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Old 10-28-2009, 03:04 PM   #21
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I found this article pretty handy to assess some of the VOIP services. The table near the bottom charts international calls.

A Review Of Ooma Internet Telephone: Free Phone Service For Life | Spot Cool Stuff: Tech

For us international calls are a non issue. Monthly fee is everything. But I can't leave the computer ON forever so ooma was the way to go (at the lake).
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:25 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tryan View Post
I found this article pretty handy to assess some of the VOIP services. The table near the bottom charts international calls.

A Review Of Ooma Internet Telephone: Free Phone Service For Life | Spot Cool Stuff: Tech

For us international calls are a non issue. Monthly fee is everything. But I can't leave the computer ON forever so ooma was the way to go (at the lake).
I couldn't get your link to work so I tried this:

Compare VoIP

There are a bunch of others. Let me google that for you
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:01 PM   #23
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If you have good internet service, I recommend MagicJack. Only $47 for the hardware, and $20/yr, and you get a telephone number that folks can call. At first, there were a number of technical issues with getting it working, but knock on wood, lately I have not had any problems. (I would only recommend MagicJack to folks that have a certain level of computer expertise - anyone that would need to read "Windows for Dummies" would not have such expertise, LOL)

You can also get a pay by the time mobile phone like TracFone for any times when MagicJack would be having problems. The cost is only about $.10/minute.

I see no reason to have a landline ever again.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:01 PM   #24
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Same here. Additionally, if you have a security system, the security firm must have a landline to hook into, unless you set up a wireless line for them that you know will be reliable.
yeah...I added to my adt type system a device that converts monitoring to using the internet and it sends all the alerts to my blackberry, for about $8 per month, but thats another discussion to maybe open up in another thread
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:12 PM   #25
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@Kroeran: Porbably obvious but... With any VOIP plan, don't forget that if electricity or internet are down, you'll be out of luck. I guess an emergency cell phone or "cheap" land line would work for such cases - but I suggest having some plan B for such cases.
sure...good tips...we are in the city beside a hospital, so the power NEVER goes down, I also have a big portable battery backup, our internet provider seems to always be up, and I have a blackberry (paid by the boss)
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:23 PM   #26
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If you have good internet service, I recommend MagicJack. Only $47 for the hardware, and $20/yr, and you get a telephone number that folks can call. At first, there were a number of technical issues with getting it working, but knock on wood, lately I have not had any problems. (I would only recommend MagicJack to folks that have a certain level of computer expertise - anyone that would need to read "Windows for Dummies" would not have such expertise, LOL)

You can also get a pay by the time mobile phone like TracFone for any times when MagicJack would be having problems. The cost is only about $.10/minute.

I see no reason to have a landline ever again.
I think I will definitely give it a whirl for $47, in case I can get it working, which may be 75% based on what I have been reading. The link to the MJ forum will also be useful, if combined with some perseverance. A real home run for me is any technical solution that will not only be cheap, but as well will be dual use between base and second home.

For home base I have a trailing edge (well, its older than that) laptop whose only job is to run a security camera on the garage (which sends images to my blackberry using a $20 program called crime catcher), which could also do double duty running the magic jack, which I would hook to the house lines (if that is doable).

I have Virgin pay as you go cell that I picked up at the 7 elevan down the street in Fort Myers. I can turn it off and forget it in the drawer for several months before it complains (via email) that it needs a small topping up.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:44 AM   #27
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If you have a "triple play" (tv, phone, internet) -- do you save anything by taking out the phone and going VOIP ?

I pay around 110-120/month for all three. I haven't inquired, but I've been assuming taking phone out won't reduce cost much. My friend thought it would only drop 10 or 15.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:34 AM   #28
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Quote:

Originally Posted by smjsl

@Kroeran: Porbably obvious but... With any VOIP plan, don't forget that if electricity or internet are down, you'll be out of luck. I guess an emergency cell phone or "cheap" land line would work for such cases - but I suggest having some plan B for such cases.
I put a house monitoring system (power and temp) on my VOIP . The IP has generator backup and I put a UPS on the modem and Vonage Router (soon to be ooma). Several power outages over the last couple years ... no problem (system calls my cell and house phone). UPS is only good for about 2 hours ... but how many times do you need to be told "power is out at location ...".
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:59 AM   #29
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I found this article pretty handy to assess some of the VOIP services. The table near the bottom charts international calls.

A Review Of Ooma Internet Telephone: Free Phone Service For Life | Spot Cool Stuff: Tech

For us international calls are a non issue. Monthly fee is everything. But I can't leave the computer ON forever so ooma was the way to go (at the lake).
ooma sounds good...only works in US at the moment
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:29 AM   #30
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A just in time discussion for me.... so I will thread hijack a bit and ask a few questions...

I currently have AT&T phone and DSL... can I just cancel the phone and keep the DSL with AT&T.. moving the phone line to a VOIP provider?

