What is the best VoIP service?

Old Jan 4, 05, 7:11 am
  #1  
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What is the best VoIP service?

Do anyone have experience with various Voice over IP services. Most interested in a US service (that I can use abroad) which allows you to have a physical handset, not just via the computer.
I am currently using Vonage, but their service has declined substantially the last 6 months and they seem to become a bit complacent given their early success. Would like to test out an alternative for my second line.
Does anyone have good or bad experiences?
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Old Jan 4, 05, 9:17 am
  #2  
RCC
 
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Originally Posted by Prytz
Do anyone have experience with various Voice over IP services. Most interested in a US service (that I can use abroad) which allows you to have a physical handset, not just via the computer.
I am currently using Vonage, but their service has declined substantially the last 6 months and they seem to become a bit complacent given their early success. Would like to test out an alternative for my second line.
Does anyone have good or bad experiences?
I too am interested in the responses from the board for this. I have heard vonage is the best in the business, which you would have probably agreed with 6 months ago.

Ric
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Old Jan 5, 05, 1:27 am
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I've been reading alot about Skype, online is free, int'l to a phone is 2 cents a min. Free download out there somewhere. Was listed in BestLife Magazine this month as the best service out there.
I still use my Costco cards at 3cents a min so I haven't changed other than to cut off my long distance provider.

JudyJFLA
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Old Jan 5, 05, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Prytz
I am currently using Vonage, but their service has declined substantially the last 6 months and they seem to become a bit complacent given their early success. Would like to test out an alternative for my second line.
Does anyone have good or bad experiences?
When you say "service has declined" do you mean the telephone service or Vonage's customer service?

I have to agree somewhat on customer service....I sent them an e-mail regarding a question I had about how to configure the service with a new router I got over Christmas. Took 2 days to get a response, and all the response did was ask if I had figured out the problem myself yet? (I had.) If not, it suggested that I reply to the message and they would try to help me.

As to the phone service, I am very happy. I must say that the "quality" really depends on the quality of the internet connection that you have and not really on which service. I've had Vonage for 2 years now....first signed up when living abroad in Switzerland. The cable modem service there was only 256 Kbps at first and eventually went up to 512 Kbps. Also, cable modem service depends on how many other users are using the system at the same time. I'd notice a deterioration in call quality during "peak" internet usage times....usually evenings. It would work fine in the middle of the night or early mornings. I would also travel in South America with my Vonage box and found that in Hotels with free internet service, the quality would be bad during evenings, but great at other times....hotels probably have limited connections that all guests are sharing. I don't think these problems would go away if I switched providers, since I viewed them as symptoms of questionable internet connections rather than Vonage problems. By the way Vonage has a "bandwidth saver" mode that you can select on the website. If you are having problems try that....the connection won't sound as good, but you'll get fewer drop outs and disconnected calls on a slower connection.

I kept Vonage instead of signing up for "real" phone service when I moved back to the States in August. Here my cable connection is 3 Mbps and I've never had so much as a dropped syllable on a call no matter what time of day....I love it! I only pay for the 14.95 plan, since I don't use the phone that much and like the ability to ring both my "home" number and cell phone simultaneously, so I don't miss calls even when traveling. I know these features are available from the other plans too, but I don't think any offer as low of a price as Vonage.

P.S. I'll be happy to send a "referral" to anyone who sends me a message with their e-mail....it'll get you a signup discount and me a couple of free months!
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Old Jan 6, 05, 10:54 am
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I am VERY happy with www.broadvoice.com

For 19.95 per month.. I get a phone line with all the bells and whistles... and free long distance in the US and 14 countries!

I love being able to call the UK and AU for free....
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Old Jan 10, 05, 2:04 pm
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Thumbs up Skype

I use Skype and can honestly say, it's great, maybe even fantastic!

It does depend on being able to get an internet connection - Broadband is better but it will work with a dismally slow connection such as 33kbps.

You can use a headset with your laptop (as I do) and there is even software to load on to your pda if you prefer.

I use it in hotels, airports, all over the place. It's dirt cheap - works out at 1.4p UK sterling wherever I am, wherever I'm calling. Credit is prepaid but seems to last forever. Pure Internet calls are free i.e. those not involving a terminating company.

What can I say...give it a go. I bought a plantronics headset that came with some free skype time.

I'm not a skype employee - just very impressed.
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Old Jan 11, 05, 5:28 pm
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thanks

Originally Posted by CraigS
I am VERY happy with www.broadvoice.com

For 19.95 per month.. I get a phone line with all the bells and whistles... and free long distance in the US and 14 countries!

I love being able to call the UK and AU for free....
Thanks CraigS, I currently use Vonage but am going to switch to Broadvoice for their World+ plan, & for @ $25 have unlimited calling to Czech Republic. My wife is capable of spenidng $200 + in 1 month of Vonage (calls are 6 cents a min. with them)

Have a few questions: 1. can I switch my old tel # with them or do I need a brand new one?

2. how is the quality, same as with Vonage???


