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Total newbie with questions

Annie
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Registered: 25-09-2007

Total newbie with questions

Hi,
I have not pursued VOIP before now as I've always been very confused by it but I need to have the facility of a second phone number in the household.
I am on PlusNet Broadband Your Way Option 2 with Broadband Phone 120. Here are my questions:
1) Does my package mean that I can phone any landline number starting with 01 or 02 up to 120 minutes in a month for free and make unlimited VOIP calls such as Skype, etc. for free? What do calls cost when I go over the allowance?
2) I originally activated this a long time ago when it was PlusTalk but my login details don't seem to tally with the control panel. Where do I get this information from.
3) Do I get a second telephone number and, if so, what format does it take, ie. what dialling code is at the beginning. Does it cost people the same to call me as if they were to ring my usual BT landline number?
4) Equipment - I have a Netgear DG834GT wireless router. I would like the facility of not needing the computer on to use the Broadband Phone. Therefore, is a wireless VOIP phone the answer to this? The phone is ideally not going to be situated in the same room as the router so my questions is, does the base station (if that is what it is called) have to sit next to the router and can you get a phone which has a separate charger from the bit that plugs into the LAN port so the battery doesn't run down? Any suggestions on make and model of phone would be helpful.
5) Answerphone facility - as I have not managed to log in to the control panel, I'm unaware of what's available. Is there an answerphone/voicemail system and if so, how will I know if I have a voicemail and how do I retrieve the message? Do I have to go onto my computer to do this or does it come up on the phone?
Many thanks.
Annie
Annie
28 REPLIES
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Hi Annie,
1) You can use your minutes to call 01,02,03 - there are certain other VoIP providers (can't find the list at the moment) you can call for free though I don't think Skype is one of them as they run a closed ship.
2) Raise a ticket to ask for your new login details.
3) You can choose which STD code and then you will be issued a number and will take the format of a normal landline number, it will cost the same for others to ring you.
4)  Have a look at the Siemens Gigaset range here, though this will require you to have the base station next to the router. As it is a landline and VoIP phone it can replace your existing phones. If you have certain nokia phones in the E or N range these can be used as VoIP phones. There is voicemail, mine gets emailed to me - I'm not sure if they phones notify you of this, sure someone else can fill you in.
Will Moderate For Thanks
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Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: Total newbie with questions

Hi Annie, spooky but you are in almost exactly the same situation as me.
I thought I'd give broadband phone a go yesterday but like you I'd activated it some time ago but never used it. I recommend that you contact Customer Support. They have deleted my old account and have put in a manual request to re-activate it with my 120 free minutes. The activation won't take effect until Monday though so I can't report yet on how it works.
As I understand it I will then be able to make up to 120 minutes worth of calls free to 01, 02 and 03 numbers. Other calls are charged as per this link http://www.plus.net/support/broadband_phone/broadband-phone-tariffs.pdf.
I think you do get a second telephone number but I'm not sure how this is allocated.
I've got a Netgear DG834G and was thinking of getting a Siemens A580 IP. The Siemens range of phones seems to be widely recommended on this forum.
Sorry I don't know the answer to your anserphone question.
Hope this helps - Bob
<edited to correct broken link>
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Oops adiewoo, beat me to it.
Bob
puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote from: Annie
1) Does my package mean that I can phone any landline number starting with 01 or 02 up to 120 minutes in a month for free and make unlimited VOIP calls such as Skype, etc. for free? What do calls cost when I go over the allowance?

Yes Free Calls up to your allowance but plusnet VoIP is not compatible with Skype.
Quote from: Annie
2) I originally activated this a long time ago when it was PlusTalk but my login details don't seem to tally with the control panel. Where do I get this information from.

you need to raise a ticket because the old 08 numbers can be changed in to any local std code free for anybody calling you subject to their free call allowance
Quote from: Annie
3) Do I get a second telephone number and, if so, what format does it take, i.e. what dialling code is at the beginning. Does it cost people the same to call me as if they were to ring my usual BT landline number?

yes it’s a normal 01 020 number the old 08 numbers cost 3p per min for callers calling you.  std codes may come out of a call allowance making it free.  sip to sip calls are free.  sip call to other plusnet users are free and other companies like sipgate but plusnet does not have many peering arrangements with other isp
Quote from: Annie
4) Equipment - I have a Netgear DG834GT wireless router. I would like the facility of not needing the computer on to use the Broadband Phone. Therefore, is a wireless VOIP phone the answer to this? The phone is ideally not going to be situated in the same room as the router so my questions is, does the base station (if that is what it is called) have to sit next to the router and can you get a phone which has a separate charger from the bit that plugs into the LAN port so the battery doesn't run down? Any suggestions on make and model of phone would be helpful.

