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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - December 12, 2007


Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

December 12, 2007

By Daniel Connor

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

First, we will catch up on some Vonage news. Then, we will go straight to two Vonage Forum threads, one about Internet speed issues while using Vonage and the other concerns router and adapter issues. Then we'll check on Vonage's stock price.



In The News

Vonage Seen As Solution To Higher Holiday Phone Bills

A telephone poll, conducted by Vonage Canada amongst 1,021 respondents from across Canada between November 22 and 25, 2007,revealed that Canadians overwhelmingly prefer the telephone as their primary means of communication during the holidays. Almost 70 percent of respondents plan to use the telephone to stay in touch with out-of-town family and friends during this upcoming holiday season, surpassing other forms of communications such as regular mail, email or face-to-face visits. 

Regardless of who is calling, traditional telephone conversations still remain expensive, in the opinion of those polled. Despite their preference for the telephone, 20 percent of Canadians expect to experience a higher phone bill during the holiday season than any other time of year. Additionally, 15 percent also say the high price of long distance will limit their ability to stay connected with family and friends. 

"The telephone is consumer's top choice for communication, yet many Canadians still don't have a choice when selecting a home phone service provider," said Joe Parent, vice president of marketing and business development, Vonage Canada. "This allows the Telco to charge as much as they want. It's no wonder that most Canadians' phone bills are higher during the holidays than any other time of year."

I'd suspect U.S. consumers would be interested in these findings, and Vonage's solutions, as well.

But before we move on to a couple of interesting Forum threads, don't let me forget to mention that in keeping with that news item I just wrote about, we have a Vonage Canada Forum section here on the Vonage Forums. There's plenty of threads, more than 4,200 posts and of course, lots of advice and tips. Not only for Canada-based Vonage users, but Vonage users in the U.S. and elsewhere. Here's the direct link to the Vonage Canada Forums.

On The Vonage Voip Forum  

Motorola 2442 + FTP on LAN = Suddenly very slow! sums up the issue in which Vonage Forum Member bburpee has been experiencing that led him to establish a Vonage Forum thread with the same name.

Bburpee writes:

"I've used Vonage for about eighteen months now, and the last month a new problem has arisen - my home (LAN) FTP speed has plummeted dramatically when my Vonage 2442 is plugged in. It's a simple fix - unplug the 2442, my FTP speed is 6m/sec... plug it back in again, less than 100k/sec, and wildly fluctuating. This happens both when talking on the phone and when NO call is made.

In an effort to troubleshoot, I stopped using anything else that seems likely to sap bandwidth (No iTunes, Bittorrent, IM programs, whatever). However, I have used Bittorrent during the time span that the problem popped up, so I can't guarantee it didn't impact my connection.

I use Charter cable 1.5/512 and a ZYxel router. I'm not prepared to blame either of these, though... since I've used the same equipment for the past eighteen months with no problem until recently. Additionally, my Vonage router is outside the ZYxel, and I tried replacing the cable already.

Charter---Modem---ZYxel---PCs, Xboxes and Vonage---Phone

Like I said, simply removing the Vonage 2442 cable from the router has an immediate impact, and the cable is good. My phone quality is also pretty poor of late (even on 90k), so I wouldn't be surprised if the problem lies in the router settings... still, I get in the 3.0-3.6 range on Testmyvoip.com.

Any suggestions? I haven't touched the 2442 settings since I installed the thing a year and a half ago, so I don't recall if I cloned the PC or not. Thanks!"

Responding is fellow Vonage Forum Member PCDoc63, who writes:

"Can you describe your setup? i.e.. cable modem - vt2442 - router.... etc. Often a simple reset of your Vonage device can help - Also, check for datastorms - some routers can magically throttle connections that seem to be data storming - it's possible that you may have a hidden piece of software that is sending hidden packets, or simple packet requests. A spyware scan may be valuable."

