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dconnor Posted:
What is the main
number on the
account? And
which one is the
virtual number?

In The Forum:
Vonage UK
How do you call 999
On Apr 27, 2017 at 13:52:02

Trafford Posted:
Seems like a
question. We
rely exclusively
on a Vonage system
for our

In The Forum:
Vonage UK
How do you call 999
On Apr 27, 2017 at 05:42:50

diazou Posted:
Hello, It's
compatible with
Android your phone
? Thanks!

In The Forum:
IP PBX for small business
On Mar 28, 2017 at 07:42:33

jeddaisg Posted:
Hi all We have
a Vonage VOIP
system for our
office. Lately,
our call quality

In The Forum:
Ethernet Cable; Wiring schematic? 568-B?
On Feb 23, 2017 at 12:33:52

beast321 Posted:
I don't know if
you heard, that
many more
Dreamcast games
are opened up

In The Forum:
Fax - Tivo - Alarms
Using phone as a dial up modem for Dreamcast Gaming
On Feb 15, 2017 at 21:16:51

Av8rix Posted:
In The Forum:
New adapter and router -- MAC change
On Jan 10, 2017 at 19:07:21

tplink Posted:
Im trying to add
my HT802 vonage
adapter to my home
network. I
currently have

In The Forum:
Hard Wiring - Installation
Vonage behind switch
On Dec 05, 2016 at 06:35:11

DWSupport Posted:
After recent
Vonage update that
took place on the
4th and 5th of
Nov. E-mails with

In The Forum:
Voicemail Not Forwarding to Outlook Accounts
On Nov 10, 2016 at 12:23:26

peterlee Posted:
Had a call from a
Hospital in Ajax,
Ontario to my home
Scarborough, Onta

In The Forum:
Vonage Canada
Hospital Incoming call unable to connect
On Nov 08, 2016 at 11:59:50

I am looking for a
product that will
make my phone ring
louder so I can
hear using

In The Forum:
Looking for a ringer ameliorate
On Oct 26, 2016 at 09:21:30

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Vonage In The News
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Carolyn Katz Elected to Board of Directors of Vonage Holdings Corp.


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VoIP Is Mature. Fire The Baby Bell!

Vonage In Print News

Voip Is Mature. Fire The Baby Bell!

January 29, 2004

By Jay Menna

I hate my local phone company. Every month the bill comes with half a dozen itemized charges: Local Access Fee, 911 fee, touch-tone fee, intralata blah blah blah.

Being a Mac geek, about 60% of my communications traffic now goes out as video over iChatAV, but I'll never get my 96 year old grandfather to use a computer and I like being able to talk to people on cell phones. So I still need the Baby Bell. So how can I get rid of the phone company and use only my broad band connection to communicate with everyone?

The answer is Voice Over IP. Like any new technology it took a while to mature. But now it works. Finally for less than $35 a month I get a real phone number, with an area code in my town. I don't have to dial any weird access codes. I don't need a head set and a computer. I can just use a normal single line telephone that I pick up at Best Buy or Radio Shack. I can even use my Houston Oilers phone that I got with a subscription to Sports Illustrated 15 years ago.

The field of providers is getting pretty flush. We tested a number of them. Then we narrowed the field down we really tested two of the largest: Vonage and Packet8.

How It Works:

You take you existing telephone phone and plug it into a small box called an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), you then plug the ATA into your router. The router in turn goes into your DSL/Cable/ or T1. That's it. You're done.

The ATA will grab an IP address form the DHCP server in your router and start to talk with the broad band phone provider of your choice.

You want to dial somebody you dial 1+area code+number (even for local calls) and their phone rings.

If somebody dials your phone number; the phone rings, you say hello or let it go to voice mail.

Both Packet8 and Vonage allow you to choose your area code.

We could not confirm how extensive the choices were, but suffice to say that in our medium size city of Austin TX both companies offered local area codes.

Both companies also allow you to transfer your existing phone number to their service. We tried that but it seem that our local baby Bell does still have some influence and we were thwarted in that effort

Our Test Bed:

We got a high quality 2 line Polycom phone so that both lines would be coming in to the same phone.

We used a dedicated switch solely for the ATA's. No other devices would be plugged into the switch.

From there we used a high end Cisco router to control (QOS) the precedence of the packets going In and out of the office.

We gave Voip traffic priority over other traffic so that moving a large FTP file or playing a game of Quake would not kill the voice quality.

We have a T1 line going directly into our data center From there we have up to 100 Mbps we use to serve up a number of sites including O'Grady's Power Page.

What we wanted to be sure of was that we were testing the Voip provider, not the ISP. We would make phone calls and log them. Every other call would be made on either service..

Reliability & Quality:

Over all the results were impressive. On over 1,000 calls we only experienced problems with 21 calls. Most of the problems were low, but legible voice quality. For us reliability and voice quality was the key issue. Packet8 seemed to just sound better. But Packet8 completely dropped a few calls. Both got garbled voice despite the giant bandwidth we have. Vonage was a bit worse but never completely dropped a call.

Inbound calls were slightly problematic with Vonage at first. One particular person complained they could not ever get through from their cell phone. The problem was probably an LERG issue as I it cleaned itself up. LERG is the way different carriers "map" call to other carriers. Some cell carrier are notoriously slow in updating their routing information.

QOS "The Killer App":

The fundamental problem with Voip is bandwidth and latency. As your voice is broken up into little bits, flung across the internet and reassembled in the right order on the other side, it needs to get there on time. If a few packets are late or dropped, you get garbled sound. All this works very well if you have the monster bandwidth available to us, but what about the average home user on a cable modem?

We noticed early on, before we QOSed the packets, that large file transfers going across the network (Timbuktu users pay particular attention) would degrade the Quality of service as the packets all fought for a place on the T1. In our testing we were able to control the "priority" of the traffic with some pretty expensive Cisco Routers.

Vonage's Motorola MTA solves this problem. At first Vonage used a simple ATA. But they have switched to an MTA. An MTA is an ATA and a router hybrid and like its expensive cousins it has QOS built right in! You don't have to do anything and it gives your voice traffic priority over,say. Quake!

Voice Mail:

Both services offer custom greeting voice mail.

You can either pick up the voice mail from you phone or from any other phone using an access number. Packet8 offers a toll free access number. Why Vonage does not have tool free mail access has us baffled. (Its not the cost. It's having to remember the local access number from every hotel we stay in!)

Vonage however allows you to check your email via web browser or be notified of messages, including .wav attachments by email. This is really cool!


Click here to see the comparison grid

Vonage wins hands down. See our head to head chart. They offer 911 support (though Packet8 promises it soon) call forwarding automatically if the ATA can't be reached, virtual numbers and fax lines. The only feature unique to Packet8 is their video phone. But hey were Mac geeks, we use iChatAV.

Technical Support:

Technical Support in 21st century America is usually abysmal. We were surprised to see the competence of both companies.

During a busy day the three phone call average wait time were 4 Minute and 31 seconds for Vonage and 8 Minutes and 16 seconds for Packet8. Vonage offer 24/7 service and a Vonage online forum.

Packet8 is only a Monday-Friday (pacific time) operation.

Upgrading the ATA is a PC centric affair with Packet8. Either a .exe files or a TFPT session is required. Both a bit of a pain if you are on a Mac. We are not quite sure how the ATA firmware is upgraded with Vonage

Bottom Line:

If you just want a cheap phone line get Packet8. Its pretty reliable and it sounds good.

If you want the full service telephone that the Baby Bells should have given you years ago (at the price they should have done it for) get Vonage. We opted for Vonage ourselves.

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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 for details.

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