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Vonage The first question you should ask is, "How happy am I with my HSI provider?" If you



The first question you should ask is, "How happy am I with my HSI provider?" If you don't answer that with at least a 7 out of 10 response, Voip isn't for you.

Voip will never be better than your HSI. If you have high latency, packet loss or poor throughput during peak periods or all the time, forget Vonage and other Voip providers.

If you have a decent quality (not perfect but it has to be decent) HSI, then I think you'll find Vonage's quality is better than classic phone service.

I live in a subdivision that is 25 years old. The classic phone service was terrible. Noise on the line, low volume - I could hardly hear my father who only calls from 20 minutes away. (That's mostly due to his crappy classic phone service but once I got Vonage, I could actually carry on a normal conversation!)

I've had Vonage for a year and the quality is absolutely without compare. Much better than POTS. Louder, clearer and a superior signal to noise ratio.

I've recently been having some router problems which has caused me to do a lot of packet sniffing. I had to laugh when I watched one of my calls to voice mail. I actually saw packets identified as "Comfort Noise". This is noise Voip companies add to sessions so that the call sounds normal. Folks get spooked if they don't hear some noise. They think their phone is dead!

I will say that there is the slightest hint of quantization noise which puts a bit of frizz around certain sounds. I don't notice it when I call another human. I notice it when I call automated services (like time and temperature, my company's voice mail or call routing systems.) I think this is because those systems use digital recordings whose wave form doesn't look like a typical human "analog" voice. The codec Voip uses is optimized for voice. I'm guessing that these "automated" voices confuse the algorithm and result in a bit of tarnish around the edges. You REALLY have to listen closely for it. In fact, I never notice it over cordless phones because their added background noise hides it. I only notice it on a corded phone and again, only because Vonage calls are so quiet that you can hear things like this.

Don't confuse my statements with "digital cell" quality calls. Vonage is nothing like a digital cell phone call. It's very good quality.

You do, however, have the option of choosing the quality of your calls. Vonage offers 30Kbps, 50Kbps and 90Kbps. I always leave my calls on 90Kbps. 50Kbps also offers good quality but when I switched, I experienced dropped calls and periods where the other party could hear me but I couldn't hear them (or vice versa.) These could have been my problems or by now Vonage may have fixed them. I haven't tried it since they first offered the 50Kbps option. I think it was around six months ago.

IMO - the 30Kbps codec sounds like a good quality digital cell call when you're not moving. It's way better than a moving cell call because it doesn't fluctuate in quality. However, I didn't like it and I just leave it at the high quality 90Kbps setting. My cable provider has always provided ample bandwidth for the 90Kbps quality (they started with 350K, then they dropped it to 128K and now it's 256K). I have Charter and in my area they do a great job at managing the system. There's no packet loss (oh there's a little but statistically, it's zero) and never any peak bandwidth problems. Every few months something craps out in their system but it's usually fixed within a few hours or by the next day. I think the quality of my HSI has a lot to do with my very positive Vonage experience.



Read The Full Thread:

How clear is it.... really


I just ordered the service reluctantly. My phone bill has been over 50 bucks a month
I use it for work and home. I am generally happy with it, very loud and clear. I do
I, too, am a happy camper. :) I have noticed some echo (latency) when using
I have not been able to tell vonage from a regular land-line. The quality has been
Moto, My internet is through Cablevision's Optimum Online. I'm amazed at the
I have the same cable provider and will run some speed test this afternoon and see
I think you mean the other way around. Putting the ATA BEHIND the router keeps it
I will admit, when I first got Vonage installed I was constantly listening really
I've had it for about a month and haven't looked back. Every time I get a little echo

rradina posted "The first question you should ask is, "How happy am I with my HSI provider?" If you" on 02/20/2004

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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