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Old May 4th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #51
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Last edited by MasterBlaster; Jul 17th, 2008 at 04:11 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #52
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How long were you with Dolphintel?

I tried them several years ago and for me it was by far the worst Voip provider.

Everyone here seems to have good luck with Voip, except me .

I thought it would be a good money saver. It was a big headache instead. I wonder why I had such bad luck?
Where is your gym? Maybe it was a build out issue in your area. When I first went with Vonage I did it for business first to test it out and kept my Bell line until I was confident that it would work well. Once I was confident I dropped the Bell Line for home and added the second line. Seeing as you only have to pay a month at a time (no contracts) you could always keep you landline and try it out again to see if it has improved in your area. I would recommend Vonage but that is because personally I have had a very good experience.

One very important issue to bring up that hasn't to this point. If you operate a WiFi network or even use a microwave regularly and use wireless phones, DO NOT I repeat DO NOT use 2.4 GHz phones! You WILL have shitty voice quality because they all operate in the same bandwidth. Buy 5.8 GHz phones and you will have crystal clear reception. VERY IMPORTANT, for wireless phones.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #53
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VOIP does continue to function in power outages if you have it connected to a UPS, which especially if you have don't have a cell you should have a UPS. A UPS is a $50 -$100 one time expense.
You're painting the picture a bit rosier than it is.

For one, a UPS is not a one-time expense. The batteries in them last 4 to 6 years, then you have to replace them or buy a new UPS (which is probably cheaper).

UPSs also have limited run time, typically less than an hour - depends how big a UPS you buy and how much equipment you run off it.

Also, I found out to my chagrin, ISPs don't have great back-up when the power fails. A few days ago my internet service was down for over 12 hours because of a power outage in a city about 80 kms from here. No VoIP service during that time.

Land lines run off batteries normally, those are good for several hours and if the power outage lasts longer, batteries are charged and thus power to the phone is maintained using diesel generators. That can essentially go on forever assuming one can get diesel fuel.

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I don't think anyone has a cell as an emergency backup for VOIP. They have a cell for mobile use and would have it even if they were on a landline, so your cost analysis is not accurate.
I know people who keep an old cellphone that's not even registered and thus costs nothing per month, for exactly that reason.

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If you live in an area like where, like we do, long distance charges are applied to almost every call you make and applied to everyone who call you, VOIP can be, at least with Vonage, a HUGE savings. For all the services we have now with Vonage, call display, voice mail, call forwarding, etc. we were spending $60/month plus a long distance plan for another $25/month, total of $85/month. Now we have all those services and more (unlimited long distance anywhere in North America) plus a second business line for $40/month. Way more service (two lines plus unlimited long distance anywhere in North America) and a $540 annual savings.

Not to mention I can save my friends and family long distance charges by choosing my area code to be the one they live in (we border two area code districts with the vast majority of our friends and family in the neighboring area code). Admittedly for most people this is not an issue but it is a big deal for us.
Our country house was like that - we were in Quebec, the neighbor as well but he had an Ontario phone number and thus different area code. Calls to him used to be long distance thirty years ago, but that problem was fixed, at least in Bell territory.

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Also if you run a business and have customers in multiple area codes, for only $7 a month you can have virtual numbers with their local area code that will ring to your local number, that way your customers can call a number in their area code and not incur long distance charges and you save the huge expense of a toll free number. For us VOIP is a god send, and we will never have a landline again.
I always thought that was a great benefit of VoIP but then I found out that 1-800 numbers are actually quite cheap and one only pays on a per call basis. Probably still more than VoIP. But as a business expense, the government helps you pay for it.
I probably wouldn't use VoIP as a business number my customers call simply because the voice quality doesn't leave a good impression with potential customers.
I occasionally get calls that originate as VoIP and after getting a garbled connection and a few dropped calls, I tell the caller to not bother calling back.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #54
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You're painting the picture a bit rosier than it is.

For one, a UPS is not a one-time expense. The batteries in them last 4 to 6 years, then you have to replace them or buy a new UPS (which is probably cheaper).

UPSs also have limited run time, typically less than an hour - depends how big a UPS you buy and how much equipment you run off it.

Also, I found out to my chagrin, ISPs don't have great back-up when the power fails. A few days ago my internet service was down for over 12 hours because of a power outage in a city about 80 kms from here. No VoIP service during that time.

Land lines run off batteries normally, those are good for several hours and if the power outage lasts longer, batteries are charged and thus power to the phone is maintained using diesel generators. That can essentially go on forever assuming one can get diesel fuel.


I know people who keep an old cellphone that's not even registered and thus costs nothing per month, for exactly that reason.


Our country house was like that - we were in Quebec, the neighbor as well but he had an Ontario phone number and thus different area code. Calls to him used to be long distance thirty years ago, but that problem was fixed, at least in Bell territory.