What speed do you need for the phone? I have the SLOW speed DSL, but it works just fine with SKYPE with video calls... I can not see how voice alone would need any more speed...

Which option is best for calling overseas? ie, voice quality, costs etc... My wife wants to call her mother and friends back home... some do not have SKYPE and she also wants to be able to just 'call' at any time....
We live in Shanghai right now, been here for 2 years. Because we have a monitored security system at our house back in the US, when we did the research, it seemed that our security provider would only work with Vonage- so we kept our land line for them and went with Vonage. It has worked fine. Most of our ex-pat friends here have gone with Skype and it works fine also. That's assuming the internet connection is working, which isn't always the case here...
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:09 AM   #31
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Interesting. Hadn't heard of Ooma before. But I just ordered one. Right now Amazon is having a bundle deal for the older hardware unit package for $204 -- and if you buy today or tomorrow you get a free iPod Shuffle (4th gen, 2GB, costs $55). Free shipping for the whole thing.

I'll be porting over my existing home number for $40 when the thing arrives. Current home phone is a regular POTS line, and something in our wiring is screwy -- phone company says it is inside our house. All of our calls have pops and crackles to the point where it is sometimes tough to hear. So rather than try to fix the problem (and continue to pay $38/month), this sounds like a good solution.

From what I could glean, the newer ooma hardware does not give you caller name lookup for free (part of the $10/month package), but the older one does, which is why I opted for the older model. We'll see if that is true. In any event, the caller id will show the phone number of the caller.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:12 PM   #32
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Here in the semi-boonies of northern Illinois, power outages of an hour or two happen maybe once or twice per year, but sometimes they are out for a day or more. Land line phone hasn't had a problem for over a decade, back then the longest we ever lost service was a few hours.

Cellphone service usually works at our house but not always.

Friends and family have had very mixed results with various VOIP services, I can't isolate a particular brand. Some are quite pleased, others absolutely furious. One daughter just had the condo association in Chicago where she lives change VOIP providers. The provider made a real disaster out of it, she couldn't make outgoing calls for about a week; yesterday she finally was able to receive incoming calls for the first time in over a MONTH.

Out here, I say "You should be prepared to be your own policeman, fireman, and doctor; for at least 30 minutes." That's if the phone is working.

We're sticking with the land line for a while...
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:27 PM   #33
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Vonage for 4 years here. You can "light up" your whole house just like service from a traditional telecom by connecting the output line to your home phoneline system. That way all the jacks around the house are live and then from there you can use any standard phone you want (wired, wireless, etc). I love the voicemail to email function (very handy) and when I travel, I take the Vongage adapter with me and have my landline where ever I go.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:29 PM   #34
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I have vonage. I buy it for 12 months, up front, so the monthly fee works out to $20. After registering with 911 online, it works fine. Used 911 twice and they knew who I was.

ETA: this price beats my cable companies triple play, thats why I don't use their VOIP
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:59 PM   #35
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Right now Amazon is having a bundle deal for the older hardware unit package for $204 --
Buy.com had the same stuff for $190 after a $10 coupon (google buy.com coupons). Free shipping ...came today via fedx. My guess is the $$ of the old equipment will be dropping like a rock. But with the pay-back in side of a year this is a no-brainer.

Wasn't interested in saving the old number (at the lake) ended up reserving a number in a neighboring town (no numbers available in my town). All set to go (but I won't be there for a couple weeks for the install).
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:11 PM   #36
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I'm interested in hearing how the ooma works. My Vonage is 200 a year, so that sounds like a pretty good deal. I only have one phone. Doesn't look like you can get the hub only tho.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:40 PM   #37
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I almost got Vonage, but someone at work told me it was a nightmare when he tried to cancel it, so I decided to keep my landline but downgraded it to the minimal plan, and use rebtel.com for any distance calls from my home phone. I just call the pre-set local numbers (which I set up on the rebtel site) and dial the local numbers but I connect to people out of states and out of countries. My friends/family can call me using the local number too and those calls get charged to my online account.

It's been working for me fine, and I think I am saving about $50 a month compared to when I just had the landline with a long distance plan and a world plan.

It is kind of nice to know that I have a landline...
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:34 PM   #38
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I have ooma for house and business phone. For the $99 Premier service I get a second line also. It works fine with great sound quality. Have had other VOIP providers and they seem to be very reliable. Magic Jack is pretty erratic from what I have heard. There is a way around the requirement to have a pc on by using an Open-Source router.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:20 AM   #39
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I almost got Vonage, but someone at work told me it was a nightmare when he tried to cancel it
Vonage seems to be straightened out ... cancelled last week. No problem.

It was a second line ... I wasn't triing to preserve the phone number. I can see where this could get sticky.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #40
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Ouch, appears Vonage raised their prices for the year plan. $297.81. I think I'll order an ooma.
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