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  1. #1
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    Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    I've got Earthlink (DSL + VoIP). It's good, but I don't make many phone calls. Surely not enough to justify the $40/month fee. What are the better options? I'm seeing that Vonage only charges $25/month for their service.

    Anyone have any recommendations? Do they all sound the same?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    I've got Earthlink. It's good, but I don't make many phone calls. Surely not enough to justify the $40/month fee. What are the better options? I'm seeing that Vonage only charges $25/month for their service.

    Anyone have any recommendations? Do they all sound the same?

    Thanks.

    I have Vonage and it's great. $25/month includes long distance calls, voicemail (which gets sent to your email as a .wav file), caller ID, etc.

    I haven't tried any other VOIPs, but we're very, very happy with Vonage.


    Oh, and I felt the same way you did (not wanting to shell out $40/month for just local calls). Our cell phones don't work at home, so this is great for us to still be able to make calls and not be charged an arm and a leg for them).

    The only downside (imo) is they have to get your credit card to automatically charge the monthly fee, but the charges never change.

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  3. #3
    R-I-P, Mr. Nelson Mandela Jersey Yankee's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Thanks, dude (finally got that part right).

    I may just switch. The $15/month is crazy wasting, and I don't have a contract with Earthlink for either DSL (contract expired) or VoIP (never a contract).

    I'd just likely have to change my digital phone number.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    Thanks, dude (finally got that part right).

    I may just switch. The $15/month is crazy wasting, and I don't have a contract with Earthlink for either DSL (contract expired) or VoIP (never a contract).

    I'd just likely have to change my digital phone number.
    Check online or over the phone, cuz we got our modem thingy for free ($80 usually) and the first month was free, but they charge a activation fee (which is like $30).

    My heroes, my dreams, and my future lay in Yankee Stadium. And they can’t take that away from me. —Derek Jeter

  5. #5
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    I'd just likely have to change my digital phone number.

    Not necessarily.. we were able to port the number we had from AT&T (land line) to the Vonage number.

    My heroes, my dreams, and my future lay in Yankee Stadium. And they can’t take that away from me. —Derek Jeter

  6. #6
    R-I-P, Mr. Nelson Mandela Jersey Yankee's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by RJ44
    Not necessarily.. we were able to port the number we had from AT&T (land line) to the Vonage number.
    I hadn't even realized that AT&T still had landlines. Weren't they the original "Ma Bell"?

    Anyway, I have two lines: one is my Verizon line, which I only keep because it is the analog line I keep for my DSL service. No analog line, no DSL service.

    The other is my VoIP line. If I could keep that, then I'd be very pleased.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  7. #7
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    I hadn't even realized that AT&T still had landlines. Weren't they the original "Ma Bell"?

    Anyway, I have two lines: one is my Verizon line, which I only keep because it is the analog line I keep for my DSL service. No analog line, no DSL service.

    The other is my VoIP line. If I could keep that, then I'd be very pleased.
    Definitely check into it. I signed up online and there's a category for Portability.

    My heroes, my dreams, and my future lay in Yankee Stadium. And they can’t take that away from me. —Derek Jeter

  8. #8
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Sounds great. I'll check this out this week. Thanks.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  9. #9
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    No problem, bro. It's nice to be useful.

    BTW, it's $31.01 after taxes and fees.

    My heroes, my dreams, and my future lay in Yankee Stadium. And they can’t take that away from me. —Derek Jeter

  10. #10

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Second the Vonage service. Had it for two years+ and its great. Mine is $28.99/mo (inc taxes) and includes every feature you can think of that a phone company charges for and less than what most cable companies charge for phone service.

    You can even bring the router on a trip and plug in it in anywhere that has a high speed internet (i.e. hotel room) and use your phone as if you were at home.

    Usually they give some kind of deal if you get referred to by an existing customer.
    Spring Training is just around the corner!

  11. #11
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    How does Vonage handle 911 calls? I always thought the VoIPs lacked the ability to trace the origin of emergency calls?

