiP VS Landline

They have terrible service. Comcast Triple play should be called the "Triple Trap". When Verizon FIOS is in your area give it a try.

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Skype is great to augment other services
by howardjs01 / October 19, 2007 6:48 PM PDT

I use Skype to stay in touch with my kids and my friends, especially as I and they travel. The notification that they have signed in is great to stay in touch and the video is lots of fun as well. I am amazed at the call quality (most of the time). Absolutely clear, much better than a normal phone. I also use LINGO for one of my lines.

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No, I only use cellular service.
by prince10bee / October 19, 2007 10:03 AM PDT

Whats the point of home serveice if you have cellular service?

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(NT) Cell phone charges are very high for international calls
by howardjs01 / October 21, 2007 12:40 AM PDT
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Yes I have SkypePro and I love it
by Jezemeg8 / October 19, 2007 10:04 AM PDT

Hi all, when I switched to wireless broadband I rid myself of my landline as I only had it to have access to broadband. I never made phone calls before because I couldn't manage the handsets, being severely disabled means punching little buttons, even just to answer it was too hard.
However, SkypePro enables me, for just $3.20(AUD)per month to make untimed calls to ANY residential landline in Australia for free, and at a greatly reduced cost to 1300 and other premium numbers. I just use my voice recognition software already on my computer to access Skype and bingo I can make and answer calls without having to try to coordinate to hit the right button at the right time. I recommend it for anyone that finds using handsets (even TTY's) impossible and for those wishing to save themselves the costs of having a landline.

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Yeah, I use it. V.O.I.P. isn't at all perfect, but...
by Sarahcatt / October 19, 2007 10:05 AM PDT

The voice quality is consistent because since it's digital, it's unaffected by analog transmission losses. It's a bit more secure because wire-tapping a V.O.I.P. call is a lot more difficult that for analog. I have the flexibility of local phone numbers in multiple cities. For instance, I have a local number in Dallas and Chicago and that is convenient for friends and family in both places. I like the administrative dashboard and the ability to check my voice mail from any Internet browser. I can also view caller ID history on line going back several months.

It's a relatively inexpensive ($24.95 including unlimited long distance) add-on to my existing broadband connection. I'm paying about the same for cable-delivered broadband plus Vonage V.O.I.P., as I was for a fully-featured analog telephone service without DSL. Add DSL and I am saving $40 to $50 per month.

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VOIP - Not any more
by Smiley5 / October 19, 2007 10:11 AM PDT

I had Mediacom internet service for a couple of years when they offered phone service. I had the service for four months and couldn't stand it any longer. Mediacom's service was bad, the internet service would go down for sometimes long periods and the phone would be out. Would have to call on my cell phone. Also, I could not use my fax machine on this service or have an alarm system tied to the phone. I don't recommend this service, particularly if you live in north Alabama.

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Comcast Triple Play
by avbfree / October 19, 2007 10:13 AM PDT

I had Comcast cable tv, their so called highspeed internet, and telephone service. When they were working, they were fine; however when cable is down (which is common here in Detroit) I had nothing! NO TV, NO INTERNET, and NO PHONE. I now have three different services and although it may cost a little more I'm never alone.

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Vonnage is great
by DDT3 / October 20, 2007 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Comcast Triple Play

Love my Vonnage, been using it for years, can't remember having to worry about a long distance bill and especially like the simulaneous ring feature and the ease of setting forwarding...all the extra features like call waiting and ID and no extra charges. Can't beat it...and the quality is just as good as land lines, in all the years never has one person question the quality.

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Stay with landline !
by marion50 / October 19, 2007 10:39 AM PDT

I'll stay with a landline instead of using Comcast's VoIP service here because when the internet goes down, you can't call in to complain aboput the service being down! ! ! !

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Voip Vs Landline
by DonnaLutheran / October 19, 2007 2:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Stay with landline !

Good Point. I know what you mean

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Why no VOIP
by slheider / October 19, 2007 10:55 AM PDT

We used to use VOIP (Vonage) for our long distance and a fax line. We started having major trouble with the fax (noise on the line?) which required looking for another fax solution ( We switched to a free long distance package with AT&T and myfax and pay less for those two things than we were paying for Vonage.

