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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - July 6, 2005

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

July 6, 2005

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest.

Today, we'll go over a news article that discusses the possibility that Internet phone services such as Vonage might be taxed in the U.S. We'll point out interesting new Vonage Voip Forum threads about working with Vonage service from a hotel room, and whether Vonage service is safe from a type of spam that some experts say might be targeted at Voip users.

In The Headlines

Will Vonage Service Be Taxed?

Yesterday, we read an article on CNET's with the title, "New tax for broadband customers?" (No, we are not asking about the title- the title includes the question mark).

The article discusses how members of the U.S. Congress from rural areas want to make sure that the Universal Service Fund- which subsidizes phone and broadband service to rural areas of the U.S.- want to ensure that the fund stays, well, funded. The way it is now, most Americans who subscribe to existing land-line and cell companies pay a portion of their bill into this tax. But you, the Vonage customer, does not.

And with a growing percentage of Americans ditching their land line service for Vonage and other Voip carriers -these rural Congress people are saying, that Vonage subscribers should pony up as well.

We already know what many if not most of you are thinking. But rather than think that to yourselves, why not post your opinion on the Vonage Voip Forum? Just simply log on, and start a new thread!

And speaking of...

On The Vonage Voip Forum

This is a short workweek here in the U.S., but an active one on the Forum. In fact, we know that just as some of you finished packing up the barbie, you've been packing up for a business trip.

Which brings us to our first of our spotlighted Vonage Voip Forum threads.

In a new thread called Using Vonage Adapter In A Hotel, Vonage Forum Member arcking says that he is planning to spend about a month in a hotel with high-speed Internet service, and would like to be able to use Vonage to receive and make calls. He asks about whether the call will be secure from prying ears, and whether his hotel might block the call. NHTracker's reply says the connection should work providing the hotel doesn't use some type of authentication for their network.

Also, as NHTracker points out, if the hotel has Wi-Fi, you'll want a wireless bridge to ensure access.

And as to hotel people "listening in," the chain arcking mentions has never had a reported case of this - even on standard phone services. But Vonage rep rcb116 (yes, they do read our Forum) counsels that if you want to use a credit card on the same PC that is running Vonage, only use it if the site is well-known. But that's good advice for any online credit-card transaction.

On the Fourth, Forum Member Kash76 kicked off a new thread by asking about "SPIT." No, not the spit where you -oh, you know- but SPam over Internet Telephony. That means using your Vonage address or connection to send spam back to you.

Kash76 named his thread Vonage vulnerable to SPIT (VoIP Spam)??? In his thread-launching post, Kash76 asked, "are the phone adapters tunneled into Vonage or can anyone hit a port on my IP (address) and make my phone ring?

Not long after Kash76 asked his question, one of our veteran posters replied - not with his own words, but with a link. Reebok (I'd bet I know what type of athletic shoes he wears) linked his answer to a thread on Broadband In the thread, one of their most frequent posters, dtwilliams, wrote a post that explained how unlikely Vonage SPIT is likely to be:

"SIP Authentication is done with an authentication username and authentication realm. This should be implemented by any consumer Voip service," dtwilliams accurately explained. "Somebody can't just send a SIP INVITE to your TA and make your phone ring. The SIP Proxy and the SIP Agent will only accept SIP messages from each other upon proper authentication.

"Could SPIT happen to "open" SIP devices on the net, yes," he asked. "But, not to a commercial service."

After following reebok's lead to dtwilliams post and reading it, Kash76 came back here to our Forum and thanked reebok for pointing to that "comforting" information.

That's what's hot about Vonage today. Check with us tomorrow for the next edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest!!

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