Advice on VOIP Service - Sorry if this has been asked 100 times before

I have a home office with two land lines (voice and fax). Our home is on a separate land line which will remain as is. I'm interested in a service like Vonage but I keep reading both good stories and horror stories about VOIP companies. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. My questions are:

  1. I use an older Linksys 802.11b wireless router which serves its purpose just fine. Based on what I saw at Vonage that router is not a supported router. Do I have to upgrade the router to do all this?

  1. I'd like to keep the same two numbers but again I keep reading horror stories on getting a number transferred. How difficult is this and do I have to now pay for VOIP and the land line company while this transfer takes place?

  2. In researching the different VOIP services it seems that Vonage offers the best quality in voice, billing and features. I am certainly not looking for the cheapest because I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for. So I'm open to any suggestions here.

  1. On my land line bill the government rapes and pillages me each month with tons of taxes and fees. Will this be true on a VOIP bill? If the service costs .99 a month how fat will that bill be after the government gets its slice?

I'm aware of the phone not working with the power off or my cable internet connection dead. I'm also aware of the 911 issues which is why our home line would remain as is.

Thanks again for your help. Don

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Nope. Assuming your router has a free ethernet plug, you can plug a Vonage box into it.

You do pay for both the old and new service until porting is done. How hard it is and how long it takes depends on who the old telco is and on a lot of random luck.

My experience with Vonage was that early on the quality was OK, but the voice quality deteriorated to the point where I couldn't understand anyone, and I was completely unable to contact anyone at Vonage to help, so I cancelled it and switched to Lingo which has been fine. (The only way I got Vonage's attention to cancel the service was to turn off the credit card number they were billing.) Porting the number from Vonage to Lingo took about a week.

When I had them, it was just the 3% federal tax, but how about calling Vonage and asking them? That'll also give you a feeling for whether their customers service is any good.

R's, John

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John R. Levine

Skype is awesome no doubt. The quality of my calls to friends in Sydney is better than a land line phone. And I also use Skype out to call land line phones or cell phones. However the quality of SkypeIn and Skypeout isn't nearly as good as PC to PC using Skype. SkypeIn forces me to sit by the computer to receive calls. It is ok but it is no replacement for regular phone service.

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The is no monthly charge for Skype. Just buy a SkypeIn number for $30/year. Get more than one number if you want. Get one in the city where your kid is in college so they can call you for free. I am very pleased with the quality and when I buy $10 worth of calls (at $0.022 per minute) my credit card is billed $10. No taxes, no fees, no charge for not publishing my phone number.

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Sam Marlison

Many folks enjoy the combination of a land line, wired and a VOIP box for long distance. This creates to "ports" or locations where you plug a phone into, the voip and the pstn (old phone network). There is a device called "combine-a-line" that address this need, at low cost, and high sound fidelity, also has surge protector on all line to protect your equipment. So you can combine the voip and pstn, two voip ports, or twp pstn lines, into a single combined line. The unit does not use batteries or wall wart power, this reduces desktop clutter, and reduces the noise associated with the wall wart power supply.


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