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xnewuser
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Joined: Apr 30, 2006
Posts: 152
Location: Centennial, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't know anything about Charter, but there are quite a few Voip providers available. I compared about six of who I though were the main contenders and decided in favor of Vonage primarily because of the good recomendations from friends that are Vonage users.

It is working great and I am certainly putting it to heave use. My only problem is that the adapter will lose its connection and have to restart every time I reboot an XP machine on my LAN. I think it's a minor problem that I can live with compared to calling technical support. Wink

I helped a friend that couldn't get Vonage working, and ended up cancelling withing their 30-day "grace" period. It turned out that it was a faulty adapter, and she is trying again from scratch.

Lesson learned from her experience echoes what others have sead: the Vonage customer/technical support/services is the absolute pitts. However, there are many fortunate souls that have never had to call. If you select Vonage I hope you (and I) also never have to call.

Good luck.
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bmetelsky
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Joined: Dec 20, 2005
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had great service since October, 2004. Can't even tell most of the time that we're using Voip here. I've had success when calling customer service (but only needed to do this twice in that time).
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arcking
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Joined: Apr 29, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve48 wrote:
I think part of the problem in a lot of cases is unreasonable expectations.

I agree with that as well. I signed for Vonage expecting to live with problems since it was a new technology. That was a good thing since I spent a while trying to get it set up, but note that it did work "out of the box" - I plugged it in and it worked, but I wanted to have it behind my other router, which I spent a long time trying to work out (never worked though Cry).

Because of my lower expectations I considered features such as using the house wiring bonuses, not mandatory features. That view on Vonage is what has made it so great for me. If I had expected it to work better from the start I most likely would have been disappointed, but instead I was, and am, very impressed.

_________________
Comcast Cable > Motorola Surfboard > WRT54GL (Tomato) > RT31P2
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zerain
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Joined: Aug 20, 2005
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:37 am    Post subject: Great Results So Far (knock on wood) Reply with quote Back to top

I have been a Vonage customer for over a year and have not had any major problems. My choice to switch to Vonage from Comcast phone service was based on a friend's recommendation and previous experience. Granted, I know a great deal about LAN and PC maintenance, and thankfully never had to call Vonage tech support. In my opinion, Vonage is geared for those that are willing and able to troubleshoot their own problems. The forums are an excellent place for assistance. I sympathize with those who, in good faith, tried Vonage as a Voip solution only to cancel their service due to negative experiences. Just my two cents.
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magic848
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Unrealistic Expectations? Reply with quote Back to top

My digital service with Time Warner works perfect. All my jacks work. If some people here want to state that my expectations were unrealistic, then you are entitled to your opinion. I expected to have more than one jack working and to have decent line quality such that I didn't have to ask "sorry, can you please say that again?". Sorry "dude", but no objective person would believe that is an unrealistic expectation. By the way, my house is 3 years old, and is very modern, and there are no wiring issues (as is evidenced by the proper functioning of my current digital service).

I am not going to waste my time deliberating why different, trusted IT people recommended it was time for a new computer vs spending time and money wiping my drive and reloading everything, because it appears no matter what I say, someone here is going to tell me it was unnecessary.

If some individuals want to continue to post and tell me about how I may have failed to do things properly, imply that I made poor decisions and that my issues were a rare exception, then that is their prerogative. Vonage has serious problems that rear its ugly head to some consumers, and has failed, IMHO and many others, to properly disclose potential pitfalls and provide decent support. It is my prerogative to disclose the pitfalls I encountered.

Again, I had a terrible experience. I wanted to share it to hopefully help other people. If one Googles "Vonage problems" or "Vonage class action law suits", etc., they will get a feel for the magnitude of the problem. Vonage has problems and I hope they can improve their service.
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ambushbug
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

magic848,
I don't believe anyone was trying to fight you specifically on your issue. It seems they were trying to give baldrn a reason why your issue may have happened. I'm happy for you that you are happy with TW's phone service but remember, it is not Voip in the same way Vonage is.

Vonage is Voip over your ISP. TW's traffic never goes over the internet. The Voip traffic stays on TW's privately owned SONET ring which sends your traffic to a data center that connects it to the PSTN. It is still Voip but completely different, and can be done that way due to TW's huge backbone. Vonage cannot and does not offer any of that because they are not an ISP.

As for your laptop, I agree that I do not want to get into a debate over that as I believe it will lead no where. I will say that, based on ipconfig's capabilities, it does not have the ability to permanently render your network connection down. Upon reboot, the DHCP client will undo anything ipconfig may have done. Ipconfig does not permanently change your network adapter's properties.