The best phone for you would be a Siemens ip dect range of VoIP phones.  it base station needs to be near your router  and landline socket but the handset and charger can be anywhere and you can buy extra slave handsets.  its 2 phones in one if you dial the number and release the dial button it makes a BT/landline call but if you hold the dial button for 3 seconds it makes a VoIP call.  Most Siemens VoIP phone allow you to have more than 1 VoIP account.  £60 to £80 slave handsets about £40 each.  You can make more than 1 call if you have extra slave handsets 1 BT and 4 VoIP calls at the same time.  You only need to leave your router on to make and receive calls.  Battery life on these phone is excellent
Or some nokia E65 N82 N95 N95-8GB mobile phones allow you to make and receive VoIP calls.  E65 phone about £60-£70 from eBay or Free if you already own it.  My friend calls me in the UK from Spain for free (sip to sip) or price of a local UK call. All you need is to log on to any unprotected  internet wireless connection.  I call him using is normal UK voip number he can be anywhere in the world and it’s still the price of a local call
Quote from: Annie
5) Answer phone facility - as I have not managed to log in to the control panel, I'm unaware of what's available. Is there an answer phone/voicemail system and if so, how will I know if I have a voicemail and how do I retrieve the message? Do I have to go onto my computer to do this or does it come up on the phone?

You can setup voicemail it can even redirect your call.  I route my voicemail to my e-mail account some Siemens VoIP phones have answering machines
puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Can I ask a question of my own.
Is there a set-up charge for broadband phone calls (like the 5p per call set-up charge for PlusNet home phone)?
Thanks - Bob
puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote from: bobboulby
Is there a set-up charge for broadband phone calls (like the 5p per call set-up charge for PlusNet home phone)?

no for outgoing voip calls but calls are per minute not per second
puddy
itsme
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Looking at my call charges I would say that we are charged by the second not the minute. Had a quick look at the tariff Guide and can't see any mention of time increments. It only state that the call charges prices are in pence per minute and the minimum fee is 1p.
Annie
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Registered: 25-09-2007

Re: Total newbie with questions

Thank you for all your help everyone. It's been very useful so far.
Can I just ask a few more things?
1) I have an existing regular trio phone setup for the normal landline number. Can I add one of these Siemens VOIP phones by plugging it into a separate extension socket on my phone line? Therefore, I'm assuming that it's OK to have two base stations on one line as long as I have phone sockets to plug the stations into them.
2) When someone rings the number that I will be allocated by Plusnet, how do we know which number is being called, ie. the VOIP number or the BT number? I need to differentiate between calls and answer accordingly.
3) If I go over the call allowance, how do I get billed for the VOIP calls?
4) When I make a call with the VOIP phone, using the broadband system, what caller ID will be displayed to the person at the other end? I'd like it to be the VOIP number.
Annie
itsme
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Re: Total newbie with questions

1. Yes so long that you do not exceed the REN rating of 4. Obviously the VoIP phone will also need to be plugged into the router.
2. Probably is dependent of the system you get. I know that it's a VoIP call by the fact that the normal PSTN phones are not ringing but I would imagine that other VoIP/PSTN systems you can specify different ring tones.
3. You need to credit your account up front. Minimum is £5
4. You have the choice of withhold, the allocated number or your normal PSTN number. The first 2 you control through the Control Panel the latter you have to request with proof that you are the account holder for the PSTN number.
puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote from: Annie
1) I have an existing regular trio phone setup for the normal landline number. Can I add one of these Siemens VOIP phones by plugging it into a separate extension socket on my phone line? Therefore, I'm assuming that it's OK to have two base stations on one line as long as I have phone sockets to plug the stations into them

why do you need to? the Siemens phone does both BT and VoIP handset in one.  using your old cordless means there a greater chance of it interfering with your VoIP phone if someone tries to make a call, its better just to buy extra handsets for your type of Siemens VoIP phone.  you can make more than 1 VoIP calls on handsets not being used (max 4 VoIP)
Quote from: Annie
2) When someone rings the number that I will be allocated by Plusnet, how do we know which number is being called, i.e. the VOIP number or the BT number?

