I have a request for phone service at the rental house, there is
already DSL there. Anyone have any experience or recommendations for
adding either VOIP or Magic Jack?
Vonage seems to be $26/month (comparable to just getting basic
service from the tel) and Magic Jack is $20/year but requires a USB
Am I missing something here, why the huge cost differential?
AIUI, Magic Jack gets most of its income from the advertising with which
it afflicts the user.
I have neither Vonage nor Magic Jack. We have been reasonably happy with
the $10/mo. T-Mobile@Home add-on to our cell-phone plan, but they no
longer accept new subscribers to that service.
If your ISP offers a voip plan, I would go with them. If you go with a third
party like Vonage, they have no control over the bandwidth to your house and
therefore have an easy scapegoat for poor quality, inaudible service.
A few years ago I tried Packet8. After paying for the equipment and setting
it up, for me, tin cans and a string would have been better. Later I went
with a voip plan from my ISP, which is decent quality for the most part, but
does seem to degrade if I stay on a call for too long
Magic Lack is not really suitable as a primary phone. It plugs into a
USB port on an operating computer and the computer has to be up and
running for the magicJack to make and receive calls. Vonage plugs
into a broadband router DSL or Cable and no computer has to be running
for it to operate. If you want either of the VoIP units to operate
during a power outage, the equipment will have to have backup power.
I am going to be installing a Vonage unit for a friend sometime today
on his DSL service and I could get back to you and let you know how it
works out. I got a magicJack in 2007 and it did what it was meant to do
but I later got VoIP service from ViaTalk and it worked very well. I
service and install commercial telecommunications gear and have
experience with all sorts of phone and network equipment.
I used Vonage for years until I moved to a location with maginal DSL service and
it worked fine. Got annoyed at the below the line fees they started sticking on,
but even with those it's not a bad deal.
You do need to understand that it relies on the quality of the underlying
internet connection. E911 works fine, but only if the connection is there.
I've already fixed his DSL along with three AT&T techs and hours on the
phone with AT&T CSR's and a supervisor. The third modem I tried, a Zoom
DSL router/switch, finally worked the best and gives consistent service.
I switched over from ATT to VOIP using Ooma about a year ago. Ooma
charges for the hardware, about $200 at Costco, but service is
essentially free thereafter for life. They do however have to collect
an annual tax of $11.95 for the government. I have Comcast internet
cable at 12 mbs. The Ooma box connects to the Comcast modem using a
CAT5 cable, but a RJ11 phone jack from the Ooma box connects to a
nearby house phone jack which connects all the other phones in the
house. Phone calls from those phones are made without any changes at
all. The voice quality is excellent. I detect no difference using my
cable modem with that from ATT. (Some people have had some minor
problems using DSL.) In addition to saving $30 a month from ATT, Ooma
gives you free call waiting, free nationwide calling, free Internet
answering service, free 911 local forwarding. For additional charge,
you can ask to keep your old phone number. I recouped all my initial
cost in about eight months.
I thought about that. I've got an unused energy star AMD kicking around,
maybe $40/year for electricity. If it can run off linux, I could
probably get it to stay up for years. I don't really care if it goes
down during power outages, it's not like finding a cellphone to borrow
Not bad, looks like $18/month for ViaTalk. The Vonage plans look like
$27/month after the intro. But there is a lot of haze...
I've got the "top" DSL plan there, which I believe is 6 megs. Price
difference from top to bottom is small with all the competition here. I
would think that should work OK.
I can no longer figure out AT&T DSL pricing. I've got one account for
$25/month and another which is billing at $3.95/month. Same speed.
You can have a cordless Internet phone. You plug in wireless base int
USB connector and cordless phone and charge cradle anywhere in the
house. Mine is WiFi going through router in the house. Works fine.
I got my buddy hooked up to Vonage today. I plugged it into an open
port on the DSL/modem's switch and when I picked up the phone, I
heard a woman's voice saying "This Vonage unit has not been configured"
or something to that effect so I left it plugged in and went off with
my friend on a service call. When we returned, I picked up the phone and
the Vonage service was working with the phone number the salesman gave
him. He has a $9.95/month 200 minutes plan good for 2 years. He and his
wife mostly use their cellphones. I bought a ViaTalk setup a couple of
years ago $200.00 for two years of unlimited service. My service ran out
this winter when I was too ill to do very much work so the next
$200.00 I can spare, I'll renew it. The ViaTalk VoIP adapter worked very
well on the 6meg cable broadband connection here at The Crotchety Old
Fart's Lair. ^_^
"Magicjack" requires that a computer be running to use so I wouldn't
call it phone service. There are lots of possibilities for VoIP aside
from Vonage. Maybe if you define what "phone service" means in this case
you will get better suggestions.
I use Net10 for incoming calls and the 3bucks a month unlimited Skype
for outgoing. Total cost/month for both is under 20 bucks. If you
ever get used to using a headset for those long calls you will love them.
A free plug for http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/ try them out
and see what you think.
Crude by the way is at 105.09
I read the Skype web page once. No way would I ever do that on my main
machine. In theory, you can be used as a way-point for other people's
calls, bogging down your machine. Plus, of course, like any P2P client,
you are basically giving free rein to anyone. I have enough junk
machines laying around that I could dedicate a box to it, but it just
hasn't seemed worth the effort to set it up, so far.
On Fri, 04 Mar 2011 21:30:30 -0500, aemeijers wrote:
There is a strategy using port blocking to eliminate being used as a
bandwidth hub for other skype traffic. I don't remember the particulars
as it's been several months since I read the article.
I've used Vonage in the past. It was at the very least better than cell
phone quality. I talk maybe 45 minutes a week, always under 200 a month.
VoIP on a 5 mbps connection is acceptable.
With Magic Jack, you need a computer. With Vonage, not.
The $26/month is NOT comparable to basic Telco service. With Vonage you get
caller-id, call-waiting, 3-way calling, voice mail, touch-tone, call
forwarding, blalh-blah-blah, and all the long distance you can eat.
We replaced 16 lines on a Norstar at the insurance office with a VOIP
phone system. There were a couple months where we were ready to throw
the whole thing out, but when they finally got everything sorted out,
it's been very good. Not QUITE Ma Bell quality, but voice quality is
generally comparable to using a cheap phone on a POTS system. - and
FEATURES!!!! It makes the oldNorstar system look like a model T ford.
The phone can follow me on my cell if I want, emails me voice
messages, and a whole lot of other neet stuff.
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