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Anyone using Vonage?

Just curious what your opinions were. The pricing was too good to pass up ($15/month for basic service with 500 minutes per month included.) With the bundled features like voicemail, you'd be paying close to $100/mo for an equivalent telco business line...

Bored Bystander
Thursday, January 08, 2004

No, but I was interested in this as well. The idea of having a 212 area code in Brooklyn appealed to me, as well as a 2nd area code near my mom so it's just a local call for her.

The $120 or so phone is a drawback to trying this out, and of course I'd want a land line. Phones worked during the blackout but if you had a portable phone or any phone that required AC it didn't work.

I'd be interested in hearing about the sound quality.

Also, once you have the phone, you can make free calls worldwide using... another company whose name slips my mind... but only to other people with the phone, or at the very least, the free software for their computer.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, January 08, 2004

The current package entails a $29.95 activation fee, and apparently they provide the adapter for "free" with no strings as to length of service. And there is a money back guarantee if you return everything and cancel within 14 days. There's no big investment up front.

They've got it packaged right, because I'm the king of cheap. ;-)

I'll let you know.

Bored Bystander
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Thanks!

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, January 08, 2004

A guy that does a bit of contract work for me (web stuff, mostly) uses Vonage, and it seems great.  He cancelled his regular land line, he was so pleased.  I haven't tried it myself, but I have spoken directly to someone who has.  That's hearsay, and so not admissible in court, but definitely admissible on JOS.

JT
Friday, January 09, 2004

>I haven't tried it myself, but I have spoken directly to someone who has.

So how did he sound, did w rds get dr pp d, did it sound like crappy mp3 encoding?

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, January 09, 2004

I use vonage, and gave my sister a vonage account for x-mas (she lives in australia, I live in california). the sound quality is indistinguishable from a regular phone line, in my experience.

...
Friday, January 09, 2004

I use Packet8.  $19.95 for unlimited calling, except international.  No complaints.

robb
Friday, January 09, 2004

I've been using Vonage for a few months, with an added twist... I live in the 252 area code, but my wife was constantly calling her mother in 704, running our phone bill way up.

Being new to the area, I don't have any friends outside of work, and thus rarely call anyone nearby.  So, we went with Vonage's $25/mo (or so) plan, with a phone in the 704 area code.

All my wife's calls to her mom and her friends back in 704 are free (unlimited local calling), and we have yet to come close to hitting our free LD minutes limit.

The quality is great, and we have the number forward to our cellphones if the internet or power is out... highly recommended!

Greg Hurlman
Friday, January 09, 2004

I've been using Vonage for several months now, and I'm completely sold. The call quality is often indistinguishable from a landline -- with one caveat. It's sensisitve to network utilization, in particular outgoing bandwidth. Yesterday I was copying a bunch of files over the vpn and doing an internal backup, and the call quality was so bad I had to cancel both activities. I have ASDL, so I think that exacerbated the problem.

So -- I'd say it's a great deal, if you have control over your network.

Matthew Christensen
Friday, January 09, 2004

I have been looking at these solutions for a bit now.  A friend of mine just got service (www.zoom-phone.com).  He is very happy with it.  I plan on doing the same.  I am moving out of state.  I will get a new number in my new location and a 'virtual' number (my old telephone number) so that all my friends/family can call me and it wont be a long distance call.  The virtual number is only $5 more a month - plus all the other services you get not a bad deal.

MikeG
Friday, January 09, 2004

Both my partner and I have been using Vonage for about 3 months now, and it works incredibly well. As Matthew said, however, it can be sensitive to network utilization.

However, you can set the ATA up serially with your router, that is, use the ATA as a psuedo router (which NATs!), and it's supposed to prioritize the phone data so as to avoid this problem. I tried this, and it worked, but I have a new 802.11g Linksys router which is still unstable, and the Linksys kept freezing. I'm going to try it again after I upgrade the router  firmware this weekend.

Overall, very highly recommended.

Mongo
Friday, January 09, 2004

That's a good point, can you measure how much bandwidth Vonage uses? At what point do you notice degredation of quality? Can you bandwidth cap your computers so you don't experience this kind of problem?

I can see it now... you have to get the kids to stop playing those online video games while you're making a phone call. That wouldn't go over well no matter how cheap you can call.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, January 09, 2004

One thing I'm curious to play with is Vonage's quality of service user adjustment. They have three settings: 90 kbps, 50 kbps, and 30 kbps. You set it in your preferences page on their web site.  In fact I intend to first try it at 30 and 50 kbps on my home ISDN "just because".

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 09, 2004

> can you measure how much bandwidth Vonage uses?

I haven't bothered, but it's supposed to work fine over a standard modem, so it's not really an issue for me - I have pretty decent ADSL.


> At what point do you notice degredation of quality?

The only time I notice it is if it's in contention (not serial), and I'm doing a major download from MSDN or the equivalent. I've given it one of my external static IPs so it's directly exposed to the Internet, just like my router.


> Can you bandwidth cap your computers so you don't experience this kind of problem?

Now that would be cool, darned if I'd know how to do it, though.

Mongo
Friday, January 09, 2004

Alo, if anyone wants to hear what the sound quality is like, send me an email with your phone numer, and I'll give you a call on the Vonage phone. I have the unlimited $35/mo plan :)

Most people are shocked at how good the quality is - I know I was.

Mongo
Friday, January 09, 2004

We have also got rid of our regular land line sometimes this is a problem and other times the vonage works great i did have to install a router. When i first started using the system i lost the dial tone every other day i went back and forth with tech support at vonage they were somewhat helpful they sent me a free router to put inline and i have not had a problem since (about 9 days). The only other problem that has happened our voicemail is very crackly and distorted they said they are working on it. But all in all it is nice not to get that once a month surprise other charges from the local phone company well thats about it. Just one more thing whoever came up with this web page thanks for thinking of others. Ok this is it you can try this with low speed cable but i recomend the highest one.

Steve Zorbas
Tuesday, February 17, 2004

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