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Phone box

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JimLL, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. JimLL

    JimLL I can't follow the rules

    XP Pro, SP3, current, T60p at 2ghz

    Does anyone have any suggestions on positioning a box (pap2-na for example) for a VOIP phone?

    Some are designed to go between the modem and the router. Some are designed to go downstream of the router. I can see pros and cons each way. An upstream box wouldn't require that the router be active and bypasses one possible source of telephony problems, but could cause problems feeding through to the router and everything attached to it. A box attached to a router probably wouldn't affect anything except the phone, but requires that the router always be on.

    (Statements that everything should be on 24/7 are welcomed but ignored.) :-D
  2. gman863

    gman863 MajorGeek

    There is also the questions of how much you want to spend and if you want to use it while on-the-go.

    For cheap and portable, MagicJack is actually not a bad deal. Although the stick usually sells for $40, I've seen it at Fry's recently for as low as $30. The price includes the first year of service; each year thereafter is $20. Although not "free", it's portable. If you also have a netbook or notebook you travel with, it may be worth it.

    I almost switched to OOMA (have read good reviews on it). The box costs between $150-$200; however the service is free for the life of the box. The reason I didn't switch is I called Vonage and asked them what they could do to keep me from canceling: They cut my unlimited rate to $12.50/month for a year.

    Running the Vonage box attached to the router hasn't been a hassle. My Wi-Fi is WPA2 secured so I'm not overly concerned about the neighbors mooching the signal. The router, VOIP box and main cordless phone base are all tied into a UPS so I don't drop a call if the lights flicker or go out for <20 minutes.

    Although you don't care about having the line available 24/7, I'm posting this tip for other readers: Vonage and OOMA are e-911 enabled (if you call 911 in an emergency, the dispatcher's screen shows your address immediately - a benefit if an intruder cuts the line or you're unable to speak). MagicJack, Skype and most other free or cut-rate VOIP services do not have this feature. If fast police, fire or EMT response is a concern, you should keep this in mind.
  3. JimLL

    JimLL I can't follow the rules

    That's the part I understand the most. Right now I'm needing technical issue answers, which seem hard to come by despite the fact that VOIP has been around quite a few years already. Forums are either eyeball deep in techie buzzwords or silent. If I need to know whether to turn left or right at a "fork in the road," someone tells me what the pavement is made out of.

    As for the manufacturers, it's the same everywhere. "Send us your money; then we will think about whether or not to answer your questions."

    Another issue I'm on top of. I've had Magicjack for close to two years and did fine until the last 3 or 4 months. It has been losing connections very badly. I've been talking to someone and suddenly a recording says that if I want to make a call I must enter the area code first. And the techs don't have a clue. (Actually I'm not convinced they have any real techs.)

    When I tell them some calls last 45 minutes and some last 45 seconds (one number averages 42 seconds) the first thing they say is, "Is the blue light on?" By now I ask them to explain to me how one call would go for 45 minutes if the blue light wasn't on.

    Second or third they say, "Set Internet Explorer to accept all cookies." It's a shotgun approach. If you shoot enough times you're bound to hit something.

    A 24/7 phone _IS_ my goal. That's why I said in the OP that it would require the router to be on 24/7 if it were downstream. Plugged into modem or router, it's possible to run without any computers being on, given the right box.

    My only question right now is the one I asked, whether anyone recommends upstream or downstream positioning from the router as a preference.

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