VoIP as a replacement for a landline

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Steve Slatcher, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Does anyone here have VoIP provider recommendations where the goal is to
    replace a little used domestic landline.

    I suppose my main criteria are reliabilty and the ability to get the
    provider to sort out any problems that may arise.

    Price is not a huge issue providing I don't need to pay anything like
    BT's line rental charges (I have a cable modem), but I would prefer a
    simple and transparent charging structure rather than one that pushes
    you towards buying a package with cheap headline prices that go up after
    a few months.

    Many thanks

    Steve
     
    Steve Slatcher, Jan 29, 2012
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Steve Slatcher

    Graham. Guest

    On Sun, 29 Jan 2012 23:13:23 +0000, Steve Slatcher
    <> wrote:

    >Does anyone here have VoIP provider recommendations where the goal is to
    >replace a little used domestic landline.
    >
    >I suppose my main criteria are reliabilty and the ability to get the
    >provider to sort out any problems that may arise.
    >
    >Price is not a huge issue providing I don't need to pay anything like
    >BT's line rental charges (I have a cable modem), but I would prefer a
    >simple and transparent charging structure rather than one that pushes
    >you towards buying a package with cheap headline prices that go up after
    >a few months.
    >
    >Many thanks
    >
    >Steve


    If you want to port your existing landline number to the new service
    then voipfone.co.uk will do that for 20GBP

    Outgoing calls are reasonable if you consider 10p/min to a UK mobile
    reasonable, voipcheap.co.uk charge about a third of that.

    Of course there is nothing that stopping you from using different
    providers for incoming and outgoing if your hardware supports it.



    --
    Graham.
    %Profound_observation%
     
    Graham., Jan 30, 2012
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Per Steve Slatcher:
    >Does anyone here have VoIP provider recommendations where the goal is to
    >replace a little used domestic landline.
    >
    >I suppose my main criteria are reliabilty and the ability to get the
    >provider to sort out any problems that may arise.


    I'm in the USA.

    Have had my outgoing on CallCentric for what seems like over 2
    years now.

    No reliability issues, exceptionally fast response to questions
    and to a request to have it spoof my land line number.

    A little under .02 USD per minute.
    --
    Pete Cresswell
     
    (PeteCresswell), Jan 30, 2012
    #3
  4. Steve Slatcher

    Woody Guest

    "Steve Slatcher" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Does anyone here have VoIP provider recommendations where the
    > goal is to replace a little used domestic landline.
    >
    > I suppose my main criteria are reliabilty and the ability to
    > get the provider to sort out any problems that may arise.
    >
    > Price is not a huge issue providing I don't need to pay
    > anything like BT's line rental charges (I have a cable modem),
    > but I would prefer a simple and transparent charging structure
    > rather than one that pushes you towards buying a package with
    > cheap headline prices that go up after a few months.
    >
    > Many thanks
    >
    > Steve
    >



    If you have cable why not use that. I have done so for some time
    (admittedly low use) and have never had any problem. I use
    voip.co.uk who charge 2p/min for calls anywhere in Europe. You
    could use a mobile for incoming calls but if you get an ATA you
    don't even need to have your computer on.

    One advantage of voip is that with the right provider you can
    have a number on any UK exchange wherever you are physically.

    Good thing about voip is that you can use it anywhere. When we go
    on hols (caravanning) usually in France we take a laptop with a
    softfone and a USB handset and park up outside McDonalds
    (sometimes even inside where they even let you use their mains!.)
    Hook up to their free wi-fi (which unlike the UK doesn't require
    formal registration) and call the kids and family without worry
    about cost. It also delivers a Harrogate CLI!


    --
    Woody

    harrogate three at ntlworld dot com
     
    Woody, Jan 30, 2012
    #4
  5. Thanks for the replies so far, but I am not sure the nature of my
    question has been totally grasped. I can find out features and prices
    of different providers for myself, and I understand more-or-less what is
    possible.

    But I am specifically thinking of ditching my domestic UK landline, and
    porting my old BT number. My goal is not so much to save money on
    out-going calls, but to avoid paying the line rental, which is the vast
    majority of my bill. But for this to work I want a service that is
    reliable - probably mostly in terms of being available for incoming
    calls. If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more options.

