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Old 09-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
terrie
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Default Anyone use VOIP?

I'm considering switching my phone service to VOIP specifically VOIPO because I've read good things about them and I have an email in to them with some questions. While I'm waiting to hear back, I thought I'd see if anyone here uses VOIP.

From what I can gather from browsing around the VOIPO site (and I suspect this is common across all VOIP providers), you are sent a VOIP adapter which you plug in to your router and plug your phone into the adapter and voila! phone service. Is this (essentially) correct?

Once I read that I got a bit confused because it seemed to me that you could then only hook up a phone near your router and that seemed very limiting to me until I realized that probably most people use cordless phones so it's only the base unit that needs to be near the router. That won't work for me because of the special phone I use which has a corded handset and it's in the living room hooked to my broadband connection (needs that for the captioning) via powerline networking--this particular CapTel phone requires an ethernet cabled connection.

I read in a forum somewhere that VOIPO does not support powerline networking--that's one of the questions I have asked them--and I've been trying to figure out how I can get this to work.

I was thinking that I'd get 2 VOIP adapters. One would be in my den hooked to my router and the phone in the den hooked to the adapter--this phone is a plain old telephone and I use it when making calls via the web-based Captel system (done via Sprints webcaptel system). This should be no problem I think.

The second VOIP adapter would be in the living room and this is where it gets complicated because I'm not sure how to do this and/or what sort of equipment I need. I was thinking an ethernet switch would do the trick but then I think no, I need to get a 2nd router?

Advice? Suggestions?

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #2
BobRoosth
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A couple of different issues:

1. I am always in favor of good, old-fashioned phone service. When AC power fails, that will still work (at least the wired handsets will).

2. Sometimes the sound quality sucks.

I don't know why the VOIP box would not work over powerline networking. There should be enough bandwidth.

The phone connection on the VOIP box might be able to drive the phone lines of the entire house. You would have to ensure the circuit is disconnected from the phone company's wires outside the house. I'd ask the vendor. If that works then you only need the one box.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
terrie
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Well...I don't have a POTS line any longer as I currently have Verizon FiOS so it's a moot point.

>>I don't know why the VOIP box would not work over powerline networking. There should be enough bandwidth.

I received a reply from VOIPO and they indeed to not support powerline networking I think because of those issues and/or it's just a pita for them to support. They also said that they don't support my CapTel phone and I've asked for further clarification on that as to why. I will also be contacting CapTel about that because the specs for the phone--at least according to their website--is supposed to support VOIP.


>>The phone connection on the VOIP box might be able to drive the phone lines of the entire house. You would have to ensure the circuit is disconnected from the phone company's wires outside the house. I'd ask the vendor. If that works then you only need the one box.

I don't know enough about the technology but, given the description of how the adapter is connected, it is NOT connected to a phone jack in any way so the house phone lines play no part in, at least VOIPO's, system.

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
BobRoosth
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FIOS phone service is already VOIP. Somehow you (we all) need to convince Verizon that they are charging too much for the phone portion of the bill.

I'd love have FIOS here, but they don't provide it in this neighborhood, even though they do about 1/2 mile up the street.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
terrie
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Quote:
bob: FIOS phone service is already VOIP.
Yes...I know...


>>Somehow you (we all) need to convince Verizon that they are charging too much for the phone portion of the bill.

Exactly!!! See my reply to Shane as to cost.



>>I'd love have FIOS here, but they don't provide it in this neighborhood, even though they do about 1/2 mile up the street.

I was really excited to get FiOS but I'm much less excited and/or impressed now. I dropped FiOS tv within the first day of getting because of significant issues with closed captioning and the fact that I was paying more with FiOS for fewer channels that I actually want and watch than I did for Comcast (ugh!) and none of that has changed in the almost 3 years since I had FiOS tv--my sister who lives in the building next to mine has FiOS triple play and recently bought her first HDTV which of course as family tech support I set up and I was not really surprised to find the same closed captioning issues I found in 2009.

My phone and broadband costs keep going up and Verizon don't give a damn if they lose me as a customer which they are probably going to very soon...

Terrie
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #6
Steve Rindsberg
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>> 2. Sometimes the sound quality sucks.

Indeed. I have several friends locally who *RAVE* about the quality of their VOIP connections. Apparently the sound INbound is so good that they simply can't comprehend how awful it is OUTbound. At this end it sounds like they're calling from The National Bacon Frying Cookoff. Never heard so many snapcracklepops since the time Aunt Milly sat on Uncle Richard's Jimmy Shands 78s and tried to glue the shards back together before he found out.

   
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
Shane Stanley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
I have several friends locally who *RAVE* about the quality of their VOIP connections. Apparently the sound INbound is so good that they simply can't comprehend how awful it is OUTbound.
It doesn't have to be like that. There are a several codecs, ranging from ones that compress more than call phones to very high-quality ones that are far superior to standard voice lines. At least here, the good suppliers use a decent default and let you modify it to suit. But the super-cheapies tend to use more compression because it can sometimes make up for latency problems.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
terrie
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Quote:
shane: At least here, the good suppliers use a decent default and let you modify it to suit.
I know squat about codecs. Could you expand on that a bit? Not so much the codec(s) themselves but what sort of setting/choices make for reasonable to good sound quality. Obviously, I won't be the one to experience this given my hearing loss but if there is some setting(s) I can use that would make for better sound quality--on either end of a call--I'd like to know about it...

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
Shane Stanley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
I know squat about codecs. Could you expand on that a bit?
This will give you some idea:

http://voip.about.com/od/voipbasics/a/voipcodecs.htm

From memory, G722 and maybe G726 both do 16-bit sampling, compared with 8-bit for most, and that can make quite a bit of difference. And although the quality can be increased by consuming more bandwidth, the corollary is that if the bandwidth isn't available, the quality goes out the window. Obviously you need a provider that has decent connections to the Internet; slowing down at busy times is no good with voice calls.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
terrie
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Thanks Shane...I've bookmarked the site and added the info to my notes...the other links on the page look pretty useful too...will have a chance tomorrow to look at them in more detail...

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