Questions on whether to switch to VOIP service

I'm considering switching my home office voice and fax to a VOIP service and have some questions. Thank you in advance for your help.

  1. We have a Motorola surfboard cable modem and an old Linksys wireless B router. Is this ok for VOIP?

  1. The cable modem is in my downstairs office and the fax machine is upstairs in my wife's office and it really needs to stay that way. How would I hook her fax machine up if the adapter has to be next to our cable modem?

  2. It is also important that we keep our existing numbers. The voip companies say our numbers qualify for that but I keep reading horror stories on getting those numbers switched over. Any advice here?

  1. Vonage seems to have the biggest marketing budget but are they the best? I'd rather spend extra money and get the best if there is a best.

  2. I have a two line Uniden 5.6 ghz cordless phone in my office. One line is our home number (which I will not switch to voip) and the other is my home office number (which would be switched to voip). I'm assuming having one line voip and another line a regular voice line is ok since both would each be plugged into the base unit.

Any other words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Thank you for your help.


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The only q's I could help with are part of 2 and 4.

I have AT&T CallVantage and have been very satisfied with it. Voice quality is as good or better than a landline. However, I am using Verizon FiOS and have plenty of bandwidth (5M/2M). Do a search of reviews on CallVantage, Verizon's VoiceWing and Vonage. You will find a lot of unhappy customers with Vonage.

While it would cost you a $20 setup fee to try AT&T with a local number, and then another $20 fee to port your number, that is one way to try VOIP out. Or check with VoiceWing; there may be no cost involved other than a monthly fee to try it out before porting your number over. I had a hiccup in porting my home number to AT&T, but a call to CS straightened things out.

AT&T's telephone adapter (TA) comes with the fax feature disabled. It uses 125K bandwidth. So you must enable it via your account, power off and on the TA, and re-enable the hookup. Do it again to disable the fax feature. For the rare instances when I need to fax something, I take it elsewhere. Too much trouble with VOIP.


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There are many known issues with faxing over VoIP. You'll find that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't without much consistancy. Some descriptions of the problems and resolutions below.

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(Talks about vonage specifically)

My company has had several customers with issues faxing over VoIP. We've been able to resolve some of the issues but most of the time customers never are happy at the end of the day with faxing over VoIP. As a matter of fact we've began converting VoIP lines being used for fax purposes back to POTS service. It simply works better.

Also, what are your reasons for switching to VoIP. Is there some feature you're looking for that isn't available over regular POTS service? Are you looking to increase the quality of your voice conversations? Keep in mind that VoIP service travels over the same median that seems to randomly drop for a few seconds at a time. When checking your email or surfing you deal with that but in voice conversations it's not nearly as tolerable.

Our customers that are happiest with VoIP are medium sized businesses that have multiple locations, need features that aren't available through POTS, or are traveling a lot. The customers who end up canceling are ones who try to do the same thing with VoIP that they were doing with their previous phone system.

Hope this helps.

D> I'm considering switching my home office voice and fax to a VOIP

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I've not tried it much, but I did a few tests with Gradwell and Sipgate here in the UK and it worked fine using the normal G711a codec that I use for voice.

YMMV of course.


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Ivor Jones

I can only help with one question.

When we moved into a new house, I took my phone service to our cable tv provider, Charter Communications. I'm not sure that was a smart decision, but I made it. My number could not be transferred (they follow geography guidelined of our utilities commission). I also subscribed to SunRocket who didn't care about the utilities commision, and transferred the old number.

Before considering doing the following, recognize that I made SURE that there was no connection to local phone (BellSouth) lines; if I failed in that, the VoIP boxes would have been destroyed.

Charter, as part of their install, ran their phone output into my house phone wiring, connecting at the customer side of the demarc phone box. I ran the SunRocket "Gizmo" line to the same box, and connected it to the line 2 pair. (Observe polarities to be sure all phones work) There than some crosstalk (likely from the parallel vs twisted wiring in the house, but possibly from one of the multi-line phones), all works.

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Thanks for all your opinions and suggestions. The ONLY reason I was considering VOIP for two of our three lines was to save some money. But based on what I see out here I think I'm going to pass for now. I'm quite technical but I have too much going on with my company to worry about tweaking voip. My wife is a remax agent who uses our fax machine all the time and simply cannot afford anything less than a totally reliable connection for faxing. Thank God I had a choice of phone companies and dumped Qwest (probably the worst phone company on the planet) and went with a smaller company. Slighty less money, more features and my bill is the same each month. Imagine that.

Thanks again for helping me out here.

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