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Anyone use VOIP? (Making telephone calls on a broadband line)*More questions


#1 Xevious   Most Damned CAG Evar CAGiversary!   8916 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 02:09 AM

I noticed there were some VOIP machines on sale at Compusa and Circuit City. I am planning to go to DSL soon and I like to hear from anyone using VOIP.

Is it as cheap as they say? How good are the calls?

Let me know what your experiences are. Thanks

#2 PsyClerk   Cheapass Smartass CAGiversary!   3714 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

PsyClerk

Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:29 AM

From experience at my last two employers (one of which installs a lot of VoIP systems), they are just as good as regular phone. The only drawback is if there is a sudden surge in bandwidth usage, you will notice a decrease in quality (within certain boundaries, the VoIP was not a super bandwidth hog).

At one office with about 50 people, one or two machines got one of those bad viruses from a couple years back. Until we found those machines and got them fixed, their internet was dead slow and the phones were unusable most of the time.

On the residential front, one of the contractors that worked for my current employer was telling me that he got the RoadRunner cable/broadband/phone package, and it worked great, even when he was abusing his internet connection like a two dollar whore.

#3 dafoomie   dafoomie CAGiversary!   8822 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:33 AM

My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

I use Packet8, for $19.99 a month, I get unlimited local, and 500 long distance minutes (that I don't use). The important thing to remember, is that upload speed is generally capped, so don't hog your upload speed with things like Bittorrent, otherwise you might get a little choppy. Though my service is pretty good about stealing bandwidth away from that too. Leave at least 8-10k of upload bandwidth available.

#4 bignick   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   6637 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 05:09 AM

[quote name='"dafoomie"']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate

#5 XboxMaster   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3371 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

XboxMaster

Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:02 AM

[quote name='"bignick"'][quote name='dafoomie']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate[/quote]


Yes, I'm sure an interested story ensues.

#6 dafoomie   dafoomie CAGiversary!   8822 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:15 PM

[quote name='"bignick"'][quote name='dafoomie']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate[/quote]
Due to an error (their error), they came up with a 1 month bill, for a ground line, to be $4000. I tried to dispute, but they won't give me service until I pay.

This was about 5 years ago, when they were BellAtlantic. They still won't give me or my family service.

#7 gaelan   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3138 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:27 PM

I use VOIP. Tried to use Vonage, but after a month of dicking around they couldn't give me a local area code...their top service is $24.99.

I'm now with ATT CallVantage. $29.99 a month gets me unlimited local and longdistance and a crap load of features that are managed from the web. My Voice Mail is emailed to me as audio files.

CC, BB, and CompUSA usually have starter kits with rebates that make them cheap or free. Also Vonage included a VOIP telephone adapter router with 4 ethernet ports. Call Vantage only gave me the telephone adapter. Had to buy a router separately.

So far the calls are great. Make sure you get your 911 service squared away.

#8 The Gifuto   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   706 Posts   Joined 13.9 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:32 PM

[quote name='"dafoomie"'][quote name='bignick'][quote name='dafoomie']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate[/quote]
Due to an error (their error), they came up with a 1 month bill, for a ground line, to be $4000. I tried to dispute, but they won't give me service until I pay.

This was about 5 years ago, when they were BellAtlantic. They still won't give me or my family service.[/quote]

You should submit a claim through the Better Business Bureau. I have been extremely pleased with the results I've gotten. Although, since this much time has pasted, you probably don't care (wouldn't blame you).

#9 hutno   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2226 Posts   Joined 14.4 Years Ago  

Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:39 PM

I read an article in Wired magazine last month about VOIP phone service. Basically there is no encryption or security features to prevent hackers from listening in. If your paranoid about privacy VOIP probably isn't for you.

