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Thread: Anyone here use Vonage for phone service?

  1. #1
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    Anyone here use Vonage for phone service?

    How does it work & what is involved in hooking it up?

    Would I still have phone service if I lose electricity?
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch View Post
    How does it work & what is involved in hooking it up?

    You are supplied a special "modem" or an add-on that with a simple bit of rewiring carries you phone service over your broadband connection (assuming you have one).

    Would I still have phone service if I lose electricity?
    No. Your "modem" must be working for your phone to work. My cable internet was just out for four hours. If I didn't have regular phone service or a cell phone I would be out of luck.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-07-2007 at 05:17 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch View Post
    How does it work & what is involved in hooking it up?

    Would I still have phone service if I lose electricity?
    Vonage uses a technology known as “Voice over Internet Protocol” or VOIP. Basically it is a way of sending voice conversations over the Internet. For you to be able to use it, you must have high speed Internet access, such as a cable modem or DSL.

    Vonage sends you a box that you connect to your Internet access – either to your modem or to a router in your house. That box has a connector that you plug a regular phone into (but usually a cordless phone). Basically what that box does is convert your voice between analog and digital – analog to the phone in your house and digital to the Internet.

    Vonage has network interface boxes – equipment that resides in the cities that it serves and which connect between the Internet and the local telephone network.

    When you call someone, you first pick up the phone in your house and go off-hook. The local Vonage box detects the off-hook condition and sends you dial tone. You dial the number you wish to call, and the local Vonage box detects the DTMF tones and stores the called number. Based on the area code (or country calling code), it sends a call request with the number to one of the interface boxes in the city you’re calling, along with your IP address. That interface box sends the phone number to the local telephone company, who then rings the telephone. The telephone company feeds back the call progress tones (ringing, busy, and a few others), which are then fed back to you. When the person answers, the Vonage interface box digitizes the person’s voice and puts it into packets which are sent to you. Those packets are received by your local Vonage box, converted to analog and sent to your phone.

    When one of you hangs up the appropriate box detects the hang up and initiates call teardown procedures.

    When someone calls you: Your phone number is registered in the Vonage interface box in your local city, and that box knows your IP address. So if someone in another city (not a Vonage user) calls your phone, the call is routed to that interface box in your city, which digitizes the information and sends it to your local Vonage box. Things then proceed as described above.

    Couple of issues/features:

    1. You don’t have to have a local phone number. For example, suppose you have most of your family in one city that is long distance to you. You can get a Vonage number in that city and have it ring your phone, no matter where you are. That way, calls to, and calls from, your relatives are all local calls.
    2. If you can keep your IP address, you can take that phone anywhere in the world and things still work as described above. The interface box simply forwards packets to your IP address which can be anywhere in the Internet.
    3. 911 service is a problem because your phone could be anywhere. I think Vonage makes you register your location so that they can properly route a 911 call (to the emergency service closest to you).

    If you lose power, your phone does not work.

    Mike

    P.S. There's a bunch of companies who offer VOIP. Vonage has some serious patent problems and may wind up being acquired.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
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    Mike kind of skimmed the surface about VOIP, but here's a more detailed technical description:

    You talk, and your voice goes through the Intarweb, and your friends can hear you. Then they talk, and you can hear them back.



    Seriously, Mike has explained it very well. As he said, there are a number of players in the game. I have a Skype account, but I don't think any of the VIOP products are quite ready to replace my landline yet.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  5. #5
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    The VOIP companies are not too interested in smaller markets yet. I would have to change area codes to get Vonage or one of the other services. We are considering dropping the land line and going with just our cell phones.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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