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And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: November 08, 2006 06:27PM
I am considering the $24.99 a month Vonage service plan, which will give me unlimited USA/Canada/Puerto Rico calling with similar phone features like I have now:
1)Free VoiceMail
2)Free Caller ID
3)Free Call Waiting
4)Free Call Forwarding
etc etc.

Have any of you successfully switched over to the Vonage system and have it work right? Am I being totally uninformed, and/or otherwise stupid and consumer unaware by even considering doing such a thing? Right now I have Time-Warner cable modem (6MB/sec down/430mb/sec up), which functions as advertised. I use a Belkin wireless/ethernet (4-port) router, an FSD-7230-4, just replaced by Belkin because the first one had a hardware failure (wireless stopped transmitting 100%). Lucky they have a Lifetime warranty...the new model is 100% different than my 4-year old was, and seems to work flawlessly.

Would I lose one of the ethernet ports (all occupied now) in the router to hook up the Vonage box?

Would doing the Vonage system switch interfere and otherwise screw up my present cable modem system, which supports 8 wired and wireless Macs. Does that Vonage "box" compromise internet use, or make it compromised?

Excuse me for my ignorance, for I have absolutely no knowledge of the Vonage system other than what I've read on their web sites, and through a Google search, reading only in a cursory way several complaints and praises of the Vonage system.

Thank you for any education you'd care to give me.

___________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 08, 2006 06:32PM
Your setup sounds perfectly compatible with VoIP.

Yes, the phone adapter (referred to as a gizmo) will take an ethernet port.

There are many other companies which offer a variety of similar services. One that is popular around here is SunRocket. If you wait for a deal, their service is similar to Vonage for $99/yr.

What particular features are you looking for?

I'm quite happy with my choice of SunRocket. Perhaps others will chime in with reviews of other providers.



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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: volcs0
Date: November 08, 2006 06:37PM
Vonage has been working well for us for 2 years now. We have the $15/month plan (I think it is 500 minutes). I've had the VoiP box both in between cable modem and router as well as just attached to router. You'll get a better voice connection if you let the vonage box control the traffic. But some of the newer routers allow for more intricate control of VoiP boxes.

My friend has SunRocket and he says it is great as well. I know there are many popular services now - your ISP might even have one.

Who ever you pick, find someone who has that service and get a referfal. All the services have refefral programs.

Good luck.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: November 08, 2006 07:11PM
One thing to consider, after our "October surprise" snowfall we were without power and cable service for 9 days. Some Time Warner cable customers were without service for a full 2 weeks. Many Verizon landline customers like me had no interruption of service.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2006 07:12PM by MacManMaz.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: November 08, 2006 08:02PM
3+ years now. Would never go back to landline phones - UNLESS - FIOS comes a-knocking. smiling smiley



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: November 08, 2006 09:06PM
I had Vonage for a little over a year, I think, in conjunction with a landline. I didn't care for it, there was a weird delay to get a dial tone and I thought the audio quality was lower than the landline. Perhaps it's improved since then, or maybe I didn't have it setup correctly (although to set it up any differently than I did would mean I wouldn't want it set up that way). I got rid of it when I didn't have the need for an extra telephone line anymore.

Plus, there's the ambiguous connection to 911 with VoIP services, and the 1 time I had to call 911 from a cell phone, it didn't work (from my cell and my friend's cell). I had to call another person to call 911 from a landline for me. So I'll probably always have a true landline.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 08, 2006 09:43PM
Voicepulse is less expensive and has better customer service than Vonage. i've had them for over a year.

and 911 works. i called the other day to verify it since i was leaving my son home alone for a few hours.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: November 08, 2006 09:56PM
is it possible for a dsl subscriber to drop standard phone service, but keep the dsl and switch over to a VOIP service?
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 08, 2006 09:59PM
Quote
evilrobot
is it possible for a dsl subscriber to drop standard phone service, but keep the dsl and switch over to a VOIP service?

only if your phone company provides a 'dry line.' some do though none in GA.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: November 08, 2006 10:00PM
i've never heard of a 'dry line' - i'm assuming that's a connection that allows nothing more than a dsl connection?
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: November 08, 2006 10:24PM
Quote
graylocks
Voicepulse is less expensive and has better customer service than Vonage. i've had them for over a year.

and 911 works. i called the other day to verify it since i was leaving my son home alone for a few hours.

That's interesting....the others have complained about 911 NOT working, and you say 911 "works". I don't understand I guess. What doesn't work about 911 with Vonage? Would someone please explain that one for me.

And graylocks, what are you paying per month compared to Vonage's $24.99 for unlimited local, long distance etc plus all the other frills? Please explain what you mean about it costing less, has better customer service etc.