There is one very important reason that I will never use a VOIP line as my sole home telephone (will always have a landline)... If the power goes out, unless a phone line has also gone down, I still have phone service in the house, an important consideration when there are children or teens in the home. If the power is out for an extended period of time (longest was over 24 hours) we could quickly exceed the storage capacity of our cell batteries with no way to recharge them. This is a real world scenario in which a home could be left with no phone service if the electricity were out for an extended period of time. That's why we won't use VOIP...

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Yes!! And I love it!!
by ebscnet / October 19, 2007 10:58 AM PDT

I have VOIP services for over a year and had no problem. I'm paying $31 with all taxes and i get unlimited calls to usa, canada and 35 countries. The company name is BROAD VOICE, my wife can talk to her mother in brazil for hours and i can call my family as well, the only down side is the charge when i call a mobile number outside usa or canada, but i always call a land line, of course.

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by leocwa / October 19, 2007 11:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes!! And I love it!!

I now use VOIP for about 8 months from from Time warrner cable, Got the whole bundle ISP, TV and VOIP Phone Unlimmited calls and long distance can't tell the differance from a land line except an ocasional beep beep I think the bundle costs around $120 per month. We have three cordless phones , work off the router, remember you have NO PHONE SERVICE during a power failure.Thats when we go outside of the house , stand in the driveway and use the Cell phone the only place we get a signal.Up until building this house in the Texas hill country where cell phones have spotty signals we were streight cell phones no land line for years and loved it the only way to go.

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Undecided: Verizon Is Too High; Comcast Stinks
by whbos / October 19, 2007 11:28 AM PDT

I've thought about switching to Vonage, but I would have to dump Verizon DSL--which is not a real problem for me. Verizon phone and DSL service has gotten too expensive. I make very few long distance calls and my bill, every month, is over $100. I'm not on the DSL contract anymore since it really saves nothing here in Pittsburgh since all the taxes they tack on jack up the bill more. It's the phone service alone that has been gradually getting more expensive.

I already have Comcast cable and have had their high-speed internet, which stinks because there were many days the service is down. P'burgh sucks as it is, but the electrical/cable (and most everything else) is antiquated and flawed. I used to live on a street where most people had Comcast Digital phone service, but when they called my Verizon phone number they would get a message that the phone number was disconnected. It wasn't disconnected. It is a flaw with Comcast's phone service. My mother, who lives in Texas, called from her Comcast phone line and she got the same message.

From what I've read on this thread so far, it seems Vonage still has a way to go.

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by rtweedle / October 19, 2007 11:29 AM PDT

I have Comcast internet and decided to try something other than ATT for a land line to contain costs. A friend told me about Vonage so I checked into it online and decided to try it. It's GREAT. The only times I've had trouble with it has been when my Comcast connection went down. Even then it switches to my cell phone automatically.I save $10-$15 per month and get more services.
I also like the ability to listen to my voicemail online. My cell phone carrier should have this.

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Voip Rocks!!
by derekgaus / October 19, 2007 11:40 AM PDT

I am connected to Cable broadband. For the past year I have been using Voip for all my national and international calls. I installed a Draytek Vigor 2100 Rouuer with analog voice adaptor so that I can make VOIP calls with my normal analog telephone. My VOIP service provider is Freshtel and the call quality is excellent. National calls cost me 10 cents per call untimed and unlimited (including 1300/13 type calls). Calls to mobliles are much cheaper than normal Telcos. For special calls eg 1900 type I have to over-ride VOIP (simple process)and use my normal Telco. Free 1800 calls are handled by my VOIP provider with no problem. Since going VOIP I have save lots of dollars.

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yes and I like it
by moglets1 / October 19, 2007 12:24 PM PDT

I should point out that I live in Australia - things may be different over here. I have a "One-Way" service with Engin and I think that it is just the bee's knees - in other words, great. It costs me $9.95 per month for the basic service, interstate calls (no matter how far from me) are never more than 10 cents each (untimed) and I spoke to Canada for 45 minutes and it cost the grand sum of $2.50!!
I find that unlike a few of my friends who are with another company, the quality of the connection does not degrade, there is no loss or interuption with the line and you really cannot tell the difference between Engin and Telstra calls.
Naturally, now that I know how well the system works, I make the majority of my calls (no matter whether they be local, interstate or international) through Engin.
Because it is a one-way service (I can call out, but others can NOT call in, I have kept my Telstra connection, so if there were an emergency with the internet connection (which so far, fingers crossed there has not been)I would still be able to call out.
All in all, I think that it is an excellent system.


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