  12. #12

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by LDG
    How does Vonage handle 911 calls? I always thought the VoIPs lacked the ability to trace the origin of emergency calls?
    I used to have Vonage. They told us they sent your phone number and address to your local emergency services agencies.
    "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
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  13. #13
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by LDG
    How does Vonage handle 911 calls? I always thought the VoIPs lacked the ability to trace the origin of emergency calls?
    I think there's something called E911. You call your regular emergency number (I'm guessing the PD or FD) and make sure they have your address and phone number.

    For portability, my Verizon analog number can convert, but not my Earthlink VoIP number. Too many people have my Verizon phone number, so I likely wouldn't keep that if I converted it. However, I have to keep it, since my DSL requires this to make some phone call to insure that my account is active.

    I'll call Earthlink to see what my options are, including reducing my costs. If not acceptable, I'll give Vonage a try.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  14. #14

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by LDG
    How does Vonage handle 911 calls? I always thought the VoIPs lacked the ability to trace the origin of emergency calls?
    You give them some info from what I remember and then they will know where the 911 call comes from.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeesAZ
    You give them some info from what I remember and then they will know where the 911 call comes from.
    Who exactly is the "them" that you contact? I only have the phone number of my district police and city's police number, and the FD.

    The only reason I was lazy about verifying this was that they'd mentioned that my E911 thing was verified. Besides, I have a working regular phone line so that 911 will always know where I am.

    Is it possible to just have a VoIP phone number as your only phone line?

    Anywayz, I think I may have erred in this, since after checking online something about my bill (Earthlink's website seems to keep requiring other links, some of which you have to "contact customer service about"), I now see that the $40/month is for my DSL service, not my VoIP line. Now I only wish that this were $10/month cheaper still.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  16. #16

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    Who exactly is the "them" that you contact? I only have the phone number of my district police and city's police number, and the FD.

    The only reason I was lazy about verifying this was that they'd mentioned that my E911 thing was verified. Besides, I have a working regular phone line so that 911 will always know where I am.

    Is it possible to just have a VoIP phone number as your only phone line?

    Anywayz, I think I may have erred in this, since after checking online something about my bill (Earthlink's website seems to keep requiring other links, some of which you have to "contact customer service about"), I now see that the $40/month is for my DSL service, not my VoIP line. Now I only wish that this were $10/month cheaper still.
    You go to your account settings and activate 911. You give them your address and Vonage routes your 911 call to your local (nearest) emergency center.

    Here's their 911 services in a nutshell from their site:

    "Vonage currently offers Enhanced 911 (E911) in many areas across the country, and we are continuing the process of a nationwide rollout. With E911 service, Vonage delivers your registered address and phone number automatically to the proper local emergency call center. Your registered information appears on the dispatcher's screen automatically at the emergency call center.

    If local authorities cannot display your registered information Vonage sends along with your 911 call, your call will be delivered through the traditional 911 network and answered by a trained dispatcher in your local 911 center. This service is known as basic 911. The dispatcher will not have your address and may not have your phone number, so be prepared to provide it.

    Vonage also provides an additional safety net in case traditional 911 methods fail or are not available. At Vonage's national 911 emergency response center, trained emergency personnel are standing by to help you get local help in the event your call cannot be routed via E911 or traditional 911. Once you reach local emergency services, you may need to give them your address. "


    I only use VoIP and a cell phone. Haven't had a tradional land line for 4-5 years.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeesAZ
    You go to your account settings and activate 911. You give them your address and Vonage routes your 911 call to your local (nearest) emergency center.

    Here's their 911 services in a nutshell from their site:

    "Vonage currently offers Enhanced 911 (E911) in many areas across the country, and we are continuing the process of a nationwide rollout. With E911 service, Vonage delivers your registered address and phone number automatically to the proper local emergency call center. Your registered information appears on the dispatcher's screen automatically at the emergency call center.

    If local authorities cannot display your registered information Vonage sends along with your 911 call, your call will be delivered through the traditional 911 network and answered by a trained dispatcher in your local 911 center. This service is known as basic 911. The dispatcher will not have your address and may not have your phone number, so be prepared to provide it.

    Vonage also provides an additional safety net in case traditional 911 methods fail or are not available. At Vonage's national 911 emergency response center, trained emergency personnel are standing by to help you get local help in the event your call cannot be routed via E911 or traditional 911. Once you reach local emergency services, you may need to give them your address. "


    I only use VoIP and a cell phone. Haven't had a tradional land line for 4-5 years.
    When you say "account settings", you mean by going online to the "my account" of your VoIP provider? Something on your computer (I'm using Windows XP)? Or do you make a local phone call?

