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Posted: 1/27/2006 5:46:06 AM EDT
I keep seeing and hearing about internet phone service, for example Vonage. I can't find anyone locally who has this service but I'm intrested if this is "too good to be true". I've heard that there is some interference with alarm systems, etc. but I need the "low-down".
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 5:52:40 AM EDT
Had mine for almost a year and works perfect. I have high-speed Cable Internet access, so as long as you have high-speed it will work fine. Love those $27/month phone bills for unlimited calls. 911 service will be rolled out soon so that concern will go away for those who are holding out for the real 911 service.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 6:29:09 AM EDT
I don't run my house alarm through it. Is is just not as reliable as regular phone service (POTS).

However, I reall like the vonage service. Quality/availablity is about 90%. Sometimes it gets bad sound, but there is always a dial tone, so it always works.

I have a wireless solution for my alarm. $400 one time charge. Worth it since local regular phoen service is about $45 a month here after all taxes.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 6:39:45 AM EDT
I won't be using cable for telephone since I am in a hurricane zone. After Ivan in '04 the only utility I had left was telephone, which never went out. Started our insurance claim at 2am after the first 2 trees landed on the house, cable was long gone.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 6:46:11 AM EDT
I have friends that use it and it's been hit or miss for them.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 6:59:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/27/2006 7:05:23 AM EDT by gunman0]
I bought vonage for my Fiancé that lives in Lima, Peru. So she now has a local number in my area that we can use call each other, in addition, she can call her family in other states and her friend in PR with no additional costs. This is much easier than paying all of the international long distance I used to pay, and gives her a benefit as she rarely talked to her friends and family in the US and PR before now.

It seems to work well, but if there are internet problems, there is no phone.

Unlike electricity, cable, and internet service, the US phone system is near 100% uptime. If you think about how many times you have called for problems with internet, electricity, or cable and compare that with how many times you had to go to a neighbor's house and call because of problems with your phone service, and you should be able to realize the quality of service the real phone company gives us. Other than noise in the line, which doesn't actually prevent use, only once in my life have I ever had to have the phone company come out because a line was unusable. And we had 5 lines at the time.

My hope is that the internet phone service industry will keep growing, it will always have a market as it makes it very cheap to have local numbers in other states or countries. But, more important is the competition that has already started making the phone companies provide the same features, although at an inflated ($50 vs $25) price, with their more reliable service. And eventually those prices will come down if the competition continues.

One thing to do beforehand is check reviews (dslreports.com is a good site as well as vonage-forums) for the routers they offer to make sure you get one that will work well in your application. I had to deal with the fact Telefonica DSL(Peru's provider) provides a crappy non UPnP DSL modem/router with bad NAT capability and no port forwarding abilities. I had problems with my original VoIP router, but the linksys RTP300 was able to tunnel through any setup I tested. Before I sent it down to her, I put it behind 4 cascaded routers some of which worse than her's, even my PC couldn't connect to MSN messenger through this setup, but the RTP300 worked flawlessly.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 7:10:08 AM EDT
When the idea first came out and it was free, I used it a few times but the latency was so bad it wasn't worth using. I'll just stick to my cell phone. At least that way I'm mobile.
Link Posted: 1/27/2006 7:32:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Boom_Stick:
When the idea first came out and it was free, I used it a few times but the latency was so bad it wasn't worth using. I'll just stick to my cell phone. At least that way I'm mobile.



I tried a free service, there are many still around, and the old arguement of "you get what you pay for" still applies.
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