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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage V-Phone & SoftPhone
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plyons
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Joined: Mar 06, 2004
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I find this funny... you guys must have spent too much time in engineering class and not enough in economics.

It's not offered free because they don't have to. You are all Vonage customers despite the fact that they don't offer this service. And, at present, I'm not aware of any other provider that offers a free softphone for any plan as cheap as Vonage's.

Why SHOULD they offer it? Well.. if demand were such, I guess they would.
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VOIPshopping
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Joined: Mar 10, 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just to clarify, I am not a Vonage customer. But, I am considering it.

There is demand. How much? I don't know.

Why SHOULD they offer it?

Why shouldn't they offer it? Vonage wouldn't have to sell equipment in stores or online for all their customers. Vonage didn't even develop the softphone software. (you can download it for free) The benefit is they would have no inventory, production or shipping overhead for these customers. Nevermind about having to replace defective units still covered by warranty for these type of customers. All they would have to do is provide infrastructure for this segment of customers.

After more research, I found there are at least 4 other providers with exactly the same price point or for slightly less that offers the same services as Vonage under the same terms. With this information, is it a good business decision not to offer unlimited softphone usage, or something significant, as part of the core unlimited residential package when the only thing, superficially, that separates you from your competition is advertising? I obviously would like that "something" to be unlimited softphone usage as part of the core unlimited residential plan.

I think the economic standpoint was discussed above at least twice, three times with your observation. If you don't want or need the service I am not sure why you would bother to post. It wouldn't impact you negatively if it was added as part of the service.

I guess I find that funny.
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paul248
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Mountain View, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Has anyone tried sniffing the SIP information that the ATA sends out to Vonage, and plugging that into a softphone? Or does the ATA have some sort of secret authentication that a softphone doesn't?
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peterwemm
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Joined: Apr 15, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Unfortunately, the login process is fairly secure, and the information (username/password) is locked away inside the device settings. It is probably obtainable by removing the flash prom from the device and decoding it, but that is a lot of work and rather impractical.

A man-in-the-middle proxy attack might get somewhere with eliminating the analog leg, but remember the goal is to improve reliability and quality, not add another point of failure.

Anyway, this is all very frustrating. It shouldn't have to be this hard to improve the voice quality by eliminating a 12 inch leg of copper and an unneeded A->D and D->A conversion phase. All we need to do is to be able to use a softphone (or other sip system) instead of the ATA. Its not about extra services for free but rather making better, more reliable, more efficient use of the already provided service.

Anyway, I got some numbers from another Voip provider that is willing to work with BYOD (bring your own device, including IP phones, your own ATA etc) or even IP PBX's, to see how it worked. It turns out I like the phone numbers they gave me better than the one we ported to Vonage, and the call quality is better (no extra digital->analog->digital redundant step).

Oh well, I guess I've got something to think about now.

_________________
Vonage customer since March 2004. Customer of just about every other Voip provider out there too.
Asterisk PBX software, using Vonage softphone. ATA VT1005, rarely used.
ISP: Comcast (8M down, 768K up) *and* Sonic.net ADSL (1.5M down, 384K up) for Voip
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jcmallery
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Joined: Feb 07, 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Err, what about [ADMIN EDIT] ? They don't care what you use or how much of it and they support open configuration for those that want their own setup.

You would think that Vonage would match BroadVoice at least with respect to the softphone.

Plus, on the mac, the Vonage softphone steps on IChat AV by using the same ports, and your only option is to download Xten's X-Lite and configure it yourself when you hear duh from customer support. For a solution, see: http://vonage.xten.net/viewtopic.php?t=180&highlight=configuration

All of this adds up to lower customer satisfaction when it comes to Vonage SoftPhones. (The hardware-based Vonage service is really impecable, except they don't support the cool ATAs like the Sipura 3000!)

Wouldn't it just be better to have a bunch of happy customers?
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dconnor
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Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 2264
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:01 pm    Post subject: jcmallery Reply with quote Back to top

Please no linking to other Voip companies, we do not allow it.

