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roberts
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:04 am    Post subject: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

hi, everyone,

Voip vs. PSTN, which is better?
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tmbeem
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Posts: 114
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:40 am    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

roberts wrote:
hi, everyone,

Voip vs. PSTN, which is better?

Tricky question. It depends on many variables, not the least of which is your broadband connection. Is it high enough to support Voip? Is it stable, which is to say how often does it go down? Because if it goes down, so does your phone service. Same for electrical outages.

However, if your broadband connection is stable, and high enough to support Voip, and your community is not prone to frequent power outages, then, in my opinion, Voip is the better alternative. Here's why...

OVERALL COST! That's the biggie. With Voip you get for free MANY "premium" services that the traditional TelCo's charge a la carte for. Not only that, but long distance is included in the price of Voip. (In the case of Vonage: $24.99 USD+ tax unlimited or $14.99 USD+ tax for 500 min.)

Note though that ALL OUTGOING CALLS regardless of destination (even if they're to your next door neighbor) are counted against your minutes if you go for the 500 minute plan. (Incoming calls do not count against your minutes.)

There is also the cost savings of calling internationally. Voip (Vonage specifically), has very competitive international calling rates, and if you sign up for the unlimited plan, outgoing calls to many countries are included FREE!

I would hazard to say that most people can't tell the difference in regards to call quality between Voip and PTSN. Though, as stated before, if your broadband goes down, or the speed fluctuates, you might have some problems. However, if you lose electricity or your broadband goes down, the call gets rerouted to a telephone of your choice (Network Unavailability Number). Mine happens to be my cell phone. Alternatively you could plug your broadband Voip box and telephones into a battery backup (UPS) system, but I'm unsure how long it'll last during an electrical outage.

As Vonage is the only Voip provider I've had, I can only comment on the service I've experienced with them, and overall it's been very good! Forums such as these tend to focus on the problems a relatively small number of people have with Voip, in relation to VoIP's total user base. (Which in the case of Vonage is over 2 MILLION subscribers.) So, don't let the horror stories you see here deter you from at least trying it out. I'm GLAD I switched. I'm saving a BUNDLE, I'm getting more for less, AND my problems have been few, far between, and rectified relatively quickly.

Oh, one thing AGAINST Voip though, unless you rewire your household telephone jacks, you won't be able to use them. However, this forum has great tutorials on rewiring household phone jacks. I live in an apartment building, so I had to go with a multiple handset cordless phone system (5.8 GHz). Plug the main base into your Voip box, and plug any extensions right into the electrical wall outlets in the rooms where you want them.

Anyone else want to jump in? Did I miss anything?

_________________
Thomas Beem
Las Vegas, NV
ISP: Cox Communications
12 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps up
Cable Modem: Scientific Atlanta Webstar DPC2100
Voip Device: VDV21-VD
Setup: Modem --> Hawking HBB1 --> Vonage --> PC
Customer Since: Oct. 9, 2006
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EzCo
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

roberts wrote:
hi, everyone,

Voip vs. PSTN, which is better?


So, you're asking on a Vonage forum if Voip is better than PSTN???

FYI, the previous poster made a comment about having to rewire your phone jacks to be able to use them with Vonage, not true. There may be a corner case here or there, but not true in general.

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tmbeem
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Joined: Oct 10, 2006
Posts: 114
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

EzCo wrote:
roberts wrote:
hi, everyone,

Voip vs. PSTN, which is better?


So, you're asking on a Vonage forum if Voip is better than PSTN???

FYI, the previous poster made a comment about having to rewire your phone jacks to be able to use them with Vonage, not true. There may be a corner case here or there, but not true in general.

Unless you want to fry your Vonage box, YES you HAVE to do a little rewiring separating the voltage coming in from the TelCo at the box on the outside of your house if you want to use your house phone jacks. But from what I've read it's no big deal. Read the Hard Wiring Forum here before making statements telling someone otherwise.

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Thomas Beem
Las Vegas, NV
ISP: Cox Communications
12 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps up
Cable Modem: Scientific Atlanta Webstar DPC2100
Voip Device: VDV21-VD
Setup: Modem --> Hawking HBB1 --> Vonage --> PC
Customer Since: Oct. 9, 2006
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MASTechi
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

EzCo wrote:


FYI, the previous poster made a comment about having to rewire your phone jacks to be able to use them with Vonage, not true. There may be a corner case here or there, but not true in general.


