VoIP choices- Vonage, Broadvoice, Callvantage

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ephramz, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. ephramz macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Has anyone used Vonage, Broadvoice, or Callvantage (AT&T) voice over IP (VoIP) systems at home (or work) and have comments on their service, quality, interaction with regular network traffic, and interoperability with Mac's?

    I think Vonage might be the only one that has a client that runs on the Mac, but is that so important when I can just dial with a regular phone, or via my Mac modem port with ABDialer or one of the other modem Address Book dialers.

    I make about 500 mins of outgoing calls (local) and less than 50 mins long distance a month, so the Broadvoice $10 a month offer for unlimited state and 3.9 ¢/min for long distance sounds pretty damn good! Especially when my current phone service is about $40 a month.
  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I've had Vonage for a few months and I like it. I hardly use the phone, so I can therefore live with the occasional quirks. $15 a month for service with every bell and whistle in existance can't be beat. I love being able to check my voicemail over the web! I also like all the other features they have. For instance if I lose Vonage service (which happened once when my cable went out) calls are forwarded to my cell phone. You can do a lot with it.

    So what are the quirks? Suppose you're downloading a file and want to make a call. You'd best pause the download or call after it's done. It sounds much like a cell phone signal breaking up when you have too much network traffic. Checking email or loading a typical webpage won't give the phone more than a hiccup, but downloads or games will give you problems. If course this probably depends a little on your connection.

    The typical call sounds just as good as the normal telephone. You might miss a syllable here or there but that's about it. A couple of times I've had my voice start echoing back.

    I don't want to harp on the bad stuff though--it's a technology that isn't done yet but right now it's perfectly good--it'll only get better. The problems are minor and easy to work around.
  3. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    Stilwell, Kansas
    I just got the CallVantage from AT&T. Works pretty good. It doesn't sound as good as a regular phone call, but it sounds good enough. I'm also the kind of person who looks at his prints from his digital camera with a magnifying glass. If I didn't tell the person who I was calling that it was VoIP, they wouldn't have any idea.

    The CallVantage unit is a D-Link DVG-1120M. It sits between you "modem" and your LAN and prioritizes traffic when making a phone call. Even if you are downloading, it shouldn't interrupt or degrade your call.

    There is no "app" to run, some of the extra features are done on the website (conference calling) and a lot of things you can just do by pushing codes into your phone.

    We got the VoIP because we live in a rural area and we were paying US$32 a month for a "metro line". Calls to and from the the big city up north would be long distance without it. I figure we will save about $40 a month with this service.

    For $40 a month, I think the VoIP call sound fantastic! :D
  4. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    Stilwell, Kansas
    If I have some free time tomorrow, you can PM with your phone number and I can give someone a quick call and you can see how it sounds. Long distance for me is now free, although I think there is a charge for international calls.

    I'm not making any guarantee's that I'll call, only if I get some free time.
  5. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    VOIP works very well for me.

    I have been using Vonage for a few months now, and it works fine. I do a lot of traveling, and currently live in Stockholm Sweden (from Denver Colorado). I brought my Vonage box with me, and it works like a charm. All my family and friends in the US can call me for free, and vice-versa. (though getting the 3am calls is driving me crazy!!! Darn 8 hour time difference :) ). Voice quality is great, as long as your bandwidth can keep up. This should not be difficult, as it take around 10-12kbs for both upstream and downstream. I have my system hooked up as so:

    Broadband -- Linksys WRT54G (running sveasoft, and bandwith QoS) -- Vonage Box.

    I also have other computers connected to the Linksys, so I am constantly maxing out my bandwidth. If you do the same setup as me, you need to do some QoS, as the quality of the VOIP will go down if it cannot get enough bandwidth.

    Vonage suggests that you hook up the vonage box directly to the broadband connection as it will do it's own QoS when you do this.


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