vonage.gifI got my Vonage service going yesterday. Vonage is a serice where you sign up for a phone number in an area code of your choice and they give you a Cisco Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) which you hook up the Internet and attach to a normal analog phone. The phone basically turns into a normal phone with a phone number in the area code that you chose. You get call waiting, voicemail, etc. It's $82.03 setup and $39.99/month for unlimited calls in the US and Canada. (There are other service plans.) They don't sell the service internationally, but Gen Kanai turned me on to Vonage. He had just moved to Japan and was using it from Japan. Frankly, it makes a lot more sense to people living internationally, I think. Anyway, it's great. I was using it today, the caller ID worked fine, call waiting worked fine and the sound quality is fine. Now the only problem is that if I give people my new 415 area code number, they'll be calling me in the middle of the night thinking I'm in San Francisco.

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Joi, glad to hear Vonage is working well for you. I turn off my phone at night so it doesnt ring and with the voicemail on the web, I can pick it up at work or whenever. It's really very cool.

I wish Vonage would extend the ToS to cover usage overseas but I can see how that would be a support nightmare.

Also, there are discounts with Vonage when someone signs up with a referral from you (discount for both you and the new customer) so anyone who wants to try it, should get in touch with you for a referral first. Sorry I forgot to mention that to you!

There are a couple of other services offering similar benefits (http://www.iconnecthere.com, http://voicepulse.com, http://packet8.com)

Vonage a little limited for me in that it requires you to use the ATA-186 box (for plugging your regular phone into your network).

IConnectHere allows for you to use a soft-phone where calls show up as something looking like an instant message on your PC. This has the benefit of being able to follow you around wherever you happen to be online. Of course, this does mean that you need a pair of headphones with you at all times (or risk lots of echo). And you look like you're psychotic talking to your laptop or PDA in a public place :) At home, you can use an ata186 or similar device to hook up a regular phone to.

As you said, it's a great way to have a US presence for people to reach you.

There are a couple of other services offering similar benefits (http://www.iconnecthere.com, http://voicepulse.com, http://packet8.com)

Vonage a little limited for me in that it requires you to use the ATA-186 box (for plugging your regular phone into your network).

IConnectHere allows for you to use a soft-phone where calls show up as something looking like an instant message on your PC. This has the benefit of being able to follow you around wherever you happen to be online. Of course, this does mean that you need a pair of headphones with you at all times (or risk lots of echo). And you look like you're psychotic talking to your laptop or PDA in a public place :) At home, you can use an ata186 or similar device to hook up a regular phone to.

As you said, it's a great way to have a US presence for people to reach you.

DSLreports.com's VoIP forum is the best forum I've found on the web that discusses all of these new VoIP services.

I spent more than a few weeks tracking all of these new services before choosing Vonage, and not having to even have a PC is one of the great features of Vonage. I really believe it is the easiest and most newbie-friendly of the VoIP services, which is key for traction and growth.

DSLreports.com » Voice over IP

Aha! I got my vonage box yesterday (for my work)... But I couldn't get it to work yet, because of some strange DHCP problems. Ah well...

Anyway, definitely, this is a very interesting service.

I've got a packet8 account in Australia. They seemed more than happy to ship it out here. Aside from changing the phone number with very little notice the service has been seamless. It still surprises me when I plug it in that it just works.

While Vontage and others sound awesome, one of the drawbacks in my neck of the woods (San Francisco) is that our telcom provider, SBC, has stated that to have a DSL account with them (which I do, and am very happy with), I need to have phone service with them as well. Doh!

you have too many groovy toys! I'm going to start calling you go go gadget man :)

Anthony --

Im in the process of switching and have SBC as my DSL provider. Called Vonage to see if there are any SBC restructions and their rep said "none whatsoever."

Post on Vonage, Hacks & Arbitrage


Cheers,
Ross

"living internationally" huh? that's a new and interesting way of putting it!

Vonage seems like a great service though, and services like it are eventually going to put voice providers where they belong (i.e.,up against the wall). In Ireland, the incumbent is very aware of this and is reacting by charging very high line rental and DSL charges (EUR 22.50 and EUR 54 respectively, including tax). We need a new telco here. Bah.

Been running my Vonage phone from Tokyo for a couple of months now, and I have to say it's the first time in ages I was truly impressed with consumer based communications technology (last time was most likely pocket sized cell phones).
The funny thing is I tried to connect my laptop to the line to dial up connect to a server in the US and I never quite got it to work. (you could try to understand why I am trying to connect a 56k modem over an analog-digital phone converter routed through a high speed ADSL line, but I assure you it makes no sense whatsoever.)
Downside is I use it for an emergency contact number, so I don't like shutting it off at night. Already getting 3-5 wrong number/telemarketers calling around 3am. I'm sure they all think I am an unemployed slacker who is usually asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon.

If you do not have phone service, but have a fiber/cable network connection I hightly reccomend Vonage.

If you live/travel abroad and have access to a high speed internet connection, GET THIS NOW

If you are with the FCC, a Baby Bell, or any anti-IP Telephony lobby, ignore this thread. it's all a joke. Nothing to worry about, move on to the next thread.

To avoid telemarketer calls, you should get a New York phone number and place yourself on that state's Do Not Call registry.

https://www.nynocall.com/index.html

I have been on the list since its inception and rarely receive these types of calls. I'm not sure which other states have similar programs.

