Vonage: Not For Me, But Still A Service To Consider

Well, after using Vonage for almost two months, we decided to cancel our Vonage service and remain with Bell South. Unfortunatly our situation is a bit different from many others, so your experience could be quite different. So read on to see why we canceled and why I still recommend Vonage as an excellent phone service alternative. That may sound like a contratiction, but it’s not… There was no one major reason for our cancelling Vonage. Our decision came from a number of smaller issues that, after reviewing “the big picture”, caused us to decide that despite the added cost of Bell South phone service, its reliability and quality outweighed the issues we were having with Vonage. Here are the issues we have been dealing with: 1. NO LOCAL NUMBER ISSUE The first issue we had was the lack of a local number within our local calling area. Vonage did […]

Vonage Tip #7: Are Incoming calls free?

This is a very common question asked about the Vonage service. Read on for the details… Yes. Well, that’s really all you need to know. OK, I’ll expand on it just a bit… First off, if you have an “Unlimited” calling plan, it’s all really a moot point because you won’t be “charged” for any of your calls, incoming or outgoing, other than what your plan costs. That said, if you have any calling plan where you pay for the minutes used after the plan maximum, here is what you can expect: Free Calls: -All incoming calls TO your Vonage number are free -Dialing an 800 number is free -Calls made from one Vonage customer to another Vonage customer are free -Calls made from your Vonage phone to check your voice mail Calls charged against your calling plan: -All calls FROM your Vonage number Remember that you get detailed call […]

Vonage Tip #6: How to make your Vonage connection house-wide

By design, the Vonage Phone adapter has two phone jacks with the “Line 1” jack enabled. The “standard” way to connect your phone is to simply plug it into the jack on the Phone adapter. You are now using Vonage’s service, and couldn’t be happier, right. But what if you have more than one phone in your house? Read on for some information on how to connect all of your home phones… One method is to add a “splitter” to the jack on the back of the Phone Adapter and plug in a second phone. That’s fine, but it certainly won’t help if you have more phones or phones located in other rooms. Another method is to plug your… Wait a minute. First and foremost, before we go on, you need to know one very important thing: You should ONLY plug your VOnage (or any VoIP) Phone Adapter into one […]

Vonage Tip #5: Flexible Call Forwarding

One feature I REALLY like is Vonage’s Call Forwarding feature. It is VERY tailorable, and can help you in many different situations. You can set up and configure Call Forwarding over the phone, but using Vonage’s Web Interface is very simple. Read on for some scenarios that Vonage Call Forwarding will handle. There are no doubt others, but these cover the basics… 1. Immediate Forward Say you just want the call to be immediatly forwarded to another number. Simply enter the number to which you want to foward and then select “Instant” on the dropdown menu. When your Vonage number is dialed, it is immediatly forwarded to the number you enterd. From the caller’s perspective, they dial a number, it rings, and you pick it up–simple. From your perspective, the phone at the number to which the Vonage number is forwarded rings and you answer the call. This could be […]

Vonage Tip #4: Network Availability Number

Did you know that even if your broadband connection goes down, you can still receive calls on your Vonage service? Read on to find out how… Like many VoIP providers, Vonage provides a “Network Availability Number” which is simply a secondary phone number of your choosing to which Vonage will forward all calls should it lose the connection to your Phone Adapter. Short of a system-wide failure at Vonage, you can rest in confidence that your calls will reach you regardless of the condition of your Internet connection. To configure a “Network Availability Number”, just log onto your Vonage Web account and select the “Features” link at the top of the page. Next, look for the “Network Availability Number” section of the Features page and click on the “Configure” button. In the “Enter System Not Available Number” field, enter the phone number to which you want calls forwarded should your […]

Vonage Tip #3: Uh oh, the Powers out!

Unlike “standard” telephone service, Vonage requires that your Phone Adapter be powered and connected to an active broadband connection at all times. Read on to see what can you do to ensure uninterrupted service for those inevitable times when the power goes out… Have you ever noticed that when the power goes out, you can still pick up the phone and make a call? That’s because standard phone lines are powered by their own electrical systems that are controlled and maintained by the Phone Company. This is a low voltage electrical connection that is separate from your home electrical wiring and service. But what about Vonage? Well, to maintain uninterrupted phone service, you must maintain power to all of your “Vonage-related” equipment such as the Phone Adapter, Routers (if any), and your Cable/DSL modem. By simply connecting these devices to an inexpensive UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) you can ensure that, […]

Vonage Tip #2: Get your ReplayTV to connect over Vonage!

One major concern in selecting Vonage is its compatibility with “dial-up” devices such as my ReplayTV boxes. If you have a ReplayTV box that dials out over the phone line, read on to learn how to get a reliable connection over Vonage every time… When I initially tried to connect my ReplayTV box over a Vonage line, the connection consistently failed. The explanation is that Vonage isn’t necessarily capable of transmitting all of the signals required in a high-speed modem connection. So, the solution is to lower the modem’s connect speed do a speed that Vonage can handle. The 2xxx series boxes (and I believe the 3xxx series) have a default and maximum connect speed of 33.6K. On the 5xxx boxes, it’s 56K (I don’t know about the 4xxx boxes.) Unfortunatly, these speeds tend to be too high for Vonage to handle. By throttling the connection down to 19.2K, I […]

Vonage Tip #1: How to access the ATAs Web setup

If your ATA is behind a router (which most people do) you will not be able to connect to your (Motorola’s) Web Settings interface because its IP address exists outside of the typical range of “home” LAN IP ranges. Read on to see how simple it is to access it… Simply connect an ethernet cable from the NIC on any PC or laptop directly “PC port” on the ATA box. Open a Web browser and in You should now be able to connect!