#10 cruzincontrol   Angry Homer is Angry CAGiversary!   918 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

cruzincontrol

Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:42 PM

I have Vonage since September 2004....For the longest time though I had problems with the dial tones...you know where certain numbers (like bank or certain offices) respond to the numbers you dial on your phone....I changed my phone to a 2.4 Ghz and that seems to be working fine now. It's $24.99 includes a lot of extras (call waiting, voice mail, blocking your calls) and unlimited long distance (not that I really need that). For some reason though recently I have been unable to fax ANYTHING....I don't know why though b/c I was able to fax fine about 2 months ago...I think they want to charge people to use their fax service to get a seperate line, I'm not sure....But otherwise call quality is ok...I used to have problems with my router while I was playing online with Xbox or PS2 but I think thats ok now (I figured it out by myself)....You have to have a credit card though and they take it out monthly automatically which could suck if you don't have enough money in your account...

#11

Guest_larrytrain_*

Posted 10 January 2005 - 08:25 PM

I've been using Vonage for a month - I have no complaints. I'm signed up for the $14.99 500 minutes/month plan. You get all the extras from their other plan, sans extra minutes.

After a month of service, I can say anyone who has a choice between a Bell and VOIP that chooses a traditional land line is insane.

By the time taxes, fees, charges, etc were added to my local line, I was paying around $40/month in MD for less features - that's before I dialed any long distance.

God forbid there was a billing error with my old land line, I could guarantee it would take a lot of time on the phone with Verizon to fix, and by the end of the ordeal I'd be about ready to have a massive coronary.

The service is easy and simpler to use, the technology is rapidly maturing, and since there's a lot of companies trying to gain traction/market share some really good deals to be had.

Don't pass it up! You won't regret it!

#12 Xevious   Most Damned CAG Evar CAGiversary!   8916 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 11 January 2005 - 05:32 AM

Ok then. I am sold. I found Cruzincontrols post the most interesting because I am also playing to sign up for Xbox live. I hope I dont have any problems.

Thanks for all of your help guys!

#13 XboxMaster   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3371 Posts   Joined 14.5 Years Ago  

XboxMaster

Posted 11 January 2005 - 05:40 PM

[quote name='"dafoomie"'][quote name='bignick'][quote name='dafoomie']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate[/quote]
Due to an error (their error), they came up with a 1 month bill, for a ground line, to be $4000. I tried to dispute, but they won't give me service until I pay.

This was about 5 years ago, when they were BellAtlantic. They still won't give me or my family service.[/quote]


Damn, that sucks. What dumbasses--$4000?!

#14 dwsscs   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   762 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 11 January 2005 - 05:53 PM

I have used Vonage for almost a year now, and I am totally happy with them. I have heard stories of not able to get a local area code but if you port your number there should be no problem (i have heard problems about this and success about this). Call quality is great, and I can surf the net, talk on the phone, and play Socom 2 online with no problems. Also I have no problems with faxes like someone else mentioned.

Another thing people don't relize is you can put a phone line from the VOIP port to a unused phone outlet in your home. Then it feeds the signal to all of the phones in your home, but you have to disconnect the line from the phone company coming into your house (it has a signal on it because of a law allowing people to call 911 without phone service). I have a fax machine, and 5 phones running off of the vonage box with no problem.

#15 PKRipp3r   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3274 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

Posted 11 January 2005 - 06:00 PM

I read an article in Wired magazine last month about VOIP phone service. Basically there is no encryption or security features to prevent hackers from listening in. If your paranoid about privacy VOIP probably isn't for you.


the other downside is, no reliable or consitent connection to 911/Emergency services.

the current Consumer Reports mag has a great story on VOIP.

#16 gaelan   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3138 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 11 January 2005 - 06:28 PM

Another thing people don't relize is you can put a phone line from the VOIP port to a unused phone outlet in your home. Then it feeds the signal to all of the phones in your home, but you have to disconnect the line from the phone company coming into your house (it has a signal on it because of a law allowing people to call 911 without phone service). I have a fax machine, and 5 phones running off of the vonage box with no problem.


:shock: i am using a splitter on the line coming out of the tele adapter.

are you saying if i plug the line out of TA to the wall jack, I can have phones using the wall jacks in other rooms?

What do I have to do on the outside of the house (old land line coming in)?

