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Old 02-02-2005, 01:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: WA
Vonage

Anybody have this service? I'm thinking of dumping Qwest for them. Anybody care to comment on the service? Good or bad? Better quality, etc? Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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just signed up a couple of days ago (signed up on friday, received the router on monday). my initial impression is that the line quality isn't quite as good as your standard telephone line, but it isn't bad either. it's more than sufficient to justify the $40 a month or so i'm gonna save with them (over alltel+AT&T).

the web management of the account is very cool... it keeps an activity log of what calls were placed and received. plus there's the voicemail that's included in the base rate, caller id and more. so far i'm pretty impressed.

but then, i've only had it a few days. i haven't had to deal with network downtime or anything just yet. if you have a cell phone, the network downtime may not be as big an issue - vonage can be set up to forward calls to another phone number (like your cell) if for some reason the call can't make it to you. i don't have a cell or a convenient alternate number, so i'm hoping this won't be a problem.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Middle of nowhere, Jersey
Awesome if you amass a decent amount of long distance charges (i.e. over 50 bucks monthly), especially international. Consumer Reports indicates a much better satisfaction rating with Cable ISP users then DSL, and some of the people I've called reported that it sounded like I was in a sketchy cell from my Mobile at times.

The best feature, imho is the ability to choose your area code. Very handy in the DC area as a 202 area code is usually a local call from most 'burbs, but my home base in the 410 area code is not.

So for example, you can live in Jersey and have people think your in Manahattan, by wisely selecting an Area code.

Remember, it doesn't work without electricty, or without your broadband connection and all of your VOIP connected phones have to terminate in the Vonage router. This makes your existing phone line jacks throughout your house useless without some creative rewiring.

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Old 02-02-2005, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j8ear
This makes your existing phone line jacks throughout your house useless without some creative rewiring.
maybe not so creative. according to the info on the vonage site, all you have to do is disconnect the line from the telephone company at the box where it gets to your house and then you plug your vonage router into any phone jack and can use your phone in any other jack in the house.

haven't tried it out yet, but it sounds easy enough.

as for it being worth it if you make a lot of LD calls, that's true. but it may also be worth it if you don't. we currently pay alltel $50 a month just for local service. so there's $25 savings right there before you even figure in the LD charges, at least in my situation.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Michigan
Quote:
Originally Posted by grendel
maybe not so creative. according to the info on the vonage site, all you have to do is disconnect the line from the telephone company at the box where it gets to your house and then you plug your vonage router into any phone jack and can use your phone in any other jack in the house.

haven't tried it out yet, but it sounds easy enough.
I have Vonage, and I LOVE it!! I don't have any complaints, works like a charm. I love the functionality, the web interfaces, the notifications, etc...

I also have it wired throughout my house, and grendel, you are right in your explanation of how to get it active on all your phones....I have done it.

Simply go out to the telephone box on the side of your house and disconnect the telephone wire that goes into your house. WARNING: Do not try to connect the Vonage router directly into the phone jack if you have not disconnected the outside phoneline. The power that goes through the outside phone line WILL fry your router (I have first hand experience). So, you disconnect the outside phone line which kills the power running from the phone company through your in-house telephone wires, then simply plug in the Vonage box directly to the wall telephone plug and VOILA!!...you have activated all the phones in your house.

Enjoy...it's a great service and saves you a BUNDLE!!
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoinoakleys
I also have it wired throughout my house, and grendel, you are right in your explanation of how to get it active on all your phones....I have done it.
glad to hear that worked for you and i'm looking forward to trying it myself. i figured i'd keep my exiting number through this week and will make that modification this weekend. i've already gone scouting for the box on the side of my house (i was afraid it would be 20 feet off the ground or be locked or something like that), so i'm just about ready to get started on it.
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Old 02-02-2005, 04:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: In beautiful (YOUR AREA)
Ive been using packet8 service for about 4-5 months now. We have since gotten rid of our land line as we are more than happy with our new service. The 25.00 dollar per mont bill is sooo much better than our local ma bell. I have yet to run into any problems, But if there ever is an issue ill just use some of my many unused cell phone minutes.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses. My thing with this before I switch over is that I have family in AK (Alaska) and they don't offer service for the 907 area code. I just want to make sure that family can call us first. I've called Vonage more than once and one person tells me it'll work, another doesn't. Go figure.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you broadband is realiable then you will love vonage, but if you broadband goes down they can also forward your calls to your cell phone.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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oh and make sure you have the 911 service turned on otherwise they dont know what address you are calling from.
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's another thing. I don't want to call 911 and have it be a real emergency and I have to spend 5 minutes explaining where I am until they bother to patch me through to the right call center. So it's just a matter of weighing my options. Thanks for the tip though.
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i don't think the 911 thing is much of an issue. you have to sign up for 911 service and then they locate public service access point that should be called for your address. once they have it set up, that's where your calls go to. at least that's how i read it.