    For example... I have already signed up with Viopfone, and I realise
    that I can port my number to them, but they will charge £2 per month
    after the initial £20. Sipgate have no monthly charge, but from bits
    and pieces I have gleaned on the net, maybe Voipfone is more reliable
    and responsive than Sipgate. If that is the case, £2 seems like a fair
    price to pay. But are Voipfone really better than Sipgate? And what
    about other posibilities. It seems very difficult to get a handle on
    this sort of information.
     
    Steve Slatcher, Jan 30, 2012
    #5
  6. Steve Slatcher

    BC Guest

    On 30/01/2012 18:41, Steve Slatcher wrote:

    >
    > But I am specifically thinking of ditching my domestic UK landline, and
    > porting my old BT number. My goal is not so much to save money on
    > out-going calls, but to avoid paying the line rental, which is the vast
    > majority of my bill. But for this to work I want a service that is
    > reliable - probably mostly in terms of being available for incoming
    > calls. If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more options.


    I ditched my landline and ported to voip.co.uk around June 2007. I only
    use them to call 0800 / 0808 freephone numbers, as all calls to
    landlines and mobiles are made from my 3 mobile. Never had any major
    problems and to be fair the line is as reliable as a standard landline.
    I have had about 8p credit on the account for probably well over a year,
    but voip.co.uk don't have a problem with that - I guess cos they get
    call termination fees from people calling my voip line.

    Mom ported her Virgin number to Sipgate last July and like me, uses her
    mobile to make unlimited free calls to landlines and inclusive calls to
    mobiles. The Sipgate line seems to be just as reliable as the line from
    voip.co.uk, the only reason we chose Sipgate is because voip.co.uk
    currently do not take new residential customers. The only point I would
    make if you're going to use Sipgate is to be very careful which codec
    you use in your settings; G711a / G711u seem to cause audio problems.
    Mom had exactly the same issues with those codecs that I experienced
    when using them on Sipgate (on my second line); whilst on a call you
    suddenly get a loud buzzing noise over the incoming caller, making it
    impossible to hear what they are saying. Following contact with Sipgate
    Support we changed the codec to G726-16 which completely cured the problem.

    Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I can see
    are the vast amount of call features available, which apart from caller
    ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you dont get with Sipgate.

    Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615 router,
    connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on 20Mb, the service
    is fine on both. If you want to use the same Linksys unit without
    connecting it to a seperate router, be advised that it only passes 7.5Mb
    to your pc, no matter what connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's
    connected behing the D-Link.

    If you want to know anything else please ask.
     
    BC, Jan 30, 2012
    #6
  7. Steve Slatcher

    Graham. Guest

    On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 19:14:31 +0000, BC
    <> wrote:

    >On 30/01/2012 18:41, Steve Slatcher wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> But I am specifically thinking of ditching my domestic UK landline, and
    >> porting my old BT number. My goal is not so much to save money on
    >> out-going calls, but to avoid paying the line rental, which is the vast
    >> majority of my bill. But for this to work I want a service that is
    >> reliable - probably mostly in terms of being available for incoming
    >> calls. If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more options.

    >
    >I ditched my landline and ported to voip.co.uk around June 2007. I only
    >use them to call 0800 / 0808 freephone numbers, as all calls to
    >landlines and mobiles are made from my 3 mobile. Never had any major
    >problems and to be fair the line is as reliable as a standard landline.
    >I have had about 8p credit on the account for probably well over a year,
    >but voip.co.uk don't have a problem with that - I guess cos they get
    >call termination fees from people calling my voip line.
    >
    >Mom ported her Virgin number to Sipgate last July and like me, uses her
    >mobile to make unlimited free calls to landlines and inclusive calls to
    >mobiles. The Sipgate line seems to be just as reliable as the line from
    >voip.co.uk, the only reason we chose Sipgate is because voip.co.uk
    >currently do not take new residential customers. The only point I would
    >make if you're going to use Sipgate is to be very careful which codec
    >you use in your settings; G711a / G711u seem to cause audio problems.
    >Mom had exactly the same issues with those codecs that I experienced
    >when using them on Sipgate (on my second line); whilst on a call you
    >suddenly get a loud buzzing noise over the incoming caller, making it
    >impossible to hear what they are saying. Following contact with Sipgate
    >Support we changed the codec to G726-16 which completely cured the problem.
    >
    >Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I can see
    >are the vast amount of call features available, which apart from caller
    >ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you dont get with Sipgate.
    >
    >Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615 router,
    >connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on 20Mb, the service
    >is fine on both. If you want to use the same Linksys unit without
    >connecting it to a seperate router, be advised that it only passes 7.5Mb
    >to your pc, no matter what connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's
    >connected behing the D-Link.
    >
    >If you want to know anything else please ask.


