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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - August 22, 2005


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

August 22, 2005

By Daniel Connor

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

In today's edition, we'll look at an article in which the head of a political group that favors very little government intervention in technology describes what he sees as the key differences between Vonage and Skype. We'll look at a review of the Vonage VTech 8100-2 cordless handset that appeared in - where? Read on and you'll find out.  We'll also spotlight a new Vonage VoIP Forum thread about a new Vonage firmware upgrade that may help those Vonage users with echo issues, and one from a Forum member whose phone light is on but whose dial tone is not. Finally, in our regular Monday feature, we'll meet our newest Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week. 



Vonage In The Headlines

Think Tank Leader Describes How Vonage and Skype are Different

The Association for Competitive Technology is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank and lobbying group that believes technology companies should be allowed to innovate with a minimum of interference from government.

The group's Jonathan Zuck recently visited the New Hampshire capital of Manchester for a conference with like-minded businesses and political leaders. As part of a briefing held at the offices of the local Manchester Union-Leader newspaper,, Zuck was joined by Americans for Technology Leadership executive director James Prendergast. 

Zuck, in particular, had a good bit to say about the differences between Vonage and Skype. Considering that many people compare these two services as if they were one and the same - when they aren't- Zuck's explanation is worth reading and then forwarding to people you may know who still think that.

"Vonage and Skype are two sort of good examples (of Voip services) said Zuck, "because they have two different models from an infrastructure standpoint. Skype is a pure, I'm just connecting over the Internet, the way I do IM (Instant Messaging), and Vonage has a more dedicated connection. 

"Certain solutions, like Skype for example, are designed for you to speak to another Skype customer," Zuck explained to newspaper staff members, "It's not a phone on either side, it's a pair of headsets plugged into a PC on both ends, whereas Vonage is going through the work of getting termination services from the local carrier so that you can call your mother's land-line from your Internet-based phone.

"It's two different business models," Zuck continued. "One is almost like an extension of Instant Messaging, and the other is meant to be a more traditional replacement for phone service. 

Zuck went on to say because Skype is more like an Instant Messaging program, and Vonage is more of a phone company, the major competitive threat to traditional phone companies will be Vonage, and not Skype. But Zuck doesn't think the service offerings of Voip companies such as Vonage are just going to begin and end with replacing your current phone company. 

 "What you're going to see more and more of is Voice over IP integrated into other technologies, whether it's your game console, your television set, etc.," Zuck told Union-Leader staffers. "You're going to have that voice functionality added to existing functionality and seamlessly integrated to create a more interactive experience in other arenas, your refrigerator, etc. There's going to be other areas where they take advantage of the fact that you can have multiple types of data going over the line."

Playboy Magazine Recommends Vonage Cordless Handset

As part of its mission as a magazine about hip lifestyles, Playboy has never shied away from talking about technology that could be associated with hip lifestyles. And in the September edition, their editors bestow their blessing on the Vonage VTech IP 8100-2 cordless handset.

In a review, their editors say that the Vonage service works well, saves you "a lot of dough," but has been a bit "lack-luster" in the hardware department up until now. But then they add that "finally, Vonage is offering its users that most basic phone amenity: a cordless handset.

"We were already partial to the company; this gives us one more reason to recommend it," Playboy writes.

The review has an interesting photo of a model using the Vonage phone. If you want to read the article, click here

 

On The Vonage Voip Forum

On a new Vonage Voip Forum thread called Echo Problem - Phone?, new Vonage Voip Forum member Bruce2005 wants to know if the type of phone you use with your Vonage service can have an effect on echo. In other words, when echo happens, is it the phone's fault, and can changing phones help?

"Does the type of phone you use have an effect on echo? What type of phone is best to use with Vonage?," Bruce asks. "All I need is a single line, no expansion phone unit w/answering machine and caller ID ability."

Before simply swapping phones, Forum Member VonageTPA suggested that Bruce test out his Linksys RTP300 router first. 

"Unplug the RTP300 from power & unplug all of the computers & phones attached to it. Plug the RTP300 back in (so you'll only have the data cable from the cable modem & power cables attached) and let it sit there for 10 minutes by itself," Vonage TPA writes. 

VonageTPA then added that Vonage sent out a firmware update last night. Vonage TPA added that the procedure he just described "should speed up the process & time it takes for you to receive" the firmware upgrade. But what after the upgrade is received?

"After that, reconnect the phones & computers and check which version of firmware you're running by going to http://192.168.15.1/," he recommends" In the upper right corner it should tell you the firmware version. 1.00.43 is the latest and has fixed many problems. I'm not sure if it addresses the echo issue, as I've never had it happen on mine, but they've changed quite a few things."

As to Bruce2005's original question about the phone's effect on Vonage service, Forum Member cmpfire  that after trying several phones with his Vonage service the Motorola 760 he bought at Best Buy has no echo and works the best.

In a new Vonage Forum thread called rt31p2, phone 1 light always on, no dial tone, new Forum Member alanbeth reports problems with the Linksys RT31P2 adapter indicated in the title he gave to the thread. 

"I am helping a fellow Vonage user who also has the RT31P2 adapter," alanbeth writes. "Apparently this was working fine until one of the phone ports stopped working. They plugged their phone into the other port and it worked fine. Now, neither phone port offers a dial tone and I notice that the Phone 1 light is on regardless of whether a phone is plugged in or not or whether it is plugged into phone1 or phone2."

Alanbeth says that he has "tried resetting this unit a couple of times (held the reset for 15+ seconds) and still the same situation...phone1 light is always on and no dial tone. The Internet router portion of it works fine. I am using it at this very moment," he wrote at the time of his post.

Alanbeth then added he would be following up with Vonage tech support. But after he made his post, one of the Vonage tech support people who is also a Forum Member rcb116 asked alanbeth to send him a Private Message with his friend's info- and he would look into it.

By the way, if you want to send a Private Message to another Vonage VoIP Forum member, without other Forum Members seeing it, one easy way to do this is to click on the PM icon directly underneath the post. A Send a new private message box will open. Type your message, click Preview to read it, and then click Submit to send it. 

Speaking of helpful Vonage Voip Forum members, today is the day we award our Vonage Voip Forum Member of the Week. This week, we honor houuser, who, in less than two weeks, will have been with us two years. From Houston, Tex. (you can tell that from his name), houuser has, over these two years, offered expertise on a wide variety of Vonage topics such as router issues, softphone, and service problems. We have few Members with as varied an expertise as houuser does. If you want to read some of houuser's posts, click here.  

Before we close out today's Digest, I'd like to remind you once again about some more options you have to receive the Vonage Voip Forum Digest every day. If you go to this page: http://www.vonage-forum.com/syndication.html, you will see a list of RSS Newsreaders from which with one or two clicks, you'll be able to get your Digest delivered directly to your Newsreader each morning. The Newsreaders we've linked to on that page include such reliable and trusted services as Bloglines, Feedster, My Yahoo!, Newsgator and Feedburner. I am open to add others, just contact me with the info of the Newsreader.

That's what's hot about Vonage today. Don't forget to check with us Tuesday morning for the next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest- !!




 
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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.

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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.

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