I have Vonage running at home in Copenhagen, Denmark. As you, I love the service.
Next task is to get a box to my mother (Teheran, Iran) and my father (Bogota, Colombia).

/n

ps. Greatest Vonage hack so far is using it on the Linx WiFi train between Copenhagen and Gothenburg. ,)

Nikolaj: The Linx WiFi train is a cool initiative indeed. How does the train connect to the Internet?
The WiFi broadband Internet service I used shortly before the Football World Cup last year in Japan, in the Narita Express train connecting Tokyo and the Narita airport about 60Kms away, used NTT's 3G wireless service to bridge the IP packets from the in-car wireless routers to the fixed broadband network.
I must say it was quite convenient and impressive being able to open SSH sessions to servers in the US from a train in Japan travelling at around 100Km/h :-)

I use Vonage too!
Now we just need a Sidekick or Blackberry that can do the same thing - use wireless internet in order to make cheap calls!

Once there is WIFI everywhere we can use a Palm and a voice software - but until then does anyone have a solution?

Goobster!

I recently had my phone service switched over to Vonage. I have heard there is some way you can unhook the outside telephone wires so that all the phone jacks inside work with the Vonage connection. Does anyone know if this works and, if so, exactly how to do it? Would sure like to be able to use the phones I have and not have to buy a cordless phone with multiple handsets. Thanks!

Yes you can make all the pones in your house ring with the Vonage / Cisco Systems box. You must unplug the phone company from your house on the outside. Then, run the phone line from the Cisco Systems box to any wall jack. Now all the phones in the house will ring and likewise, you can place a Vonage call from any phone in the house. I did this myself and it worked fine. But, make sure you disconnect the outside phone company line from the outside of your house first.

Got Vonage for Christmas 2004. Spent 4 hours on the phone with Tech support since I lost my internet connection. Router was not assigning IP address to the USB-Ethernet adaptor. They told me to exchange the router. Got the service up and running along with the internet. Lost my internet connection again last night. New router doing the same thing. Any suggestions?

I think the problem is in your USB adaptor, if its not a laptop then use PCI LAN card.

Haha, Arunas, It's been 10 months since he posted... he probably figured out the problem.

hey does anyone know if vonage can be used over in germany on a military base?with the phone company TKS (telekom)

Can anyone please help? my vonage worked great in michigan but when i hooked it up to my laptop in florida i found i had a usb connection on the laptop and ethernet on the router what do i do now? PLEASE HELP

I just spent an hour and a half trying to cancel my Vonage service, because it was totally unreliable (even though I have a 10 [yes 10] Mbit/second connection to the internet with over 800kbit/sec upstream). After this exorbitant amount of time, I was routed to an agent who said that not even he could cancel my account because calls were being rerouted to him because of high call volume on the cancellation line and that I would either have to call back or keep waiting (this of course after an hour, forty-five). Additionally, he said there would be $90 in fees for canceling, even though the service didn't work! The fact is that Vonage is run like a scam operation - they are unreliable and don't let you cancel even if you legitimately can't seem to be able to get their device to work (and believe me, i tried). I would just go with the telco until this technology gets better, and it doesnt seem like its happening any time soon. But even if it did get better, I would never use Vonage - they are manipulative and scammy. They latch on, keep taking your money, and never let go - the system was obviously designed for this. Its just a terrible company.

I am currently trying to cancel. I cancelled it and then they disconnected it. They reconnected on the first day of the next billing cycle and charged me a new monthly fee. If you search the web, it is obvious that they are intentionally making it difficult to cancel(long wait times, pushy hard to understand salesman that are reluctant to cancel you, routinely losing the cancellation information, continuing to bill your credit card and charging illegal fees to cancel within the trial period). Stay away. I believe they will be out of business in short order and they are milking it for what they can get. They just sent me an email for an IPO(initial public offering of stock). Do not buy it! They whole company is a scam.

One cool thing that we did with our vonage box was we took it with us on our cruise to the bahamas. The cruise ship had wireless internet access (expensive) and what I did is got my laptop on the wireless internet service and then set my laptop up for internet connection sharing. I then plugged the internet port on the vonage box into my wired network connection on my laptop. The vonage box was using the Cruise ships wireless internet service through my laptop. We could call our babysitter and check up on the kids from the cruise ship using our regular home phone number.

I live in Japan and use HeroNet for internet services from whom I am renting the modem. I use a wireless router to connect to the internet on my laptop. When I tried to set-up vonage everything seemed to be working fine. Even made a phone call to the States. But then I started getting an error "08" asking me to re-do the PPPoE set-up to connect to the internet. No matter how many times I entered the PP user name and password (and yes, they were the correct ones), I kept getting the same error message. I re-set, re-booted, re-did whatever I could possibly do and still it wasnt working. So I ended up disconnecting the adapter, going back to square one, and still - no internet. I called the provider and asked them to reset my modem remotely and they were trying to tell me that they couldnt and asked me if I tried to do "something special' (duh). They would have to send a tech to do it (and charge me an arm and a leg for it). Apparently they have a way of detecting external devices being connected to their modem and simply block it. Whenever I brough up the subject "vonage" they acted like they didnt understand what I was saying. I have friends living here that use the same internet company and also have vonage, but they ahve a different modem. When I talked to another rep telling them that the office was refusing to reset my modem, all of a sudden my internet was back on, but I still can't use vonage. Can anybody give me some input on whats going on here and how I can get around this mess?

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