Thank you

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peterwemm
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Joined: Apr 15, 2004
Posts: 42
Location: Danville, CA, US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Regarding broadvoice.. (Hey, I didn't mention them first...) I haven't had anything to do with them. I've been reluctant to go near them because (until recently) their customer service reputation was even worse than Vonage's. Plus they only support(ed) in-band DTMF signalling so you've got potential problems with compression destroying DTMF tones.

Plus, broadvoice are sip-only. I wanted bare-bones termination, preferably IAX2 instead of SIP. The lure of an IAX2 client connection for my Asterisk box was too great. So I went elsewhere with somebody that has a zero monthly fee, free incoming calls and a small flat-rate outgoing call cost. No frills, no voicemail, no nothing, which is exactly what I wanted. And they allow 4 concurrent inbound calls, and 4 concurrent outbound calls at the same time. No LNP for this service though.

But yes, I sincerely hope that Vonage is paying attention to broadvoice's BYOD plans. I would be estatic if Vonage would match the service model, and that would be enough to stop me thinking about switching. The new numbers that I was given are nicer, but not changing anything is better.

The way I have things configured now, I have my dialplans and forwarding set up so that the first incoming and first outgoing calls go over the analog Vonage connection, the 2nd through 5th go via the IAX2 connection.

Anyway, I wish Vonage would just let people unplug the ATA and use another method instead. - be it an IP phone, a softphone or whatever - on an 'unsupported, you're on your own' basis. They already have concurrency controls and the infrastructure to do it. It wouldn't cost them anything more and they'd have happier customers as a result.

_________________
Vonage customer since March 2004. Customer of just about every other Voip provider out there too.
Asterisk PBX software, using Vonage softphone. ATA VT1005, rarely used.
ISP: Comcast (8M down, 768K up) *and* Sonic.net ADSL (1.5M down, 384K up) for Voip
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ehansen
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Joined: Dec 27, 2004
Posts: 8
Location: Chicago Illinois

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Great arguments folks,

This is now the time that Vonage needs to offer a package that can be used on any softphone or a pbx box such as the new Epygi product line.

The Business Plus package from Vonage works great for larger companies with 12,000 and above minutes usage.

What Vonage is missing is a package where the registration information is given and can be programmed in to these new units.

The price would be higher because it would be supporting more phone lines, etc. but would be much lower than the $299.00 price point.

If Vonage does not do it, others are already doing it and will surpass Vonage quickly.

I would contend that many of the 500,000 users of Vonage have outgrown the 1 line 2 line ata systems that they are on right now and are ready for the jump to the next level. 2 lines, full pbx, small office kind of service.

Vonage has the capability and just needs to get the package available. How about this..$69.95 2 phone numbers supports simultaneous calls and comes with 3000 minutes. There I said it. Give me the registration information for this package and let me load it on a softphone, IP Sip phone, Epygi box, whatever.

I will be the first to sign up.... Very Happy

Eric
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paul248
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Mountain View, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

peterwemm wrote:
Unfortunately, the login process is fairly secure, and the information (username/password) is locked away inside the device settings. It is probably obtainable by removing the flash prom from the device and decoding it, but that is a lot of work and rather impractical.


A few months ago, I plugged my cable modem, RT31P2, and a PC into a hub, and placed a phone call. On the PC, Ethereal sniffed and identified what appeared to be a SIP handshake. I could see some account info, but I'm not familiar enough with SIP to know whether that info could be used in a softphone directly. If Vonage uses some sort of challenge-response login, then most hope is lost. Otherwise, who knows...
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paul248
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Mountain View, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hm... I managed to pull out this SIP address:

sip:1248#######@atlas8.atlas.vonage.net:5061
[the #'s are my phone number]

And there's an interesting User Agent string:
############ Linksys/RT31P2-2.0.13(LIb)
[the #'s match my WAN MAC address]

However, there seems to be a password needed also, and it's sent as an MD5 hash, so I can't determine what it is. I tried using my normal Vonage password, but that doesn't work, so there must be something hidden in the RT31P2 that we're not supposed to know about.
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