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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - August 15, 2006

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

August 15, 2006

By Daniel Connor

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

In the news, we'll read another review of the Vonage VPhone. We'll go over newly posted Vonage Forum threads about recording Vonage calls, and about router setup recommendations. We'll also bring you up to date on Vonage's stock price.

In The News

Vonage VPhone Reviewed on New York Cable Channel

Adam Balkin of the cable television channel NY1 is out with a review of the Vonage VPhone. His review, which is available online, also provides a video clip of the VPhone in action.

"Imagine being able to take your phone anywhere -- not just your cell phone, but your home phone, too," Balkin writes.

"Think of the new VPhone as your home or business phone - your landline number and service that you can take anywhere in the world. The VPhone) has been) recently unveiled by Vonage, the company that made popular voiceover IP phone service, using your Internet connection as your phone line," points out Balkin.

“The great thing is it allows you to use a memory stick or USB VPhone anywhere there's Internet access,” Balkin quotes Vonage's Brooke Schulz as saying. "All you do is plug it into the USB drive of your computer or someone else's computer and the software loads instantly on to the screen, pops up and allows you to make telephone calls. And the moment you unplug it that software goes with you, so you don't have to download anything to the desktop computer or other system configurations. It's already there for you on the memory stick.”

"But at a time when so many of us have cell phones that we can take anywhere, what's the advantage of taking a home or business landline wherever we go," Balkin asks next.

"To save money,” Balkin quotes Lance Ulanoff of as saying. " 'So imagine you have this really cheap service at home, maybe voiceover IP, maybe Vonage or Skype, but it's really based in your house, so now wherever you are out, you can make the calls on your service - on your line, on your dime - and not charge your friends and not install software on their PC’s they don't want because it's still going to be going through the PC at some point.' "

Then Balkin points out what he calls another selling point of the VPhone.

"The other big selling point, for anyone who travels overseas often, is that this can be a less expensive way to keep a phone number with you without buying or renting a new cell phone," he writes.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

On a new Vonage Forum thread called phone recorder, new Vonage Forum Member papa144 asks about equipment recommendations for recording Vonage calls.

"I have Vonage and I purchased an mp3/phone recorder. The item is made by SAFA media Co," he writes. "The directions show how to record phone conversations using a regular telephone but it doesn't show how to use it if you have Vonage."

In response, new Vonage Forum Member biggena2 recommends the Voip recorder from Duxoft, and includes instructions they provide as well.

 "They have demo version, so you can check if calls are recorded before purchasing," biggena2 points out.

Next, biggena2 provides the instructions for using Voip Recorder:

1. Install Voip Recorder onto your PC.
2. Start it, go to configuration dialog and set parameter "Network interface to listen" to network card you use for internet.
3. Make a call from Vonage and see if Voip Recorder can capture it.

"In most cases this is enough to record calls. But if Voip traffic from your vonage box doesn't reach your PC with Voip Recorder, you need to plug network HUB between them," biggena cites from the instructions.  "Network HUB will duplicate traffic from Vonage box to your PC, so Voip Recorder can capture it and decode."

"There is also another small issue you can face," biggena2 explains. "If you see the call is captured, but no voice is there, go to settings of your Vonage box and change parameter "bandwidth saver" to "higher bandwidth".  This is necessary because Vonage can use codec G.722, which is not supported by Voip Recorder yet. "Higher bandwidth" option means to use G.711 codec, which is supported by Voip Recorder."

But then veteran Vonage Forum Member arcking writes a post with another recommendation for recording Vonage calls.

"Many people (including myself)," arcking writes, "have successfully used the free program Cain.

Vonage Forum Member dross1454 has just purchased a new router. He has some questions, which is why he has decided to open a Vonage Forum thread and name it Just purchased a Linksys WRT54GS router.

"After reading this forum, I went out a purchased the Linksys WRT54GS (although I personally hate Linksys routers) to replace my old Netgear MR814 wireless router," dross1454 writes.

"My question is do I need to update the firmware on the WRT54GS?" he asks. "If so, how do I go about doing it? "

Vonage Forum Member arcking refers dross1454 to recommendations by one of our most knowledgeable Members, NateHoy.

"You may want to use the Thibor firmware, arcking writes. Check NateHoy's guides:

Next, NateHoy himself joins the thread with a new post.

"HyperWRT Thibor (the aftermarket firmware that really makes those routers something special) can only be loaded on older models of the WRT54GS. Linksys, in their infinite cheapness, eliminated Linux from their WRT54G router last year, and the WRT54GS earlier this year, and replaced it with VxWorks," NateHoy explains.

Then Nate writes that he thinks the newer model GS has a serial number starting in CGN6 or higher. It would also be stamped "Hardware Version 5" near the serial number, if he recalls correctly.

"If that's the case, and you have the opportunity, RUN, don't walk, to where you bought it and return it,"NateHoy adds. Replace it with the WRT54GL, which is a Linux based unit and can run Thibor.

If you have Version 4 or below of the routers, then please feel free to peruse my setup guides (arcking posted a link above, and it is also in my signature below).

"If you have a WRT54GS V5 and you cannot return it, all is not lost," NateHoy reassures dross1454. "There is another package called DD-WRT, and the author of that package has managed to scrunch his firmware down to fit the V5 hardware. It's a somewhat stripped-down firmware, but it still beats the stock firmware."

Summing up, NateHoy points out that the WRT54GS is a good router, even with stock firmware.

"Read my guides on QoS setup," he recommends that dross1454 do. "Some of the features will be a little different in the stock firmware, but it will be pretty close." If you stick to Stock firmware, make sure you are running the latest version, which can be found at

Vonage Forum Passes Two Big Milestones

On Monday evening, we registered our 32,000th Member here on the Vonage Forum. Our 32,000th Member is Blin2000. Welcome to the Vonage Forum, Blin2000. We look forward to reading your post!

Also on Monday evening, we posted our 85,000th article on the Vonage Forum. Every time a Vonage Forum Member has opened a new thread with a post, or made a post to add to an existing thread, that's another article. So let's see how fast we can get to 90,000 articles. Heck, let's shoot for 100,000!

Vonage Stock Market Report

On Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, Vonage stock closed at $6.41 a share, a decline of nine cents from Friday's closing price of  $6.50 a share.  Total trading volume for Vonage on Monday amounted to 695,200 shares. 

Once again, our Vonage Stock Forum can be reached from this link.

We've Updated Our Voip Speed Test

I wanted to call your attention to our upgraded Voip Speed Test.

Instead of the simple upload/download test, this one has all the reporting that is needed to diagnose ISP issues such as Jitter and Packet Loss.

The advanced report screen has been configured with a "Copy to Clip Board" button so you can easily paste the results in the forums.

I would like to thank the following members for giving valuable input during the beta testing: reebok, Steve48, NateHoy, VonageTPA, Trowski and scerruti.

For those of you that are interested in the details behind the results, the following are the tests parameters:

The test is located in Washington DC.

The data.bin file for the speed test upload/download is 10Mb with 8 seconds max time out.

75,000 bytes is used to calculate the number of supported Voip lines.

Other variables:

Voip lines simulated =1
voip bytes per packet =8
voip simulation seconds =10
voip packets per second =75

If you have any questions about this test, feel free to post them in this thread.

As 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:, 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. We'll be back on Wednesday morning with our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest, including our popular Vonage Forum Member of the Week feature!!

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