VOIP: to have or not to have

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Allan Gould, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Allan Gould

    Allan Gould Guest

    [Reposted from uk.telecom, where incorrectly posted]
    VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have it, but maybe
    need to review that decision. The main reason I don't use it seems to
    be that I don't know many (if any) people that I ring who have it (and
    therefore can't get the full benefit). I don't make a high volume of
    calls to any one number (that may or may not be a VOIP number). If I
    had VOIP, and I ring a non-VOIP person, I would have to pay call charges
    (about 1p/min?). Also, if I make international calls (not many), I can
    usually find a cheap (1p/min) number from that trusty old friend,
    http://niftylist.co.uk/ (who are presumably using some clever
    international internet-related VOIP routing comms). I typically have
    enough free minutes & texts on my landline (which I need for ISP
    broadband subscription) and mobile packages. I can't see the advantage
    of having VOIP at present. Am I missing something?
    Allan Gould, Dec 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. Allan Gould

    Roger Mills Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
    Allan Gould <> wrote:

    > [Reposted from uk.telecom, where incorrectly posted]
    > VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have it, but maybe
    > need to review that decision. The main reason I don't use it seems to
    > be that I don't know many (if any) people that I ring who have it (and
    > therefore can't get the full benefit). I don't make a high volume of
    > calls to any one number (that may or may not be a VOIP number). If I
    > had VOIP, and I ring a non-VOIP person, I would have to pay call
    > charges (about 1p/min?). Also, if I make international calls (not
    > many), I can usually find a cheap (1p/min) number from that trusty
    > old friend, http://niftylist.co.uk/ (who are presumably using some
    > clever international internet-related VOIP routing comms). I
    > typically have enough free minutes & texts on my landline (which I
    > need for ISP broadband subscription) and mobile packages. I can't see
    > the advantage of having VOIP at present. Am I missing something?


    Probably not! A lot depends on individual circumstances.

    My wife and I are retired, and in a lot during the daytime, and - although
    we don't make that many phone calls - we often want to use the phone at the
    same time, or one of us wants to use the phone while the other wants the
    line left open because they are expecting an important incoming call.

    Our solution is to use VoiP for virtually all outgoing calls (at 1ppm with
    voip.co.uk[1]) and to use the BT landline for incoming calls. Calls are
    charged by the second, with no minimum per-call charge - so if we get BT
    Answer rather than a person, and ring off without leaving a message, the
    call costs a fraction of a penny rather than BT's 6p or whatever. Our VoiP
    system is set up to present the BT landline number rather than the VoiP
    number when making outgoing calls - so anyone returning a call automatically
    does so to the landline.

    We need the BT line for broadband, but pay the lowest line rental
    available - with no bundled calls. Also, we only use our mobile phones for
    emergencies and when away from home, so don't have a monthly contract or
    bundled minutes with them.

    [1] There is an option to pay £2 per month and get free evening and weekend
    calls, with daytime calls costing 2p each - but my monthly analysis of calls
    made invariably shows that I'm better off just paying the 1ppm for all
    calls.
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    ______
    Email address maintained for newsgroup use only, and not regularly
    monitored.. Messages sent to it may not be read for several weeks.
    PLEASE REPLY TO NEWSGROUP!
    Roger Mills, Dec 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. Allan Gould

    Al Paca Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 16:32:52 -0000, "Roger Mills"
    <> wrote:

    >[1] There is an option to pay £2 per month and get free evening and weekend
    >calls, with daytime calls costing 2p each - but my monthly analysis of calls
    >made invariably shows that I'm better off just paying the 1ppm for all
    >calls.


    This option is now no longer offered to new customers or existing
    customers who have let this part of their package lapse.
    Al Paca, Dec 12, 2007
    #3
  4. Allan Gould

    Iain Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    Roger Mills wrote:

    > [1] There is an option to pay £2 per month and get free evening and weekend
    > calls, with daytime calls costing 2p each - but my monthly analysis of calls
    > made invariably shows that I'm better off just paying the 1ppm for all
    > calls.


