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jgira12
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:08 pm    Post subject: Can vonage work without disabling SBC land line? Reply with quote Back to top

I still am not sure I want to take the plunge, especially after reading some of the other threads here. But, my thought is maybe I could sign up and do an experiment to see if it all works while still hooked up with my lame-ass SBC land account. The bums want $9.95/mo just to add caller id to my budget account which only costs me about $25/month, more than half of which is garbage fees and taxes. What kinds of problems should I expect if I bite the bullet? Cool
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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Absolutely it can work without disabling your land line. Just don't expect to be able to keep the same phone number from your SBC on your Vonage. It can only work with one. Then you get some nice 5.8Ghz cordless phones and connect it directly to Vonage. My recommendation is to sign up, get a number from Vonage in your area code, and commence the testing. If you like it after a couple of months, dump SBC. There's lots of knowledge on here, so always come back with specific questions if you experience and problems.

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Steve48
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Can vonage work without disabling SBC land line? Reply with quote Back to top

jgira12 wrote:
What kinds of problems should I expect if I bite the bullet? Cool


Since you've been reading the forum, you're probably aware of some of the potential problems. Look at the Caller ID issue for example, and the length of time that it's taking to get to a general solution. Look at the complaints about customer support.

Then look at the features, the savings, and the total number of people coming here for help, out of a million customers. Before you jump, recognize that good Voip phone service depends utterly on both Vonage (or equivalent) and a good internet service provider. You must have both. To test the latter, run the test at www.testyourvoip.com and see how it looks. Be sure you have at least 128K upload speed. Then go for it.

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tweber
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Can vonage work without disabling SBC land line? Reply with quote Back to top

jgira12 wrote:
I still am not sure I want to take the plunge, especially after reading some of the other threads here. But, my thought is maybe I could sign up and do an experiment to see if it all works while still hooked up with my lame-ass SBC land account. The bums want $9.95/mo just to add caller id to my budget account which only costs me about $25/month, more than half of which is garbage fees and taxes. What kinds of problems should I expect if I bite the bullet? Cool


I did just that. Signed up for Vonage and kept my SBC land line, just to be sure. I ordered call forwarding ($3.50 a month) and forwarded my land line to my Vonage number, so the outside world doesn't need my new number. I cancelled long distance, caller id, etc with SBC. So far it's working pretty well for me, but it has been a lot of work tweaking the system. I'm using a linksys router (WRT54GS) and had to do a fair amount of research to set up QOS (quality of service). I still get interference if I'm downloading via FTP, but uploading doesn't impact call quality For now I'm just saving downloads for bedtime;)

Like the other responder suggested, I bought another set of 5.8ghz phones. I'm running two base units wht 2 cordless phones off my Motorola adapter, having run a long line off of one of the base units, so I can place it on my first floor. So, we have 4 cordless phones.

If you're fairly technically proficient I'd say it's worth trying.

Tom
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ColdGin
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Joined: Oct 03, 2005
Posts: 423

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If the thought of powercycling a router, talking to someone with an Indian accent for tech support, or generally messing around with your computer and router's settings makes you go insane with fury and frustration, it might not be a good idea. If you have million dollar deals riding on your faxes going thru the first time every time, you might want to save a backup landline.

If you like computers and technology, and understand how things basically work, and want to save money, and have a solid internet connection, go for it.
IF

You can pronouce 'router' "Vonage" and "ethernet" correctly on the first try, you should be ok.
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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Did you mean to say "Vontage?" Lol Just kidding, Gin.

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ohio_diva
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:49 pm    Post subject: sbc/setup issues Reply with quote Back to top

I am a new Vonage customer and I have SBC for my landline and for dsl service. I am curious as to how using call forwarding to forward your old number is working. Do you know if the call came in through the landline? Does it effect CID? What issues have come up with that set up? I like the idea. I am experiencing trouble setting up my linksys WTRP54G - I do not have it up and running yet. I don't think it is a hardware problem - after I set up the hardware, the lights are all working but I can't get back on the internet. I suspect that at least part of the problem is that the router is for a wireless setup and I have not yet set up my single pc for networking. I am currently researching that. Also, I am very uptight about internet security and I don't mind taking my time to get this issue right. I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments. I have win xp and a SpeedStream 5360 ADSL modem.
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tweber
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Joined: Dec 01, 2005
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: sbc/setup issues Reply with quote Back to top

ohio_diva wrote:
I am a new Vonage customer and I have SBC for my landline and for dsl service. I am curious as to how using call forwarding to forward your old number is working. Do you know if the call came in through the landline? Does it effect CID? What issues have come up with that set up? I like the idea. I am experiencing trouble setting up my linksys WTRP54G - I do not have it up and running yet. I don't think it is a hardware problem - after I set up the hardware, the lights are all working but I can't get back on the internet. I suspect that at least part of the problem is that the router is for a wireless setup and I have not yet set up my single pc for networking. I am currently researching that. Also, I am very uptight about internet security and I don't mind taking my time to get this issue right. I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments. I have win xp and a SpeedStream 5360 ADSL modem.


