Home Phone Service

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Home Phone Service

Postby MissyB » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:12 pm

I am thinking of switching my home phone service to Vonage. I am wondering if anybody has had any experience with them.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby Shannon Barnes » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:39 pm

We have had Vonage since Rick's sister moved to Ireland 4 years ago. On occasion when bandwidth is stretched thin w/ internet use it will fade out for a minute & fade back in. The problem exists in many VOIP services.

I really like the price (we pay $300/year and that is all) and the features that come with it at no additional cost. We can call nearly anywhere in the world. We elect not to use the VM option, but we can kick it on as needed (you get .wav files in email for your messages).
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby MissyB » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience, Shannon. I know one person that didn't like it and another that does like it. The price interests me.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby andysinnh » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:11 pm

My only observation with these internet-based VoIP services is that, if you want a consistent and clear conversation, you run risks of this with most of these internet phone services, as Shannon has indicated. I work out of my house and many others at HP do as well. Some have chosen these sorts of phone services, and when on calls during the day, you can many times hear their voice fade away, or you get the "stuttering" sound when the internet is sharing bandwidth with the phone line and other household needs - and it sounds really bad when you're trying to talk to customers, etc. As such, you have to keep in mind that you get what you pay for in terms of quality tradoffs vs the price. If you can roll with the punches and don't mind interruptions then you'll be satisfied with this sort of service. If you want something more consistent, then something with a dedicated voice network (fairpoint, comast) will be more to your liking.

andy
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby Nat Fairbanks » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 pm

I've been using Future Nine for my VOIP for a few years now. They have plans as cheap as $75/year for 250 outgoing minutes/month & 2,000 minutes/month incoming.
http://www.future-nine.com/plans.html

However I do keep a Fairpoint measured service line and use that for work conference calls since calls to 800 numbers are free. That avoids any VOIP bandwidth issues.

-Nat
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby bobandgeri » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:39 pm

We have had Vonage for several years and pay for the full year upfront - $300 of so for almost unlimitted calling around the world. We love the feature where you can recieve an email with a wav file attached as well as a transcript of the call, so you get almost instant notification of calls at home even if your not their. You can look online and see any activity - calls received or made and search for numbers as well. We have not had any issues with voice quality. It also allows you to block calls that from people that block their caller ID.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby RD » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:15 pm

I've been using Vonage for two years and have never experienced poor sound quality. I love all the extra features like those mentioned above.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby quickhippo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:54 pm

I have had Vonage for 7 years and have had very few problems with the service. My wife uses it for business and spends on average 1.5 hours a day on conference calls and talking to clients and staff while simultaneously running high bandwith applications on her computers. We also have a fax machine connected without any major problems. In the event your internet goes out you can set up your Vonage account to automatically forward the call to another number such as your cell phone. Its not as good as a landline, but its close.

The only thing I would recommend is buying a small UPS to plug your cable modem and Vonage box into so when you lose power your call is not instantly disconnected.

-hippo
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby MissyB » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:50 am

Thanks for all the responses and advice.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby mort » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:17 pm

Might want to give Google Voice consideration...or a test drive to see if it suits your needs.

http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html

I use it for long distance domestic calls. The clarity is good and it online UI is easy to use.

A good selling point: It's free!
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby MissyB » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:44 am

Thanks, Mort. I will check into it. I have not heard of Google voice before.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby chrisorteg » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:31 am

I use Google Voice and someone also called me recently using Magic Jack and the quality was very impressive - had no idea it was an internet call. It costs $20/year. http://www.magicjack.com/
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby mmoy » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:46 am

I've used Google Voice for some time and we haven't had any problems with it. Google Voice is not really a VOIP service - they don't provide you with a connection - you have to use an existing phone.

When we're traveling, we use the Apple iPad in combination with Skype. The sound quality is generally excellent and the iPad makes for a great speakerphone. The iPod Touch can also be used like this but only supports a remote microphone and I imagine that you'd use earphones or a headset because the iPod Touch speakers are not that good.
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby RD » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:26 pm

mmoy wrote:When we're traveling, we use the Apple iPad in combination with Skype. The sound quality is generally excellent and the iPad makes for a great speakerphone. The iPod Touch can also be used like this but only supports a remote microphone and I imagine that you'd use earphones or a headset because the iPod Touch speakers are not that good.


Does the iPad at least have stereo speakers, unlike the iPhone?
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Re: Home Phone Service

Postby mmoy » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:33 pm

I don't know if it has stereo speakers. There are three meshed holes on the lower right and this is where the sound comes from. There could be multiple speakers but they come from the same area.

I think that it has two microphones so there is some noise-canceling on the microphone.
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