    There used to be. But there isn't any more.
    Iain, Dec 12, 2007
    #4
  5. Allan Gould

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    "Allan Gould" <> wrote in message
    news:
    : : [Reposted from uk.telecom, where incorrectly posted]
    : : VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have
    : : it, but maybe need to review that decision. The main
    : : reason I don't use it seems to be that I don't know
    : : many (if any) people that I ring who have it (and
    : : therefore can't get the full benefit). I don't make a
    : : high volume of calls to any one number (that may or may
    : : not be a VOIP number). If I had VOIP, and I ring a
    : : non-VOIP person, I would have to pay call charges
    : : (about 1p/min?). Also, if I make international calls
    : : (not many), I can usually find a cheap (1p/min) number
    : : from that trusty old friend, http://niftylist.co.uk/
    : : (who are presumably using some clever international
    : : internet-related VOIP routing comms). I typically have
    : : enough free minutes & texts on my landline (which I
    : : need for ISP broadband subscription) and mobile
    : : packages. I can't see the advantage of having VOIP at
    : : present. Am I missing something?

    To me, the advantage of VoIP is that you can have multiple numbers (in
    different areas if you want) at little or no extra cost. I have numbers in
    London, Birmingham, the USA and Germany, in addition to a couple in my own
    local area. Ok a bit OTT but then I'm a nerd ;-)

    The US number is particularly useful as my friends there, who have
    inclusive calls to any US number on their landline calling plan, can call
    me for free any time. It costs me 1.5p/min to call them, so what I usually
    do is call them, then they call me back. Total cost 1.5p for a call that
    can go on for an hour and a half ;-)

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Dec 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Allan Gould

    Woody Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    To my mind the main advantage of having voip is that it gives you a
    second line - if you use Sipgate you get a number and can receive calls
    with no cost. (You only have to pay if you want to make calls.) The voip
    number can be undisclosed so you can avoid callers you don't want to
    talk to as well.

    As others have said, if you have particular people that you call and
    that have broadband as well, then your calls can be free. If you have
    an ATA (analogue telephone adapter) you PC doesn't even need
    to be switched on.

    The main catch for most people is that broadband comes down the same
    line as your POTS (plan old telephone system) so if you loose your
    landline you also loose voip. I'm lucky as my Internet is cable but my
    landline is BT, so I will never loose both - hopefully.

    Having said all that I saw something on uk.teleocm a few months ago
    called
    18185 which (for UK landline calls) costs 5p connection at any time -
    and that's it. No matter how long you stay on line the call is free. I
    know that is little different for evening and weekend calls on BT, but
    it makes one heck of a difference for daytime calls. Their international
    calls are also 4p connection and a few pence a minute. My wife has
    called a sick friend in Belgium many times over the last couple of
    months and the cost has never been more than 1p/min - occasionally
    0.5p/min! www.18185.co.uk


    --
    Woody

    harrogate three at ntlworld dot com
    Woody, Dec 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Allan Gould

    RH Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    "Allan Gould" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > [Reposted from uk.telecom, where incorrectly posted]
    > VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have it, but maybe need
    > to review that decision. The main reason I don't use it seems to be that
    > I don't know many (if any) people that I ring who have it (and therefore
    > can't get the full benefit). I don't make a high volume of calls to any
    > one number (that may or may not be a VOIP number). If I had VOIP, and I
    > ring a non-VOIP person, I would have to pay call charges (about 1p/min?).
    > Also, if I make international calls (not many), I can usually find a cheap
    > (1p/min) number from that trusty old friend, http://niftylist.co.uk/ (who
    > are presumably using some clever international internet-related VOIP
    > routing comms). I typically have enough free minutes & texts on my
    > landline (which I need for ISP broadband subscription) and mobile
    > packages. I can't see the advantage of having VOIP at present. Am I
    > missing something?


    I have pretty much come to the same conclusion. I spent a fortune playing
    with Asterisk,
    getting Nice Cisco phones,all fun and games for a while, I was self employed
    and had spare time.
    however now I can not be bothered, the amount of savings I make at home via
    VOIP at home now probably would be
    less the cost of leccy for the phones I have.

