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Has anybody used Vonage?

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Has anybody had any experience with Vonage?Vonage web pageThey offer telephone service over a broadband connection, and I am considering trying it out. Has anybody used it yet?

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Don't know if it was you, but an SFNL reader sent me this link a couple months ago. I've been meaning to check it out ever since.Hate to say it, but I have a built-in reluctance to mess with my telephone system, which works. So all I can say is, don't cancel that before you're sure. I expect you're going to have lots of audio drop outs and stuff. The Internet isn't great about real-time communications. But I hope we have someone else who has tried it who posts.Nice avatar, by the way. (Please ignore mine!)-- Scot

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Just ran across this at DSL Reports.Vonage Hits a Speed BumpCompany may be using $5 mil in pirated softwareApparently things were going too well for broadband Internet telephony company Vonage, whose VOIP service has recently been praised by critics, and rebranded by Earthlink as an added service for their broadband customers. Vonage's founder, Jeffrey Citron, helped establish online stock trading outlet Datek, and was subsequently fined $22.5 million by the SEC for illegal trading activity, and told he couldn't work in the sector again. If Citron was looking to stay out of the spotlight, suggests the New York Post, he certainly isn't doing a good job of it; his company now under investigation for allegedly using roughly $5 million worth of pirated software.

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Don't know if it was you, but an SFNL reader sent me this link a couple months ago. I've been meaning to check it out ever since.Hate to say it, but I have a built-in reluctance to mess with my telephone system, which works. So all I can say is, don't cancel that before you're sure. I expect you're going to have lots of audio drop outs and stuff. The Internet isn't great about real-time communications. But I hope we have someone else who has tried it who posts.Nice avatar, by the way. (Please ignore mine!)-- Scot
I didn't send you the link, but I heard about it probably around the same time. I forget where.I know what you mean about not messing with that which works. I am really curious, though, and would like to check it out. If I do end up doing it, I'll be sure to share my experiences here.

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Hi, all. About Vonage, I found someone who is using it, another SFNL reader. I've asked him to either post in this thread or give me permssion to post an interesting email he just sent me. I'm waiting for his respone.-- Scot

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I've had this service installed now for about three months and heartily recommend it to anyone who will listen. The company provides a Cisco ATA186 network adapter that plugs directly into my router (Linksys BEFSR81) and provices a regular RJ-11 to connect to my Panasonic 4 line phone system.The service worked immediately with installation taking less than 3 minutes. The phone gets plain old dial tone and the router starts blinking. The only strange part is that all numbers must be dialed 10 digit like long distance. The companies web based management tools provide a nice array of features including voice mail, call forwarding and activity logs. There is also a bandwidth control that allows a user to vary the voice quality, hence bandwidth demand between 20kbps and the 90 kbps default. At the default setting the voice quality is excellent, perhaps even better than POTS.One novel feature offered by Vonage is the ability to transfer a call to a completely different phone number. I use this in my home office situation to treat our corprate office in Florida like an extension on my phone system. Another unique feature is the ability to get additional phone numbers in any are code where Vonage provides service. Thus I can have a 212 area code number that rings in my Houston office. To my New York city customers its just a local call.When I initally installed the service I was using an older Linksys BEFSR41 router. This proved to be a problem. When my network had multiple activities ongoing (large ftp transfers browsing, fetching email) contention for bandwidth would cause latencies that could result in dropped phone calls. Switching to the BEFSR81 with QoS has eliminated this altogether. I simply assign highest priority to the network port that services the ATA186.My only outstanding wish is that Vonage offered a multi-line service. You readers would love this. I heartily recommend the service. I like it almost as much as the late, lamented ION from Sprint.Michael Graves

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Thanks for posting, Michael. This was the email that I mentioned above.-- Scot

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I was talking to someone on another forum that said the only gripe he has about this service is that if the power goes out, so does his phone service. And that you do not have the ability to call 911 in case of emergency. But he said they are working on both of those issues.

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One problem with Vonage is it depends on the quality of the network routing to the area you are calling. This is particularly the case when calling another country. My son had an awful connexion calling someone in Mexico. This was reproducible, alas. On the other hand, calls to France were without problems. -er

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Hello again,My employer has me attending a major broadcasting convention in Las Vegas this week. We usually get a phone line dropped to our booth at the show, in addition to the internet feed from Smart Cities. For the 2002 show the phone bill was $700 and the net about $1200. This for just six days of service.So, this year I convinced the boss to allow me to bring my router and Vonage box to the show. We pay $950 for a 256k internet feed and put the phone across that to achieve a potentially huge savings. We finished the build of the booth earlier today and I'm happy to report that the Vonage service is working fine. My Houston area number now rings in the Las Vegas Convention Centre.I had only one problem but it was my own fault. We set static IPs for the 30+ devices in our booth. Thus, in the name of security I disabled DHCP in the Linksysy router. Bad idea. The Cisco ATA186 absolutely must DHCP. Once this was resolved the phone rang as expected.Michael Graves

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