    Sipgate certainly does support call waiting, I think it's more a
    function of the ATA than the provider. Anyway I just tried it on line
    2 of a PAP2 just to make sure.




    --
    Graham.
    %Profound_observation%
     
    Graham., Jan 30, 2012
    #7
  8. Steve Slatcher

    BC Guest

    On 30/01/2012 20:11, Graham. wrote:

    >>
    >> Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I can see
    >> are the vast amount of call features available, which apart from caller
    >> ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you dont get with Sipgate.
    >>
    >> Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615 router,
    >> connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on 20Mb, the service
    >> is fine on both. If you want to use the same Linksys unit without
    >> connecting it to a seperate router, be advised that it only passes 7.5Mb
    >> to your pc, no matter what connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's
    >> connected behing the D-Link.
    >>
    >> If you want to know anything else please ask.

    >
    > Sipgate certainly does support call waiting, I think it's more a
    > function of the ATA than the provider. Anyway I just tried it on line
    > 2 of a PAP2 just to make sure.
    >
    >
    >
    >


    Exactly what I said.
     
    BC, Jan 30, 2012
    #8
  9. Steve Slatcher

    Graham. Guest

    On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 20:42:22 +0000, BC
    <> wrote:

    >On 30/01/2012 20:11, Graham. wrote:
    >
    >>>
    >>> Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I can see
    >>> are the vast amount of call features available, which apart from caller
    >>> ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you dont get with Sipgate.
    >>>
    >>> Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615 router,
    >>> connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on 20Mb, the service
    >>> is fine on both. If you want to use the same Linksys unit without
    >>> connecting it to a seperate router, be advised that it only passes 7.5Mb
    >>> to your pc, no matter what connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's
    >>> connected behing the D-Link.
    >>>
    >>> If you want to know anything else please ask.

    >>
    >> Sipgate certainly does support call waiting, I think it's more a
    >> function of the ATA than the provider. Anyway I just tried it on line
    >> 2 of a PAP2 just to make sure.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >Exactly what I said.



    So you did, sorry!

    --
    Graham.
    %Profound_observation%
     
    Graham., Jan 30, 2012
    #9
  10. Steve Slatcher

    Woody Guest

    "BC" <> wrote in message
    news:y_BVq.762$2...
    > On 30/01/2012 18:41, Steve Slatcher wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> But I am specifically thinking of ditching my domestic UK
    >> landline, and
    >> porting my old BT number. My goal is not so much to save money
    >> on
    >> out-going calls, but to avoid paying the line rental, which is
    >> the vast
    >> majority of my bill. But for this to work I want a service
    >> that is
    >> reliable - probably mostly in terms of being available for
    >> incoming
    >> calls. If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more
    >> options.

    >
    > I ditched my landline and ported to voip.co.uk around June
    > 2007. I only use them to call 0800 / 0808 freephone numbers, as
    > all calls to landlines and mobiles are made from my 3 mobile.
    > Never had any major problems and to be fair the line is as
    > reliable as a standard landline. I have had about 8p credit on
    > the account for probably well over a year, but voip.co.uk don't
    > have a problem with that - I guess cos they get call
    > termination fees from people calling my voip line.
    >
    > Mom ported her Virgin number to Sipgate last July and like me,
    > uses her mobile to make unlimited free calls to landlines and
    > inclusive calls to mobiles. The Sipgate line seems to be just
    > as reliable as the line from voip.co.uk, the only reason we
    > chose Sipgate is because voip.co.uk currently do not take new
    > residential customers. The only point I would make if you're
    > going to use Sipgate is to be very careful which codec you use
    > in your settings; G711a / G711u seem to cause audio problems.
    > Mom had exactly the same issues with those codecs that I
    > experienced when using them on Sipgate (on my second line);
    > whilst on a call you suddenly get a loud buzzing noise over the
    > incoming caller, making it impossible to hear what they are
    > saying. Following contact with Sipgate Support we changed the
    > codec to G726-16 which completely cured the problem.
    >
    > Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I
    > can see are the vast amount of call features available, which
    > apart from caller ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you
    > dont get with Sipgate.
    >
    > Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615
    > router, connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on
    > 20Mb, the service is fine on both. If you want to use the same
    > Linksys unit without connecting it to a seperate router, be
    > advised that it only passes 7.5Mb to your pc, no matter what
    > connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's connected behing
    > the D-Link.
    >
    > If you want to know anything else please ask.
    >