VARY TRUE IN GENERAL

You always need to disconnect from old TELCO if you are going to use your existing telecom wiring

This is fairly easy, all i did was disconnect my outside wires that were coming into the house (i disconnected them inside the house). The reason i did this is because now i don't have to worry about someone from the outside connecting those wires up again. (i also label it outside that there was electrically sensitive equipment connected inside, no unauthorized connection allowed)

Then all i did was plug my router into a phone line, this powered all my phone jacks, mainly to accept and receive calls from anywhere in my house. I noticed if you have 2 extensions off hook it degrades the ability to hear the caller, not sure if it degrades the call because the caller claims it sounds the same to them, its just hard to hear the caller
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scerruti
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Joined: Feb 05, 2005
Posts: 1424
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

roberts wrote:
hi, everyone,

Voip vs. PSTN, which is better?


Back to the original question...

This question is phrased as which technology is better. I would argue that Voip is clearly a superior technology than PSTN. It is based on a fault tolerant, self repairing network. It can achieve higher capacity using the same transmission lines. It permits significantly higher functionality with features like nomadic use, intelligent call routing and an email like addressing scheme.

If you want to talk about which is a better product then you need to talk about services and not technologies. PSTN services are more established and the current infrastructure (E911, toll free services) are designed around it. Their maturity and evolution mean that they have a general reliability advantage. Voip services are newer, less regulated and the services rarely make use of all of the functionality made available by the technology.

While cost has been a differentiator in the past between services, it will become less so as the traditional carriers move to hybrid solutions that rely on Voip as the soft gooey center to reduce cost*. People will then look at what they wish to accomplish with their phone service and will essentially be choosing between solutions where the phone service is linked to the last mile (cable, telco) versus solutions where service is decoupled from transmission mechanism.

Single provider solutions will likely provide billing efficiency and reliability through regulation and sole responsibility for dial tone whereas the decoupled service will benefit lower cost as a result of competition and enhanced features.

Hybrid services with more features from existing in place carriers may also make a showing competing on features with independent service providers and on cost with linked service/infrastructure providers.

The fear remains that decoupled services will be forced out of the market if incumbent last mile players are allowed to charge a premium for carrying their traffic. Competition in the last mile segment may mitigate that fear. Decoupled services will also be attacked on the price front by roll-your-own Voip services, but the technical complexity of these solutions will likely limit them to a niche market (like amateur radio or Linux).

*for information on price trends see the Feb. 07 FCC report that shows access charges for lines decreasing since mid '04. Consumer spending on wireline service has greatly decreased in the last decade, but a significant amount of that is due to increase cellular use.

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DigitalVoice
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:
I would argue that Voip is clearly a superior technology than PSTN. It is based on a fault tolerant, self repairing network.


Well Voip didn't "self-repair" on my network I can tell you that.

There are just too many variables and potential issues affecting Voip functionality that are way outside Vonage's control (ISP and your home setup to name only those two) that the whole experience can be very frustrating. A few dropped calls here and there, some static or maybe some inexplicable choppy audio might force you to spend countless hours in troubleshooting sessions in an attempt to isolate the cause(s).

The bottom line is that *THE USER* has to be fault tolerant. To state that Voip is fault tolerant on this forum is a bit laughable. What kind of faults are tolerable?

Anyway, back to the original question. If one has a family (eg wife or teens) that ain't so fault-tolerant and willing to cope with the occasional hiccup then I suggest they'd stick with their legacy telephone system.
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gavnit
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Best answer to this question i found somewhere

Quote:
This reminds me of a question about blondes or brunettes and the response has to be the same really - it depends on the basis of the comparison and the required end result.

Since a large majority of PSTN calls are switched via some kind of Voip or another there is nothing to compare in terms of quality. Equally with CFS and CPS services using Voip and providing market rates to PSTN users that more or less match Voip rates there is fast becoming less to compare in terms of pricing.