as for your family in AK, i imagine it's going to be a long distance call for them to call you regardless of what area code you use when you sign up with vonage (assuming that you're correct about them not serving that area code). you can get a 1-800 number through vonage, though, at $4.99 a month (covers up to 100 minutes). it's not a service i'm all that interested in, but i can see times that it would be handy for some.
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoinoakleys
I also have it wired throughout my house, and grendel, you are right in your explanation of how to get it active on all your phones....I have done it.
just wanted to chime in and say that i have done it now as well. it really was as easy as it sounds.

now if i could get my DTiVo to play nice with Vonage (been reading up on it, and apparently this has been an issue with lots of directv/tivo folks)...

the wiring throughout the house part was a snap, though.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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yea on the dtivo your going to have to hook up a wifi transmitter.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I dont think the 911 issue is too much trouble just make sure you get it setup.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Here is the article on how to hook up your tivo:

http://www.vonage.com/help_knowledge...389&category=0
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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no, dtivo boxes can't use a wifi setup... there's no ethernet connection on them and as of now, the usb ports that exist on the unit are disabled. you can hack the dtivo box to enable the usb ports, but i guess i'm gonna see if i have any problems first. i've been reading that a lot of the information used by directv tivo boxes comes via satellite and that not having a telephone connection shouldn't cause too much trouble.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You are right i wasnt thinking, as a matter of fact i have set up tons of DTIVO boxes with no phone line, all you need to do is plug it in once. THe tivo guide isi downloaded through the sat like you said.
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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groovy, then i should be good. there are a few folks with dtivo boxes that somehow managed to get them to work with vonage - some going so far as to using an external modem. i've been reading various success and failure stories on tivocommunity and vonage-forum. i don't know that i'm concerned enough to jump through too many hoops, though. thanks for the info!
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks again for the insights everyone. Also, I have Comcast broadband and sometimes their connection cuts in and out. Anyone else have Comcast with their Vonage service? Just trying to get an idea of outages.

Personally, I think Comcast is shit and I'd dump them in a second but I have no choice in my area. "You're to far from the wire center to get DSL" Quest says. Bastards.
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:56 PM   #21 (permalink)
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well, in my area it's alltel for dsl and insightbb for cable internet.

i hate the cable company with a passion (which is why i went with directv, oh, 6 or 7 years ago and have been with them ever since), so i started out with dsl when i went with high speed internet.

after a while, i got tired of paying alltel $100 a month (roughly $50 each for telephone service and dsl), and insightbb was running a special, so figured i'd give it a try.

i'm now paying a little less per month for internet ($45), but my internet connection is twice as fast. i dunno if cable is generally twice as fast as dsl, or whether it depends on the providers for each and how many folks are signed up and all that... as for outages, i haven't noticed much in the way of internet outages, but haven't had vonage long enough to know whether that'll be an issue or not.
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: Somewhere... Across the sea...
I'm living in Asia, and use VoicePulse. I get amazingly good sound and connections as long as I stop bandwidth-intensive activities like torrent downloads before I call. My phone thinks it's in Seattle, so for my parents and friends it's a local call.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:25 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I've had Vonage for six months. I love it. I really like the feature where I can have it call my cell phone whenever the home phone rings. Whoever picks up first wins. Great sound quality too.
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: Southeast Ohio
I didn't pick vonage because they didn't have a phone exchange for my local area... So I picked a service called Lingo... it is 19.95 a month for unlimited long distance in the US and canada... 5 bucks cheaper than Vonage, and 10 bucks cheaper than AT&T callvantage.

I am extremely happy with the service, and have found little wrong with it. I absolutely love the feature that allows you to forward calls to my cellphone if the caller knows to hit zero when it goes to voicemail. I also enjoy being able to listen to my voicemails as they get sent to me via email... very convenient while at work without access to a phone.
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I have had Vonage through Charter Communications for about seven months. We have a three meg connection. And it works great! I also have a linksys wireless router. At first it was configured outside of the router. Now it is behind the router with no adverse affects. It really works great either way. Good service and worth the money.
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:56 PM   #26 (permalink)
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another pro vonage user..
I travel a lot, so the virtual number lets me make calls from my laptop to home for "free" (5 bucks a month)
I can also use it to call anywhere i want without getting charged for the hotel phone.. or when i am somewhere with wifi, and i dont want to use a payphone.