    I too am on voip.co.uk and have had no complaints. Their support
    is also quick and helpful.

    Sipgate a few years ago were a bit naff with many dropouts but I
    understand they are now drastically better. However they have one
    major benefit over voip.co.uk. If you are calling someone else on
    voip but with another provider there is usually a dialling code
    between Sipgate and that provider, which if you use that method
    still results in a free call - voip.co.uk don't have the dialling
    code facility and all calls must be fully dialled and thus
    charged.


    --
    Woody

    harrogate three at ntlworld dot com
     
    Woody, Jan 30, 2012
    #10
  11. On 30/01/2012 19:14, BC wrote:
    > On 30/01/2012 18:41, Steve Slatcher wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> But I am specifically thinking of ditching my domestic UK landline, and
    >> porting my old BT number. My goal is not so much to save money on
    >> out-going calls, but to avoid paying the line rental, which is the vast
    >> majority of my bill. But for this to work I want a service that is
    >> reliable - probably mostly in terms of being available for incoming
    >> calls. If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more options.

    >
    > I ditched my landline and ported to voip.co.uk around June 2007. I only
    > use them to call 0800 / 0808 freephone numbers, as all calls to
    > landlines and mobiles are made from my 3 mobile. Never had any major
    > problems and to be fair the line is as reliable as a standard landline.
    > I have had about 8p credit on the account for probably well over a year,
    > but voip.co.uk don't have a problem with that - I guess cos they get
    > call termination fees from people calling my voip line.
    >
    > Mom ported her Virgin number to Sipgate last July and like me, uses her
    > mobile to make unlimited free calls to landlines and inclusive calls to
    > mobiles. The Sipgate line seems to be just as reliable as the line from
    > voip.co.uk, the only reason we chose Sipgate is because voip.co.uk
    > currently do not take new residential customers. The only point I would
    > make if you're going to use Sipgate is to be very careful which codec
    > you use in your settings; G711a / G711u seem to cause audio problems.
    > Mom had exactly the same issues with those codecs that I experienced
    > when using them on Sipgate (on my second line); whilst on a call you
    > suddenly get a loud buzzing noise over the incoming caller, making it
    > impossible to hear what they are saying. Following contact with Sipgate
    > Support we changed the codec to G726-16 which completely cured the problem.
    >
    > Looking at the chargable voip services, the main differnces I can see
    > are the vast amount of call features available, which apart from caller
    > ID, Call Waiting and also Call Waiting ID you dont get with Sipgate.


    Thanks for those comments. It's pushed Sipgate up my list and given me
    reassurance that "replacing" a BT landine in this way is realistic.

    > Both mom and I use a Linksys SPA2102 connected to a D-Link 615 router,
    > connected to a cable modem. Mom is on 10Mb and I'm on 20Mb, the service
    > is fine on both. If you want to use the same Linksys unit without
    > connecting it to a seperate router, be advised that it only passes 7.5Mb
    > to your pc, no matter what connection speed you pay for. Hence why it's
    > connected behing the D-Link.


    Hmmmm, that's interesting too. I have stuck my SPA2102 between my modem
    and router on the understanding it would give priority to voice. I only
    have 10Mb so the difference was not too noticable when I installed the
    ATA a few days ago, but when that nice Mr Branson doubles my bandwidth I
    don't want it clobbered. Looks like I can configure my router to give
    priorty to the ATA so I will try that.

    --
    www.winenous.co.uk
     
    Steve Slatcher, Jan 30, 2012
    #11
  12. On 30/01/2012 19:14, BC wrote:

    > If you want to know anything else please ask.