    I went down the road of trying to have a multitude of VOIP in numbers in
    different places, and to be honest it tended to piss more off.
    Most people not really that bothered which number they call as long as it
    works which is not always the case.

    Nowerdays the closest I come to VOIP is uisng Skype. The VOIP nazis on the
    group will no doubt say its not a real VOIP system. But is pretty much the
    most useful system around as if any of your friends are likely to be using a
    VOIP system it will be SKYPE, I know also have a Skyphone from Three which
    allows me free skype calls on my mobile. This function has sometimes saved
    me more money in 1 day than rest of my home based VOIP system in 2 years.
    RH, Dec 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Allan Gould

    John Geddes Guest

    Allan Gould wrote:
    > ... I can't see the advantage
    > of having VOIP at present. Am I missing something?


    Great for families with teenagers:

    - very cheap way of giving kids their own phone in their room with their
    own PSTN number (saves costs for their friends who can call them much
    cheaper than on mobiles, reduces their exposure to RF, and a real help
    if you live in an area where mobile coverage is poor)

    - great to have a second number for family and close friends to try when
    PSTN line is in use (eg so that kids can call in for a lift whilst
    spouse is using the phone is in use)

    John Geddes
    Derbyshire
    John Geddes, Dec 13, 2007
    #8
  9. Allan Gould

    Chris Davies Guest

    Allan Gould <> wrote:
    > VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have it, but maybe
    > need to review that decision. [...]


    > I can't see the advantage of having VOIP at present. [...]


    (Hi Allan!) I tend to agree with you. Thanks to Finarea it's considerably
    cheaper for me to use my landline than it is to use Sipgate's VoIP
    service.

    However, VoIP gives me a second line (a "real" 01- number for
    inbound/outbound calls) which I use when I (regularly) work from home. I
    prefer to avoid giving out my real home number to anyone any work, and my
    (Vodafone) mobile doesn't work reliably in my corner of Harrogate.

    Redirecting my work mobile number to my home number (actually a CallSign
    variant) is fine for inbound calls, but I prefer to make outbound calls
    with a separate chargeable call structure rather than mixing them up
    with my personal home calls.

    My wife is a private physiotherapist, and although her published contact
    number is her mobile, we'd prefer it if she could publish a Harrogate
    number. We've been strongly advised against publishing our home number,
    so a second VoIP line would let us do that easily. (CallSign could too,
    but again it's only half the solution.)

    Chris
    Chris Davies, Dec 13, 2007
    #9
  10. Allan Gould

    Chris Davies Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    RH <> wrote:
    > Nowerdays the closest I come to VOIP is uisng Skype. The VOIP nazis on the
    > group will no doubt say its not a real VOIP system.


    Skype is VoIP using a proprietary closed protocol. Most other VoIP
    systems are Standards based, using SIP. I'm not sure of the status of
    IAX but I believe it is (at least) an open protocol.

    It's a shame there's no interoperatbility. (If Skype published its
    protocol then I bet it wouldn't take long for someone to create a
    gateway.)

    Chris
    Chris Davies, Dec 13, 2007
    #10
  11. Allan Gould

    Brian A Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 19:08:45 +0000, Iain <>
    wrote:

    >Roger Mills wrote:
    >
    >> [1] There is an option to pay £2 per month and get free evening and weekend
    >> calls, with daytime calls costing 2p each - but my monthly analysis of calls
    >> made invariably shows that I'm better off just paying the 1ppm for all
    >> calls.

    >
    >There used to be. But there isn't any more.

    Then go for Vyke.co.uk. 2p/call, anytime, to Europe and the US.


    ---
    Remove 'no_spam_' from email address.
    ---
    Brian A, Dec 13, 2007
    #11
  12. Re: to have or not to have

    In article <>,
    Chris Davies <> wrote:
    >RH <> wrote:
    >> Nowerdays the closest I come to VOIP is uisng Skype. The VOIP nazis on the
    >> group will no doubt say its not a real VOIP system.

