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VOIP service?

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mattseattle

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Does anyone use VOIP? If so what provider do they use? Vonage, AT&T Callvantage, Packet8 or others? how do you like it?

I was looking at a recent phone bill and noticed I am paying 16.00 in just taxes on POTS service. Kinda crazy to be paying that.
 

esmith

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I don't currently have VOIP, but have been looking into getting it. I've found AT&T to be the least expensive at $19.99/month.

I also know that you shouldn't notice any hit on your DSL or Cable connection, as voice transfer is only ~8Kbps.

I'm really interested to know what the quality of the service is, so if anyone is using it please let us know how it is. :D:D

-Eliyah
 

mattseattle

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well all the reviews I've read is that AT&T Callvantage has superior quality to other providers. It's actually supposed to be better than a typical landline. Also the feature set is pretty amazing. Vonage also has a great feature set. Both are about equal in pricing.

I figure AT&T probably has a better infrastructure for VOIP but who knows.

I think I'll probably go with CallVantage and just buy the telephone adapter at Best Buy. It's 59.99 but you get a 60.00 rebate. Also AT&T offers the first month free.
 

mattseattle

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are you using a cable modem for your internet?

I think I'll go buy the telephone adapter tonight and I'll report back on my findings.
 

plumber_bob

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I just finished a full implementation of VoIP for a small company; however, I've know a few people with Vonage, and they've been really happy with it. Any questions feel free to ask.
 

mattseattle

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I think I've narrowed it down to AT&T Callvantage....seems like they have a great feature set. Also a free month and free equipment.
 

Gordo

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I use Vonage over a Comcast cable modem and it's been okay. They tend to blame every problem on someone else. I've been using a land line for 15 years and heard an echo maybe 10 times ever. For a while every call I made on my IP phone had an echo. Vonage put the blame on the person I was calling. All 20 of them is different parts of the country. The hold time to get to tech support are horrible (30 minutes and up) and they usually are clueless once you get them on the phone. One time I was having dropped calls so they wanted me to ping yahoo.com for 3 hours and send them the report. I just couldn't make the tech understand that this wasn't a valid test for latency to their network. Porting your number to Vonage can also be a pain. I waited six weeks only to be told they lost my transfer. They said it would take another four weeks. I raised heck and it was done in four days. Funny how that happened. . I must admit that I've had the service for 4 months now and it's gotten a lot better. In the last month I've had no complaints.
 

mattseattle

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Thanks Gordo for the information. Is your TiVo (I think you have a TiVo) able to dial in via Vonage? or does your TiVo support calling in via the internet? unfortunately DirecTivo still use the modem to call in.
 

esmith

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Yeah Matt, I have Comcast cable for my internet.

Thanks for the info Gordo, good to know. I believe I'm going to be trying AT&T as well.

Eliyah
 

mattseattle

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Well I went and bought the D-Link telephone adapter for AT&T Callvantage. Pretty sweet. The features are pretty amazing. Everything is controlled via the Web or via Phone. The quality is better than my old land line. I've always had some white noise in the background when calling long distance. It's almost crystal clear now. You can set it up to LOCATE YOU. It'll dial up to 5 numbers either in a row or all at once. It also has a Safe Number in case your cable modem goes down or something. It'll forward all calls to that number till the service is back up. The phone book feature is kind of cool. You set up your phone book online and you can actually use that to dial your phone. It'll ring your home phone and once you answer it dials the call for you. Not something I'd use a lot but kind of cool.

One thing I do like though is you are able to keep a list of auto recognized numbers. You can enter your cell phone so when you call in to check your voice mail it'll auto recognize that number and you only have to enter your pin. On my old POTS line I'd have to enter my home phone # as well as my PIN. a little time saver.

So it seems kewl.....and my TiVo is able to dial out on it without any problems.

looks like it takes about 90k of bandwidth to make a call.
 

big t

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Wow, I have never heard of this. Is it cheaper then a regular phone? Does it have less taxes? I currently have a bare bones home phone, w/ no call waiting or anything and it totals 21 bux a month w/ Qwest.
 

mattseattle

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big t said:
Wow, I have never heard of this. Is it cheaper then a regular phone? Does it have less taxes? I currently have a bare bones home phone, w/ no call waiting or anything and it totals 21 bux a month w/ Qwest.
I know the feeling. I was paying like 40.00 a month for my phone service and then 16.00 worth of taxes on top of that. It was insane to just have a phone.

AT&T Callvantage offers a few plans ranging from 14.99 up to 29.99. All plans come with the features below. The 29.99 plan has Unlimited Local & Long Distance.


INCLUDED FEATURES
  • Conference Caling
  • Voicemail
  • Call Log
  • Phone Book
  • Locate Me
  • Speed Dial
  • Do Not Disturb
  • 3-Way Calling
  • E-911 Dialing
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Waiting w/ Caller ID
  • Caller ID
  • Safe Forward Number
  • Fax & Modem Support
Also it's not taxed like a regular phone so you pay just Federal Tax and the 911 fee which is 1.00 I think. It's pretty impressive so far.

If you have cable modem it seems to be the way to go. Not sure how much money you'd save if you had DSL since you have to have a phone anyway to use DSL. The equipment is free. It's just a small box that looks like a router. I just unhooked the 2 wires from Qwest and plugged in the phone line from the box into my house wiring and now all phones in the house use the VOIP. Took me about 15 minutes to get up and running.
 
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Gordo

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mattseattle said:
Thanks Gordo for the information. Is your TiVo (I think you have a TiVo) able to dial in via Vonage? or does your TiVo support calling in via the internet? unfortunately DirecTivo still use the modem to call in.
That's another gotcha with Vonage. Tivo can't dial out over it. My Tivo connects over IP so it's not a big deal for me.

AT&T has really stepped up in the last couple of months. When I was making my decision five months ago they were $45 with no tiered rate plan. I wouldn't go with them regardless of price. My father in-law had a cell phone with them that was stolen. He called as soon as he realized it had been stolen (less than 24 hours) and there was already $1500 in charges to South America. They told him he was responsible for the calls and since he had direct pay with them they pulled the money out of his account immediately. It took him over four months to get his money back.

Gordo
 

mattseattle

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Yeah, well I don't blame you for not ever going with AT&T again. I've only (luckily) had great experiences with them in the past. I've never had cell phone service or anything but long distance service with them.

So far so good with my AT&T Callvantage service.

I only wished DirecTivo's could dial out over IP and had the HMO and all like your TiVo has. I don't see DirecTV releasing the software that you have to us. We haven't even received folders yet. I do love the dual tuners though.
 

mattseattle

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Dylan - yeah seems to be hit or miss from what I've gathered on the TiVo forums. Some Vonage users have no problems and others can't get it to work for anything. Mine worked on the first try with Callvantage. I just wished DirecTV would get their act together and let it dial in via IP.
 

LakeEd

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Jun 16, 2004
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Bremerton, WA
Matt,

Its now about 3 months later... do you still use your AT&T CallVantage... and how are you liking it??? What are the montly bills like... now that you're actually receiving a real bill, not their estimate?

Inquiring minds wanna know. *Grinz*
 
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