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Questions for those who VOIP


Smazz
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Like most people who still have a home phone - I rarely use it anymore. All Cell, text, email etc etc.

 

I want to give it its walking papers but i wouldnt mind having something as back up the odd time... when charging or god forbid I lose my phone again and cant find it.

 

Question:

What are you using?

 

I dont care about low rates for air time as i would rarely use it - Maybe just looking for the cheapest set up. I've seen adverts for some providers but sheesh some of them want you to buy all the hardware etc one time charges blah blah making it more expensive than my cheap home phone.

 

thanks for any feedback.

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I use Google Voice, but it is hooked up to my normal cordless headset when I am at home. It just requires this adapter: http://www.amazon.com/OBi110-Service-Bridge-Telephone-Adapter/dp/B0045RMEPI - it works amazingly well (business quality) and Google Voice is free, so it's hard to beat. Also if I am on the road, I can still call / receive calls from the same line by using my headphones and laptop.

 

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so, if you are on vacation, and taking calls, it still looks to the client like they are calling the home office?

 

Yes - it retains the same number regardless of where you're calling from. But talking on the computer is not so fun (at least for me) after a while. I like to walk around and do things while I'm on the phone, so having a cordless with Google Voice is a great combination.

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One consideration before you disconnect your landline entirely is that with all of those other options, you are reliant on the electrical grid for communications. In the case of an extended power outage, a handset (not cordless) connected to the phone company's copper landline is the only thing that will keep working after your cell phone battery has died. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, earthquakes, storms, etc. it's something to consider.

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One consideration before you disconnect your landline entirely is that with all of those other options, you are reliant on the electrical grid for communications. In the case of an extended power outage, a handset (not cordless) connected to the phone company's copper landline is the only thing that will keep working after your cell phone battery has died. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, earthquakes, storms, etc. it's something to consider.

 

Another thing to consider, for what it's worth, is that in the event of an emergency, my understanding is that 911 cannot tell where you are from a mobile phone or computer based phone.  With a landline, on the other hand, in the event of an emergency all you would need to do is call 911 and let the phone drop (if you couldn't speak for example).  They are supposed to immediately dispatch help even if no one is on the other end.

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One that I am seriously considering giving a try is:

http://www.freephoneline.ca/

You need to pay a one time charge of $50 - for a config file.  Another $50 for a voip phone adapter that plugs into your existing router.  Alternatively you can buy such device on your own for a discount or get something with it's own wireless setup -- but you are on your own when it comes to support for configuring.  Other costs to consider are $25 to port existing phone number and  possibly some kind of battery back up.  I have been looking at this on and off but it seems like a one time cost of $100 - $200 and never a cost for your phone thereafter (as long as freephoneline is in business??).  Call display and voice mail are free ..... but there could be some long distance charges to cities/countries they don't cover.  There is a long thread on it over at RedFlagDeals:

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/merged-freephoneline-ca-free-local-soft-phone-line-lifetime-voip-821229/136/

 

Incidentally, for almost the past year - I have avoided paying for voice mail on my cell phone plan by having my cell (when shut off or unanswered) forwarded to a free phone line number .... which is configured to relay a voice mail to my email address (free phone line numbers are exactly that: FREE).  Unfortunately, I cannot set this up with the shaw home phone as they do not allow call forwarding in the basic plan.  I left copper several years back and converted to Shaw (so I have been living with the possible electrical outage risk for some time now).  But even so I would like to do away with that $15 ($21 with Voicemail) monthly charge if I can.  So still looking into this myself.

 

 

 

 

 

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One consideration before you disconnect your landline entirely is that with all of those other options, you are reliant on the electrical grid for communications. In the case of an extended power outage, a handset (not cordless) connected to the phone company's copper landline is the only thing that will keep working after your cell phone battery has died. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, earthquakes, storms, etc. it's something to consider.

