It either sucks or it works, depending on your luck. Vonage and a couple of others depend on the internet to transmit your call, something that the internet was not designed to do. Voice quality can range from good to unintelligible so basically you get what you pay for.
Keep in mind that the reason it is so cheap is because these companies are not taxed by the government or have to collect the surcharges that real phone companies have to. That will soon change bringing the cost more in line with the phone companies. Then all Vonage will offer is poor service.
As you can tell I am not a big fan of Vonage or most anything VoIP. Most people I have heard from that tried it were not happy.
[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 02-15-2007).]
I have vonage. For a one man shop, I found it to be a pretty good deal, especially since I can check voicemails from any internet connectiona and forward the voice calls to my cellphone.
Tha said, I would not get it if I had to do it over again. Here's why.
1. You need a very good internet connection, high badwidth and all that 2. Low band width equals you sounding like you are talking thru a tin can. 3. Low bandwidth means incomlete or nonuseable fax lines. 4. Number portability. Go ahead, leave vonage, they keep the number.
I am moving my office to new location in coming months, I will keep the vonage line until the FCC requires them to release my number, but you can be sure that the local phone company will be getting my business.
I have Optimum voice in my house, not a complaint out of me. The only difference I can tell from when I had Verizon is the bill. My fax machine works flawlessly and the voice quality is good. The only thing I didn't care for is the fact that if your power goes out so does your dial tone, to prevent this I have a UPS installed for the cable modem and my wireless router, so when the lights go out I can still be on my laptop surfing the web and talking on the phone, all by candle-light.
I've had optimum Voice for a while now (With optimum Online and Optimum IO Digital Cable total Package Price is About $155 without CT State Tax. I like the optimum online very fast and I'm on the computer alot . The Optimum Voice is also very good. Great voice quality all of the calling features you can ask for so me and my mom are happy with it and the price the only thing about VOIP you lose power you lose phone service or your modem breaks (Had that happpen But since you lease it if it breaks cable vision will take care of it
Theres always enough room in the junction box.You just need a bigger hammer
It poses problems for E-911 systems. Since you can connect from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection, it can't really provide the location information that E-911 systems need. All is fine if you can talk and give your location, but if you can't then they have no way to locate you. Another problem is the funding that supports the operation of the E-911 system. Wirelines and cellular accounts have a fee that is charged on each months bill and this is sent to the local E-911 board to support the operations of the emergency dispatch system. Here in Illinois even the cell phone accounts are associated with E-911 system money problems. The monthly fee for a cell account is capped at $0.48 per month. The wireline fee is approved by the voters when the E-911 system is established and for small or systems with large rural areas, the fee on each phone line may be $1.75 or more. As more and more people drop their conventional phone service, another method will have to be found to fund the E-911 systems. Don (E-911 board member)
he only thing about VOIP you lose power you lose phone service or your modem breaks (Had that happpen But since you lease it if it breaks cable vision will take care of it
That is another issue with VOIP and cable phone systems. Localized power outages can drop out your phone service. This does not happen as much with wireline systems as they have back-up power in their central stations. Don
Several sites associated with my employer have used vonage. As Hal said, it is hit or miss.
When my lab was in Waltham, MA, my vonage line worked _perfectly_. I've since moved to Portland, OR. At home we have a vonage line that again works perfectly. However the line that I set up in my new lab worked terribly. An associate who set vonage up at home in Baltimore, MD had no luck at all. But then they moved the box over into a lab space, and it seems to be working just fine.
We did discover a bug in the box that they provided. Vonage provides a box that works as both the VOIP interface and as a router. The idea is that you connect the VOIP box to your cable/dsl/internet box, and then connect all of your computers to the VOIP box. This is supposed to let the VOIP box do 'Quality of Service' control and make sure that the voice channel gets enough bandwidth. Essentially you are supposed to be able to pick up the phone, and the box will slow down all of your other downloads and make sure that the voice traffic goes through.
Well it turns out that the QOS feature has a bug, and when it is on the box spends so much time processing packets that voice quality just falls apart. If you turn off the QOS feature, then voice quality improves dramatically. The very feature that is supposed to protect the VOIP traffic kills it. With the QOS feature off in my Portland lab, vonage is again acceptable.
There is also an important failure mode that anyone using vonage for business needs to know about: you don't have any indication of outgoing line quality. You can have a _perfectly clear_ channel for listening, but the person on the other end of the line can't hear you speak.
Most people now days have cordless or otherwise powered phones that are a problem during power outages anyway, so I think the UPS would take care of the power outages as mkoloj advises. If you have a good internet connection and make a lot of long distance calls, why not save some money and embrace the new technology?