    >
    >Skype is VoIP using a proprietary closed protocol. Most other VoIP
    >systems are Standards based, using SIP. I'm not sure of the status of
    >IAX but I believe it is (at least) an open protocol.
    >
    >It's a shame there's no interoperatbility. (If Skype published its
    >protocol then I bet it wouldn't take long for someone to create a
    >gateway.)


    There are already several gateways. Eg. see:

    http://www.voip-info.org/wiki-Skype Gateways

    Gordon
    Gordon Henderson, Dec 13, 2007
    #12
  13. Allan Gould

    Iain Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    Brian A wrote:

    >> There used to be. But there isn't any more.

    > Then go for Vyke.co.uk. 2p/call, anytime, to Europe and the US.



    At present, incoming is still voip.co.uk and outgoing is via voipstunt -
    free!
    Iain, Dec 13, 2007
    #13
  14. Allan Gould

    Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 19:17:40 -0000, "Ivor Jones"
    <> wrote:
    It costs me 1.5p/min to call them, so what I usually
    >do is call them, then they call me back. Total cost 1.5p for a call that
    >can go on for an hour and a half ;-)

    SKINFLINT you can't take it with you when you go and no use in leaving
    it for someone else to flush down the toilet .
    , Dec 13, 2007
    #14
  15. Allan Gould

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    <> wrote in message
    news:
    : : On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 19:17:40 -0000, "Ivor Jones"
    : : <> wrote:
    : : It costs me 1.5p/min to call them, so what I usually
    : : : do is call them, then they call me back. Total cost
    : : : 1.5p for a call that can go on for an hour and a half
    : : : ;-)
    : : SKINFLINT you can't take it with you when you go and no
    : : use in leaving it for someone else to flush down the
    : : toilet .

    Oh do shut up Ron. Why spend more money than you have to..?

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Dec 14, 2007
    #15
  16. Re: to have or not to have

    "Allan Gould" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > [Reposted from uk.telecom, where incorrectly posted]
    > VOIP has been around for a while now. I don't use/have it, but maybe need
    > to review that decision. The main reason I don't use it seems to be that
    > I don't know many (if any) people that I ring who have it (and therefore
    > can't get the full benefit). I don't make a high volume of calls to any
    > one number (that may or may not be a VOIP number). If I had VOIP, and I
    > ring a non-VOIP person, I would have to pay call charges (about 1p/min?).
    > Also, if I make international calls (not many), I can usually find a cheap
    > (1p/min) number from that trusty old friend, http://niftylist.co.uk/ (who
    > are presumably using some clever international internet-related VOIP
    > routing comms). I typically have enough free minutes & texts on my
    > landline (which I need for ISP broadband subscription) and mobile
    > packages. I can't see the advantage of having VOIP at present. Am I
    > missing something?



    The startup cost for VOIP can be small, the next broadband router that I buy
    will likely come with a VOIP phone jack to which I can attach an old
    telephone.

    If I register with Sipgate and install their software on a laptop, I can in
    theory take the laptop abroad and use it to make a call back to the UK for a
    low cost.

    I've yet to try using a laptop as a telephone but the laptop has a speaker
    and a microphone so it might work!

    --
    Michael Chare
    Michael Chare, Dec 14, 2007
    #16
  17. Re: to have or not to have

    In article <>,
    Michael Chare <> wrote:

    >I've yet to try using a laptop as a telephone but the laptop has a speaker
    >and a microphone so it might work!


    Don't.

    Get yourself a cheap USB "phone" and use that instead, or even a headset
    to plug into the laptops audop sockets, although I've had issues withthat
    as laptop audio hardware is "iffy" at best. (Or maybe I just have cheap
    laptops!)

    The cheapest I found recently was to buy a tesco package (or any "skype
    usb phone) and throw the CD, etc. away and just use the hardware, but
    that was awhile back, so things might have improved by then.

    The biggest issue with a USB "phone" is that the keypad probably won't
    work unless you're using their own software, but it's not much hassle to
    use the on-screen keypad of the various packages - eg. Zoiper, xlite,
    etc.