 

Another thing to consider, for what it's worth, is that in the event of an emergency, my understanding is that 911 cannot tell where you are from a mobile phone or computer based phone.  With a landline, on the other hand, in the event of an emergency all you would need to do is call 911 and let the phone drop (if you couldn't speak for example).  They are supposed to immediately dispatch help even if no one is on the other end.

 

Freephone line has this (at least on par with cable operators).  When the free phone number (or ported number) is registered it is registered to an address ... and this is also verified with a phone call from FPL (they take the 911 thing quite seriously).  As long as you have power (or power back up at the time) and the device stays at the house it was originally registered .... when that phone call goes through to 911, the address will automatically come up for the 911 operator.  Where people get into trouble is when they move and don't re-register the new address.    This is the case at least for Canada .... I am not sure of the situation in the States.

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One consideration before you disconnect your landline entirely is that with all of those other options, you are reliant on the electrical grid for communications. In the case of an extended power outage, a handset (not cordless) connected to the phone company's copper landline is the only thing that will keep working after your cell phone battery has died. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, earthquakes, storms, etc. it's something to consider.

 

Another thing to consider, for what it's worth, is that in the event of an emergency, my understanding is that 911 cannot tell where you are from a mobile phone or computer based phone.  With a landline, on the other hand, in the event of an emergency all you would need to do is call 911 and let the phone drop (if you couldn't speak for example).  They are supposed to immediately dispatch help even if no one is on the other end.

 

I've had Vonage VOIP for a few years now -- it's registered to my address so in a 911 situation our address is identified.  That's not a concern for us.

 

The concern we have is that when our cable internet service is down we can't call to complain.

 

We live near some hills on an island just across the water from near Seattle -- our cell phones only work at our house when our internet is working (we have one of those internet based AT&T cell phone repeaters).  We are otherwise out of cell phone range (although sometimes it works from the corner of the property).

 

So our cell phones are also of no use to us when the internet goes down.  We can send up smoke signals though.

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Wow,

thankyou to everyone for all the great responses.

 

Looking at them one at a time:

 

I use Google Voice, but it is hooked up to my normal cordless headset when I am at home. It just requires this adapter: http://www.amazon.com/OBi110-Service-Bridge-Telephone-Adapter/dp/B0045RMEPI - it works amazingly well (business quality) and Google Voice is free, so it's hard to beat. Also if I am on the road, I can still call / receive calls from the same line by using my headphones and laptop.

 

So, this one does let you receive calls as well? Its not a deal breaker but just curious.

Edit: just noticed that it does let you recv calls. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

Man, I must say the stuff that Google puts out is crazy.

 

Im also interested in all the other info everyone brought forward  - I just need to look into them all.

 

Looks like quite of few of us are interested to do away with the former Monopolies.

 

It still hurts when i think about how much they charged me for long distance back in the day when my girlfriend at the time lived only about 100km distance away - and this in Southern On, its not like I was phoning in Sub Sahara Africa.

 

Any more info I know I and others would appreciate.

 

Thanks again

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I use Google Voice, but it is hooked up to my normal cordless headset when I am at home. It just requires this adapter: http://www.amazon.com/OBi110-Service-Bridge-Telephone-Adapter/dp/B0045RMEPI

Forgot to ask:

How does that set up work if I have Cable Internet (I have cable phone also)?

Currently I believe the line from the cable modem goes to a jack that is 2 pronged(dont quote me) and then the actual phone just goes into the other jack and same as the other hard lines in the house.

 

Would this Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter plug into the computer?

 

 

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I use Google Voice, but it is hooked up to my normal cordless headset when I am at home. It just requires this adapter: http://www.amazon.com/OBi110-Service-Bridge-Telephone-Adapter/dp/B0045RMEPI

Forgot to ask:

How does that set up work if I have Cable Internet (I have cable phone also)?

Currently I believe the line from the cable modem goes to a jack that is 2 pronged(dont quote me) and then the actual phone just goes into the other jack and same as the other hard lines in the house.

 

Would this Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter plug into the computer?