Bburpee answered:

"My setup is like this:

1. Charter cable
2. Motorola SB5120
3. ZYxel Wireless-G Router
4a. Vt2442 - To one phone
4b. Xbox via Cat-5
4c. Xbox 360 via Cat-5
4d. PC via Cat-5
4e. Three other PCs via Wireless-G

"So you're saying that if there were significant spyware activity, it would be bouncing around in the Vt2442, thereby slowing the connections to a crawl, but the ZYxel router would be essentially disregarding these garbage packets?

"That makes some sense, because the only slowdowns occur when the Vt2442 is plugged into the ZYxel - every other computer in the house could be pinging away like mad, and I'm still getting 6-7M/sec until I plug the Vt2442, then it plummets to 10-200k/sec. I'll try the idiot test first, though... I'll turn off the wireless functionality, then test, then unplug each PC, and see if the problem continues.

Thanks for a potential solution - I'll update with results."

Bburpee did this, and then follows up with a post in which he provides us the results:

"Okay, so I did the following:

- From my primary PC, I began an FTP xfer at ~150k/sec.
- Then, I disabled the Wireless-G on the ZYxel router, and confirmed that the laptops had no Internet (to confirm that they weren't sending packets). FTP jumped up a little, to maybe 300k/sec.
- Next, I unplugged the Xbox 360, and this caused a little greater jump.
- After shutting everything down except the FTP REC box (X-Box) and the FTP Send Box (Primary PC with Cat-5), I was ~1m/sec. An improvement, but far from preferable.
- At this point, the only things plugged into the router were the two FTP boxes and the 2442.
- I unplugged the 2442 - transfer jumps to 6m/sec. (Not surprising)
- So, I then stopped the FTP xfer, and unplugged the PC with Cat-5.
- Attempted to xfer FTP using the same Cat-5 cable as the FTP Send box, but FTP fails with the laptop. I'm not sure what to make of this, though, since I never use the laptop's ethernet port, and it may not even have the right ethernet drivers.
- Attempted to xfer from Wireless-G to Xbox, with 2442 plugged in, or removed, the xfer speed was ~1.2m/sec. So, the 2442 isn't infringing on the speed of the Wireless-G xfers. Neither is the FTP Send box with Cat-5... I plugged it back in during the xfer, and the speed maintained exactly the same.

I'm left thinking now that there's a conflict between the Cat-5 cables of the 2442 and the FTP-Send box, which is surprising, because I've replaced the 2442's cable completely, and replaced the ethernet connectors on both ends of the Cat-5 to the PC.... and also because the speed is so fast with the 2442 off - with a 6m/sec transfer, it seems like that cable is working pretty well.

My next step is to find a long replacement cable for the PC and try it with the new cable - I'm not sure how the 2442 and PC cables could be clashing, but if that's the fix, I'd be happy to replace the cable."

After carefully reading the information bburpee has provided, PCDoc63 comes back on with a new post offering suggestions:

"It might be cheaper to simply go wireless with the pc at this point," PCDoc63 writes. "Part of the problem may be QoS overhead on the router, but based on what you said earlier (if I'm remembering right) that this is something new and different... Though I have to admit that it seems a bit weird that the laptop won't even function. It could also be crosstalk on one of the cables if they are incorrectly crimped... hell you COULD blame it on sunspots for that matter . 

"Does it make a difference if you are on a call? (just wondering out of curiosity)," he asks.

Now here's a very important new Vonage Forum thread that has been entitled, Vonage Adapter Disrupts Netgear Router. It is started by Vonage Forum Member akhilesh10.

Things start out with akhilesh10 posting his Vonage test results as well as describing these issues:

"I am facing a problem and it seems that the problem is due to my Vonage Adapter. I am providing the information in the prescribed format. Any help is greatly appreciated.