    Gordon
    Gordon Henderson, Dec 14, 2007
    #17
  18. Allan Gould

    Ivor Jones Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    "Gordon Henderson" <> wrote in
    message news:fjtf5q$23oq$
    : : In article <>,
    : : Michael Chare <> wrote:
    : :
    : : : I've yet to try using a laptop as a telephone but the
    : : : laptop has a speaker and a microphone so it might
    : : : work!
    : :
    : : Don't.

    I disagree, see below.

    : : Get yourself a cheap USB "phone" and use that instead,
    : : or even a headset to plug into the laptops audop
    : : sockets, although I've had issues withthat as laptop
    : : audio hardware is "iffy" at best. (Or maybe I just have
    : : cheap laptops!)
    : :
    : : The cheapest I found recently was to buy a tesco
    : : package (or any "skype usb phone) and throw the CD,
    : : etc. away and just use the hardware, but that was
    : : awhile back, so things might have improved by then.
    : :
    : : The biggest issue with a USB "phone" is that the keypad
    : : probably won't work unless you're using their own
    : : software, but it's not much hassle to use the on-screen
    : : keypad of the various packages - eg. Zoiper, xlite, etc.

    As someone who does this on a semi-regular basis, I can tell you that a
    USB phone is not much good. I get far better results with a headset and
    the onboard soundcard in my laptop.

    Ivor
    Ivor Jones, Dec 14, 2007
    #18
  19. Allan Gould

    Guest

    Re: to have or not to have

    On Fri, 14 Dec 2007 01:43:21 -0000, "Ivor Jones"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >
    ><> wrote in message
    >news:
    >: : On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 19:17:40 -0000, "Ivor Jones"
    >: : <> wrote:
    >: : It costs me 1.5p/min to call them, so what I usually
    >: : : do is call them, then they call me back. Total cost
    >: : : 1.5p for a call that can go on for an hour and a half
    >: : : ;-)
    >: : SKINFLINT you can't take it with you when you go and no
    >: : use in leaving it for someone else to flush down the
    >: : toilet .
    >
    >Oh do shut up Ron. Why spend more money than you have to..?


    I WILL NEVER SHUT UP WHILE YOU ARE STILL CONTRIBUTING TO THIS FORUM SO
    GET USED TO IT IVOR AND YOU WILL NOT MAKE ME EITHER.
    , Dec 14, 2007
    #19
  20. Re: to have or not to have

    In article <>,
    Ivor Jones <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >"Gordon Henderson" <> wrote in
    >message news:fjtf5q$23oq$
    >: : In article <>,
    >: : Michael Chare <> wrote:
    >: :
    >: : : I've yet to try using a laptop as a telephone but the
    >: : : laptop has a speaker and a microphone so it might
    >: : : work!
    >: :
    >: : Don't.
    >
    >I disagree, see below.


    So you'd rather sit in a room with the sound coming out of the speakers
    for everyone to hear and shouting into the on-board microphone, praying
    to high heaven that there will be no echo then?

    >: : Get yourself a cheap USB "phone" and use that instead,
    >: : or even a headset to plug into the laptops audop
    >: : sockets, although I've had issues withthat as laptop
    >: : audio hardware is "iffy" at best. (Or maybe I just have
    >: : cheap laptops!)
    >: :
    >: : The cheapest I found recently was to buy a tesco
    >: : package (or any "skype usb phone) and throw the CD,
    >: : etc. away and just use the hardware, but that was
    >: : awhile back, so things might have improved by then.
    >: :
    >: : The biggest issue with a USB "phone" is that the keypad
    >: : probably won't work unless you're using their own
    >: : software, but it's not much hassle to use the on-screen
    >: : keypad of the various packages - eg. Zoiper, xlite, etc.
    >
    >As someone who does this on a semi-regular basis, I can tell you that a
    >USB phone is not much good. I get far better results with a headset and
    >the onboard soundcard in my laptop.


    Good for you. Both my laptops seem to have rubbish audio hardware
    (actually it's the microphone in thats more rubbish) and headsets (even
    a posh Plantronics one) really aren't good at all, but the cheap USB
    "phone" I have is excellent.

    Gordon
    Gordon Henderson, Dec 14, 2007
    #20
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