    OK, here's a quick question while I have your attention. Do you happen
    to know of a good webpage that explains how to setup the SPA2102 so it
    will hang off my router rather than sit between my modem and router?. I
    found a couple of pages with Google, but I am not sure how easily I will
    manage it without more detail. (My networking skills are not great, but
    I can usually hack around untill things work.)

    If not, don't worry about providing detailed help here. It is early
    days for me yet and I will tackle the issue later, and kick off another
    thread if neccessary.

    Many thanks

    Steve
     
    Steve Slatcher, Jan 30, 2012
    #12
  13. Steve Slatcher

    Chris Davies Guest

    Steve Slatcher <> wrote:
    > Do you happen to know of a good webpage that explains how to setup
    > the SPA2102 so it will hang off my router rather than sit between my
    > modem and router?


    Try searching back-issues of this newsgroup. Configuration of an SPA3102
    (or its sibling, the PAP2) seems to come up every year or so.

    Chris
     
    Chris Davies, Jan 30, 2012
    #13
  14. Steve Slatcher

    Woody Guest

    "Steve Slatcher" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 30/01/2012 19:14, BC wrote:
    >
    >> If you want to know anything else please ask.

    >
    > OK, here's a quick question while I have your attention. Do
    > you happen to know of a good webpage that explains how to setup
    > the SPA2102 so it will hang off my router rather than sit
    > between my modem and router?. I found a couple of pages with
    > Google, but I am not sure how easily I will manage it without
    > more detail. (My networking skills are not great, but I can
    > usually hack around untill things work.)
    >
    > If not, don't worry about providing detailed help here. It is
    > early days for me yet and I will tackle the issue later, and
    > kick off another thread if neccessary.
    >
    > Many thanks
    >
    > Steve



    As it uses DHCP the setup will be the same. The ATA provides DHCP
    on the outgoing side to - in your case - the router and demands
    an address from the cable modem. Put it the other side of the
    router and it will work just the same - I did.

    As for line speed, I was only on 1Mb when I started with mine and
    ran it for a long time on 2Mb with no problems whatsoever. 4Mb
    was a bonus as was 10Mb for the Interweb but it made no
    difference to the phone, so it matters not how nice Mr Branson
    is, it will make no difference whatsoever when he gets around to
    giving us all 20Mb!

    Incidentally, in case you didn't know, you can register with
    Sipgate who will allocate you a number for incoming calls (and
    supply a softfone if you want) free of charge which you can set
    up and use as a test. You can also dial out to their test number
    and (I'm fairly certain) to another Sipgate user without charge -
    you only need to pay when you make outgoing calls to the PSTN.
    Also once registered you will have access to their support pages
    where you will likely find the exact setup details for using your
    ATA on their system. You will however need some more expanded
    details to make it be able to dial local numbers without the full
    dial code, to make it give you a UK dial tone, and to make it
    give you a UK ring sound - but hey, Google is you friend.
     
    Woody, Jan 30, 2012
    #14
  15. On 30/01/2012 23:34, Woody wrote:

    > As it uses DHCP the setup will be the same. The ATA provides DHCP
    > on the outgoing side to - in your case - the router and demands
    > an address from the cable modem. Put it the other side of the
    > router and it will work just the same - I did.


    OK. Thanks.I will give that a go. I cannot actually test my ATA
    properly now as I am still waiting for a an RJ11 to BT cable, but one
    thing I noticed earlier this evening when I tried that configuration was
    that I could not access the configuration pages. It seems I need to
    turn on the web server, and probably set up a static IP address.

    > As for line speed, I was only on 1Mb when I started with mine and
    > ran it for a long time on 2Mb with no problems whatsoever. 4Mb
    > was a bonus as was 10Mb for the Interweb but it made no
    > difference to the phone, so it matters not how nice Mr Branson
    > is, it will make no difference whatsoever when he gets around to
    > giving us all 20Mb!


    It matters in the sense that if I have a 10Mbit service and the ATA
    router allows through 7.5Mbit, then I lose 2.5Mbit or so. When Mr
    Branson increases my speed to 20Mbit, my ATA router will still only let
    through 7.5, and cause me to lose 12.5Mbit. It does not matter in the
    sense that when Virgin increase my speed it will make no difference to
    what my computer sees!

