Vonage vs. Competitors in the Home VOIP market

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Joel, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Joel

    Joel Guest

    I've been test driving Vonage for the past 10 days.

    These are my thoughts:

    -95% quality uptime (meaning that when I'm on the phone, 95% of the time the
    call is landline clear.
    -Have to dial out twice to get a line about 25% of the time
    -Great value for money if you can afford to have cel-phone like quality at
    $25.00/month (all line charges and 500 ld minutes)
    -Good user interface/experience for customizing features and getting emailed
    voicemails or voicemail notification.
    -Strange how often the VoiceMail system needs to be "upgraded"
    -A little bothersome that you can't pick from various possible phone
    numbers, but just get whatever is assigned to you.

    How does this compare to other services people have tried/are using?
     
    Joel, Nov 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. A couple of thoughts:

    1. First you can bump up your bandwith on Vonage, check your bandwith
    meter;

    2. What speed is your ISP. If you are pushing only a 128k upload speed,
    you probably don't want to go higher than 50k;

    3. Some of your determination is based on the region you are in. For
    example, many people love Voice Pulse, but
    they don't have a national presence. While they will sign you up anywhere,
    you are stuck with East Coast numbers;

    4. VoicePulse has the best feature set so far. ATT's upcoming VOIP
    service is feature rich and is in free beta.

    5. In my opinion it is worth the extra expense to buy a number from the
    phone company and port it over to Vonage. If you own the number,
    you can vote with your feet more easily.

    6. My Vonage connection seems better for me than a mobile. It is better
    than my ICH and slightly better than my FWD connection.

    Stu
     
    Stuart Friedman, Nov 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. I've been using Vonage since March. It is great. We use it from Denmark and have
    the unlimited package. My wife is Canadian and she talks for hours to her family
    there. I have a local nuber in the town in Illinois where I grew up so my folks
    can get me on a local call as well. We have used the line for faxing and that
    just works...a couple of bad transmissions once, but nothing major. We are
    heading to the States (Fl) in a few weeks and will bring the ATA with us. Our
    DSL there is (most likely) just 128 up (we have 512 up and 2048 down here in
    Denmark) so I am hoping that the 50k setting is good. Otherwise we've used the
    90k setting here and the quality is great. Also Vonage has the lowest
    International rates to the countries we call often...Caribbean, Italy, England,
    a bit to South America and Mexico, Greece, Israel, and a few others.

    I have not tried any of the others in the market...P8, VoicePulse, and so on. I
    have FWD over a softphone, and I am looking forward to testing that a bit more
    later.

    All in all, I am very pleased with Vonage.

    John
     
    John M (Replace the AT & DOT with U No What), Nov 16, 2003
    #3
  4. Joel

    shido Guest

    Has Vonage stopped automagically upgrading their residential customers to
    business customers when they push "unlimited" to its limits?

    --
    Greg Merriweather
    The NuFone Network

    519-251-8225 x 3000
    IM:
     
    shido, Nov 16, 2003
    #4
  5. Has Vonage stopped automagically upgrading their residential customers to
    I saw a note somewhere, probably one of their investor briefings, that
    said that when a resi customer is using an unusually large amount of
    time, they call him up. If he answers the phone "Fred's House of
    Toast", they tell him that they're on to him and now he's a business
    customer. If he answers "hello?" they have a chat and usually leave
    him alone. They know they have a few resi customers who really are
    talking to their friends eight hours a day, and the live with it.
     
    John R. Levine, Nov 17, 2003
    #5
  6. Joel

    Joel Guest

    Stuart,

    When you say that if you have a low (128kbps for example) upload speed you
    should go for a lower voice quality because it won't break up as much (but
    just be more consistantly audible) or because it will affect my uploads?

    I hadn't before considered that the system may be set so that it tries to
    use the highest quality (90kbps) and if it can't always push through 90kbps
    it cuts out rather than just delivering a lower quality but audible
    conversation.

    Anyone else have any experience?

    [Interested in VONAGE: If anyone is signing up for a new account, I'm happy
    to provide a referal so that we both get a free month of service. I'll even
    answer questions about my experience privately if you like. Just remove
    SPAMMENOT from my email address.]
     
    Joel, Nov 24, 2003
    #6
  7. Joel

    Tom Guest

    I have been with Vonage for just over 3 months now. No problems and the
    sound quality is great.

