View Full Version : Phone home

28th Mar 2005, 14:49
Just about to sign up with Vonage, you might be interested.

You get a VOIP adapter you can plug into any broadband connection and you then plug a standard phone in the other end. You also get a Vonage telephone number, you can pick from a variety of UK area codes. Any one phones it, your phone rings.

Take the adaptor and a handset anywhere in the world with you and plug it in and you are "at home" on your number and can make and receive telephone calls, it also works through your laptop. The price includes unlimited free UK local and national calls, and they include Ireland ( :O ).

if you have anyone in North America, (or other areas they cover, but there do not seem to be a lot more) to be able to call you at local rates you can add additional virtual numbers with their area code. They all go to your phone (I think your outgoing calls can only go through your main number though).

The cost - 10 pounds a month and no long term contract.

Vonage (http://www.vonage.co.uk)

28th Mar 2005, 14:59
ORAC you must have been reading my mind - just the other day I was saying to a friend that I would only change phone systems if someone could guarantee me a global system that costs out at the same/little more than a regular domestic service!

I would LOVE to have a single phone - workable anywhere (at the moment I travel mostly to USA/Europe) which does all I need a telephone to do!

Do please give an update on the service!!! :ok:

Onan the Clumsy
28th Mar 2005, 15:02
Yeah, but you can't get 911

28th Mar 2005, 15:20
Yeah, saw they were being sued in the States for only offering it as an add-on cost extra service. But you get 911/112 (http://www.vonage.co.uk/features.php?feature=911) free in the UK.

28th Mar 2005, 15:27
I use Skype from GB to AUS and DE. It works with varying success to landlines and mobiles, but it is usually alright, and comes in at just over 1p or 10p per minute, respectively - at least one-fifth of what BT wants.

It means I can use my lappy anywhere in the house or greater world (with a convential pair of headphones) with a wireless link to a routeror access point. If the callee is also on broadband - or dialled up), it's free, of course. There is no virtual number, though - yet.

The USB/RJ11 adapters are also available commercially, but are in crucially short supply. It is also possible to route a Nathan-Barley type Bluetooth headset.

I would be interested in hearing your experiences, ORAC, once you are set up.


16th Apr 2005, 14:49
I subscribed to Vonage about 2 months ago. The sound quality is not noticeably different from a "normal" telephone call, its certainly not worse, at least.

Sadly however, their support service has been dreadful. Firstly they had not enabled my account at the time when their router arrived so some 90 minutes ensured on the (standard) telephone trying to resolve the resulting connectivity problem, with some pillock who eventually realised / bothered to find out what the problem actually was (ie: account not enabled - he kept insisting that I should simply keep rebooting my network equip to fix the problem). The next day the ringer died so I sent an email to inform them of the issue (the hardware was supplied by Vonage). I received a automated acknowledgement promising a follow up - that was about 7 weeks ago. Despite my following up of the problem since I have had no response to date, despite promises of returned telephone calls, etc.

Its a shame that despite the capability of VoIP to support good quality voice calls with the attendant reduction in cost, improved functionality (call diversion, voicemail services, etc) that the service should be marred like this. I fully expected and was prepared to accept, occasional loss of comms performance due the the packet switched nature of the internet (perceivable delays, echoes etc) indeed this has not been the case. Instead their "customer service" has let them down.

Fuji :yuk:

16 blades
16th Apr 2005, 14:58
Don't forget that for use anywhere other than in your own home (laptop in hotels etc) you have to pay a ridiculous access charge to even get near the internet - I would hazard that adding this on would make it cheaper to just use your mobile whilst away.

..unless anyone can tell me otherwise??


16th Apr 2005, 16:42
Depends on where you are, 16B. Agreed that in the UK rates are extreme, generally 12-15/day. Probably the most expensive in the world. On the other hand, the most I've paid in the States was $12/day, and many places there offer it free. I've also had free broadband in Brazil. Even in the Netherlands I don't believe I paid more than 15/day.

16th Apr 2005, 16:49
My company pays for the broadband for the company laptop, they will not pay for private phone calls. My vonage will just piggyback on top.

Conan the Librarian
16th Apr 2005, 20:05
Brilliant! Saw the webpage a few weeks ago and have since been trying to refind it, so many Ts Orac.

Looks a good idea, but what charges are inbound calls going to get? I am told by the local rumour mill that it is quite a bit more to a caller than making same call via BTlandline. Would be great to know and also with this emerging (not really - been here for yonks but only viable recently)technology to get a small pool of users who can tell it how it is, rather than how the brochures would have you believe.

17th Apr 2005, 13:59
Skype now offer a lot more telephone numbers, USA, UK, Scandinavia, France and more. I have both SkypeIn and SkypeOut, meaning I can be contacted from a normal phone as well as place calls. Functions, simplicity, quality is remarkable! Many of my collegues have it now as well.

Familty and friends can now call me at local rates, and leave voicemail when I am not online.

All we need now is more free WiFi zones (see www.jiwire.com) or that networks like Boingo, Tmobile etc pair up and make an all-inclusive service so there is good coverage for the user.

17th Apr 2005, 16:05
In the USA, all the various brands of Marriott "Suites" places have free wired high speed internet. One might expect this to pressure the competition into making access free in this class of moderate-price US lodging.

The upscale Marriott hotels change something like US$10 a day, a fairly common price. Be warned that each "day" starts at the official latest check-out time, not at midnight, etc. Check for the rules where you stay.