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bbtech
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Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 9:55 am    Post subject: Newbie questions... Reply with quote Back to top

Hi all,

We're investigating Vonage for use in our small business, looking at the Vonage Small Business Unlimited Plan. We like the idea of Voip for portability and flexibility reasons, but reading a lot of complaint posts here has made me unsure.

Couple of questions:

1) What 'hidden' charges can I expect on my bill, i.e. taxes, fees, etc.?
2) Does CallerID work? I've read there are/were problems.
3) Are there any recommended alternate Voip providers who have more reliable/better service?

Also, and maybe this isn't a newbie question, but...

We'd like to have a phone system that allows callers to leave a voicemail message for non-emergency issues (we're a small IT outsourcing company), but have the option of pressing a key to have the call forwarded directly to one of our technicians (a single cell phone line or hunt group). Is this possible with Vonage as-is (I don't think so from my reading thus far)? How could I go about doing this?

TIA for your replies.
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houuser
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Joined: Sep 04, 2003
Posts: 435
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hope this helps.

Taxes: 3 percent
Caller ID: Yes, you will receive. Might check with Vonage to see if business account give actual CID or just the number (yours).
Transfer calls: Yes you can, but has to be to a telephone number

For more info, call Vonage at VonageHelp. Dial the letters.
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thompsd
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Joined: Feb 26, 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've been using Vonage for over a year for a small home office with pretty good results. Is it perfect? No but for the costs I'm not complaining. Sometimes you get really wierd artifacts on the line, sounds like you are in a tunnel or a really bad connection, I'd say this happens 5-10% of the time and no worse than a cell line. Just blame it on the phone company, no one really cares. If I were you I'd bring in a 2nd line as a trial, give out that number to a couple of clients to see how you like it. If you're going to make the switch you can port over your old number to Vonage without interuption. I think once you try it you'll be impressed. Like I said, I've used it for over a year.
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zachlee
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Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Natrona, Pa

PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

1.) no hidden charges
2.) Yep
3.) AT&T offers Voip, my opinion *thumbs down*

4.) The only problem I have run into, is while doing major amounts of traffic, while on the phone. I have a 1.5/768 covad connection, but I also have 4 machines that monitor servers in a remote data center, as well as backups of those computers. I have since re-scheduled the backup times and no more problems, other then the occasional network outage from Covad, which is out of the control of Vonage. If you have a stable internet connection (+decent upstream), you shouldnt have any problems.
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gas_master
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Joined: Nov 19, 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:42 pm    Post subject: More of the same newbie stuff Reply with quote Back to top

I've just been introduced to the Vonage service by a fairly knowledgeable salesman at Radio Shack I'll call Dan for sake of anonymity. I haven't subscribed yet because my phone services run my business, hence my income.

I have cable broadband with a Cisco 806 router after the cable modem. There is a 4 port hub in the router which feeds 2 switches, a Macintosh (sorry, its my wife's), and a Dell AP. I have set a static IP in the AP for my 10.10.10.x private network.

Dan at Radio Shack said that the Vonage/Motorala Voip device needs to have a separate IP address. Since you only get one IP address from your ISP, I assume that its IP address must be in the internal network and on the same subnet.

I plan to install the Voip on a second line in my house that is my FAX number.

Questions:
1. Are there issues with stand-alone FAX machines?
2. Does the Vonage service use bandwidth whether on a call or not?
3. What port does it use?
4. Is there a way to have me paged when I have I have a voice mail? In other words, is there a backdoor to a paging service?
5. Are firewalls a problem?

I have a fair amount of networking knowledge for a newbie so fire away with all those acronyms. I also have CCNA certification amongst others. Frustrated
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zachlee
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Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 7
Location: Natrona, Pa

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage is a Voip (voice over internet protocal) technology, so I dont understand the comment

"I plan to install the Voip on a second line in my house that is my FAX number"

if you plan on getting a seperate internet connection for the Voip, then you should be able to run wide open on that seperate connection without a problem.

However: your current network description sounds to have alot of network traffic as is, depending on you current upload speed, you may want to upgrade to a faster package.

As far as "a Macintosh (sorry, its my wife's)" two thumbs up for your wife, Macs rule

Smile
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zachlee
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Location: Natrona, Pa

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Dan @ Radioshack, like so many other Radioshack employees before him, dont know his arse from his elbow. the Vonage network connects via a MAC address, not via IP address.

I would reccomend signing up through the Vonage website. They give you a free Linksys router (which can be setup as a bridge in your network) but also has the capability of QOS as a main router.

1. I dont have a fax attached, so I dont know.
2. With QOS enabled, it has a static 'pipe' reserved.
3. no clue
4. email notification, which can be set to any valid email addy
5. depends on your filtering (port #'s)
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gas_master
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Joined: Nov 19, 2004
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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:27 am    Post subject: Let me try this again! Reply with quote Back to top

I repeatedly questioned Dan@Radio Shack about the IP address issue and brought up the fact that I only get one IP address from my ISP. I had a hunch the device was based on the MAC address and a flat network. I don't think Dan would know what a MAC address was if it bit him.

According to online bandwidth tests my cable modem theoretically runs between 1.5Mbs and 2.5Mbs so bandwdith isn't an issue. Cable doesn't give us a CIR. Actual throughput is anybodies guess. The router is 10Mbs and the switches are 10/100Mbs. Since the switches break up the collision domains, intranet traffic is isolated on those segments with bandwidth to 100Mbs or 200Mbs with full duplex. The Internet access does suffer when all of us are using video intensive traffic, e.g. my son online gaming while having 5 or more IMs going and editing his online flash movies. There are only 3 of us online at a time unless we have friends over. I asked my ISP about another IP address and they told me it was illegal for them to give me an additional wire. Go figure! I'm over 18000 ft from the PSTN CO so DSL isn't an option.

The second phone line in the house is for my FAX machine. I meant to say that is the line I would be replacing with Voip. Sorry I couldn't edit my post later.

My Cisco 806 router has QOS built-in.

I've had to set static IPs within a 10.x.x.x subnet for my other routers. I am only using their switch ports. They were defaulted with a 192.168.x.x network.

My wife has always used Apple/Macintosh systems. She administrates a 20+ Macintosh AppleTalk network in her high school classroom. These are old MACs and some have less then 100MB hard drives but they work perfectly. She doesn't want anyone getting on the Internet. Where is the government money for educational computer labs?

Thanks for your time. New
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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.

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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 www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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