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Voip (vonage) and others.

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Voip (vonage) and others.

Has anyone else tried Vonage through f9?

(Vonage is Voip service, cheap international calls although skype is cheaper, but with vonage you can get unlimited UK landline calls for £9.99 per month.

Sounds good? Well I found that it isn't good at all.

At the highest call quality setting my calls were mostly choppy eg too much packet loss. At the lowest setting calls were ok BUT the big problem is that if there is any other traffic on your connection the call gets horibly choppy and unusable. You don't notice much with normal web browsing but basically if you are downloading a big file you can't use the phone at the same time as the downstream gets too choppy. This is obviously not really practical for people who actually use their broadband for other things.

The linksys router/phone adaptor which comes with the service is supposed to have a QOS to give priority to the voice traffic. But in practice this doesn't actually seem to make any difference to the downstream anyway.
Another problem is that if you have an all in one wireless router modem, the wireless traffic wont get through the linksys and so bypassed the QOS anyway and the wired computers are on a different subnet to the wireless (as now wired connect to the linksys for QOS reasons) which causes problems with windows file and printer sharing. Even when only a wired computer is using traffic through the supposed QOS in the linksys this makes no difference at all.

Ocassionally the servers don't seem to get the "call finished" message from your end when you put the phone down, this means that the person at the other end listens to a dead line until the vonage service realises that the connection is broken, this takes 20minutes or so! You MAY get charged for this if it is a chargeable call?

I tried to get it going with all settings etc, but never got it any better.
The first linksys they sent was faulty. (Power supply sounded like it was about to explode(hot too)). So they sent me a new one.

They bent over backwards to keep me as a customer when the first linksys went faulty so eventually I agreed to a replacement instead of canceling.
I finally decided that enough was enough on day 15 (oops) of the 14day trial period. Since I only actually had a useable service for about 5 days as the rest was waiting for delivery of first and then replacement adaptor I hoped they would still refund the setup charges. (you can cancel at any time otherwise)

You cant cancel in the web, so I phoned. The operator gave me a reference and that was it. Nothing else has happened, no email with a return number to send back the router (like before), service still active, no refund. I have emailed them three times and nothing has come back. Usually they are very good and respond to emails after 1-2 hours.

I think it could be a case of we are pretending that we didn't hear your cancellation request? I'm going to call them again later today and see what is happening. Anyone else have trouble cancelling?

Anyone else think it is good, bad? Anyone else think any other Voip services are good bad? Anyone tried SIPGATE? The disadvantage with them is you have to pay for the hardware so you can't really "try" it.

I have used skype for cheap international calls through my PC and actually it is quite reasonable. I haven't ever actually used it when in a big download so perhaps it suffers the same problem with other traffic, however it may use the WinXp QOS service which may or may not work?

The main problem with VoIP is latency and packet loss. If you are listening to net radio at higher bandwidths than VoIp it is usually really good, but that is because there is buffering, so if you loose a bit you get buffered while it retries and catches up. With voice calls you obviously can't do this as it would be like speaking to someone over a fixed high orbit satelite international call but with an even bigger delay. You can't have a proper conversation as you keep interrupting each other in the "gaps".

IP isn't really designed for this unless all the routers in the path have QOS that works. I suppose there could be special agreements between ISPs and the VoIP providers with special links to ensure QOS? I suspect this is not the case between vonage and f9. Vonage actually use arbitarty ports for the conversation traffic so the routers would have to give priority purely based on the IP address of destination and source. There is an advantage to this as you could use several phone adaptors from vonage behind one IP address (NAT router) and they would all work ok. With SIPGATE I think you have to use port fowarding so I assume this is not possible.
6 REPLIES
orrery
Grafter
Posts: 138
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Voip (vonage) and others.

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...unlimited UK landline calls for £9.99 per month


Mmm. Difficult to justify no matter what the quality when a normal 3rd party provider will give you UK calls at 2p per call i.e. 500 calls for your tenner and nothing if you don't make any!

regards Ian
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Voip (vonage) and others.

2 pence per call or 2 pence per minute?

Never seen 2p per call?!
orrery
Grafter
Posts: 138
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Voip (vonage) and others.

Quote
2 pence per call or 2 pence per minute?


0p per minute with a 2p connection charge. No monthly charge.

http://www.call18866.co.uk

I've been using them for a year or so and they seem fine. My monthly call cost is now down to a couple of quid, although it is fair to day that I use a mobile most of the time.

It is possible to buy an autodialer box to progam up to automatically route various types of calls through the different providers.

regards, Ian
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Voip (vonage) and others.

Wow thanks, that is very cheap!
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Voip (vonage) and others.

Vonage finally did cancel my account. They "said" they would refund my setup charges. Actually I was on day 15 of 14 day trial so they didn't HAVE to but since I could not use the service for most of that time as I was waiting for a second linksys adaptor to arrive as the first one was faulty they agreed that they would.

They credited my account with the setup charge. But then charged my card with the disconnect fee. The disconnect fee is supposed to be refunded after they receive the linksys adaptor back. However when the adaptor arrived back with them they did not add a credit to my account for the disconnect fee. My account got messed up a bit and they only refunded me £22 out of the £44 pounds that they should have done. An earlier email from them said they owed £44 when they received the adaptor back but now they don't want to know. They are completely ignoring my emails.

Be carefull as the 14 day trial starts when you sign up not when you actually get your adaptor to use the service which could be upto 5 days later. In my case I only got to try the service for a few days and as I said already it is not good quality at all.

I staying with Skype for international calls and 18866 for UK calls which are very cheap.
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Voip (vonage) and others.

www.voipcheap.co.uk - FREE UK CALLS
www.voipfone.co.uk

I use a grandstream GX2000 IP phone with my f9 premium account. Works great!