I always thought that was a great benefit of VoIP but then I found out that 1-800 numbers are actually quite cheap and one only pays on a per call basis. Probably still more than VoIP. But as a business expense, the government helps you pay for it.

I probably wouldn't use VoIP as a business number my customers call simply because the voice quality doesn't leave a good impression with potential customers.
I occasionally get calls that originate as VoIP and after getting a garbled connection and a few dropped calls, I tell the caller to not bother calling back.

No I paint the picture EXACTLY as it is for us.

If you use your UPS only for your you modem and phone it should last you through any reasonable power outage. Yours is an atypical situation. In four years of VOIP I have NEVER gone without phone service. It would be prudent to have a UPS dedicated for your VOIP. If you want one for your computer as well then that is your choice. I can do without my desktop computer for a few hours (I also have a laptop).

I will grant you I should have said MY UPS (I will only need to change the battery, not buy anew UPS) is a one time expense. Of course the batteries need to be changed once in a while, I didn't think that I needed to point out that batteries don't last forever!

VOIP as a business line is a completely legitimate option for me. I have NEVER had garbled or dropped calls. When I started using VOIP it was for business and I made conference calls on a daily basis to Michigan, no issues with voice quality what so ever.

Our long distance situation is exactly the same as it ever was (I know because our neighbors grumble to me about it all the time and I tell them to go with Vonage) and we are in Bell territory.

Any phone service is if used for business is a tax deduction, so that point is moot, it is still money out of your monthly cash flow.

Maybe your VOIP callers are with an inferior service provider (buyer beware).

Obviously, user experience will vary (as they will with land or cell phones), but I did not paint anything as being rosier than it really is. As I said, I portrayed it EXACTLY as it is for us. Why would I do otherwise? If you have had a bad experience with VOIP don't use it. I am merely relating my good experience and the steps that are prudent that I use to ensure undisrupted service.

Your bad experiences are no more reflective of the norm than my good experiences. Certainly if you look at the number of people in this thread who have had good experience vs. the ones with bad, the good out number the bad.

I never said I was making a GENERALIZED statement about VOIP service, only relating my PERSONAL experience, how can I do otherwise! It just so happens to have been rosy.

Last edited by screature; May 4th, 2008 at 07:48 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #55
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #56
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Note: Most of us in rural areas have all seen power outages lasting 24 hours or longer. We had one about 2 years ago that lasted 3 days.

An UPS might last 24 hours with a very light load, that assumes you don't try to run a computer off it. I know in most business applications they are swapped out after 3 years if uninterrupted server status is essential.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #57
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Note: Most of us in rural areas have all seen power outages lasting 24 hours or longer. We had one about 2 years ago that lasted 3 days.

An UPS might last 24 hours with a very light load, that assumes you don't try to run a computer off it. I know in most business applications they are swapped out after 3 years if uninterrupted server status is essential.
That sucks, I hope you have a gas powered generator for your essentials.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #58
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That sucks, I hope you have a gas powered generator for your essentials.
I don't know about other rural areas but here most people do not have generators. A few have them, especially if their water supply is dependent on an electric pump. Ours is part of a neighbourhood system that has gravity pressure. Essential services have deisel generators and one of the grocery stores in the village (thankfully the one with the liquor sales license) has a generator.

Most people here do have wood stoves, ours is a backup to the electric heating. It's not a great one so it only gets used during extended winter outages. Most people do have an adequate supply of oil lamps, candles and now battery powered LED lights. Some people have small gas stoves that run off propane, I was able to borrow a 2 burner propane range during the last 2 day outage.

Also, most people do have a back-up corded phone that works when the power goes out. I don't know about other areas, but here, even if you have a huge UPS for your computer or VOIP phone, the internet doesn't work when the power is out for the whole island. I'm not sure what exactly is dependant on the power grid but it seems that some parts are. It's cable internet here.

I never really knew what power outages were about until I moved here from the city. Outages that I've known in the city were 3 or 4 hours at most and quite rare.

I understand that when the big eastern grid outage happened a few years ago that some cities were having huge problems coping with the extended outage. Here you just go into standard operating procedure and take a break from the internet. Usually the bigger problem is that when the power goes out it's because high storm winds are taking down big Douglas firs all over the place, so you're more worried about a tree crashing into your house than if the power is out or not.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #59
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This is where SINC jumps in to decry how stupid and irresponsible you are for jeopardizing your life and safety by living on an island with such problems.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 07:41 PM   #60
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This is where SINC jumps in to decry how stupid and irresponsible you are for jeopardizing your life and safety by living on an island with such problems.
Wrong again gt.

This is where I point out GA's wisdom:

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Also, most people do have a back-up corded phone that works when the power goes out. I don't know about other areas, but here, even if you have a huge UPS for your computer or VOIP phone, the internet doesn't work when the power is out for the whole island.
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