Call forwarding works just fine. Caller ID works as well as with direct calls to the vongage number. I can even use the land line if I like and calls are still forwarded to my Vonage number. One minor issue- call waiting is on by default when you start with Vonage. Turn it off or callers will get a busy signal on the forwarded line.

On your WRT54G.. Did you reboot your modem, computer and router after setting it up? There's a lot of useful info at www.linksysinfo.org You might stop over there for help.

Good luck and I hope that helps.

Tom
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OoTLink
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Joined: Feb 14, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Never had the Caller ID problem, and I've been with them about a year now.

Dealing with the "new" support people, while it shortened the wait time, can be infuriating, however you deal with them at EVERY phone company I've dealt with, the only difference being with Vonage you wait about 5 minutes to get a hold of one, at SBC or any other giant megacorp you'll usually wait at least 40 mins to an hour to get "oh sorry I can't help you with that" and have to demand to speak to their manager.

Last time I had to get my router replaced (it was malfunctioning really bad), I had to threaten to cancel to the "floor manager" who finally forwarded me to his manager to get the swap handled, kinda funny Very Happy

Oh yeah, one more thing. If you do end up having to do a swap, make sure you get a UPS return slip to send the old box back with and call them to confirm they got it once you do, I've had magic $99.94 credits hit my bill twice now with the two swaps -- once back before the "new" tech support and now, they just don't learn that one unfortunately.

So Vonage still suffers a little "The right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" syndrome that big companies do real bad, but it's just a little. The satisfaction you'll get paying $28 for something that the phone company would have charged you $40, 80, or whatever the F else they thought it was worth is well worth it.

As far as day to day service goes, I find Vonage to be exceptional. The latest gen of boxes seem to have sound quality so good a fax or any other modem-equipped machine that needs to operate over a phone line works great, not to mention regular phone convo sounds terrific -- the line's more solid in reliability than our old phone line was.

Every once in a while though, you'll get a call that gets all broken up or have to call a number that sounds really laggy, I'm not sure anymore if it's Vonage or my Cable ISP (probably is, knowing Comcrap) -- I didn't get this nearly as often over our DSL line, but can't commit to another contract right now...

Regardless, every now and then you'll get a bad call, but it's usually no big deal, especially if you happen to have a cell phone anyway. [No, I'm not saying you HAVE to have one, but if you have one, you might desire to pull it out every now and then].

But I truly like Voip for not just the price, but the fact it's so much simpler. A screwup at the billing office won't stick one up your butt with a line that the phone company up and decides to disconnect because they "lost" the payment you sent them, and then when they realize oh gee, they had it and cashed it, that it'll be 2 weeks before they can reconnect the *(@#*ing line. Thankfully, companies like Vonage can't (and usually won't) screw you over like that.

Then instead of dealing with two pain in the asses (phone company and internet provider), you only deal with one (the one that has the landline to your house).

Now then, to address the last thought: If you need Voip and still need to maintain a phone line BOTH over your phone wiring, what you do is check your jacks. Do they have more than one pair of wires going to them? Great, you should be able to use that extra pair for your Voip stuff.

Phone systems in general use 2 wires per line, thus a pair each -- many houses are wired for at least 2 pairs a jack, if not 3 or more. If you're only using 1 phone line, and are sure all your jacks use the same pair (same color combination of wires), then you'll be able to use the other available pair for your Voip stuff.

Now said all that, if you have an extra pair available, check your NID (the box your phone line connects to your house wiring at), to make sure that the "extra" pair isn't connected. If it is and you know you're not using it, disconnect it and tape it off (electrical tape is made for this) -- do NOT tape the two wires together, just tape each one off.

Now that the pair is "isolated" from your landline's pair, hook a jack up to your new pair of wires and plug your Voip box into that. Yes, you can use splitters along the way, think of it as another phone plugged into your box.

Remember not to plug in too many, especially if you have non-cordless phones, those might suck quite a bit of energy and cause problems with your box!

Now, at the locations you have phones you wish to hook up to the Voip line, just switch the landline pair from the jack with the Voip pair.

If you want both, your best bet will be to just replace your single jack wall outlets with dual ones, they do exist. One can hook up to your Voip pair, and one into your landline pair, perfect!

Here I do it the ghetto way since single jacks and splitters are available at the dollar store...

Most wall jacks have 4 conductors (to handle 2 pairs), today some even handle 6 or more. These handle "dual line" phones, or of course, you can hack an in-line splitter to split the single jack into 2, what I did.

In my case, the outer 2 are Voip while the inner 2 (default) were landline. In my case, the blue pair and the red pair. Then I'd hack the splitters (take em apart), and rearrange the conductors on one of the jacks (labelling it as the 2nd line's jack) so that the inner 2 were Voip (blue) instead of landline (red).