1) Location: Chandler, AZ

2) ISP: Cox Communication, CABLE MODEM

3) Speed
Download 1,530,248 bps
Upload 527,280 bps
QOS 64%
RTT 79 ms
MaxPause 97 ms

4) Modem: Motorola SB5120
Router: Netgear WGR614 V7

5) Vonage Adapter: D-Link VTA-VD

6) Setup of Network: Modem -> Router -> Vonage Adapter [2 Laptops that connect wirelessly thru Router to access internet]

7) Issue: Since 25-NOV-2007 I am facing a problem with my Vonage adapter. It seems to interfere with my router, and the router starts dropping internet connection eery 1min. If I disconnect the vonage adapter from my router, I don't face any problem with my Router. I never faced such a problem in the past 10.5 months that I have been using Vonage. I called my ISP (cox) and they confirmed back that nothing is wrong with my Internet connection. I replaced my 11 months old router with a new Router (thinking that my router is a problem). But the problem continues to exist.
Over the last 10 days, I have called up Vonage support 4 times. They seem to make some settings change at their end and the Vonage device works fine for around 8-12 hours and then the problem starts again. I have replaced my Ethernet wires as well.

8 ) Voip Test Results
Speed test statistics
---------------------
Download speed: 1530248 bps
Upload speed: 527280 bps
Quality of service: 64 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 97 ms
Average download pause: 9 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 79 ms
Average round trip time to server: 105 ms

Voip test statistics
--------------------
Jitter: you --> server: 2.6 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 8.2 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Number of supported Voip lines: 8
Estimated MOS score: 3.9"

The first reply comes from fellow Vonage Forum Member dokterq.

And so dokterq writes:

"I have a Motorola wireless router connected to Time Warner through cable. My Vonage connection has been working well since I installed its DLink VWR behind the Motorola. Today, when the phone makes a connection, the Motorola wireless signal disappears. Any clues to what is going on? Has the bandwidth needed changed? I am connected to TW with their highest speed/widest bandwidth."

Two minutes later, dokterq adds this question for akhilesh10:

"Did you add a new wireless phone on your line in Nov 2007?"

At this point, fellow Vonage Forum Member brian188 jumps in to this thread by writing:

"Are you using a 2.4ghz cordless phone? If so, your phone may actually be what is interfering with the router," brian188 asks. "The router is on the same frequency. It is possible that there were no issues before and now there are, tomorrow there may not be again, etc. If this is the case your best bet is to go to a 5.8ghz phone or greater."

Akhilesh10 answers by writing this in a new post:

"The problem May have been with the usage of the specific router (Netgear WGR614) with Vonage," he writes. "I but another router but this time I bought a Linksys router and all seems to work well. I have not added any new line. It has been the same setup for me since Jan 2007 when I first signed up for Vonage."

Fellow Vonage Forum Member nsvencer added:

"Same thing happening here:

SB5120 Modem from Comcast and Linksys RTP300 Vonage Adapter.

Very frustrating. Hooked it directly into Modem, modem won't get connection to internet. Hooked back through router, modem works fine. Try to dial out, modem disconnects. Been happening for about a week or so now.

Speed test statistics
---------------------
Download speed: 14505864 bps
Upload speed: 2721440 bps
Quality of service: 33 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 16 ms
Average download pause: 6 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 21 ms
Average round trip time to server: 45 ms

Voip test statistics
--------------------
Jitter: you --> server: 2.8 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 250.9 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Number of supported Voip lines: 46
Estimated MOS score: 3.6"

Based on all of this info, PCDoc63 follows up with lots of info in this new post:

"The surfboard series of modems require binding to the MAC of the adapter plugged into it. A solution for this would be to power off the surfboard modem for one minute (or longer) and a power off of the Vonage adapter," PCDoc63 writes. Once both have been off for a bit, turn on the Motorola cable modem. Once it is up and stable, you can then connect and turn on the Vonage adapter. You should now get to the internet with it. 

"Remember,  you will need to repeat this procedure when reconnecting your router, or you will face the same thing going the other way," he then added."

And then doqterq responded by writing:

"Bingo. It was after adding a new 2.4Ghz phone that the problem became noticeable. Only problem is when the phone is connected. After disconnecting the call, the wireless is back."

Vonage Stock Report

On Wednesday, Vonage stock closed at $2.10 a share, a rise of one cent(+0.48%)  from Tuesday's $2.09 a share close, but then again, today's closing price was  six cents higher than today's lowest Vonage stock price and that was $2.04 a share. At the close of today's trading, Vonage shares traded during today's regular trading hours had arisen to 599,600 shares.

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

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




 
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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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