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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest, March 12, 2007

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

March 12, 2007

By Daniel Connor

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

First I have some fabulous news. Late Friday, we passed 100,000 posted articles in the Vonage Forum since we started four years ago this month. By article, I predominantly mean posts to threads- as well as other content. Congratulations to all of us as we steam forward.

In the news, we'll read what Vonage Chairman Jeffrey Citron says about any effect on Vonage's service as a result of the patent infringement ruling in the Vonage-Verizon dispute. .Then, let's go straight to a Vonage Forum thread about static IPs and port forwarding and another thread about router-related performance measurement. Then we'll update Vonage's stock price.

In The News

Vonage Reassures Customers

With relation to customer concerns about Vonage service in light of the patent infringement suit between Vonage and Verizon, Vonage issued the following statement on Friday:

Vonage is not going out of business.
 There will be no loss of service to our customers.
-Our customers will experience no change in their phone service.

In the unlikely event the monetary award ($58 million) and royalties are ultimately upheld/paid, they will not jeopardize Vonage's financial position as we focus on achieving profitability. Vonage is equipped to handle these costs, while still running our business as we always have.

"We are confident in Vonage's future health, growth prospects and longevity," said Jeffrey R. Citron, Vonage's chairman and chief strategist.

If the judge issues an injunction, Vonage is confident it will be able to successfully stay it and are equally confident in the strength of our appeal.

As the leading provider of broadband telephone services in the U.S., and based on Vonage's current financial position, the company is well positioned for future growth and success. Vonage's accomplishments in the past year continue to validate our business strategy and the strength of the company. These include:

-- 19 consecutive quarters of double digit revenue growth;
-- Doubled revenues to $607 million in 2006 alone; and
-- Adding nearly 1 million net subscribers and growing.

On The Vonage Voip Forum

Lots of useful information is contained in the new Vonage Forum thread entitled A simple tip for Vonage users - Static IPs!. The thread has been started by Vonage Forum Member von_db. He works for Vonage.

"If your Vonage device is behind a router, be it is your modem with router capabilities or a third party router - make sure you have proper port forwarding in place (see for help, or contact tech support for assistance), and make sure your Vonage device is a STATIC IP if possible! In most cases, it clears up the line and you will have much better call quality," von_db writes.

Unlike most posts, where questions are followed by solutions, this thread-opening solution post of von_db's is followed by a question. This question is posted by Vonage Forum Member mike31

Wondering if port forwarding will solve his problem, he writes:

"When I first installed Vonage (Motorola Vt2142 attached to Comcast cable modem SB5120) everything worked fine apart from the occasional drop in audio from my end. I would put this down to some bandwidth tweaking that i should have done. Suddenly, people that i called were not able to hear me at all and the Phone 1 line was flashing green on my adapter no matter how many times i did a complete restart, even if i had not yet connected my phone or even had my phone powered up before connecting it.
I tried and got the following error:

"Your computer couldn't call our location on the standard SIP port (5060). Generally, this failure is caused by a firewall blocking our calls. We are going to re-run the test over a commonly available port (6000) to diagnose the problem."

I tried Vonage tech support and they suggested that i contact Comcast and ask them if any ports had been blocked from the following list:

SIP ports 5060 through 5061 using UDP protocol
NTP port 123 using UDP protocol
TFTP port 69 using UDP protocol
DNS port 53 using UDP protocol
RTP ports 10,000 through 20,000 using UDP protocol

I contacted Comcast and was given the most awful runaround of my life being passed from one tech to the next for such pathetic excuses as not being able to open a simple tracert screenshot attachment therefore ignoring all the other straightforward questions in my e-mail. When i responded to that they tried to discourage me by saying i needed to phone them instead. Of course, i replied and refreshed their memory that the problem was making my ability to reach other people by telephone impossible then finally i was given the list of current ports blocked but was told that other ports could be blocked without notice. Here they are:


Ok, anybody out there, please tell me there is a solution to this, do i need port forwarding so i can get around these scumbags or is there something really simple going on that i can't see. Any help would be appreciated. I also gave Vonage tech support an update on what Comcast told me and have yet to receive a reply.

The tracert test i tried to tell Comcast about consistently gave a "request timed out" error at hop 6. Hops 3-5 were all addresses. The Vonage bandwidth test gave me a download speed of 21.7Mbps and an upload speed of 370 kbps.
I am hoping all of this is incredibly simple."

