SageTV Community  

Go Back   SageTV Community > General Discussion > The SageTV Community

Notices

The SageTV Community Here's the place to discuss what's worth recording, HTPC deals at retail stores, events happening outside of your home theater, and pretty much anything else you'd like. (No For-Sale posts)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-04-2011, 09:14 AM
blade blade is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,500
Suggestions for a good VOIP service?

Awhile back we switched from Bellsouth to Comcast for home phone service. The main reason was a promotional offer from Comcast that gave us free long distance and more features than what we were getting from Bellsouth for a lower price. Well the promotional period is now over and it's up to full price so I'm looking for a less expensive alternative.

My wife and I primarily use our cell phones; however, we have family and friends in other states and regularly use the free long distance to talk to them. I know we could use our cell phones for that, but the quality is so much better with the land line that we're not ready to give that up yet.

What I'm really looking for is something with free long distance and to be able to plug in a regular phone and have it function as if I was still with the old fashion telephone company.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-04-2011, 09:42 AM
gplasky's Avatar
gplasky gplasky is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Howell, MI
Posts: 9,203
We've been using Vonage for about 3 years and are very happy with it. We actually dropped down to the 500 min/$15 a month pacakge. Didn't need the unlimited.

Gerry
__________________
Big Gerr
_______
Server - WHS 2011: Sage 7.1.9 - 1 x HD Prime and 2 x HDHomeRun - Intel Atom D525 1.6 GHz, Acer Easystore, RAM 4 GB, 4 x 2TB hotswap drives, 1 x 2TB USB ext Clients: 2 x PC Clients, 1 x HD300, 2 x HD-200, 1 x HD-100 DEV Client: Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit - AMD 64 x2 6000+, Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H MB, RAM 4GB, HD OS:500GB, DATA:1 x 500GB, Pace RGN STB.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-04-2011, 09:58 AM
mdnttoker mdnttoker is offline
Sage Aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 444
I'm a big fan of OOMA....love it, and $3 / month for basic services. $10/month for premier...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-04-2011, 10:48 AM
rmiller's Avatar
rmiller rmiller is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Fair Oaks, CA
Posts: 39
I've been using Vonage (5 lines) for about 6 years now and its worked out pretty well.

However, I am building an Asterisk server (coupled with Flowroute) which will replace Vonage. Vonage is inexpensive and feature rich, but with Asterisk, I can customize it further and in the long run it's even cheaper. There's quite a bit involved though in setting it up.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-04-2011, 11:01 AM
PiX64's Avatar
PiX64 PiX64 is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,991
ITPvoip. i have had them for about 4 years, they have never increased price, have great features, great call quality, and are super cheap. 9.99 for the basic plan. my phone bill is 15.07 a month.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-04-2011, 11:22 AM
95TBird's Avatar
95TBird 95TBird is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Berthoud, CO
Posts: 143
+1 for OOMA We have had it for 2+ years & it has been rock solid!
__________________
Server: Intel DH55HC MB, Intel Core i5-661 CPU, 4 GB Corsair PC3 10666 RAM, 2 Ceton InfiniTV 4s (Comcast), RocketRAID 2740 16PORT SAS 6.0Gb Controller, 2.56TB TV Storage (4 WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA 6.0Gb Drives), 8.5TB Movie Storage, Norco 4220 Case, Corsair HX750 PS, W7 Professional (Windows Media Center), TunerSalad Foot Long, My Channel Logos, & MYMovies.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-04-2011, 12:47 PM
bcjenkins bcjenkins is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,761
Checkout nettalk.com. Buy the adapter then $30/year after the first.
__________________
Running SageTV on unRAID via Docker
Tuning handled by HDHR3-6CC-3X2 using OpenDCT
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-04-2011, 05:21 PM
brainbone brainbone is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 624
I've been using VIA Talk. I like that I can use my own equipment with them (Asterisk). I'm looking into switching to Axvoice however, since my two lines, for two years, for $199 deal with VIAtalk is just about up.

Last edited by brainbone; 08-04-2011 at 05:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-04-2011, 11:51 PM
PGPfan's Avatar
PGPfan PGPfan is offline
Sage Fanatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Oldtown, Idaho USA
Posts: 862
After trying Vonage for a while (too expensive), then Ooma (cheaper, but then they started charging for "premium" features that should be included in the regular monthly fee), and then MagicJack (least expensive, but requires a PC on all the time you want phone service).

I finally settled on Obi for hardware, and GoogleTalk for the service. The hardware is inexpensive and usable with just about any service, and with GoogleTalk the phone service is entirely free through 2011. It works completely transparently - HIGHLY recommended!