#17 beerguy961   I'm gonna get tore up CAGiversary!   5296 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

beerguy961

Posted 11 January 2005 - 07:41 PM

My parents use a VOIP phone in Canada, which really comes in handy cause they can use area codes from anywhere, so they used the same one as my cell phone. This pretty much eliminates long distance charges on calls home that go like 1000 miles...

#18 dwsscs   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   762 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 11 January 2005 - 08:22 PM

Another thing people don't relize is you can put a phone line from the VOIP port to a unused phone outlet in your home. Then it feeds the signal to all of the phones in your home, but you have to disconnect the line from the phone company coming into your house (it has a signal on it because of a law allowing people to call 911 without phone service). I have a fax machine, and 5 phones running off of the vonage box with no problem.


:shock: i am using a splitter on the line coming out of the tele adapter.

are you saying if i plug the line out of TA to the wall jack, I can have phones using the wall jacks in other rooms?

What do I have to do on the outside of the house (old land line coming in)?


Yes that is what I am saying! You have to unscrew the screws on the box on the outside of your house, and disconnect the line jumper (a short telephone wire with stardard rj11 ends (the type you plug into the wall)).

#19 Xevious   Most Damned CAG Evar CAGiversary!   8916 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:39 AM

Here is another question.

I called Earthlink to check out their DSL rates. They told me that I need a land line in order for the DSL cable to work.

SO I am confused. If I still need an account with a regular phone company to use my DSL, why would I use VOIP? Doesnt that defeat the purpose of VOIP? Or does the VOIP company take over the land line?

Please explain this to me? I appreciate all the help before.....

#20 CappyCobra   ^^vv<><>BA START CAGiversary!   2080 Posts   Joined 14.0 Years Ago  

CappyCobra

Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:50 AM

As of now, DSL is only bundled with a traditional landline. In the coming months, Verizon is said to offer DSL by itself. Wired was calling it 'naked' DSL.

hehe

I said Naked. ;) (too tempting)


If you plan on being a download monkey, then Cable is the way to go.

#21 dwsscs   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   762 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 12 January 2005 - 02:54 AM

Here is another question.

I called Earthlink to check out their DSL rates. They told me that I need a land line in order for the DSL cable to work.

SO I am confused. If I still need an account with a regular phone company to use my DSL, why would I use VOIP? Doesnt that defeat the purpose of VOIP? Or does the VOIP company take over the land line?

Please explain this to me? I appreciate all the help before.....


You need a land telephone line to get dsl, that is what the service is delivered through. You may or may not be able to get dsl without a land line, but that depends on the company and their may be a surcharge if you don't have local telephone service with them. The VOIP line does not take over you existing land line unless you port your current phone number over to them which you can do. But don't cancel your local service until the number is ported.

However if you get cable broadband, you can do away with the phone company and get a VOIP phone.

The point of using the VOIP is to save money. Where I live in a suburb of Atlanta, a basic phone line (no features - call waiting, caller id, anything) cost $28 after junk fees. Not including long distance either.

My vonage account is $28 after taxes, and I get unlimited calls to US and Canada, caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, and some other stuff I don't use. You can also use the line to fax things also if you have a fax machine, or fax software.

I just get a better product at a better price, and thats the bottom line for me. I save about $40 a month in long distance also.

The main catch is you need a broadband or dsl connection to make it work. Which I have anyway, so it works out.

Also see my earlier post about hooking it up to all of the phones in your home.

#22 bignick   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   6637 Posts   Joined 14.7 Years Ago  

Posted 12 January 2005 - 03:50 AM

[quote name='"dafoomie"'][quote name='bignick'][quote name='dafoomie']My primary (and only) phone is a VOIP phone, since I'm blacklisted from Verizon.

:rofl:

please elaborate[/quote]
Due to an error (their error), they came up with a 1 month bill, for a ground line, to be $4000. I tried to dispute, but they won't give me service until I pay.