To that question, fellow Vonage Forum Member NateHoy provides this answer:

"I use Comcast and have had no problems with my Vonage line," Nate writes. "That's not to say that they may not be blocking in other areas, but it would be most unusual.

"I assume you are using the VT2142 as your router? (Cable modem -> Blue Port on VT2142, Yellow Port on Vt2142 -> PC)?," Nate asks. "If so, there's nothing to port forward TO... your Vonage device is your router and it already has all the necessary ports preconfigured - forwarding any of the Vonage ports would only confuse it. If you are using a different router in front of the VT2142, consider putting the VT2142 first.

"How fast is the phone light blinking?," Nate wants to know. "According to the manual for your adapter, a blinking green light means the phone is ringing or off hook - is it possible that your phone handset has a problem? Have you tried a different telephone handset?"

New Vonage Forum Member Style decides to open a new Vonage Forum thread and he has entitled it, Performance tuning with the a router and D-Link VTA.

I'm a new Vonage customer, and I just installed D-Link VTA," he writes. "I have a cable modem (Road Runner), then a D-link wireless router. The Vonage D-link VTA is then connected to the router via ethernet cable, and then I have two PCs that connect via wireless."

Then after posting the results of his Vonage speed test, Style writes:

"The test results look pretty good, but no one else was on the internet at the time. I've made two calls. One with no one on the internet, and the quality was great. The other was with a P2P program uploading some files at the same time. For the second call, I could hear the person I was talking to no problem, but they had some problems hearing me. In their words, at times they were only getting one out of every three words.

"With that second call in mind, I'm concerned about Vonage performance when there are others on the internet. Is there any performance tuning I can do, or at least some best practices in regards to network configuration?

"Customer service for my wireless router informed me that there is no way to set one device or IP to have a higher priority than another, so that option is apparently out. They did tell me to open the ports listed here:
Is that important?

"In addition, they said this:
Some applications require multiple connections, such as Internet gaming, video conferencing, Internet telephony and others. These applications have difficulties working behind NAT (Network Address Translation). Configure special applications to allow access to these types of applications.

"Then they went on to detail the steps to do this. Does this sound like something I should do?"

About 15 hours later, Style follows up his thread-opening post with this:

"OK, so I've been playing with my router, and I found that all ports are open for outgoing from my LAN to the internet by default," Style writes. That would be why Vonage is working fine out of the box. Which means I just need to open incoming on 10000-20000 UDP, which is now done.

"So what about what my router customer support had to say about Internet telephony requiring several connections, and having difficulty working behind a NAT? Is that true with Vonage?," Style asks.

And here comes Vonage Forum Member mundy5.

"The main issue is QoS," mundy5 writes. "Your wireless router apparently does not have that capability and therefore, when you have P2P software running which is very bandwidth intensive, your phone connection will get lower priority hence the lag in data packets resulting in choppy audio since those packets will get lost.

"The only option is for you to get a good router like the wrt54g with aftermarket firmware like tomato and configure it so that your VTA will get highest priority no matter what," adds mundy5.

"Of course, the unrealistic second option is to make sure that you do not have any p2p software running during a call," mundy5 then points out. "This is one issue that I wish Vonage would make clear to people when they get the VTA or the pap2 that they need a good router not just a router."

Now it is Style's turn:

"Mundy, thanks for your response. Yes, my router does not support QoS," writes Style. "What about multiple connections and the NAT? Is that an issue with Vonage?"

Hey mundy5, it's your "serve:"

"Port forwarding might help though there are many here who say that they do no special configurations without any issues," mundy5 adds, telling Style that from the sound of it, his  router is not having any problems with the Vonage device except when he has his P2P going.

Vonage Stock Report

On Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, Vonage stock closed at $4.17 a share, which was down 69 cents (-4.62%) from Thursday's closing price of $4.86 a share, but then again it was a rebound of 30 cents higher than the day's lowest price for Vonage stock, and that was $3.87 a share, just a little more than an hour before closing. Total Vonage shares traded on Friday came in at 10,575,000 shares.

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

We've Updated Our VoIP Speed Test

Because we get new Vonage Forum Members here all the time, I'll 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.

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

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