I have seen many threads discussing using it for dial-up services, like satellite or Replay or Tivo. I believe the concensus is that there were some problems initially, but that they have all been ironed out now.
As for sound quality, I am pretty satisfied. It definitely is not as good as a traditional telephone, but for the most part I don't hear much difference. If I am doing some heavy downloading while talking on the phone, then there will be some minor breakup in the other person's voice. But overall I am very satisfied and I am about to completely cancel my Verizon land line service.
In case you are unaware, there is a referral program. If someone refers you, you will get a full credit for your second month of service. The referrer also will get a credit. If you need a referrer, just let me know!
For those that don't know, Vonage is a voice over IP service. It requires that you have broadband internet service. They send you a little box (called an ATA) that you plug into your home network. You plug a phone (or even your entire home phone network) into it, and viola you have telephone service over the internet.
This is nothing like internet telephony services of the past. It is remarkably good quality and very reliable. And dirt cheap.
I opted for the $25.99 a month plan which includes unlimited local calling, 500 minutes of long distance (including canada), call waiting, caller id, voicemail, 3 way calling, call forwarding, busy call back, and much more. There is also a $39.99 a month plan which gives you unlimited long distance.
I've tried Vonage myself, but decided to cancel the service. It works pretty well in general, but in every phone call, I had several pauses where neither party could hear the other. These lasted a few seconds, just long enough to be annoying. And I have a very fast connection to the Net.
It's probably good enough for a second line, but for a primary line, it's just not there yet.
I got Vonage in May of last year, and ditched Verizon at the same time. The sound quality is great, and my phone bill has dropped significantly. All the extra goodies that the phone company charges extra for (voicemail, caller id, call forwarding,etc) are all included in the Vonage flat rate. I've been very happy with it. I use it over a cable modem.
I've been debating vonage due to the fact I want to drop SBC. However, I won't be saving that much, maybe $10/month. My wife and I talked about getting rid of our land line completely and just living off of our cellphones. I rarely use the landline at all, and my wife only uses it to call her ma, which is a local call. It's just not worth it to me. The PITA part is going to be changing my phone # with all my services.
Keep in mind that you save more than you think because you don't have to pay all the hefty taxes. All the various taxes and fees on my phone added up to over $10 a month. Vonage has a very small federal excise tax (3 %) and that is it.
Also, Vonage will allow you to transfer your existing number if you want to.
I don't use Vonage but noticed the following new complaints at dslreports .
Seems another place where unlimited might not mean that. Some customers are getting their service plans changed to business class without prior notice because Vonage judged (on what criteria?) that the usage appeared to be of a business nature.
I have used MCI Neighborhood, which gives me unlimited local, regional and long distance, plus call waiting, call waiting caller ID, voice mail, and forwarding for $49.99 a month (plus another $10 or so for tax).
Seems like a great deal so far, and no emergency calling issues whatsoever.
I have Vonage for a second line but I am about to send it back and cancel.
The quality is good but not equal. Right now 911 does not work. I understand that they are working on that but I have 2 small kids and teaching 911 is important. I can't have to remember to tell a babysitter that she has to do something else to get 911 and then hope she remembers when it actually comes up one day many months later.
Also becasue of competition the Big phone companies have started offering very competative rates. I am looking at an unlimited package from SBC (my phone compnay) that is 49.95 for unlimited local, long distance with caller ID, voicemail and three way calling. Yes the taxes will add back a few dollars more than Vonage but I also get back the qaulity and other things I lose from Vonage too.
You can usually switch your current number to your Vonage line. I thought they had the 911 thing worked out, but like someone else said many phones have programmable buttons that can dial whatever the equivalent number to 911 is. They don't have the area code I need, or I would have tried it already... I've seen good and bad reports on the quality... some think it's pretty good, others can't stand it. I know there are two different quality settings you can choose from though, so I don't know if the folks with the bad experience tried the highest quality or not. I've figured that I can save about $15-25 a month by switching to a cable modem (from DSL) and getting Vonage, and get more features than I have now. (I'd switch from DSL in order to keep the same phone number I have now).
911 service is now operational. After your account is created, you simply have to log in enter your address information.
After that, dialing 911 will work and the operator will be provided with your location information if you should ever have to use it.
As for quality, a lot of depends on the quality of internet service you have and the nature of your home network.
I was initially having some quality problems with my service. But I moved the ATA (the connector box) to a different point on my home network and everything improved dramatically. Additionally, some higher end routers allow you to give a certain IP numbers a higher priority. I have heard that this helps a lot for those that have quality issues.
That said, if you can't stand a very minor glitch in a conversation once in a while, then maybe Vonage is not for you. For me the quality is quite acceptable. I think most people wouldn't notice anything if I didn't point it out to them.
And the price is the clincher. I was paying about $55 a month to Verizon for just a dial tone and call waiting, caller ID, etc. Now I pay $25.99 (OK, $26.77 after the federal excise tax) and that includes 500 minutes of long distance. Even at 3 cents a minute, the long distance comes out to an additional savings of $15.00 a month.
So, basically, I am saving about $43 a month, or $516 a year. To me, its a no brainer.
Of course, if you have DSL, you probably can't ditch your local service. I have a cable modem and so I was able to kiss Verizon good bye!
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