I'm very happy with Vonage's service, and all their features.
My virtual number lets my mom call it as a local call for her, so it's no long distance on either end.
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Old 02-18-2005, 03:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Well, I took the plunge. I told quest to fuck off and signed up for Vonage. Just got my router today and set it up. So far I'm pretty pleased with the sound quality. Better than I was expecting actually. The web interface kicks ass! Lots of features that I have now that the phone company would charge extra for. Just have to wait for my number to switch over and I can wire my house. Thanks again everyone for the comments,
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:57 AM   #28 (permalink)
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did you get your info straightened out about whether or not your family in AK would be able to call you?
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:47 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I did. Originally what I wanted to do was set it up so I had a 907 number so it means no long distance for them. But Vonage doesn't offer the 907 code yet. But they say they're expanding, so hopefully they'll add it soon. One issue I'm having, and this might be better addressed in the Computers forum, is that I currently have the phone router (which is a Linksys by the way) set up in front of my wireless router. (Which is a US robotics) Here's a map I pulled from Vonage's site:



The phone router is basically just the phone jack and it's pulling an IP from my "gateway" router via DHCP. Of course, this essentially created two networks. According to Linksys's support site, I can't use and services that require port forwarding like Azuraus. I'm still playing with it because, frankly, I don't believe their assessment. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try and put the phone adapter behind my router and see what happens.

Now, here’s another question. Is anybody using this setup also using bit-torrent clients requiring port forwarding? If so, How'd you do it?
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Interesting article I read

Linky

Quote:
Vonage Being Blocked -- Again

Company says "new instance" of service outages in the Midwest seems to indicate a port-blocking incident.

By Paul Kapustka Advanced IP Pipeline

Vonage Holdings Corp. said it is investigating new potential incident of its Voice over IP service being blocked, this time by a cable television company that also provides Internet services.

Brooke Schulz, Vonage's vice president for corporate communications, confirmed that the company is "investigating a new instance" of service interruption that appears to be another case of port blocking. Schulz said the incident involves Vonage customers who use high-speed Internet services provided by a cable operator, somewhere in the Midwest U.S.

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission reached a consent decree with Madison River Communications of Mebane, N.C., under which Madison River agreed to pay the government $15,000 for its action of trying to block Vonage's service, and to never block Vonage's VoIP service in the future.

Over the past two weeks, industry sources who declined to be named said they had heard rumors that some Vonage customers in the Midwest were having their services blocked. On Wednesday, Schulz confirmed that Vonage is "investigating an instance [of service outages] on a cable operator's system in the Midwest."

Vonage declined to name the operator. Schulz said that Vonage does not yet know the exact number of customers affected, but that it could range "from the tens to the hundreds to the thousands." Schulz said that Vonage was able to re-establish service for several customers who complained by rerouting its VoIP traffic.

Unlike the Madison River incident, Vonage has not voiced any complaint about the new incident to the FCC, Schulz said.

"We are still investigating, and expect to have more facts next week," Schulz said. "But we are taking this very seriously."
I've been keeping up on this for a couple weeks. It seems to be one of the top headlines lately. Just thought I'd pass it along for Vonage users.

I'm considering it myself. It sounds like a great deal.

I think I'll wait until all of the power struggle seem to have died down.

Out of curiosity, has any users here experienced any of the problems talked about in the article?
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:15 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: In beautiful (YOUR AREA)
Good read GOT. My cable provider has come out with their own voip service, But they want almost 40.00 for the same service that i get for 25.00, hopefully they dont start this port blocking locally.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:40 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Michigan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardknock
I did. Originally what I wanted to do was set it up so I had a 907 number so it means no long distance for them. But Vonage doesn't offer the 907 code yet. But they say they're expanding, so hopefully they'll add it soon. One issue I'm having, and this might be better addressed in the Computers forum, is that I currently have the phone router (which is a Linksys by the way) set up in front of my wireless router. (Which is a US robotics) Here's a map I pulled from Vonage's site:



The phone router is basically just the phone jack and it's pulling an IP from my "gateway" router via DHCP. Of course, this essentially created two networks. According to Linksys's support site, I can't use and services that require port forwarding like Azuraus. I'm still playing with it because, frankly, I don't believe their assessment. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try and put the phone adapter behind my router and see what happens.

Now, here’s another question. Is anybody using this setup also using bit-torrent clients requiring port forwarding? If so, How'd you do it?
I don't know if you figured this out yet or not, but here is the answer. Your Vonage router should have an IP range of 192.168.15.x. My computer router then has a static IP set to 192.168.15.2. On the Vonage router, I have 192.168.15.2 setup as the DMZ ip address. This means every port that isnt used by the Vonage router (all of them) is redirected to 192.168.15.2. Then on your computer router, you just setup your forwarding as if you had it directly on the cable modem.
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Last edited by asshopo; 03-26-2005 at 12:42 PM..
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