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csonnier
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:45 am    Post subject: SoftPhone from soldier in Iraq to us here at home? Reply with quote Back to top

Hi. We're new to this Voip thing. We have Vonage here at home. Our son leaves for Iraq next month.(yes, right before Christmas!). Knowing we'll be able to communicate will be a huge relief. We want to put Softphone on his super fancy, super expensive laptop. Will he be able to use Softphone from Iraq like he could from across town or are there extra hoops to jump through and additional charges?
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RADHAZ
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I would have to say that the chance of that are slim. I don't know about the Army, but I was in Iraq with the Air Force and the only way we were able to communicate was using our military issued e-mail accounts. Hotmail, yahoo and all other non-government e-mail systems were blocked. There were a number of reasons for this, security both network and operational were among the most often cited.

Also, he probably won't be able to connect his laptop to a computer network that has any tie in to the government network. There may be some sort of commercial provider at his location that he can connect to though.

Best of luck
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Pepperoni
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: SoftPhone from soldier in Iraq to us here at home? Reply with quote Back to top

csonnier wrote:
Hi. We're new to this Voip thing. We have Vonage here at home. Our son leaves for Iraq next month.(yes, right before Christmas!). Knowing we'll be able to communicate will be a huge relief. We want to put Softphone on his super fancy, super expensive laptop. Will he be able to use Softphone from Iraq like he could from across town or are there extra hoops to jump through and additional charges?


Set him up with softphone before he leaves. Word from friends overseas is that internet is common, and widely used. A good usb headset would be nice for Christmas, and will improve voice quality and privacy. I use a plantronics earbud/boom mic. Signup is quick., you could be using softphone in an hour. I prefer the SJLabs software over the XTen product. Just sign up, download and installl the softphone you prefer, and enter your phone number and the softphone password found on your Vonage Softphone configuration page (In Vonage dashboard) You will be ready to go.

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RADHAZ
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:02 am    Post subject: Re: SoftPhone from soldier in Iraq to us here at home? Reply with quote Back to top

Internet is common, but everywhere I've been, it's been government networks. They use port blocking on routers, proxy servers on many websites and the one that I hate, WEBSENSE!!! Even being in the communications squadron didn't get me any favors.

Best bet is to have him try to contact someone at that location to see what his options are. All I've ever been able to do is set up a private network with others for games, but we were never allowed to connect to the government network. Of course, Army rules are probably different, I know they had access to hotmail when I was in Saudi Arabia in 2001 while the Air Force was being blocked. And while I was in Romania for war in 2003, we had to constantly police them while they were using our network.
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csonnier
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, Pepperoni and Radhaz. I know the internet connections have improved over the past year -- one of our son's friends just got back and said there's those internet cafe things springing up pretty much everywhere in the more populated areas and in the fast food joints and most of the PXs have a couple of non-gov't. ports. Guess if we're gonna be over there, they felt some concessions had to be made - especially for the Nat.Guard guys like our son. We want it to be easy, so that it won't interefere with the webcam/email setup. Yes, we've already been checking out the headsets and he wants to get 'buddy cams' so we can have one too. We're having to do our Christmas early of course, so we can figure it all out before he leaves. He's very tech proficient, but only 21, and not much patience with any software that is time consuming -- is the SJLabs simpler than the other?
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Pepperoni
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

csonnier wrote:
Thanks, Pepperoni and Radhaz. I know the internet connections have improved over the past year -- one of our son's friends just got back and said there's those internet cafe things springing up pretty much everywhere in the more populated areas and in the fast food joints and most of the PXs have a couple of non-gov't. ports. Guess if we're gonna be over there, they felt some concessions had to be made - especially for the Nat.Guard guys like our son. We want it to be easy, so that it won't interefere with the webcam/email setup. Yes, we've already been checking out the headsets and he wants to get 'buddy cams' so we can have one too. We're having to do our Christmas early of course, so we can figure it all out before he leaves. He's very tech proficient, but only 21, and not much patience with any software that is time consuming -- is the SJLabs simpler than the other?


I had problems with XTen, using a free version which was difficult too configure. SJLabs is simpler and I have not had a problem with several installs, including the PPC version (now running on W5.0.) Get the Vonage SJLabs version; it will be configured correctly for Vonage,

He should be able to connect. I know that some units chip in for a satellite system (datastorm, etc), which allows full connections. The internet cafes and coffee shops are another resource.

Get him set up and running before he leaves. He should be able to connect any time he can pull an IP address.

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