Perhaps you could narrow down your question a little ?
As far as the comparisons concern, this also remains me of these two phrases: "Dumb blond girls" and "Dumb Voip devices". AFAIC, most blondes (VoIP devices) look and feel more sophisticated and under certain circumstances they will start to give (emit) some very (UN)pleasant stuttered voices (tones). OTOH, the brunettes (PSTN lines), which may look more sophisticated if compared to black hair females (telegraphs), are more mature, reliable, and robust. You can definitely depend more on brunettes (PSTN lines) under any occasions, especially during the emergencies. Also, some of my friends who have/had ever dated blondes have/had sworn never go back to date brunettes (PSTN lines), let alone the black hair females (telegraphs). Why? I don't know and they never told me. I am just guessing perhaps my friends are unique and they prefer to enjoy the sophistications the blondes (VoIP devices) can offer, let alone the stutter voice (tones).
Wink

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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

DigitalVoice wrote:
scerruti wrote:
I would argue that Voip is clearly a superior technology than PSTN. It is based on a fault tolerant, self repairing network.


Well Voip didn't "self-repair" on my network I can tell you that.

There are just too many variables and potential issues affecting Voip functionality that are way outside Vonage's control (ISP and your home setup to name only those two) that the whole experience can be very frustrating. A few dropped calls here and there, some static or maybe some inexplicable choppy audio might force you to spend countless hours in troubleshooting sessions in an attempt to isolate the cause(s).

The bottom line is that *THE USER* has to be fault tolerant. To state that Voip is fault tolerant on this forum is a bit laughable. What kind of faults are tolerable?

Anyway, back to the original question. If one has a family (eg wife or teens) that ain't so fault-tolerant and willing to cope with the occasional hiccup then I suggest they'd stick with their legacy telephone system.


If were going to get technical, and we are, then the original question was Voip, not Vonage, vs PSTN. Voip, in the correct and stable configuration where the Voip provider *owns* the telco structure they are traversing, is extremely powerful. As for fault tolerance, how many outages DON'T you know about, because Router A noticed that T-1 A went down and moved all that traffic over to T-1 B automatically and found new routes for Suzy's packets to her boyfriend. Fault tolerance isn't about the user end equipment at all, since the human factor makes that quite impossible. I've started doing research on something called Autonomous Networks, which are envisioned to be self-healing and designed to adapt to changing conditions in the network, on their own. We already have some of this, in the form of failovers and mirroring. I'd say the difference between just Voip, and really awesome Voip, is dependant on if the provider owns the telecom links.

"There are just too many variables and potential issues affecting Voip functionality that are way outside Vonage's control (ISP and your home setup to name only those two) that the whole experience can be very frustrating."

No there's not. There's only 3 varibles total:
1) Vonage is messed up.
2) My ISP is messed up.
3) I am messed up.

Unfortunately the only one you can control easily is 3. Networks and the Internet in general have so permeated our everyday lives that people can ill afford to not try to understand some of the technology, even in a general way, so they might be able to troubleshoot a little. I'm not defending Vonage at all, in fact, their "No geeks required" advertising campaign truly pissses me off, especially in light of this forum and what it does for people. If that maxim were true, Dan would be shutting this site down.

"FYI, the previous poster made a comment about having to rewire your phone jacks to be able to use them with Vonage, not true."

This is very true. NO ONE has to rewire anything, because Ezco was stating you can run a phone into the back of the box directly, or set up a cordless system, requiring NO rewiring. I chose that method myself because I lived in a townhouse, and it worked well.

The bottom line is that people are increasingly looking for a rock solid, cheap, and reliable solution for long-distance phone service that doesn't require much in upkeep. And I'm saying, Vonage is NOT that solution, Voip is, but not Vonage, unless they can streamline their prodcut to the point that there really are "No Geeks Required."

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DigitalVoice
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: VOIP vs. PSTN Reply with quote Back to top

navydavy2001 wrote:

There's only 3 varibles total:
1) Vonage is messed up.
2) My ISP is messed up.
3) I am messed up.


These are affirmations. They are not variables.

But I liked the part about self-healing. Pretty far out stuff and I obviously see why this has come about. The very existence of this self-healing technology as you described is proof that Voip (a la Vonage) is inherently prone to glitches. Much like the cell phones I suppose.

And who will regulate the healing parameters? This looks like 1 more variable to me.
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