    --
    www.winenous.co.uk
     
    Steve Slatcher, Jan 30, 2012
    #15
  16. Steve Slatcher

    BC Guest

    On 30/01/2012 22:55, Steve Slatcher wrote:
    > On 30/01/2012 19:14, BC wrote:
    >
    >> If you want to know anything else please ask.

    >
    > OK, here's a quick question while I have your attention. Do you happen
    > to know of a good webpage that explains how to setup the SPA2102 so it
    > will hang off my router rather than sit between my modem and router?. I
    > found a couple of pages with Google, but I am not sure how easily I will
    > manage it without more detail. (My networking skills are not great, but
    > I can usually hack around untill things work.)
    >
    > If not, don't worry about providing detailed help here. It is early days
    > for me yet and I will tackle the issue later, and kick off another
    > thread if neccessary.
    >
    > Many thanks
    >
    > Steve


    As Woody says, it works just the same behind the router. If you want me
    to send you some screen shots of the settings / dial plan I use then let
    me know.

    Some good info in these forums:

    http://forum.voxilla.com
     
    BC, Jan 31, 2012
    #16
  17. Steve Slatcher

    Roger Mills Guest

    On 30/01/2012 19:14, BC wrote:

    >
    > Mom ported her Virgin number to Sipgate last July and like me, uses her
    > mobile to make unlimited free calls to landlines and inclusive calls to
    > mobiles.


    Sorry to hi-jack the thread, but could SKS please explain the difference
    between "free" and "inclusive" calls.

    I notice that BT make the distinction with their evening and weekend
    package - calls to 01/02/03 being "free" but to 0845/0870 being
    "inclusive". What gives?
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    ____________
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
    Roger Mills, Jan 31, 2012
    #17
  18. Steve Slatcher

    Roger Mills Guest

    On 30/01/2012 21:31, Woody wrote:

    >
    > I too am on voip.co.uk and have had no complaints. Their support
    > is also quick and helpful.
    >

    Ditto, but I only generally use them for outgoing calls, and I present
    my BT number when so doing - so that any returned calls come in on the
    BT line.

    Their support is indeed good. The only thing that worries me is it
    always seems to be provided by a single named individual. What happens
    if he is run over by a bus?

    > Sipgate a few years ago were a bit naff with many dropouts but I
    > understand they are now drastically better. However they have one
    > major benefit over voip.co.uk. If you are calling someone else on
    > voip but with another provider there is usually a dialling code
    > between Sipgate and that provider, which if you use that method
    > still results in a free call - voip.co.uk don't have the dialling
    > code facility and all calls must be fully dialled and thus
    > charged.
    >

    I believe that calls to other voip.co.uk users are free despite the code
    - but that doesn't include customers of other VoIP providers.
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    ____________
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
    Roger Mills, Jan 31, 2012
    #18
  19. In article <>,
    Steve Slatcher <> wrote:
    >Does anyone here have VoIP provider recommendations where the goal is to
    >replace a little used domestic landline.
    >
    >I suppose my main criteria are reliabilty and the ability to get the
    >provider to sort out any problems that may arise.
    >
    >Price is not a huge issue providing I don't need to pay anything like
    >BT's line rental charges (I have a cable modem), but I would prefer a
    >simple and transparent charging structure rather than one that pushes
    >you towards buying a package with cheap headline prices that go up after
    >a few months.


    Looks like you've had some good replies so-far - I'll just add a little
    bit more from the other side as it were (part of what I do is to run a
    little VoIP company - however my targert audience is the SME, and I
    think this is for your home phone, so I can't help you directly...)

    I think you're aware that porting a number from a BT (style) landline
    will cease all services - including ADSL, but you have cable, so that
    shouldn't be the issue.

    The issue is that of quality - of voice. And one thing to remember is
    that in our asymetrical world it's the outgoing bandwidth that's the
    crux of it all - as well as the "quality" of the ISP. Unless you're
    using compression, then you need 80Kb/sec *each way* for a phone call -
    so 80Kb/sec in and at the same time, 80Kb/sec out. I usually budget for
    100Kb/sec each way when working out the capacity in terms on numbers
    of concurrent calls as it makes the calculations easier and builds in
    a bit of spare.

