Residential VOIP newbie questions

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Jonathan, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Guest

    Hi,
    I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit. I'm
    completely new to VOIP though and have some questions:

    1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?
    2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?
    3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
    use?
    4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?
    5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?
    6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want to
    know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.

    TIA for answering these. I'm really interested in pursuing VOIP service;
    you can't beat the price!

    thanks,
    Jonathan
     
    Jonathan, Aug 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. >I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit.

    >1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?


    It varies a lot depending on how congested your net connection is.
    When it's good it's very good, when it's bad, it's choppy and echoy.

    >2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?


    The delay is unobjectionable, the echo is only bad when the voice
    connection is bad.

    >3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
    >use?


    At idle it's negligible, in use it's 90Kb unless you tell it to use
    lower quality mode.

    >4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?


    Keeping in mind the 90Kb per connection, yes.

    >5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?


    Vonage says it'll work, but I haven't had much luck getting fax
    connections to work reliably. I use my landline for the rare outgoing
    fax, efax for incoming.

    >6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want to
    >know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.


    Having watched the traffic from the ATA 186, I see it uses DNS, NTP,
    and TFTP to get booted. After that it mostly seems to be UDP port
    5061 for control and 10000 for data. If you ask Vonage, they'll tell
    you.
     
    John R. Levine, Aug 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan Guest

    Thanks a bunch, this is the type of info. I really needed!

    "John R. Levine" <> wrote in message
    news:cfh7j3$rfd$...
    > >I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit.

    >
    > >1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than

    POTS?
    >
    > It varies a lot depending on how congested your net connection is.
    > When it's good it's very good, when it's bad, it's choppy and echoy.
    >
    > >2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?

    >
    > The delay is unobjectionable, the echo is only bad when the voice
    > connection is bad.
    >
    > >3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
    > >use?

    >
    > At idle it's negligible, in use it's 90Kb unless you tell it to use
    > lower quality mode.
    >
    > >4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?

    >
    > Keeping in mind the 90Kb per connection, yes.
    >
    > >5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be

    reduced?
    >
    > Vonage says it'll work, but I haven't had much luck getting fax
    > connections to work reliably. I use my landline for the rare outgoing
    > fax, efax for incoming.
    >
    > >6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want

    to
    > >know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.

    >
    > Having watched the traffic from the ATA 186, I see it uses DNS, NTP,
    > and TFTP to get booted. After that it mostly seems to be UDP port
    > 5061 for control and 10000 for data. If you ask Vonage, they'll tell
    > you.
    >
     
    Jonathan, Aug 13, 2004
    #3
  4. Jonathan

    charlie3 Guest

    > 1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?
    Nobody knows they are talking to me on Vonage until I tell them
    and I use the 50kbs medium setting. My broadband connection generally
    give me 200kbs up and 3-4 times that down.

    > 2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?

    I have an occaisional glitchy call, too few problems to hurt my
    enthusiasm for Vonage.

    > 3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
    > use?


    Vonage allows the customer to set 90, 50, or 30 kbs for call bandwidth
    and if you put the vonage box between your router and cable modem the
    box will reserve bandwidth for itself during calls. I'd guess Vonage
    box uses negligable bandwidth or none when it's idling.

    > 4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?


    I am in a location right now where there are 2 vonage boxes, behind
    the router, and we have not been having problems because of that.

    > 5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?


    I use efax so no experience with that.

    I've written in other news group posts that I waited until i had a
    cell phone before getting VOIP because the internet is not yet as
    reliable as the traditional phone system. Vonage lets the customer
    set up a phone number for forwarding calls during network outages and
    a feature for simultaneous ring. I use the cell phone number for
    both. For me Vonage is the right product at the right price.
     
    charlie3, Aug 14, 2004
    #4
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