I’ve been seeing (and hearing) these “whoo hoo, whoo–hoo–hoo” ads now for a few years (Vonage) and never paid much attention. A few years back we dumped the landline in our home and went “cell phone only.” I know lots of people that have done the same. Our phone bill used to be $60-$70 per month. Since it’s been gone we haven’t missed it much. What I have noticed though is that when my phone is charging (and it rings) – I don’t answer it. I miss a lot of calls. Sometimes I leave it in the car… or my coat… or my pants. There’s something to be said for just having a phone hanging on the wall in the same place each and every time you need it.
Now that I’ve had the experience of “not having a land line” for 2+ years, I started to think about the value of a “house phone”. I’m certainly never again paying $60-70 a month for that privilege since I only pay $105 per month for 3 cell phones with 1500 minutes and unlimited IM now. Well, I saw that “whoo-hoo-hoo” ad on TV a few weeks back again and it struck a chord for some reason – “$24.95 per month for unlimited calls…” Really? Unlimited? Like I can call anyone, anywhere for free, anywhere in the US 24 hours a day 7 days a week free? I went to their web site and that’s what it said. And it also said that you can get started for only $9.95 (which also seemed to good to be true).
Well, what I mean is you can get the “necessary equipment” for only $9.99. I never looked into Vonage much before because it seemed when it came out you needed some special kind of “internet phone” to make it work. You couldn’t use a regular phone from the store. That couldn’t be further from the truth now. With the little adapter that comes with the service you just plug in a regular land line phone and it works just like a copper line and your local baby bell! In fact, this little device is also a caller ID – AND (my personal favorite) it comes with a LAN out jack…meaning that once you plugin the phone and a LAN cable from your router there is an extra ethernet port on this device which basically acts as a switch. You could use it to plugin a laptop, and xbox 360 (or classic), a PC, Mac, whatever! I know, I’ve geeked out a bit on this, but I thought it was pretty cool. The only drawback to getting this device for $9.99 is the fact that it locks you into a one year contract with Vonage. Otherwise you have to pay $70-odd dollars for it. I took my chances, figuring I poured thousands into Verizon over the years anyway.
So I ordered this “internet phone adapter”, they call it the “Vonage V-Portal”, which essentially is an adapter to convert a normal phone for Internet use, a caller ID device, and a 1 port router as well. I had to pay for shipping, my first month of service, tax, and I think it was about $52 for me to get started. UPS delivered the adapter about 4 days later and I was ready to get started! We had purchased a 5.8 Ghz cordless phone with 3 cradles to use with Vonage. I had them charging 24 hours before we hooked everything up. We decided that the best place for phone the central phone unit and the Vonage portal was in our living room. Luckily one of the corners of the room already had a hole in the floor, so I had already run a very long 100 foot ethernet cable from the other end of the house in the basement (ceiling) through the floor to the living room.
When I took the Vonage box out of the box it had a paper right on top that told me to turn off my router before plugging it in. So I ran downstairs and turned off my cable modem and router. Once I came back upstairs I plugged the phone into the wall, and the the Vonage box. I plugged the ethernet in the Vonage box, and then plugged the Vonage box into the wall (the last thing). The Vonage box lit up like a Christmas tree, big orange display with a rotating globe saying “connecting”. It seems like it took about 10 minutes for it to get an IP address, configure itself, download an update from Vonate, turn off, and restart. Then the display just went to the date and time and looked like it was ready to go! I grabbed the phone and called my wife at work, and we talked for about 10 minutes. I never once could tell the difference between the Vonage Internet phone and a traditional copper land based phone line. We ran several tests where we downloaded all kinds of things while using the phone – but it never seemed to degrade the quality of the call. Maybe a different Internet connection would yield different results, but we’ve not had problems and the service is now just over one month old. Now, I don’t think much of it – it’s just like a regular land line to me.
With Vonage you can do something that’s really cool that you could never do with a land line. Vonage is portable, and it can work on any Internet connection anywhere. The unique thing about this is you can unplug the Vonage adaptor, and take it and your phone with you to anywhere there’s a broadband connection and a LAN cable. Plug it in, and you’ll be able to send and receive calls just like you were at home! In fact, when your friend and family call – they won’t know that you aren’t at home! We went away for the weekend, and stayed in a motel with free wireless Internet. When we got to our room I just plugged in my Lan cable to the Vonage box, and it connected quickly and it was ready to go! I made a phone call to test it, and it worked like a charm. Imagine if you had to visit your parents, or other relatives for the weekend. You could take your phone with you as long as they had broadband Internet!
Vonage has many different adapters, one of the newer ones if an Internet phone in a flash memory stick. It turns your computer or laptop into a phone on the go! You can certainly Vonage directly from Vonage.com just like I did – but check eBay for bargains first! You never know – you might be able to get a starter kit for a very reasonable price!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1052732