I'm sorry to be asking all these questions, but this would be a Big Deal for me to do, as I have to depend on my phone for both personal security, my business FAX service (yes, I don't FAX with my Macs...just a dedicated FAX/copy machine), and long distance....which we have with Quest, absolutely Dirt Cheap long distance at only 2.9 cents a minute long distance 24/7. Nobody's been able to touch that price for years.

So I have some Vonage lovers, graylocks who says his service is better and 911 "works",
and I'm still sitting on the fence. I appreciate all the comments, I really do. Thanks so much, so far.

________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 08, 2006 10:37PM
Its a recent development that 911 has been worked out for VoIP.

Faxing over VoIP sounds like a bad idea. I've looked into it and there are few people here and there that get it to work but its not a reliable solution. There are other solutions for cheap faxing.

2.9c/minute isn't bad.

what is your monthly bill like? sounds like you have a good deal that you rely on. not sure i'd want to convince you to switch.



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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: November 08, 2006 11:23PM
i was actually comparing VP's and VN's lower cost plan. for $14.99 (which i have) it's unlimited local calls and 200 minutes LD. VN's $14.99 covers 500 minutes total local and LD.

i have a cell phone with a zillion rollover minutes, which i really only need when traveling. other than that, i'm hard pressed to use 30 LD minutes much less 200.

VP actually seems to have more customization features than VN like Do Not Disturb and a few others. i don't have time to do a deeper comparison, sorry. i do believe that Vonage charges tax and other fees, though. VP doesn't; my bill is $14.99.

as for customer service issues go here: [www.dslreports.com]
you'll notice a whole forum devoted to issues with Vonage and very few posts for VP. it's not simply because there are fewer VP users; we just don't have many problems and when they do occur, CS is spot on. there are reviews at dslreports on the different providers. read some.

as for 911, up until recently emergency calls on VOIP lines didn't connect to local 911 service. the VOIP companies were required to fix that. 'works' means when i call 911 they know whose phone it is and where my address is located.

hth. really, the best cross section of info is at dslreports.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2006 11:38PM by graylocks.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: November 09, 2006 01:09AM
Thank you graylocks for the referral(s) to dslreports.com, which I will spend some time reading up on. I appreciate your insight into the CS reports, and will do a lot of reading about Vonage CS issues, which would be a deal breaker for me if they're severe.

As for the 911 issue, that was adequately explained, so thanks for that! I could see where they "would be required to fix that", as that's a life and death situation that needs to be a certain connection/identification of the caller's whereabouts.

matt, my bill averages about $65 a month, for both LD and Verizon for local, who rapes one severely for even minimalist service. My base rate for Verizon is $27.85, but by the time they add all their taxes and surcharges to the bill, it's always right at $35 real money. My LD use is heavy at times, business purposes, business faxes, and the like, so even at about 3 cents a minute, it adds up and the Quest LD bill is usually around $30.

I could handle the FAXing via my G5 I suppose, so that's a moot point. Where I'd like to save is the business LD and eliminating Verizon for local connection. If I could actually see a bill of less than $30 a month, using VOIP, I'd be impressed and do it in a NY second, so that's where I am.
________________________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: November 09, 2006 06:42AM
Happy for 2 years with Vonage on the $15/mo plan for each of 2 lines.

The one thing I miss is the ability to block anonymous calls, and Vonage told me they have no plans to provide this.

I have the Vonage (Linksys) router connected in parallel with my Mac & PC to my Linksys WRT54G router, with no problems, with Comcast broadband.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2006 06:43AM by modelamac.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 09, 2006 07:36AM
>>If I could actually see a bill of less than $30 a month, using VOIP, I'd be impressed and do it in a NY second, so that's where I am.

Then get VoIP and try it out until you're comfortable getting rid of your landline. You can even forward calls from your old line to your VoIP line. THe only difference will be the number your outging calls will be coming from.

Give SunRocket a look, they also have monthly plans.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2006 07:36AM by mattkime.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: Maddog
Date: November 09, 2006 11:55AM
Well, I think that if you have cellphone backup, you can try the VoIP solution, whether Vonage or, better and with less hidden fees, cancellation gotchas, etc., SunRocket. I think that you will find that you will have occasional outages, usually short-lived, but a problem if you have to have phone access (like with no cellphone and kids). Also, the audio quality, while acceptable, is not up to landline standards. There is sort a weird delay between you speaking and then, your caller hearing what you are saying. It really throws some people. If you are willing to put up with these compromises, you will save a ton of money on phone service.
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Re: And The Verdict on Vonage Phone Service is....?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: November 10, 2006 05:01AM
I appreciate all the input, and I'm going to try the VoicePulse system out next month, not this month because I'm already tapped out for "extra" expenses, this being Thanksgiving and all month. I looked into SunRocket, but they don't offer number transfer in my area, unfortunately, and I'm going to keep my old number if I can.thumbs up

Thanks to all who contributed to this little forum the past 2 days.smileys with beer

Muchas Gracias!thumbs up smiley

__________________________
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What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.
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