-PGPfan
__________________
Sage Server: Gigabyte 690AMD m-ATX, Athlon II X4 620 Propus, 3.0 GB ram, (1) VistaView dual analog PCI-e tuner, (2) Avermedia Purity 3D MCE 250's, (1) HD-Homerun, 1.5 TB of hard drives in a Windows Home Server drive pool, Western Digital 300GB 'scratch' disk outside the pool, Gigabit LAN
Sage Clients: MSI DIVA m-ATX, 5.1 channel 100w/channel amplifier card, 2 GB ram, , (1) Hauppauge MVP, (1) SageTV HD-100 Media Storage: unRAID 3.6TB server

Last edited by PGPfan; 08-04-2011 at 11:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-05-2011, 02:58 AM
scat scat is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saint Augustine,Fl
Posts: 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by 95TBird View Post
+1 for OOMA We have had it for 2+ years & it has been rock solid!
+1 for OOMA, when I lost my job and income had to make a decision, had to have phone servive for the job possibilities, invested in a OOMA device and now phone service is FREE and never looked back at a phone bill, best investment I ever made except for Sage of course.

I have been working now for over a year, thanks to God, and as a permanent employee since April 2011 and now have health insurance.

You should check it out.

Scat
__________________
Server: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GH, GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L MB, OCZ Gold Series 3GB, Sapphire Radeon HD 2600XT,
1 250GB Seagate hd (OS), 1 500GB Seagate hd (Music,Pictures), 1 Samsung Spinpoint 1TB hd (Sage recording),
Tuners: 1 Hauppauge PVR 500, 1 Hauppauge HVR-2250
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit, Sage 6.6.2.218, Eventghost 0.3.6.1486, Java 1.6.0_11, Harmony 880, USB-UIRT
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-05-2011, 05:55 AM
Owen Brent Owen Brent is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 55
I am in Canada and Obitalk works for me too. Magic Jack worked for me too, but there are limitations to what numbers you can call. Gave up Magic Jack for the Obi 110. Easy to set up.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-05-2011, 12:18 PM
ewelin ewelin is offline
Sage Advanced User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 165
Send a message via AIM to ewelin Send a message via MSN to ewelin Send a message via Yahoo to ewelin
I'm currently on vonage and have had their service for several years now. Only thing that drives me crazy is the ever increasing prices. When I first signed up we had the 15.99 plan and service charges etc brought it to a few pennies over $17. That same plan now costs almost $10 more with all of the fees and price increases. I personally don't feel it's worth it, so I'm looking to migrate to another service. Unfortunately we need to port our number as it's on all sorts of things and changing really just isn't an option at this point. Has anyone ported their number to these services and if so how has that worked out?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-05-2011, 12:55 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
Sage Aficionado
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewelin View Post
I'm currently on vonage and have had their service for several years now. Only thing that drives me crazy is the ever increasing prices. When I first signed up we had the 15.99 plan and service charges etc brought it to a few pennies over $17. That same plan now costs almost $10 more with all of the fees and price increases. I personally don't feel it's worth it, so I'm looking to migrate to another service. Unfortunately we need to port our number as it's on all sorts of things and changing really just isn't an option at this point. Has anyone ported their number to these services and if so how has that worked out?
I looked into Vonage, since it seemed to be the most mature, but the cost savings over the phone company was only $2 a month.

The small providers like ooma just feel like ponzi schemes to me; Pay once, and then it's free forever. what if new customters stop buying the box? At some point if the subscriber base stops increasing who is going to be funding the service?

I've been thinking about going with a handset that will connect with bluetooth to 2 different cell phones along with a landline connection. That way I can ease my way into cutting the cord, and just using my cell service for everything, and the handset would ring for both mine and my wifes phones.

My biggest concern with most of the VOIP and cell providers is the 911 service. With a 5 year old at home, I'm not willing to risk 911 service with some of the smaller providers. And in our area, a landline without service doesn't just allow 911 calls through.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-05-2011, 09:59 PM
mdnttoker mdnttoker is offline
Sage Aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by david1234 View Post
I looked into Vonage, since it seemed to be the most mature, but the cost savings over the phone company was only $2 a month.

The small providers like ooma just feel like ponzi schemes to me; Pay once, and then it's free forever. what if new customters stop buying the box? At some point if the subscriber base stops increasing who is going to be funding the service?

I've been thinking about going with a handset that will connect with bluetooth to 2 different cell phones along with a landline connection. That way I can ease my way into cutting the cord, and just using my cell service for everything, and the handset would ring for both mine and my wifes phones.

My biggest concern with most of the VOIP and cell providers is the 911 service. With a 5 year old at home, I'm not willing to risk 911 service with some of the smaller providers. And in our area, a landline without service doesn't just allow 911 calls through.
I had the same concerns with OOMA at first, but they must be having enough people sign up for the $10 / month service to stay afloat...had it for over a year, and its great.

e911 support, phone # porting, great voice quality, independent of computer...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-06-2011, 06:20 AM
blade blade is offline
SageTVaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,500
Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I know someone who uses Vonage and he seems really happy with it so I'm going to definitely look into it.

