So what is everyone's opinon on Internet Phone?

I’m just returning to the States and have been shocked at how high the phone(both cell and otherwise) rates are. I’ve been considering getting a cable internet line and trying internet phone.

What companies(if that’s how it work) are there? How much is it? What is your opinion about it? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Have you saved money with it?


Sorry, one more thing. This is more of a General Question. What are the main companies or programs offering internet phone?

Many people in my family love Vonage . I mean who can beat $29.99 a month dialing anywhere on the planet… ?

I believe they are the biggest and/or best around.

i have just cancelled my internet phone after 3 months.

when i signed up, i opted for the best rated VoIP gateway available - to provide the highest quality phone calls.

the calls were more along the lines of a bad long distance connection - delays, echos, etc. - and this was with the quality setting on the gateway cranked.

aside from that, i found out that my gateway didn’t have IPSEC functionality, which meant i could no longer vpn to my office to work.

but worst of all was the drain on my bandwidth. just having the gateway present, without a phone call, my bandwidth would drop noticeably. if there was a phone call, i couldn’t download anything over a meg without one of my regular connections (aim/msn/irc/etc) timing out. and even then, half of my downloads would timeout before finishing.

I don’t know how it works in America, but in Aus VoIP traffic is NOT assigned higher-priority bandwidth. It’s treated like any other data packet on the internet. Which ends up with the problems that** fubbleskag** described. Right now I’d rather pay and have a proper phone line, than take my chances with the VoIP services I’ve seen around.

I love it. We have the $49.95 business line, because we need a fax line and all the little add-ons. I’ve never had a problem with reception, and it’s paid for itself already (compared to the pre-paid cell phone minutes I used to use.)

I believe we use Vonage, also. I can’t say enough good things about it. Love it.

I have Vonage (Southern Ontario area). Granted we don’t use the phone much, but we haven’t had a single problem with it. No dropped calls, no echo, no drain on bandwidth, no crank calls, no telemarketers (yet). Nothing bad to report.

Plus I like the ‘extras’ that come as standards with VoIP (voicemail, caller ID, etc), and I like getting my voicemail messages e-mailed to me at work during the day.

Are there any companies other than Vonage that are popular?

I use Skype for international calls and I cannot say enough good things about it. I work a lot with people in Europe and Asia, and I pay NOTHING for a peer-to-peer VoIP call if the party on the other end is also a Skype user. If they are not, I can make an international call to them charged at local country rates.

I don’t use Skype for calls within the US, as I have a US-wide calling plan from Verizon.

The last time I used ‘internet phone’ was around 1998. Obviously, things have advanced since then. I had a 133mHz computer and a dial-up connection. (I’m still with the same dial-up service.) A friend had a 90mHz machine. We installed the telephony programmes on our computer and attempted to chat – I in L.A., and he, in NC. It worked more like a radio than a telephone. Simultanious communication was impossible. I kept wanting to say, ‘Over!’ when I was finished talking. It might have been okay for someone who knows a little about talking on radios (as a pilot, I am; but my friend was not); but for a couple of average joes it was a poor substitute for a telephone. Still, it was free long-distance.

Nowadays I don’t need Internet phone. I have enough minutes on my mobile that I can make all of the long-distance calls I need do without having to pay per minute. And I’ve switched my long-distance service to a company that charges less than three cents per minute with no monthly fee.