    I have 1.5M down and 128K up on my cable modem. I have not had any troubles
    with the outgoing sound quality when I call home on my cell. Usually when I
    am on the line I am not surfing the net or just doing some light stuff. No
    issues with sound quality. I tried the bandwidth saver and found that the
    outgoing voice was not to my liking even at the 50K setting, there was
    annoying pauses (silence) and if there was background noise it was broken up
    and distracting. Must be that they use a lower sampling freq. or something
    at the lower bandwidth and ignore freq. It was worst when the background
    noise was higher pitch then the person's voice.

    Anyway I don't think you'll have any problems maintaining 90K at 128K up.
    My cable provider is smaller and they are conserving bandwidth, but provide
    a consistant 1.5/128 bandwidth.
     
    Tom, Dec 1, 2003
    #7
  8. Joel

    shido Guest

    Sounds like you need a noise cancelling mic if you're using a softphone. Or
    a better phone... 7960 or similar. g729 codec calls should be 40k/sec. If
    you've got kazaa lit up or doing some serious surfing you may want to look
    at "shaping" your traffic. Remember, with voip you are limited by your
    upload cap and how long it takes your packets to reach each endpoint. Run a
    traceroute from your ip to wherever you are calling ( whatever ip you have
    plugged into whatever voip device you are using ).


    x < 50 ms = GOOD!

    x < 250 ms = 1/2 second delay......... BAD


    --
    Greg Merriweather
    The NuFone Network

    519-251-8225 x 3000
    IM:
     
    shido, Dec 3, 2003
    #8
  9. Joel

    John Guest

    I have been using Vonage for the past 5 months and have been very
    satisfied with the service. I went from a bill of $80 - $90 a month
    between BellSouth and MCI to $26 a month. The only downside I have
    found is when the Broadband connection goes down your phone is dead. -
    That has happened twice in last 5 months (BrightHouse in Florida). I
    recently bought a cell phone for emergency use only ($57 at Walmart +
    $20 for 3 months service - 80 minutes).
    I did a lot of research on the various companies that provide this
    service before I went with Vonage. I developed a website
    (http://www.411-netphone.com)
    that outlines the various plans offered by these companies and have
    tried to present an unbiased comparison of the features offered.
    I am trying to keep this website as up-to-date as possible - please
    let me know if I missed anything.
    John
     
    John, Dec 5, 2003
    #9
  10. Joel

    Miguel Cruz Guest

    I just see a blank white page with "411-NETPHONE Your broadband telephone
    information center" and a picture of a phone at the top. Based on that I'd
    guess you might have missed at least one or two things.

    miguel
     
    Miguel Cruz, Dec 5, 2003
    #10
  11. Joel

    Rick Guest

    My wife and I have been using Packet8 for about 3 weeks and will be
    canceling the service under their 30-day money-back guarantee. It
    isn't terrible, but the audio quality and connection issues are just
    irritating enough that it's not worth the $30 or so a month that it
    would have saved us.

    Very few calls are glitch-free. Almost all of them have brief audio
    drops, just enough to make you say "what?" "Can you repeat that?"
    several times during the average call. The sound itself is usually
    fine, in between drops. BTW I have cable modem, and the cable co was
    just out to my house a month ago b/c of a corroded connector somewhere
    up the street. After fixing the connector, they tell me my modem
    signal is primo.

    There is also an issue with often getting a busy signal when I know
    the phone I'm calling is not busy (this morning it was the weather
    closing no. where I work, which is NEVER busy). When this happens, I
    cannot get a dialtone on the P8 phone for 10-15 minutes.

    About 25% of calls do not connect on the first try.

    The clincher was yesterday when my wife called me at work, and after a
    minute or so of "what?" "what did you say?", she said "hang up, I'll
    call you back on the cell phone." And I'm thinking, "I'm payng 20
    bucks a month just so I can run up my cell bill?" I really wanted
    this thing to work, but frankly i think quality VOIP is a year away.

    Rick
     
    Rick, Dec 5, 2003
    #11
  12. How would I know?
     
    John M (Replace the AT & DOT with U No What), Dec 7, 2003
    #12
  13. Joel

    Staffing Guest

    I have a T1 internet connection and we got P8. Quality is bad so now moving
    to Vonage.

    Jay
     
    Staffing, Dec 15, 2003
    #13
  14. Joel

    hank Guest

    I have been with vonage for about a week and have had no problems what
    so ever with it. I am using the motorola mt 1000
    hth.
    hank
     
    hank, Dec 15, 2003
    #14
  15. Joel

    Ryan Susanna Guest

    Ryan Susanna, Feb 26, 2004
    #15
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