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Old 02-27-2005, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default Voice-over-IP

I'm just wondering if anyone has heard of or used this technology. I'm thinking about signing up for it since it's much cheaper than using "traditional" phone services.... for local service and unlimited long distance in Canada/US is $30/month, about 40-50% less than my current phone bill. But I'm just wondering if anyone's heard about this service... its stability, quality, any lag time, down time, etc.?

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2005, 12:40 PM   #2
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The one I have is Skype, it's really cheap and free to download. I would check that out, but I don't have a ton of experience with VOIP. I mainly use my cell phone...
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Old 02-27-2005, 02:11 PM   #3
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I'm quite sure Skype is not VOIP. Skype is just a software program you run on your computer. VOIP is described in detail here (if you don't have time to read that, look at this visual representaiton.) It works and operates like a real phone, using real phones with real phone numbers whereas Skype is just a software program you use to dial numbers with a mic from your PC.
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Old 02-27-2005, 02:43 PM   #4
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I have heard of the technology, but it has yet to really catch on in the US due to questions of quality and stability. I know of a couple of folks who have used it and the biggest complaint is that there is a several second delay sort of like when you watch interviews via satellite and the person on the other end sits there for a few seconds until you see them react to what you just heard from the studio. As far as downtime I don't know. Consider that VOIP is reliant upon the stability of the Internet. So, if you have had issues with downtime from your ISP then you could have issues with VOIP services.
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:49 PM   #5
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I think this technology may be vastly more prominent in a few years, so let us know how it goes Lee!
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:13 PM   #6
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Ya, it is pretty cool, if it is a consistent connection (thanks for the heads up about lag time, doublee). ...Primus, the provider of VOIP in Canada, has some really neat features available. You can get any major area code for your phone number, not matter where you are. So I could be in Vancouver and have a 416 area-code number (Toronto).... or I can move from here in London to Waterloo, within the same area code, but keep my current number! I'm gonna see if I can do more research about the quality of it but it is definitely a cheapter and more versatile option IMO.
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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You know I am sure there are probably some sort of message boards or 'fan-sites' dedicated to VOIP somewhere on the Internet.
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Old 03-09-2005, 07:49 PM   #8
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I looked into Vonage, the only US name that I know (there are others) a while back, but never bit the bullet. At the time, there was the issue with 911 (I don't know if that exists in Canada--I'm referring to the universal (US being a universe unto itself) emergency number, not the tragic date in September), and it not being supported that kind of creeped me out about VoIP. And our cell service isn't THAT reliable in the homestead. Not that our ISP is bad, but... don't want to be caught without the possibility of making an emergency call, anyway...

I may look into it again, though, and get new cell servcie that doesn't suck, since we've received our refund from our rich uncle. Vonage has a $15US/mo plan that would likely suit my family fine, if they support some reliable facsimile of E911.

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Old 03-10-2005, 07:32 AM   #9
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Ya, 911 isn't available here either. I decided I'm not going to go with it. I heard things about delay times... when the Internet is even faster and the Northeastern US/Southwestern Canada power grid is refurbished and more stable in summer months, perhaps I'll get it.
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by lmanchur.
I'm quite sure Skype is not VOIP. Skype is just a software program you run on your computer. VOIP is described in detail here (if you don't have time to read that, look at this visual representaiton.) It works and operates like a real phone, using real phones with real phone numbers whereas Skype is just a software program you use to dial numbers with a mic from your PC.
Actually, Skype is not only a VOIP program, but it also the most popular with near two million users online at any time. http://news.com.com/Skypes+VoIP+ambi...3-5112783.html
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Old 03-13-2005, 11:42 PM   #11
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Well, Marc, there's a difference between skype and other VoIP services in that skype requires the use of a computer... A computer, I should add, that is likely used as your internet browser/email reader, and likely open to the vagaries of poor internet citizenship.
Vonage and other services use a separate box (while an added cost) that is more secure, not prone to attack, and is specialized as a VoIP router.

Meanwhile, for skype to be a full VoIP service, it costs around the same as some of the other services. Sure, it's free for Linus Torvalds to talk to Bill Gates and vice versa, but it's gonna cost me $15/mo to allow my grandmother, who's never laid a finger on a computer (and isn't about to start), call me.

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