Internet phone service

I’m looking into getting some sort of VoIP phone service. Does anyone here use and recommend a specific service? I think that Packet8 is the best I have found, although I don’t use the phone much so I might try to find a per minute program as well. I need something that has incoming as well as outgoing, so that limits my options. Thanks for any help!

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,115053,00.asp

Here’s an article I found.

I’ve been using Vonage for about 2 months at home, after using it for about 3 months in my office. We also have a 1-800 number through them for our clients to call in. The only trouble I have experienced was transferring my number from Verizon to Vonage, but that was Verizon dragging their heels. Took almost 6 weeks!

The business account comes with a separate fax line, but we have to settle for DSL right now where we’re at and it can’t handle faxing, phone calls and internet at the same time. Verizon is the DSL provider, and they claim it isn’t a bandwidth issue, but I can take the Vonage modem from the office and plug it in at home on my cable, and I can fax, phone, ftp, etc. at the same time my son plays CounterStrike and my daughter IMs 400 people.

Anyway, I think Vonage has the best overall program right now. However, Glophone is also promising. You don’t need any type of adapter or modem, and it is supposed to work well even on dial-up! If I hadn’t already had Vonage, I might have gone with Glophone when I found it.

Another good thing is the overseas rates. My wife is from Korea and it’s only about 6 cents/min to Seoul. Big savings!

it can’t handle faxing, phone calls and internet at the same time

Could be an issue with your phone line. DSL uses a different frequency to those services and shouldn’t be affected.

If glophone offered a way to take incoming calls without having your computer on it would be perfect. Thanks for the link.

It is not using the phone frequencies, it is using DSL. Vonage is VOIP - Voice over IP. The phone and fax data is transmitted via digital packets over the DSL line. That is why Vonage won’t work over a dial-up, because you need broadband bandwidth to have enough speed to have real-time conversations.

Hey Lauren,

I was just looking into this last week and found some great service reviews and other information at http://www.dslreports.com/isplist?t=voip They also have some pretty active forums and you’ll find good advice there too.

I’ve seriously been considering Vonage after hearing many good things about them, but that Packet 8 seems pretty good too.

Cheers,

Steve

Good news from Glophone customer service!

“We offer in our home plans Multimedia Terminal Adapter which can be plugged into a router and it has 2 outputs at one end where you can plug in a physical phone on it.”

Looks like I will be trying it if I can use an adapter.

I’d say the best alternative in the VoIP industry is voiceglo/Glophone. It is free. Need I say more? I make calls to my family who is registered under the free plan anytime I want and talk to anyelse, anywhere with Glophone for free. I just told some of my friends about it. All you have to do is buy a USB headset or phone so to get better quality. And if you want to make or receive calls you can sign up for one of the plans which seems to be a lower cost than most other services. The new versions of Glophone are great.

Update:

I looked at the glophone site more, and the plan that uses the MTA is a minimum $20 a month. Nikotel look promising, but they only offer numbers in California right now.

And how exactly do you think DSL is transmitted? :wink:

From my experience, yes, you could be dealing with a phone issue – lucky for where I work, we service both phone and dsl, so such issues are dealt with quickly. DSL can be quite susceptible to things we otherwise wouldn’t notice over a handset…

I know how DSL works - like I posted, it does not use the phone frequencies. I will not go into a discourse on electrical or digital theory here, as there are numerous sources someone can reference for that info. DSL may run on the same lines as POTS, but when working properly it does not interfere or interact with the the phone signal.

Within the next few years, we’ll start seeing the wider use of broadband over power lines. The digital signal will be relayed across the existing power grid, providing broadband access to practically anyone who has electrical power. All the technical hurdles have been overcome to make this a viable option (such as transmitting through or around the transformers). Now it is just a matter of time before the power companies start to see the dollar signs. It is already under test in a few places in the US, and I believe in Canada.

Maybe some day soon you’ll only need a router plugged in somewhere in the house, and you’ll have a network connection at every outlet!

I’d hate to see the viruses that could run rampant on a network as distributed as that! :slight_smile:

In the context of DJ’s original post, speed issues with DSL could be related to issues with the physical phone line, regardless of whether or not the frequencies overlap.

I agree, it could be a phone line problem. In fact, that was the first thing I asked them to check. However, Verizon claims there are no problems on the line used. They haven’t sent a technician out to physically check the lines, they’ve just ran tests from their end to our office. Lazy b******s! They know that for now they are the only broadband option available where we are, so we have to suffer - they think! We should have cable available in about a month, as a new apartment complex is going up a block away and they are advertising cable in each unit. Comcast will have to come right by our office building with the lines. We’ll be switched as soon as possible!

If you are looking for an Ip phone service. Broadvox offers unlimited calls anywhere in the US and Canada from $19.95 per month for residential users and $44.95 for small business. IconnectHere starts at $8.95 per month and is the largest privately managed Global IP network in existence. Make calls to any telephone in the world directly from your PC and save up to 75% off of your telephone bill. They offer a 30 day money back Guarantee With no contracts. (They also have a comparison to vonage) on the page.
Very Interesting check it out.
Go to my website and click on either Broadvox or iconnectHere logo for more information and pricing.

http://www.xatek.net/

Out of curiosity, anyone here try Skype? I’ve been rather interested in trying it but haven’t yet since I don’t have a headset and I still use dial-up. XP

About Skype,

My buddy was talking it up the other day and after hearing the sound quality over broadband I have to say I’m quite impressed. I woudn’t use it to replace my landline, but if I’m online with a client who also has broadband its a quick way to talk for free when chatting won’t cut it. I downloaded it for free, but still need a headset myself.

You really do need broadband for it to work well though and I think it only works with Windows XP or 2000.

Steve

Hi,
Actually what you said is correct about packet8 but i think you have more options better than the this what you have proposed.

Can anyone show me a demo of VPN and skype? I would much prefer to ‘see it working’ before I commit to a VPN service for VoIP.

What do you mean VPN service for VoIP?

VPN = Virtual Private Network
VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol