Anyone have Vonage?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Jon1, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. Jan 3, 2006 #1 of 79
    Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    I just switched my phone service to Vonage. Does it work well w/TiVo? I dumped Verizon because THEY SUCK! Every time it rains we get no service. By the the time the dimbulbs get around to checking the lines, it has stopped raining and it works again. The Vonage concept sounds good (on paper). But is it, really?
     
  2. Jan 3, 2006 #2 of 79
    DPF

    DPF So tired.....

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    Depends on your question, does it work well with TiVo? As for the phone service itself, I've been using Vonage for, I don't know, a couple years now. I jumped early and never looked back. I love it as a phone service. Works flawlessly for me. Saves me a ton of cash. The voicemail stuff is incredibly convenient.

    As for "working with TiVo" I'm assuming you mean TiVo dialing out through through the Vonage line. I haven't followed this in a while so I don't know the current status, but it was tough before (A year or more ago) and function varied with the TiVo in question. Series 1's worked ok, Series2's were spotty as I recall. Lots of fidgeting with modem speeds and such. Vonage got a lot of calls for improvement and I believe they made some changes to improve function. It may require fax line, I don't know. Best suggestion is to try and force a connection and see what happens. If it fails, there should be some around here who can help you out to get going.

    Again, I'm assuming you have a Series1 or Directivo. If you have a Series2 SA, you should be running through the network anyway which makes the point moot.

    -DPF
     
  3. Jan 3, 2006 #3 of 79
    davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    I got a new TiVo over the Christmas holiday... it didn't have current system software so I had to enroll over dialup and get the guide data to finish setup. With no modifications to modem settings or Vonage settings I was able to register my TiVo no prob. Downloading the initial guide data took about 5 or 6 tries - the connection kept dropping, for whatever reason, before it remained solid long enough to get the update. For that big software download, I turned of all my other network devices to try and keep my broadband connection free from interference and traffic. (Once the updating finished, I moved to my wireless adapter.)
     
  4. Jan 3, 2006 #4 of 79
    Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    Yeah it's actually a moot point because my TiVo is connected via wireless. I am really just curious how Vonage is as a telephone service.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2006 #5 of 79
    DPF

    DPF So tired.....

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    For me it has been stellar as I said. I can't speak to the robustness of the new-fangled hardware. I'm still on one of the original Cisco ATA186's. Now you can get all sorts of combo router/wireless/ATA stuff. The old ATA has been so reliable I don't dare change it out.

    The only drawback for me is that I have no bandwidth shaping since my router is an old b wireless POS. I've been tempted to get a router that I can apply port priorities with so that I can upload without causing interference. I haven't bothered since the days of Bittorrent are long gone for me and that was the only time it was even an issue.

    -DPF
     
  6. Jan 3, 2006 #6 of 79
    etsolow

    etsolow Don't Try

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    I was unhappy with Vonage. During heavy P2P downloads, the phone service was all but unusable. YMMV, but I cancelled it with extreme prejudice. (In my experience their tech support is a big back of suck, too. Long hold times, rude and ill-prepared techs, etc.)
     
  7. Jan 3, 2006 #7 of 79
    DPF

    DPF So tired.....

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    That was the issue I was referring to, and it was the uploads that were the killer. Since BT was always 2-way, it really hurt it. You can get around that with bandwidth shaping, which is pretty widely available now, but I stopped P2Ping (no time for anything anymore), so it became a non-issue. The default linksys ATA combo's may even have port prioritizing abilities available. I'm not sure.

    -DPF
     
  8. Jan 3, 2006 #8 of 79
    zcamanap

    zcamanap New Member

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    I use Broadvoice and have been 99% satisfied. Given that I get unlimited international calling to select countries that my wife frequently calls I am very pleased. No interference with downloads or Tivo. There are the occasional call hiccups i.e. caller cannot hear me but nothing redialing does not fix and I have never had a service interruption.

    Furthermore, I maintain a hardline with Bellsouth which was out of service for nearly 2 weeks(due to a Bellsouth problem) but I continued to have VoIP service.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2006 #9 of 79
    cbordman

    cbordman PP-ASEL

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    Holly...
    Vonage is terrible. If it doesn't work, it is never their fault. And even though it says 'no contracts', you have to pay a $40 disconnect fee if you cancel within 12 months, even if your service is unreliable..
     
  10. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    I have also heard the phone connection is only as good as your broadband connection. Our broadband connection has been fantastic (WAY more reliable than our landline) so I am hoping Vonage will work well too... Naive perhaps?
     
  11. cbordman

    cbordman PP-ASEL

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    Holly...
    I don't know.. I never notice any problems with our broadband. Many calls that i placed with the vonage line would be answered by the person on the other end, but they wouldn't be able to hear me.

    The service did not work well for me, and it wasn't worth the small savings of a local phone line. What pushed me over the edge was the horrible customer service, and the "no contracts" claim.