    I may just call my local police district (I don't think they call them "precincts" in NJ). Ask them what they find. I don't like calling 911 just to test if it's activated.

    Since you have VoIP, what do you use for broadband? A DSL or cable? Something tells me you have cable, since I don't know how you can have DSL w/o an analog landline.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  18. #18

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    When you say "account settings", you mean by going online to the "my account" of your VoIP provider? Something on your computer (I'm using Windows XP)? Or do you make a local phone call?

    I may just call my local police district (I don't think they call them "precincts" in NJ). Ask them what they find. I don't like calling 911 just to test if it's activated.

    Since you have VoIP, what do you use for broadband? A DSL or cable? Something tells me you have cable, since I don't know how you can have DSL w/o an analog landline.
    I use cable. DSL you have to have a landline. The account settings are when you sign in at Vonage's site.

    It's been a couple years since I activated 911 serivce there, but I remember Vonage emailing a reminder to set it up if I wanted it.
    Spring Training is just around the corner!

  19. #19
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeesAZ
    I use cable. DSL you have to have a landline. The account settings are when you sign in at Vonage's site.

    It's been a couple years since I activated 911 serivce there, but I remember Vonage emailing a reminder to set it up if I wanted it.
    I had problems with Comcast before, since I was in over my head with lots of other bills. The cable kept getting shut off, so I eventually abandoned it.

    If I had a cable as my main or online regular phone number, then I'd have to worry about getting it cut off. I may consider it later on, since my DSL contract expired a few months ago.

    For the E911, I just confirmed it. I called the local PD, which advised me to call 911 and explain what I was trying to do. I apologized that this wasn't an emergency, and gave them my name, phone number, address, including apt #. They said they'd had this set up now.

    If anything, I can still use the regular 911 on my landline phone. Other than a few car accidents down the street and kicking some weird chic the hell out of my place (long story), I thankfully haven't had to use 911 from my place in the past anywayz.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  20. #20
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee
    I had problems with Comcast before, since I was in over my head with lots of other bills. The cable kept getting shut off, so I eventually abandoned it.

    If I had a cable as my main or online regular phone number, then I'd have to worry about getting it cut off. I may consider it later on, since my DSL contract expired a few months ago.

    For the E911, I just confirmed it. I called the local PD, which advised me to call 911 and explain what I was trying to do. I apologized that this wasn't an emergency, and gave them my name, phone number, address, including apt #. They said they'd had this set up now.

    If anything, I can still use the regular 911 on my landline phone. Other than a few car accidents down the street and kicking some weird chic the hell out of my place (long story), I thankfully haven't had to use 911 from my place in the past anywayz.
    Glad to hear you're covered!

  21. #21
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by LDG
    Glad to hear you're covered!
    Thanks. My reluctance to call 911 was that I'd thought it was illegal to call them unless it was an emergency. I should've just stopped a cop on the beat and asked them how to handle this. One of those "1,001 things I had on the back burner that finally came to the front" thingies people all handle daily.

    Now if only I could get my DSL rate reduced. I think I'm humming along around 6-8 MBPs, but $40/month? I wouldn't mind around $30 or so. As a combo, I think that $50/month would've been far better than $65.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  22. #22

    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee

    Now if only I could get my DSL rate reduced. I think I'm humming along around 6-8 MBPs, but $40/month? I wouldn't mind around $30 or so. As a combo, I think that $50/month would've been far better than $65.
    Test your speed right here (there are several other sites also):

    http://www.bandwidthplace.com/

    Clocked in at 2.41 mbs, which is about what I expected despite the advertised speeds of 4-6 mbs.
    Spring Training is just around the corner!

  23. #23
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    Re: Question about Vonage and other broadband phone companies

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeesAZ
    Test your speed right here (there are several other sites also):

    http://www.bandwidthplace.com/

    Clocked in at 2.41 mbs, which is about what I expected despite the advertised speeds of 4-6 mbs.
    2.09.. what do I win?

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