The Survival Podcast Forum

Site Suggestions, Support and Resources => Industry Reviews => Topic started by: doublehelix on June 26, 2011, 12:52:49 PM

Title: - Voice over IP Home Phone Service
Post by: doublehelix on June 26, 2011, 12:52:49 PM

So after switching from Vonage and their ever-escalating prices and fees, I've finally had enough time to evaluate my move to

I do have to say I did try a friend's Ooma and found it pretty lacking for my purposes. We even discovered a problem trying to call
a local exchange for which they didn't have a presence in the ILEC central office.

Switching from Vonage and keeping my number was not too painful, but that process could be streamlined by
the FCC in a heartbeat w/ new rules IMHO.

VOIPO was started by execs from Hostgator, and use Hostgator's data center for their service.

As with all Voip carriers, you must have a decent broadband line on your end for successful use. That includes sufficient
bandwidth and lack of "flapping" to maintain a quality signal.  Most DSL and cable broadband will fill the bill.

Unlike Ooma this isn't a buy it once and forget it.  There is a monthly fee (albeit very small) that gives you (IMHO) improved call quality,
and a bunch of extended features.

Being in the tech business for decades, I'm also VERY leery of companies that base their business model on "free". They may not be
around after the Venture Capital runs out.

The Basics:
I paid in advance which works out to around $7/month for service + tax, and the equipment is on loan so no upfront $$$ equipment costs
US and Canada long distance is free, and international calling is quite reasonable.
They provide you with a configured Linksys VOIP adapter at no charge, which includes a 4 port switch to connect other devices.
It was easy to connect to the existing house phone wiring, and powerful enough to ring any of the phones in the house (something Ooma couldn't do BTW).

Features Included (from the website):
Caller ID    Call Waiting    3 Way Calling
Advanced Voicemail    Online Voicemail Access    Online Call History
Add Contacts    Custom Incoming Caller ID    Advanced Call Routing
Call Forwarding    Failover Capability    E911 Service
Telemarketer Block    Do Not Disturb    Outbound Faxing
411 Directory Assistance    *69 Call Return    *67 Caller ID Blocking
Voicemails E-Mailed    Text Notifications    US Based Support

I had an excellent phone number on Vonage ported over from a previous business, and it was easy and free to port that number over to the
VOIPO service, although it took almost 2 weeks for Vonage to release it.

Call quality:
I use the phone a lot for a home office, ie: LOTS of domestic non-800 number conference calls and a fair number of international calls.
So far it's been great. A few dropouts which I attribute to the poor ATT DSL line I had, but absolutely no issues since I switched to cable

Emailing of voicemail is great, as it allows me to retrieve and listen on my smartphone with existing software.
Distinctive ringing is great.  As is the Telemarketer Block which crowdsources telemarketing numbers on-the-fly and blocks them
in real-time.

All in all it's not "free" like Ooma, but the small monthly fee I feel is justified for the enhanced feature set and better call

I've had it now for over a year, and I'm REALLY glad I switched from both a legacy landline and Vonage.

Title: Re: - Voice over IP Home Phone Service
Post by: American Redoubt on August 19, 2012, 05:23:03 PM
Although I have had Vonage for several years with no problems, I added a copper land-line fore redundancy since the Internet can go up and down and is less reliable than POTS (Plain Ol' Telephone Service) with AT&T.  Also, I use Vonage with its low end $19 plan to host my main phone number and simultaneously ring ( my to both my cell phone and my land line.  That way, I don't have to be bound to talking so much on the cell phone (with its possible long-term health risks) and can answer the calls from my land line instead. If no answer on the cell or land line, it goes automatically to Vonage
s voicemail with e-mail transcription.

Been happy with Vonage as a larger company, since my old VOIP company went belly up bankrupt.