    However, speed isn't everything - the digital audio in VoIP is made
    up of 50 packets per second, each packet having a payload of 160 bytes..

    So think about that 10MB email you're sending - it will go out in full
    1500 byte chunks and if you're on a call at the time, the VoIP packets
    have to be mixed in-between those 1500 byte packets.

    So while it can work really well, occasiinally it doesn't always work
    well.

    Good routers and apply QoS to the data stream, but at some point you
    need to clock out those 1500 byte packets in-between the 160 byte
    packets - then you get jitter on the line - which is copeable with
    to an extent.

    So things that will stop VoIP being satisfactory is basically using your
    Internet line for anything else - that's assuming the ISP is actually
    up to carrying those small packets over their own network efficiently.

    (And ISP quality is hard to quantify - some ISPs are better than others
    although you don't have much of a choice with cable - how does your own
    cable connection feel? Fast, responsive? Good for games? or does it slow
    down to a crawl at peak times and become sluggish, etc.)

    The main things that will give issues - peer to peer file sharing - that's
    the real big killer in a home environment. Gaming too - actually gaming
    is a very similar scenario to VoIP - lots of communications both ways,
    not neccessarily a lot of data, but lots of small packets in a time
    sensitive manner.

    So if you get good games performance then VoIP ought to be fine - until
    you start to play a game :)

    I used to suggest Draytek routers for VoIP, but I've sort of gone-off
    them now. Currently looking at the Billion 7800n for a general purpose
    device (which supports IPv6 too) It's QoS does seem to work.

    (And one other thing to remember is that QoS really only works on
    outgoing traffic - once that packet has clocked its way down your wires
    it's really too late to do anything with it)

    Before you switch I'd do some tests though - Sipgate are cheap and easy.
    Get a number for free and stick a tenners worth of call credit in it,
    then make/take some calls - and see how you get on. You'll need a "phone"
    though but a soft-phone on a PC would be sufficient to do some tests. Do
    use a headset though otherwise you'll suffer from echo and other issues.

    The pick an ISTP you're happy with and port the number and go for it!

    The going rate is about £20 per number, so easy to offset against
    the line-rental of your BT line, and even if some places are charging
    a few quid a month just for the service then it's still cheaper in the
    long-run.

    My phone of choice for home-workers is something in the Gigaset range
    it's a DECT base station and handsets - the base can still plug into
    an analogue line as well as your LAN for VoIP - then the handsets
    are no different for other members of the family. But you can also
    use an analogue adapter and your existing analogue phones.

    Now you can, if you have the time and energy go chasing free calls and
    multiple operators to get free calls, but my take on it is that I'd
    rather pay a small fee to have something that works and is reliable
    than to spen the time chasing up every little betamax reseller of the
    day just to save a penny on a phone calls, hwever YMMV, as they say!

    Good luck!

    Gordon
     
    Gordon Henderson, Jan 31, 2012
    #19
  20. In message <>, Steve Slatcher
    <> writes
    > If I need to make outgoing calls there are many more options.
    >
    >For example... I have already signed up with Viopfone, and I realise
    >that I can port my number to them, but they will charge £2 per month
    >after the initial £20. Sipgate have no monthly charge, but from bits
    >and pieces I have gleaned on the net, maybe Voipfone is more reliable
    >and responsive than Sipgate. If that is the case, £2 seems like a fair
    >price to pay. But are Voipfone really better than Sipgate? And what
    >about other posibilities. It seems very difficult to get a handle on
    >this sort of information.


    Make sure that all the numbers you call are available through an
    outgoing provider. I have problems making calls to certain 0844 numbers
    and sometime have to revert to using the landline :-( A mobile could
    undoubtedly make the call but at quite a high rate.

    Voipfone don't list a price for 0844 numbers so I guess they don't let
    you call them. I've not found a Betamax company offering access to
    them. Sipgate list them at 5 p/min but all the ones I try return error
    messages. Sipgate support say "There are a few 0844 number ranges that
    are simply unreachable from sipgate and the numbers you are trying to
    dial are unfortunately in one of these blocks". voip.co.uk lets you
    dial any 0844 but, as someone else noted, they aren't currently
    accepting new private users which is a real shame.

    Malcolm
     
    Malcolm Loades, Jan 31, 2012
    #20
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