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dc1961
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Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: Vonage Review - First Week Reply with quote Back to top

Okay, I've had Vonage for about a week. My ISP is Charter pipeline. I live in West Michigan, area code 616.

Background - I have an IT background so the technical aspects of installation didn't scare me off. I'm not sure it should scare anyone off considering how non-complex it ended up being. I had a Belkin wireless B network running in my house from which I run my laptop and occasional a desktop PC.
Before ordering, I surfed this forum and explored all of the issues that others were having. I ran the <A href="http://www.vonage-forum.com/voip-speed-test.html">VOIP speed test</a> several times to make sure that my current connection could handle it and it usually said that my QOS (Quality of service) was in the 95% plus range and that I could support up to 3 Vonage lines if needed.


Ordering - I ordered off the website and selected the wireless-G router. It was a pretty straight forward process on the website. I did get a little worried when I was checking the status on my order. For a couple of days it was showing the status as "Processing" and I got worried that my order fell into a hole somewhere. But one day the process was complete. I ordered on a Monday morning and had the router on Saturday morning. It ships (at least in my area) our of Ohio so it wasn't such a long trip.

Number porting - I also chose the option to port my current phone number over. The number porting was extremely easy. It's important that you check into your account to start the number porting process AND carefully read all of the e-mails that you receive. It's nice to be able to check the status on the transfer online. All told I was extremely satisfied here. It took exactly one week (7 days) from Monday to Monday to completely finish the number porting.
As has been discussed in this forum during the number porting process your Vonage line WILL immediately have your current phone number on it at the same time as your old land line. So if someone calls your number and is a member of the Vonage network they will ring your Vonage.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT CALL YOUR OLD PHONE COMPANY TO DISCONNECT SERVICE. Vonage DOES THIS AUTOMATICALLY. I am convinced that most number porting problems happen because people disconnect from their current carrier before the process is complete.

Installation - Installation was pretty easy. It should be made clear that when installing with a cable modem you should not just turn off the power switch on the modem, but it's often neccessary that you completely unplug the power from the unit. Seeing as how I already had a router setup it was pretty straightforward to replace my current router.
As soon as I got it setup (but before my number was done porting over) I setup an old phone on the Vonage line. I was aware that the phone had issues so I wasn't surprised that it didn't sound very good. I have the router installed on an entertainment center. The phone was right above my TV and I noticed that when the TV was on I got horrible interference. You might want to make sure that any phone equipment and/or your router is installed away from televisions sets.

House Wiring - I wanted to use my existing house wiring. I had two incoming telephone lines coming in and had messed with the wiring before to add extensions to my house so I was already a little familiar with phone wiring. I just had to unplug two quick disconnect jacks from the box on the outside of the house.
I then bought a dual input jack (3 bucks) and a line cord (3 bucks) and ran the line cord from phone one on the adaptor to the nearest phone jack which was perhaps six feet away). I put the dual input jack on that jack and plugged the Vonage line and a phone into that jack. Voila! All phones in house (four of them) rang loud and clear.

Call Quality - So far call quality has surpassed my land lines. It's louder...almost too loud but I'll take that and very clear. We had one call drop, but I'm not sure if that was a Vonage issue or something else. We've had several "long" calls (15 to 30 minutes plus) with no problem.

Features - I've messed with simulring and forwarding, which both worked good. Call ID is good. I've set the network availability number to one of cell phones. For those who don't know, the network availability number is a number you can enter on the website so in the event that you lose your internet connection Vonage will forward your calls to this number automatically. You set it once and forget about it.

Website - The best part is the website being able to track call instantly.

Voicemail - Works great. I have it set to email my voicemails to me. This has an extremely high geek factor. The only real "glitch" I had was that I didn't realize that if there's a message, you will have a little stutter tone before getting the dial tone. This is the notification and I had to read the website before finding this out.

Overall - i am extremely pleased so far and would recommend it to anyone who has taken the time to do some research.
I chose the $14.99 a month plan (500 outgoing minutes, unlimited incoming) because I don't make a lot of outgoing calls. I was paying usually about $35 bucks a month with no features with SBC.

Hope this helps!
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dmesser
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Joined: Dec 29, 2005
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I hope it contunues to work for you. I think Vonage is great in concept and can work out for most people. However, for me it been frustrating. Kind of a "you get what you pay for" scenario. Too often the call quality is very choppy. Many times people I call will not be able to hear me. The web site is frequently down, so call forwarding is essentially useless because you never know when you'll be able to change it back.

Starting out Vonage seemed great. I was initially very impressed with the voice quality. That lasted about a week. Now it's such a mixed bag of results that it becomes very frustrating.

I'd love to be able to recommend Vonage to others. I just can't bring myself to do it if the reliability is as spotty as it is currently.

I hope you continue to have good results.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've said it before and I'll say it again. At least 90% of the problems people experience with Vonage isn't Vonage's fault. The problem usually lies in their internet connection, ISP, or equipment. I'm not going to say Vonage is faultless in all cases, because they've had their own issues, like faulty firmware updates and occasional outages of the Dashboard, BUT, the call quality's always been good for me.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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scalo
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Dec 27, 2005
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have been with Vonage since the start of December 2005 and have had no problems yet.

_________________
Adelphia Broadband
Linksys WRTP54G
Motorola Surfboard 2.0
New Hampshire
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milehigh
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Joined: Feb 13, 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

dmesser wrote:
I hope it contunues to work for you. I think Vonage is great in concept and can work out for most people. However, for me it been frustrating. Kind of a "you get what you pay for" scenario. Too often the call quality is very choppy. Many times people I call will not be able to hear me. The web site is frequently down, so call forwarding is essentially useless because you never know when you'll be able to change it back.

Starting out Vonage seemed great. I was initially very impressed with the voice quality. That lasted about a week. Now it's such a mixed bag of results that it becomes very frustrating.

I'd love to be able to recommend Vonage to others. I just can't bring myself to do it if the reliability is as spotty as it is currently.

I hope you continue to have good results.


My experience has been identical to your.
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dc1961
Vonage Forum Associate
Vonage Forum Associate


Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

dmesser wrote:
I hope it contunues to work for you. I think Vonage is great in concept and can work out for most people. However, for me it been frustrating. Kind of a "you get what you pay for" scenario. Too often the call quality is very choppy. Many times people I call will not be able to hear me. The web site is frequently down, so call forwarding is essentially useless because you never know when you'll be able to change it back.

Starting out Vonage seemed great. I was initially very impressed with the voice quality. That lasted about a week. Now it's such a mixed bag of results that it becomes very frustrating.

I'd love to be able to recommend Vonage to others. I just can't bring myself to do it if the reliability is as spotty as it is currently.

I hope you continue to have good results.

Thanks. I think it's really a matter of knowing how good and consistent your internet connection is. I knew going in that my connection was pretty rock solid most of the time. It wasn't always that way. I put up with a bad connection for many months before making my cable company come out and swap cable modems. After they did that, everything was honky dory.
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