    Then they denied my rebate. Then i sold my vonage adapter on ebay, only to have the guy who bought it say that Vonage will not allow anyone else to re-activate old equipment.
     
  12. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    After my intial negative experiences with customer service, the phone service itself has been solid. I pay about $16/mo for local, LD, voice mail, caller-id, etc which is probably 50% less than Verizon was charging. We're limited to 500 minutes, but we both have cell phone plans with too many minutes and similar features.

    What I'd like to do is cancel Vonage and get one of those cell phone -> home phone repeaters. Then I'd like to cancel DSL and get the Kyocera KR1 EVDO router if it's ever released. I've tried the SkypeOut service a few times, but man the quality is unpredictable.

    (Yes, I live in one of the few places that let's you get "naked" DSL with no phone plan.)
     
  13. Aflat

    Aflat Member

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    Aug 29, 2005
    I have had vonage for almost 2 years now, and their service is very dependant on your ISP connection. For me, its been rock solid. I love the emailed voice mails, I can always get my voicemails while I'm at work.

    I have a 3m/256k connection(256??? stupid charter!) and I used to have some issues with choppiness when I was using bitorrent, or some other heavy uploading, but I finally changed my firmware on my WRT54G and the choppiness is gone totally. Bandwidth shaping is a must. My brother-inlaw got one of those linksys wireless routers with Vonage built in, and has no issues at all, it does all the bancwidth shaping for him. If it had ssh abilities I'd get one myself.
     
  14. Lex

    Lex New Member

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    Aug 30, 2002
    I too have Vonage and, to be honest, I was surprised at the call quality. I fully expected it to be tinny, hollow, or have echos, but none of that has occurred. I also expected to have dropped calls or choppy audio at times, but have not experienced that either (actually I do have a strange problem of dropped calls when I call in to my voicemail, but I can deal with that).

    You should head over to the Vonage forums at triple W dot Vonage-Forums dot cee oh em (apparently I can't post any URLs until I've made 5 posts in this forum - man that filter is tough to fool). That seems to be the official unofficial place to discuss Vonage. There's probably also other forums at places like Broadbandreports.
     
  15. AnimusF6

    AnimusF6 New Member

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    Dec 16, 2004
    Vienna, VA
    I just want to throw my hat into the ring and say that Vonage has been nothing but outstanding for me. Again, I'll echo that it depends on your network connection speed. A good place to check (rather than relying on sometimes unreliable numbers given by your ISP) is Bandwidthplace. Use your favorite search engine to find them. Being nothing more than a lurker here, I can't give you the actual link.

    Test it during "peak hours", between 4:00pm and 7:00pm, when you would be most likely to place and/or receive calls, and other users in your area might affect your speed. I have an actual 6Mbps connection from Comcast that only drops down to about 4 or 5Mbps during "peak hours", and have had no problems at all, even when my wife is online playing Guild Wars. Good luck!
     
  16. donivan

    donivan New Member

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    Jul 20, 2004
    MD
    I am a new Vonage user, picked up the service in October 2005. It has been perfect so far. My situation is similiar to davezatz, we have "naked" DSL - which Verizon calls "dry loop" along with the 500 minute plan and the Vonage/Linksys wireless adapter. Couldn't be happier with the savings and the quality. :)
     
  17. Jon1

    Jon1 New Member

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    Aug 11, 2003
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    In a quantitative sense, what is considered "good" network connection speed?
     
  18. Aflat

    Aflat Member

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    Aug 29, 2005

    If I remember right, Vonage doesn't need much, 90k down, and 90k up. So just about any cable connection can handle it, and most DSL, unless you get one of those 756/128 packages, then it might be worse.

    Also, if you have a connection that drops out alot, Vonage is not for you, as the box takes ~3-5 minutes to reset itself.
     
  19. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    I have one of those slower DSL connections... haven't had any problems other than my initial set-up. Sounds like I'm on a landline.
     
  20. DPF

    DPF So tired.....

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    Wow, that's one plus for the old Cisco ATA186 then. On the off occasion that I reset my router and then go ahead and reset the ATA, that old bird is back up inside of 30 seconds. Of course, that's a dedicated ATA where as the newer boxes are the combo units that do everything.

    For the record and a big part of the reason I'm such a big fan of Vonage is the savings. I had SBC and at the time the best deal I could get for phones service was about $65 for basic service after taxes and fees and what not. That didn't even include LD. My wife would regularly call LD without thinking about using the cell, which would be free, and our monthly bill would regularly top $100. With Vonage, I got as good or better sound quality, reliability (I have a great HSI cable connection with WOW cable, only 384 up but rock solid), and I saved a bundle at only $26/ month inlucing taxes and fees. My monthly tab for phone, HSI and TV w/ HBO and Starz is only about 20 bucks more than my old monthly phone bill. The wife can talk to anyone all she wants and we were able to throttle back the cell package to save even more, basically balance out that $20.

    -DPF
     

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