 

 

eFax offers a solution for you: 

http://home.efax.com/s/r/efax-brand9?VID=33675&gclid=CODc4ZuW_K0CFUKFQAodRWIFuw

 

• Send, receive and manage your fax communications through the Internet

• Robust fax software and world-class fax management tools

• Get a toll-free, local or international number

• Compatible with Outlook and other email accounts

• Online solutions for individuals, small offices and enterprises 

 

Full-Featured Fax Software: Annotate, sign, highlight, zoom, forward, store, convert to PDF-even add digital signatures in a snap.

 

More Fax Numbers: Choose a local, toll-free or international number from the world's largest digital faxing network.

 

Voicemail to Email: Have your voicemails automatically converted to files and emailed to you as an attachment. Listen to your files through most popular media players or eFax Messenger software.

 

Green: Managing faxes digitally saves time, trees, ink and paper supply costs.

 

Scalable: With over 11 million satisfied customers, eFax has the proven scalability to meet any fax solution need.

 

Direct Faxing: Our faxing software automatically converts documents to faxes from over 31 software programs-so you can send faxes via email with ease.

 

Fax Privacy: eFax offers secure encryption alternatives to traditional fax machines. No more confidential faxes sitting in the fax machine.

 

Storage: Never lose a fax again. Store your faxes for up to 2 years. 

 

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eFax offers a solution for you: 

http://home.efax.com/s/r/efax-brand9?VID=33675&gclid=CODc4ZuW_K0CFUKFQAodRWIFuw

 

• Send, receive and manage your fax communications through the Internet

• Robust fax software and world-class fax management tools

• Get a toll-free, local or international number

• Compatible with Outlook and other email accounts

• Online solutions for individuals, small offices and enterprises 

 

Full-Featured Fax Software: Annotate, sign, highlight, zoom, forward, store, convert to PDF-even add digital signatures in a snap.

 

More Fax Numbers: Choose a local, toll-free or international number from the world's largest digital faxing network.

 

Voicemail to Email: Have your voicemails automatically converted to files and emailed to you as an attachment. Listen to your files through most popular media players or eFax Messenger software.

 

Green: Managing faxes digitally saves time, trees, ink and paper supply costs.

 

Scalable: With over 11 million satisfied customers, eFax has the proven scalability to meet any fax solution need.

 

Direct Faxing: Our faxing software automatically converts documents to faxes from over 31 software programs-so you can send faxes via email with ease.

 

Fax Privacy: eFax offers secure encryption alternatives to traditional fax machines. No more confidential faxes sitting in the fax machine.

 

Storage: Never lose a fax again. Store your faxes for up to 2 years.

 

A word of caution on Efaxing - I have used a similar service in Canada for 7 years now.  Great to have a toll-free number and can send out faxes to multiple customers easily and receiving faxes as emails is absolutely the way to go however . . . over time, I have noticed the number of customers blocking the service originators number (not my fax number!) due to them hosting spam faxers etc has increased to the point where I have to re-send up to 10% of faxes after sifting through a cryptic report etc.  The problem is they do not send the fax from your number but from their server. 

 

It's getting less reliable and more cumbersome over time thanks to misuse of the service by others.

 

P.S. and transactions like realestate sales and bank documents where you intial each page or similar are particularly fun - scanning in 30 pages, uploading to service etc.  I just go to the UPS store for those!

 

All that considered, I still like the service especially receiving faxes in my email with most other correspondence these days.

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  • 1 month later...

Question for those using Google Voice:

 

Is there any quick click button that you can use from your contacts list that will automatically dial your contact without having to always punch the numerical phone number in? Ive got the contacts, phone number in etc but there is no shortcut that i can see.

 

BTW, I did get one of these

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1126053&CatId=7215

 

and for the cheap price MAN how clear it is. Its even better than a regular phone for sound since it comes in in stereo. ;D

 

I called some of my long distance friends and they're like "WTF? The sound is so clear"

 

Anyway, besides the question I posed above, are there any other tricks to Google Voice that may be helpful

 

Thanks all for the info up to this point.

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