Thanks again,
take care
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Old Jan 12, 05, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by Frank3172a
Thanks CraigS, I currently use Vonage but am going to switch to Broadvoice for their World+ plan, & for @ $25 have unlimited calling to Czech Republic. My wife is capable of spenidng $200 + in 1 month of Vonage (calls are 6 cents a min. with them)

Have a few questions: 1. can I switch my old tel # with them or do I need a brand new one?

2. how is the quality, same as with Vonage???


Thanks again,
take care
Glad to hear you like the service. At this time- they do not provide a service that will port over your old number! So either keep your POTS for the number or start fresh with a new number. They say this is one of the items on the radar screen they plan to offer soon!

They also do NOT provide 911 service. So if that is important to you, BroadVoice is not the way to go. They do "plan" on providing it this year.

I have found the call quality BETTER then Vonage.

They have a trial period if you want to give them a spin.

You can find lots of info about BroadVoice and other companies at www.voxilla.com
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Old Jan 12, 05, 12:50 pm
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thanks

Originally Posted by CraigS
Glad to hear you like the service. At this time- they do not provide a service that will port over your old number! So either keep your POTS for the number or start fresh with a new number. They say this is one of the items on the radar screen they plan to offer soon!

They also do NOT provide 911 service. So if that is important to you, BroadVoice is not the way to go. They do "plan" on providing it this year.

I have found the call quality BETTER then Vonage.

They have a trial period if you want to give them a spin.

You can find lots of info about BroadVoice and other companies at www.voxilla.com
Thanks if the quality is better (I think vonaage has good quality) I'll give them a try. Do they offer a refferal program? that I could say you recommended me, maybe get some creit or bonus? 911 is in the works, in the meantime I'll use my cell phone if I have to for emergencies.
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Old Mar 19, 05, 9:28 pm
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I currently use Broadline for VoIP and they seem ok--sometimes if I have had technical problems with voice mail (twice)--they don't seem to have enough cs personnel--dealt with it through emails.

I am in the process of switching to Packet8--I have read some good things about them. They have some good deals going at a couple of retailers where--with rebates--you get the modem free and they offer two months free service and 30 day cancellation for new service if you do not like it. They also do local number porting--and if available--they will also tack on 911 service for an additional fee.

.
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Old Mar 19, 05, 10:04 pm
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Thumbs up Skype

Just got intoduced to Skype and my long distance provider has now been terminated Frankly, the voice quality of Skype is BETTER than my phone!! I also love that you can have a 3 way conference. All for free and I would expect it would also be free wherever my laptop went with me!! Very nice to be able to make trans-con and European calls for free. When I replace my crappy cell phone my land line may be endangered I really do despise my phone company so revenge is sweet

www.skype.com
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Old Mar 20, 05, 8:26 pm
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Actually, I use VoicePulse and I am very happy. They have the quality of Vonage with more features. PC Magazine gave them their best of 2004 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1738730,00.asp The main difference is that for their $15/mo plan, VP give you unlimited local and regional (usually same area as for local telco) and 200min of LD. Where as Vonage's $15/mo is 500 min total. Most of my calling is local/regional so it saves me even more $$$.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 6:08 pm
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I have no personal experiece using VOIP, but clark howard talked about this place recently.

http://www.teleo.com

If anyone uses this, please report with your thoughts.

Ric
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Old Mar 23, 05, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by RCC
I have no personal experiece using VOIP, but clark howard talked about this place recently.

http://www.teleo.com

If anyone uses this, please report with your thoughts.

Ric
This looks like a really neat (kewl..) service. But--the web site says their beta test is closed and they are not acccepting new customers at this time.

This is what is on their web site...



Dear Customer,

Due to the overwhelming success of Teleo's beta launch, we are unable to accept additional beta testers at this time. However, we will be accepting new testers shortly, and we would like to offer you 3 free months of Teleo service to thank you for your patience! Just sign up in the space above and you’ll be among the first to know when we resume accepting beta testers – and receive your 3 free month coupon. (Don’t worry – your email will be safe with us. We don’t spam, nor would we ever provide your email address to a third party.)

We are excited about our upcoming full launch of the Teleo service later this year – and we think you will be to! With a real phone number, unlimited inbound calling, free P2P calling worldwide, inexpensive calling to regular phones worldwide, call forwarding, voicemail, online account management, and click-to-call integration with Outlook and IE, Teleo is a much more convenient - and dramatically less expensive - way to keep in touch than regular phones. With teleo and a cell phone, you’ve got all the phone service you need – online or on the move.

We appreciate your interest in Teleo and look forward to offering you truly exceptional service. In the mean time, don’t forget to sign up above to receive your 3 free month coupon once we resume activations.

Best Regards,

Peter Sisson, CEO
Teleo, Inc
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Old Mar 24, 05, 6:02 am
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VOIP in the Midwest

Anybody tried this in the Midwest U.S. for primary. Interested in same for regular use, and then preferable one that would travel out of the US as wall as throughout it too. (don't ask for much do I?)
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