I've also seen suggestions for OOMA on the Anandtech forums, but at first glance it looks like the hardware to get started is going to cost around $250. Seems a little high for the upfront hardware cost compared to Vonage.

I haven't checked out any of the other suggestions yet, but I will. You guys have given me a lot of options to look into.

Being able to port my existing number is fairly important, but not critical. I've just had the same number for over 20 years and would like to keep it if it's practical.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-06-2011, 07:28 PM
baudfather baudfather is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 50
I was on Vonage here in Canada for a while, but service was inconsistent on a few occasions, and their tech support was horrid (at least for Canada), then they started increasing their prices. I have been with Primus for over 5 years and their service is excellent - no latency issues, excellent call quality and reliability. 2 lines (one for fax, actually works) for less than $20/month.
__________________
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Server: Win7 Home Premium, GigaByte GA-MA78GPM-DS2H, AMD 64 x2 5600, 4GB Dual Channel RAM, 1-DCT-3416 / 2-DCX3400 via FireWire & Unisheen BM3000-HDMI Encoder, NMedia 200SA Case, Crystalfontz 632, USBUIRT, Logitech DiNovo Mini, Client & Placeshifter license, HD200 extenders.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-06-2011, 08:58 PM
Jason's Avatar
Jason Jason is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by blade View Post
What I'm really looking for is something with free long distance and to be able to plug in a regular phone and have it function as if I was still with the old fashion telephone company.
OK... I hear everyone talking about their provider for VOIP...

Here are the instructions for Nationwide (US) long distance... FOR FREE!

http://sipsorcery.wordpress.com/2009...-app-tutorial/

I have been using the Google Voice/Sip Sorcery mashup since they took away the SIP server from Grand Central...

As far as calling overseas... I charge my GV account and use the rates as listed here...

https://www.google.com/voice/rates

A simple SIP/ATA adapter (heck... I got mine on EBay for $10...) and your off and running!

The only thing missing is E911... although that can be had as well, but a nominal fee. I have 911 mapped in my dial plan to call the local Police Department...
__________________
True standalone tuner functionality with the --> HAVA Channel Changer<--
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-07-2011, 05:16 AM
wrems's Avatar
wrems wrems is offline
Sage Icon
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 1,332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
A simple SIP/ATA adapter (heck... I got mine on EBay for $10...) and your off and running!

What adapter do you have? Do you recommend any other adapters? This looks interesting
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-07-2011, 08:35 AM
Jason's Avatar
Jason Jason is offline
Sage Expert
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrems View Post
What adapter do you have? Do you recommend any other adapters? This looks interesting
I have an old Linksys RTP300 that works great... It was a re-purposed Vonage version that I unlocked and now works great!
__________________
True standalone tuner functionality with the --> HAVA Channel Changer<--
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-08-2011, 10:17 AM
pdessart pdessart is offline
Sage User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alameda, CA & Waiheke Island, NZ
Posts: 18
BroadVoice

Quote:
Originally Posted by PGPfan View Post
After trying Vonage for a while (too expensive) [...] I finally settled on Obi for hardware, and GoogleTalk for the service.
I, too have had Vonage (fine except for the cost) and now have the Obi/GoogleTalk combo plus BroadVoice.

I find that GoogleTalk occasionally suffers greatly degraded service (dropouts, poor line quality, etc.). You get what you pay for...

I've had BroadVoice for ~6 years now and can't recommend them highly enough. Their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) service unbundles the ATA or SIP Phone so you can choose your own hardware (and the Obi works very well) at a very low $6/mo. entry price.

Among the features I really like is their support for Multi-Presence. This allows you to have the same number ring on multiple devices (e.g. home & vacation house or ATA and softclient while traveling). I plan on implementing Asterisk later this year, and will be able to have what amounts to 8 lines (8 simultaneous incoming and/or outgoing calls) at no extra cost (this does not even require Multi-Presence).

Peter
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any suggestions on a good way to connect pc to tv? browngoat0 Hardware Support 4 11-17-2009 05:00 PM
Caller ID modem for voip tawd1992 Hardware Support 11 10-22-2009 06:17 PM
callerID and VOIP snoopy SageMC Custom Interface 1 08-28-2008 06:02 PM
Suggestions re: use of this mini-pc? Good idea, or not? mbahr Hardware Support 1 08-10-2007 07:31 PM
any good splitter/isolator suggestions rnewman Hardware Support 4 12-23-2006 08:46 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2003-2005 SageTV, LLC. All rights reserved.