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Anyone tried VOIP yet?

By Mudshark · 16 replies
Nov 3, 2004
  1. well the title says it all.. anyone tried it and of so, do you have any
    advice etc?
    AT&T seem to be the "big" players here in Texas. both have pretty
    much the same to offer.....on the surface.
    any input please, like:
    any other providers
    cost / options of service
    line quality for both local and long distance (I hear further calls can sound crappy)

    well you get the idea.
    Thanks in advance...
    PS sorry if this is in the wrong spot. :D
  2. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101


    c'mon guys, no one tried voice over IP yet?
  3. The Best Alias

    The Best Alias TS Rookie Posts: 113

    I'm getting a Time Weener digital phone on the 17th. I assume that is a VOIP thang. It's cheap and I can keep my same #.
  4. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    Yes the thing I liked about it was that it is cheap and you get to keep
    your old # .... 90% of the time. But I hear that long distance can sound
    pretty bad. I'll check back with you after the 17th, maybe you can give me
    a call so I can hear how it sounds :)
  5. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    Well I've decided to go the Vonage route. They seem to have
    a really good plan 24.99 unlimited local and long-distance calls
    US and Canada. Plus they supply you with a Linksys VoIP router RT31P2
    for free ($68.00 value) FREE - free is always good, it has a built in 3 port switch and two phone
    Lines, so I loose one port over the router I now have, but I can
    always daisy chain a switch to get some back. :grinthumb

    If I recommend anyone they get a month free... so do I hehe
    so if anyone feels like giving it a try give me a shout. :D

    The router should get here this week, If anyone is interested I'll let you know
    how well it works.... or give you a call so you can hear the line quality.
  6. The Best Alias

    The Best Alias TS Rookie Posts: 113

    OK, I got the Time Weener "digital phone line" yesterday. Thus far I like it a lot. They swapped out the old cable modem for a new one that has both a LAN and a telephone jack. I've done test downloads while talking on the phone and there wasn't any noticable change in bandwidth. Fidelity is much improved, but my old line was always noisy and ma Bell wouldn't fix it, so forget them anyway. I got to keep my old number. My rotary (yes rotary) phones work just fine. The modem is powered via a UPS plus it has it's own battery so I should be OK in a power outtage. The big question is QOS. Let's wait and see how reliable it is. My fax machine is still on a regular line since Time Weener only offers 1 phone line per house right now. :grinthumb
  7. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    Great news!! - thanks for the update.
    well Vonage says my new router will be here on Friday.
    They have already gotten much of the new line set up. I am also keeping my old number and the voicemail is already active... cant wait till the 19th. :D
    it has a lot of cool features like retieving voicemail form any PC.... dont need
    a phone, plus all the usual stuff like call forward / waiting, caller id, 911, call
    3 way calling, call transfer, call hunt...... etc etc... too many other features
    to mention, and I cant wait for that free long distance! a friend of mine at
    work just went out to Fry's and bought a Linksys / Vonage phone converter,
    hooked to his LAN, signed up and was talking to me 40 min later.... this is too
    I hear that there are a lot of telcom companies trying to get the FED to force
    us to pay comms taxes for this service....I hope it never comes to that.
    POTS is dead - long live VoIP! :grinthumb
  8. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I am personnally not considering this type of change in the near future,but I am cheering you on ,jumping up and down.
    This type of real competition keeps the prices in check for these businesses that I consider Monopolies .
  9. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    it's Great!! it works great, very clear calls. I am very happy.
    Before I paid around $100 before making a call for phone service, now just
    $24.99 and I get all long distance and local calls FREE - free is good! now I'll be able to by more PC stuff with the $75 + I save each month LOL
    BTW if anyone want to give it a try, let me...or another Vanage customer
    refer you, that way you get your second month free. :D
  10. jshields13

    jshields13 TS Rookie Posts: 109

    Glad you like it! Some questions, though. First, how many phones can you hook up, and how? Also, what happens if you have an extended power outage? I'm in hurricane country, so not having power could very well become an issue at some point.
  11. The Best Alias

    The Best Alias TS Rookie Posts: 113

    I have all the phones in my house connected, even my rotary phones. True enough, if there is an extended power outtage and it's internal battery runs down and my UPS runs down, I will be w/o phone service. Fortunately, I left my fax on a POTS line for now.
  12. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I take it your CPU is running 24/7/365. Hmmmmmmmm!
  13. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    this Voip has nothing to do with your PC, in fact you don't even need a PC.
    It's a telephone signal via Internet. (broadband) but yes, if there is a power outage
    and the power to the router and cable (or DSL) modem dies...so does the phone.
    But thats what Cell Phones are for.....right?? :)

    jshields13 if the power is out that long...chances are that the phone
    lines will be out too, no?
    To hook up all the phones in the house, all you do is to connect the routers
    phone jack to any wall socket (use a regular modem cord) and then all other
    phones in the house get the signal. It is a good idea to physicaly disconnect
    the POTS line from the house, as a POTS signal will not play nice with the
    VioP adapter / router :knock:
    The beauty is that it doesnt realy effect your bandwidth. I was downloading
    an ISO of Mandrake linux 10.0 and running Quake3 and talking on the phone
    to give it a stess test... and it worked just fine and sounded "normal"
    If you like I can give you a call so you can sample the line quality.
    oh - I think there is a limit of 5 phones per line for POTS lines, I have 3
    running on this VioP line and they seem happy enough, I don't know what
    the limit is though.
  14. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    No computer, that I did not know.Now ,I am interested. How about a review, letting us know a few months from now,the real test is over time.In the mean time I'll take back my previous statement.
  15. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 101

    hehe! cool, okay I'll keep you posted. I'm going to be doing a couple of
    international calls this weekend, I'll let you know what the line quality
    is like.
  16. kiwijohn

    kiwijohn TS Rookie

    Love it! (VoIP)

    I've been using a VoIP phone for about threee months and love the cost of about 3 ¢ a minute (& no flagfall) to just about anywhere in the civilized world.

    The microphone on the headset plugged in to the soundcard didn't work for me, so I had to buy ($100) a VoIP telephone. But I soon saved the cost, and the clarity is better than any copper-wire connection. Netphone to netphone is FREE within your own network. In the not-too-distant future, when the networks get into bed with one another, that'll probably extend across them all.

    Some ISPs are already offering a "set-top-box" device which enables you to do all this over standard desk-top phones, plus free local calls and conference calls. But for this they charge about $20 a month.

    So go for it fellas! It's the future of telephony.
  17. mindspin

    mindspin TS Rookie Posts: 40

    May i ask what bandwith specifications you currently have? Here in Holland we have many different suppliers of Broadband internet... Currently we are on quite a slow connection (max 80kbs down / 12kbs up). I wonder how that will work with VoIP firstly because of my slow upload and secondly I wonder about Data Transfer Limits. Most providers give you some nice speeds but then they put some small words in the contracts saying you can download only 10GB a month. So will that be affected greatly by making phone calls on VoIP?
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