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 am able to successfully connect every time. Your experience may vary, so trying different speeds may produce different results for you.
Yes, it does take longer to make the nightly call but the compatibility with Vonage is definitely worth it. Just be aware that because the session is slower, (it seems to now take around 20 minutes or so) if you only have Vonage’s 500 minute plan, ALL minutes will be eaten up within 25 days! So you will HAVE to go with another plan that provides unlimited minutes to your dialup number.
How to change the ReplayTV’s Modem speed settings:
Press the “Menu” button on the remote and select “Setup” then “Network and Input Settings”. Go through the modem setup again and when you get to the dialing prefixes screen, press the “Zones” button on the remote. This brings up several other user-definable options, one of which lets you manually set the modem speed. Lower the speed so a slower setting and try connecting. If that works, great! If not, continue lowering the setting until you get a consistent connection. Again, for me, 19.2K is solid and reliable over Vonage.
As a side note, while it may seem obvious, don’t overlook the fact that the 4xxx and 5xxx boxes have Ethernet connectivity, so if you have a 4xxx or 5xxx series box, don’t even mess with the dial-up connection if you are using Vonage–just use the Ethernet connection!