it will show ip on the display for VoIP calls
Quote from: Annie
3) If I go over the call allowance, how do I get billed for the VOIP calls?

you have to add credits otherwise when you have used up your allowance you cannot make any chargeable calls  you can still make sip to sip calls free
Quote from: Annie
4) When I make a call with the VOIP phone, using the broadband system, what caller ID will be displayed to the person at the other end? I'd like it to be the VOIP number.

you can choose what to show up in your VoIP account page
if you want the handset to move around the house with you a nokia E65 mobile phone would be better.  VoIP calls on the nokia E65 are not dependant on line rental in fact you can take a sim card out of it and still make free VoIP calls you can keep your old cordless phones and don’t need extra slave handsets.  Nokia E65 cost about £60 - £70 look for 02 3HG or de-branded phones stay away from orange and Vodafone E65 Mobiles on eBay and you can still make mobile calls from it-just a thought!

puddy
ps all siemens dect ip gigaset phone can make free calls to other siemens ip gigaset phones
Annie
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Registered: 25-09-2007

Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote from: puddy
if you want the handset to move around the house with you a nokia E65 mobile phone would be better.  VoIP calls on the nokia E65 are not dependant on line rental in fact you can take a sim card out of it and still make free VoIP calls you can keep your old cordless phones and don’t need extra slave handsets.  Nokia E65 cost about £60 - £70 look for 02 3HG or de-branded phones stay away from orange and Vodafone E65 Mobiles on eBay and you can still make mobile calls from it-just a thought!

Thank you for the follow-up replies.
I'm not sure what a de-branded phone means. I have searched the internet but cannot find an E65 for much less than £200 and they seem to be contract phones. Puddy, were you suggesting that I buy a second-hand phone on Ebay or do you know where I can pick one of these up for £60-£70? I would only want a PAYG mobile and not a contract phone if I got one with a SIM.
Annie
puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote from: Annie
I'm not sure what a de-branded phone means.

Nokia invented mobile phones that make voip calls some mobile phone compaines said it will effect their profits, nokia refused to take the voip menu's out.  In the end vodafone had to open the boxes of the phone and take the settings out.  De-branding a phone means you put the settings/menu back.  Its not possabe to update the firmware because this just update to phone firmware.  De-branding the phone allows you to update to a genric firmware it also put the missing voip menu back in.  you update/change the product code  to 0534841
Quote from: Annie
I have searched the internet but cannot find an E65 for much less than £200 and they seem to be contract phones. Puddy, were you suggesting that I buy a second-hand phone on Ebay

Ebay will be the cheapist site to buy one from.  You dont need to signup to contract  when buying a 2nd phone just make sure its unlocked or find out how can unlock it in a mobile shop near you not CPW

Puddy
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Re: Total newbie with questions

Quote
I have an existing regular trio phone setup for the normal landline number[/quote
Quote
its better just to buy extra handsets for your type of Siemens VoIP phone.  you can make more than 1 VoIP calls on handsets not being used (max 4 VoIP)

Just to add to this, you can use your existing handsets ( as long as they are DECT compatible ) with the Siemens DECT IP phones. You will not get the complete functionality but for basic calling it works. I've used a normal handset as an extra one with my C475IP and it worked fine.
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Re: Total newbie with questions

I've now  got my account working and like Annie I'm trying it out using SJphone.
It seems to be working ok with one exception. When I dial a landline (or someone calls me from a landline), the sound quality on the ordinary phone is fine - it just sounds like any other call. The sound quality at my end (on the computer) is poor however with crackly sound.
I've checked my (cheap) headset out using iTunes and the quality while not brilliant is certainly ok for making phone calls.
Any ideas?
Bob
Edit - I should probably mention that my broadband connection is good, 8128 downstream, 448 upstream. Ping to sip.plus.net is in the low 20ms.