As for the home wiring. It seems you were able to google Vonage's issues, but you didn't home wiring? I found multiple sites that had good information and pictures having to do with non-structured wiring (if you were unwiring from the NIU vs. a demarc box, then you have non-structured wiring). Expecting a company that has nothing to do with wiring, POTS, or anything having to do with a physical service, to troubleshoot your home wiring, I consider that unreasonable.

In my case, I deal with network and system equipment all day long and have multiple technical certifications. It may have been much easier for me to deal with Vonage. For someone who does not have the technical side or does not want to spend the time on this type of setup, I would agree that a managed service, like TW's, would be better for them.

That's my 2 cents worth.

_________________
Todd Striegel (Ambush Bug)
Comporium Cable 4M/512K --> BEFCMU10v3 --> WRT54GSv2.1 w/ HGA7T pair --> 4 PCs (3 wireless), 2 wireless media adapters, Print Server & PAP2 - 1 line
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rgnok
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Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Unrealistic Expectations? Reply with quote Back to top

magic848 wrote:
I expected to have more than one jack working . . . no objective person would believe that is an unrealistic expectation.


Sure that's an unrealistic expectation of Vonage out of the box -- they clearly tell you that their product gives you ONE phone jack; they offer several alternatives that MIGHT work for multiple phones, and they offer, at an additional cost, professional home wiring.

Assuming you did not have the professional home wiring option, any expectation beyond the one phone jack that the actual Vonage adapter gives you is unrealistic. Plenty of people are able to make other configurations work just fine, but you should not EXPECT that -- it is not part of the package.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
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Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Using Magic's logic, I should be able to go buy a portable generator at Home Depot, and expect HD to walk me through hooking it up to my house's wiring by plugging it into one of the outlets. Fortunately, the voltages involved with telephony are rarely dangerous (just the ring voltage can bite a little bit), so we don't have people burning down their houses & aspyhxiating themselves with carbon monoxide fumes with Vonage adapters.

As far as the laptop/trusted IT "professionals" bit, I'd suggest hiring new IT people. I'm not saying this to be derogatory towards you, but as a true, honest, professional opinion. Most of my work comes from cleaning up the messes made by certified IT people, or doing things which their IT people said was "impossible," or "impractical." Keeping the systems running 24/7/365, and working right the first time, every time, is my mantra; unfortunately most IT people have yet to grasp this concept. I have more work & clients than I know what to do with, so you won't find me deploying new systems unless it's absolutely necessary.

Any laptop should be well-secured (including software firewalls on the laptop, antivirus,etc) since they won't always be operated in the safe confines of a private LAN. They are portable systems which WILL eventually be used on public networks, such as those at cafes, hotels, and other firm's offices. The only way your laptop could have been trashed in all of this is if it wasn't properly secured.

As far as my gripe about cheap Vonage hardware, I think anyone who had a Vonage RTP300 between Aug-December '05 will agree that it wasn't ready for prime-time when Vonage released it. It didn't even have proper call progress tones at that point. Firmware fixes have made it a much better adapter, but it's no Sipura/Cisco/Digium. It still doesn't properly handle DTMF tones during calls.

I'm still very happy with my decision to use Vonage service. Call quality's never been an issue for me, and I'm on at least 5 different connections each month. I've even been able to squeak off a few calls over an analog dial-up connection (tricky, but it can be done.) I've also done a few calls over EVDO (cellular internet), which worked quite nicely. After Hurricane Wilma, Sprint (local landline carrier) was down for 7-14 days depending on where you were in town. Cell service also was down. Comcast also went down as well. They all may have generators and battery backups at their main plants, but they don't have extended backup resources for their distribution points. Because Vonage is located outside of Florida, they never had an issue and I continued to have phone service whilst the rest of the area was in the dark.

_________________
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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magic848
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Joined: Jun 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject: much clearer now Reply with quote Back to top

I wish I had come to this forum before signing up. I should have done my homework. Until now, I truly had no idea how different Voip technology was, and for that, I have no one to blame but myself.

Now I understand much better. Thanks!

Anyway, lesson learned. I do hope the stock bounces back up soon.
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ambushbug
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: much clearer now Reply with quote Back to top

magic848 wrote:
Anyway, lesson learned.


Unfortunately, I've learned that's the way it goes. I tend to over research something before jumping in. And, if I had the option to go TW, I would. I'm not in a Comcast or TW available area so I have to go with a Voip over my ISP solution or land line. TW has the ability to offer a more attractive package because of their size and backbone.

As long as you're happy with what you've got, that's all that matters. Currently, with my options, I'm happy with Vonage.

_________________
Todd Striegel (Ambush Bug)
Comporium Cable 4M/512K --> BEFCMU10v3 --> WRT54GSv2.1 w/ HGA7T pair --> 4 PCs (3 wireless), 2 wireless media adapters, Print Server & PAP2 - 1 line
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