: IP Telephony on Macs ?

May 12th, 2004, 09:11 PM
Has anyone tried an IP telephony service yet? (e.g. Vonage was recently introduced in Canada.)

I'm wondering if a wireless network connection will support acces to IP tel. Also wondering about the value and effectiveness of those softphones (e.g. IP X-Lite).

Anyone experienced this new tech? Cost-wise, it seems quite attractive for a small business...


(( p g ))
May 12th, 2004, 09:37 PM
I considered it, but I'm not prepared to risk having a phone that sounds static-y when speaking with clients. Worse still...if the power goes out, you have no phone.

May 12th, 2004, 10:38 PM
Primus TalkBroadband works fine on a Cable Connection. I have it and when you lift up the phone and make a call it's the same as a land line in terms of quality of voice.

I wouldn't try using it via a wireless network unless you connect it at the beginning and router your internet connection through it to your wireless router.

About the power issue; one of the suggestions Primus gives is to hook the voice router, cable modem and such through a UPS. Therefore you get a bit of talk time in the event of a power outage. (As usually the head end gear doesn't go out at the cable company in the event of a power outage.)

It's no big deal to me. That's why they invented cell phones.

Hope that helps.

[ May 12, 2004, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: Roland ]

May 13th, 2004, 12:57 PM
I tried Nikotel for Mac on lark and found that there is a very noticable delay. I have only tried over my wireless connection so can't comment on a directly wired solution but I would recommend a hardware solution like Primus where you can use a standard telephone handset.

May 19th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Thx for the info. I shall continue to shop then. News when I find a viable solution.

Tait Kahray
May 19th, 2004, 10:05 PM
I've followed this thread since Caillou started it off because I was considering VoIP as well. I'm currently in Calgary half way through a three month contract and the cost of long distance calls home has been painful.

Until Caillou mentioned Vonage, the only Canadian provider of VoIP I had heard of was Primus. I compared what the two had to offer and decided to go with Vonage. For $35.00 per month, I get a line with all the bells and whistles (voicemail, call forward, etc.), the VoIP modem, my choice of area code, and 500 minutes of free long distance anywhere in North America to other area codes. Since I chose my home area code (514), all calls I make to or receive from most of Quebec are local and don't affect the 500 minutes. There's a $39.00 signup fee but no long term contract. The service also enables online account management, voicemail by e-mail and other perks. There are also extra cost options like a second line ($13.00), fax line ($10.00), a softphone line using X-Ten ($8.00), etc.

I ordered last week and the modem arrived last night. I hooked it up to my wireless router attached to the hotel's Telus high speed, plugged in a cheap Panasonic cordless (900 MZh) with a headset, and started calling - for hours.

So far it's been fantastic. The line's been clear and high quality, no voice lag or echo, no dropped calls, etc. Even if I was at home, it would be about $20.00 a month cheaper than a full featured Bell service. While on the phone, I don't see any real impact on my wireless internet connection. It's all good.

As a former Bell technician and manager, I'm sensitive to the issue of loss of service in the event that the electricity goes out. Part of the Vonage setup is a number to automatically forward calls to if there's no power. This is apart from normal call forwarding.

Time will tell if the quality remains consistently good here and once I take it back to Montreal. At this point I'm not sure I'd give up my land line at home and depend only on VoIP but it sure makes a strong case for a second line. For travelling, it's a lot of junk to tote around and only makes sense if your going to be in one place for a while. If I keep doing this kind of thing, I'll experiment with the softphone option later.

I'm a real happy camper with this so far - thanks for the heads up on Vonage, Caillou!

Jun 9th, 2004, 07:42 PM
Well, you are welcome. Fact is, I am still looking around. But I did get to talk to a happy client of Vonage this morning. He lives in Mtl and calls around the world for business. Uses Softphone a lot and says that he gets a (very short) delay on the IP technology. Less than the satellite links of the old days, but still noticeable. Hum... He rates the voice quality as equal to cell phone. After readung a lot in IP-related forums this seems surprising. Most tend to say that it is really good, usually better than cellulars.

Anyway, he also mentionned a UK (cannot blody remember the name) provider with whom he also has an account. QOS with them is better acccording to him.

On the other hand, Vonage gets lots of his points for customer service, at least for tying to solve technical snags upon account set up.

All in all this is really starting to interest me. Heck, why not ! Especially with X-Ten's Softphone and a Jabra Bluetooth Headset (http://www.jabra.com/products/FreeSpeak_Bluetooth.htm) !

IP-dooda. ;)

Jun 11th, 2004, 02:40 AM
I can't speak about Vonage softphone, but as for service, Vonage rocks. I've been using it about 9 months and have absolutely no complaints with them. Great price and no long distance costs. Also, their prices keep dropping, which is odd in today's age. We have virtual phone numbers in my parent's and my wife's parent's area codes so they can call us anytime they want at local costs.

As far as losing connection, the only problem I've had is when my cable has gone out, in which case I have the Vonage account set up to automatically forward all calls to my Nextel. Have never missed a call.

Jun 28th, 2004, 04:50 PM
Well I moved foward and got myself a Vonage account last week. I also got a softphone second line (bummer, have to get that separately from the main account). It's been working wonders.
The sound quality is way above my expectations. The sound delays that some have talked about is almost imperceptible (for my set up at least). Not an issue to say the least.

My only remaining issue is to find a solution for a wireless headset. Jabra F250 is nice on paper but a tad too costly for my humble means.

Any comments by those who are/want to be on/know about VOIP?

P.S. Maybe a should wait a few months and use the money saved on long distance to buy that futuristic-looking Jabra device ! :confused: