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Trafford Posted:
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silkworm
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Some advice about portability of service Reply with quote Back to top

http://www.vonage.com/features.php?feature=traveling

According to this page, "when visiting family, going on vacation or traveling for business, you can make and receive calls from one convenient Vonage number. Vonage gives you unparalleled choice and control over where and how you use your phone."

I took my phone adapter (Linksys RT31P2) with me so that I could use the service from Lima, Peru. We stayed at an uncle's house which has broadband internet connection (DSL). However, the modem only had a USB output. The Linksys RT31P2 only has an Ethernet input. I went to Radio Shack in Lima and asked for an adapter that accepts USB input and provides Ethernet output. For some reason, these adapters are not available in Lima. In summary, I was not able to use Vonage in Lima, even though I had all the necessary requirements, as explained in the "Taking Vonage With You Wherever You Go" webpage.

I ended up activating softphone. I paid $10 for activating it, $10 for the first 500 minutes, and possibly some additional fees and taxes. The softphone worked fine sometimes, and not at all other times. In any case, I had to pay MORE money because Vonage was not clear in its advertising that the service will work anywhere as long as there is a broadband connection. I canceled softphone upon my return, as I don't need the service when I am in the USA. Needless to say, I am annoyed about the whole thing, as I believe Vonage should make every attempt to keep the customer satisfied at all times. A simple "make sure the connection types between modem and phone adapter match" would have made me become aware of the possibility of modems with zero Ethernet ports.

My advice to travelers is to fully investigate everything about the internet broadband hardware of your destination, so that you can take with you any necessary items that will enable you to use Vonage.
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reebok
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Vonage was not clear in its advertising that the service will work anywhere as long as there is a broadband connection"
their motto is "the broadband phone company" that should be the first clue. and of course if you clicked on any plan on the home page (like premium unlimited, basic 500) it would bring you to a page that says very close to the top:
Requirements:
You must have a broadband Ethernet Internet connection

it says nothing about usb, but if you somehow missed that, they have at least one other place you can find that info:
http://vonage.com/help_knowledgeBase_article.php?article=435

so the requirements are spelled out, but you failed to look for them because you didn't anticipate a usb connection. so besides advising travelers to research where they're going, what are you suggesting, Vonage keep a worldwide database of isp's and modems and the connections they use?

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StevenJr
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I believe what he is saying is to research what hardware there is at the place someone is traveling to. Find out if it is a USB modem and if it is to buy the necesary items before you leave. ANd the softphone, he said worked sometimes.
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scerruti
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Reebok,

I think you may have been a bit too harsh on this one. Silkworm is offering good advice for people who are planning on travelling with their adapters.

silkworm wrote:
My advice to travelers is to fully investigate everything about the internet broadband hardware of your destination, so that you can take with you any necessary items that will enable you to use Vonage.


As far as silkworm being annoyed with Vonage, we have seen plenty of people who have difficulty getting Vonage to work at home. In light of that I agree with him that Vonage's presentation for travelling with your adapter is a bit optimistic.

There are a lot of people out there who don't know ethernet from fishing net. It would be better if we were able to help out by supplying information about how to travel with your adapter than bashing people who are just trying to warn others.

silkworm provides one answer, you can possibly use a softphone as a backup plan. In many cases while travelling the $10 is going to easily cover your phone costs. To effectively use softphone you should carry a headset with a microphone and possibly your own computer.

silkworm mentioned a USB->Ethernet converter. I don't believe that such a device would have helped him. Such devices are typically used as network interfaces for computers. I have never heard of one being used directly on a broadband modem.
Broadband Internet Connections wrote:
USB DSL modems require special drivers to function


Another method that might have been available in silkworm's case is to use his uncle's computer to share the broadband connection. This would have required that his uncle's computer had an unused Ethernet port and you had a crossover cable (a special type of Ethernet patch cable) available. This also requires some knowledge of the operating system on the computer hosting the connection.

This method may also work if you have access to a wireless network and you can bridge the connection through your own computer. Though it will require your computer to remain turned on (possibly on an unsecured network) in order for your phone to receive calls.

Some items in a comprehensive travel kit:
Adapter
Power adapter
Phone
Phone line
Ethernet patch cable (2)
Ethernet crossover cable
Computer
Headset with mic
Wireless router
Instructions for configuring internet sharing

My advice to travelers, unless you are familiar with networking concepts and have the ability/authority to reconfigure the network at your destination, you should not rely on being able to use your adapter while travelling.

Here are some scenarios you might have problems with:
No network/USB broadband access
Wireless network only
Network requires click on AUP web page before providing real connection (as seen in some hotels, hotspots)
Network requires login before providing real connection (paid hotspots)
No free ports on networking equipment
ISP requires special software to establish broadband connection
Phones at destination aren't compatible with adapter

PS. I have traveled with my adapter and used it on the road

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