This was about 5 years ago, when they were BellAtlantic. They still won't give me or my family service.[/quote]

Oh man thats funny. Well, funny now, I guess. Isnt there a law that they have to provide you with 911 service or something like that. You should look into that and make them give it to you if they have to.

#23 darkJester   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   81 Posts   Joined 13.5 Years Ago  

darkJester

Posted 12 January 2005 - 05:45 AM

I've been using Vonage for a few months now, and it's awesome! Very cheap, no "one million phone company fees," and the quality is really good.

#24 cruzincontrol   Angry Homer is Angry CAGiversary!   918 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

cruzincontrol

Posted 13 January 2005 - 06:30 PM

[quote name='"dwsscs"'][quote name='Xevious']Here is another question.

You can also use the line to fax things also if you have a fax machine, or fax software.

I just get a better product at a better price, and thats the bottom line for me. I save about $40 a month in long distance also.

The main catch is you need a broadband or dsl connection to make it work. Which I have anyway, so it works out.

Also see my earlier post about hooking it up to all of the phones in your home.[/quote]

After reading this I am wondering if you are indeed able to fax stuff at all without buying their seperate $9.99/mo fax service. I used to be able to fax anything and haven't been able since November. Someone let me know....

#25 dwsscs   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   762 Posts   Joined 13.7 Years Ago  

Posted 19 January 2005 - 10:03 PM

[quote name='"cruzincontrol"'][quote name='"dwsscs"'][quote name='Xevious']Here is another question.

You can also use the line to fax things also if you have a fax machine, or fax software.

I just get a better product at a better price, and thats the bottom line for me. I save about $40 a month in long distance also.

The main catch is you need a broadband or dsl connection to make it work. Which I have anyway, so it works out.

Also see my earlier post about hooking it up to all of the phones in your home.[/quote]

No you don't need to pay the $10 for the fax line! Unless you just want a line just for faxing, which some people do if they use the fax a lot.

#26 nevposey   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   883 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

nevposey

Posted 21 January 2005 - 09:06 PM

I've been with a provider called SunRocket for almost a month now. Love it so far. We got a deal where we paid $199 up front for the year, which comes out to about 17 bucks a month. Not bad considering our land line bill was ridiculous. We get unlimited national calling and something like 30 minutes per month of international.

#27 Pure Apathy   I got paid! CAGiversary!   6432 Posts   Joined 14.2 Years Ago  

Pure Apathy

Posted 21 January 2005 - 09:11 PM

I can't get broadband in my area. I wish I could though.

#28 nevposey   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   883 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

nevposey

Posted 21 January 2005 - 09:46 PM

I can't get broadband in my area. I wish I could though.

ouch...well, when you do might be worth it for you to check into voip, if it's available where you are.

#29 gaelan   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   3138 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 21 January 2005 - 09:59 PM

I've been with a provider called SunRocket for almost a month now. Love it so far. We got a deal where we paid $199 up front for the year, which comes out to about 17 bucks a month. Not bad considering our land line bill was ridiculous. We get unlimited national calling and something like 30 minutes per month of international.


that's what i'm waiting for in my area...a yearly fee...better yet the life time fee ($999)

http://news.com.com/...652.html?tag=nl

#30 nevposey   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   883 Posts   Joined 14.1 Years Ago  

nevposey

Posted 21 January 2005 - 10:29 PM

I've been with a provider called SunRocket for almost a month now. Love it so far. We got a deal where we paid $199 up front for the year, which comes out to about 17 bucks a month. Not bad considering our land line bill was ridiculous. We get unlimited national calling and something like 30 minutes per month of international.


that's what i'm waiting for in my area...a yearly fee...better yet the life time fee ($999)

http://news.com.com/...652.html?tag=nl

jeez...that seems like a helluva deal. Don't know if I'd be that comfortable throwing down a grand up front, but hey, it could be a great deal. I'd be sure to check out the fine print on that.

With our SunRocket deal, if we want to give it up at anytime, we can get reimbursed for the months we don't use. I was fine with throwing down $200 for the year. If we don't like it, we'll get a refund for what we don't use. So far so good, though.