Clever, eh? Oh, and in-line splitters, while requiring a phone line between the splitter and the outlet, don't break like the ones that plug directly into the outlet! Very Happy

Hope this helps your decision a little! Smile
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jgira12
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OoTLink wrote:
Never had the Caller ID problem, and I've been with them about a year now.

Dealing with the "new" support people, while it shortened the wait time, can be infuriating, however you deal with them at EVERY phone company I've dealt with, the only difference being with Vonage you wait about 5 minutes to get a hold of one, at SBC or any other giant megacorp you'll usually wait at least 40 mins to an hour to get "oh sorry I can't help you with that" and have to demand to speak to their manager.

Last time I had to get my router replaced (it was malfunctioning really bad), I had to threaten to cancel to the "floor manager" who finally forwarded me to his manager to get the swap handled, kinda funny Very Happy

Oh yeah, one more thing. If you do end up having to do a swap, make sure you get a UPS return slip to send the old box back with and call them to confirm they got it once you do, I've had magic $99.94 credits hit my bill twice now with the two swaps -- once back before the "new" tech support and now, they just don't learn that one unfortunately.

So Vonage still suffers a little "The right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" syndrome that big companies do real bad, but it's just a little. The satisfaction you'll get paying $28 for something that the phone company would have charged you $40, 80, or whatever the F else they thought it was worth is well worth it.

As far as day to day service goes, I find Vonage to be exceptional. The latest gen of boxes seem to have sound quality so good a fax or any other modem-equipped machine that needs to operate over a phone line works great, not to mention regular phone convo sounds terrific -- the line's more solid in reliability than our old phone line was.

Every once in a while though, you'll get a call that gets all broken up or have to call a number that sounds really laggy, I'm not sure anymore if it's Vonage or my Cable ISP (probably is, knowing Comcrap) -- I didn't get this nearly as often over our DSL line, but can't commit to another contract right now...

Regardless, every now and then you'll get a bad call, but it's usually no big deal, especially if you happen to have a cell phone anyway. [No, I'm not saying you HAVE to have one, but if you have one, you might desire to pull it out every now and then].

But I truly like Voip for not just the price, but the fact it's so much simpler. A screwup at the billing office won't stick one up your butt with a line that the phone company up and decides to disconnect because they "lost" the payment you sent them, and then when they realize oh gee, they had it and cashed it, that it'll be 2 weeks before they can reconnect the *(@#*ing line. Thankfully, companies like Vonage can't (and usually won't) screw you over like that.

Then instead of dealing with two pain in the asses (phone company and internet provider), you only deal with one (the one that has the landline to your house).

Now then, to address the last thought: If you need Voip and still need to maintain a phone line BOTH over your phone wiring, what you do is check your jacks. Do they have more than one pair of wires going to them? Great, you should be able to use that extra pair for your Voip stuff.

Phone systems in general use 2 wires per line, thus a pair each -- many houses are wired for at least 2 pairs a jack, if not 3 or more. If you're only using 1 phone line, and are sure all your jacks use the same pair (same color combination of wires), then you'll be able to use the other available pair for your Voip stuff.

Now said all that, if you have an extra pair available, check your NID (the box your phone line connects to your house wiring at), to make sure that the "extra" pair isn't connected. If it is and you know you're not using it, disconnect it and tape it off (electrical tape is made for this) -- do NOT tape the two wires together, just tape each one off.

Now that the pair is "isolated" from your landline's pair, hook a jack up to your new pair of wires and plug your Voip box into that. Yes, you can use splitters along the way, think of it as another phone plugged into your box.

Remember not to plug in too many, especially if you have non-cordless phones, those might suck quite a bit of energy and cause problems with your box!

Now, at the locations you have phones you wish to hook up to the Voip line, just switch the landline pair from the jack with the Voip pair.

If you want both, your best bet will be to just replace your single jack wall outlets with dual ones, they do exist. One can hook up to your Voip pair, and one into your landline pair, perfect!

Here I do it the ghetto way since single jacks and splitters are available at the dollar store...

Most wall jacks have 4 conductors (to handle 2 pairs), today some even handle 6 or more. These handle "dual line" phones, or of course, you can hack an in-line splitter to split the single jack into 2, what I did.

In my case, the outer 2 are Voip while the inner 2 (default) were landline. In my case, the blue pair and the red pair. Then I'd hack the splitters (take em apart), and rearrange the conductors on one of the jacks (labelling it as the 2nd line's jack) so that the inner 2 were Voip (blue) instead of landline (red).

Clever, eh? Oh, and in-line splitters, while requiring a phone line between the splitter and the outlet, don't break like the ones that plug directly into the outlet! Very Happy

Hope this helps your decision a little! Smile


Wow, some great ideas...thanks for the detailed post. So, did you label the Vonage jacks with a big V to keep everything straight for you and the next guy? Smile This is beginning to shape up as a warm weather project...by spring I should have all the knowledge I need to tackle this one...should be fun.
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