A friend has it on his phone, and everytime i call, i always get an echo of my own voice... he doesn't hear it, but i always do. Its annoying. I'd say give them more time to perfect the technology, but thats just mho...
I have it through Comcast. Works great. The first night it sucked. But, we reset the modem and it has been great for the last 5 months.
Cheaper too, with unlimited long distance calls. Very cool. Never think twice about calling anywhere in the US at any time of the day.
I haven't had a landline for around 5 years -- as soon as broadband technology (cable internet, specifically) was available in the area where I lived in my college apartment, I ditched the landline and got a cellphone, as my only need for keeping a landline was gone. I make a lot of long-distance calls on my cell, but since I generally make my longer phone calls in the evening or on the weekend, when I'm not working, (using unlimited night and weekend minutes, of course), I'm happy with my current setup.
If I needed to make a lot of calls during the daytime, though, I would take the money that I would spend on VOIP hardware and service and put it into a cellular plan with tons of minutes. That way, I would have one phone number for all of my calls while being able to make long distance calls both during the day and in the evening, whether I was at home or not, with superior quality to VOIP.
You can generally get plans with thousands of anytime minutes without spending a TON of money (compared to paying 2 phone bills, buying all the hardware for VOIP, etc.), and with all the extras like free incoming calls, early "night minutes" start time (Sprint offers a 6pm night minutes start time on a free incoming calls plan for like $10 extra), free mobile-to-mobile, you can avoid even dipping into the anytime minutes very often, unless you make a lot of business calls during the day or something).
There *are* unlimited cell phone plans, but they are closer to $200/mo., where you can get a plan with a few thousand anytime minutes with a lot of the extras mentioned above for around $100. I'd rather spend more money for the convenience of one phone number and the convenience of making and receiving calls whether I was home or not.
I ditched Verizon about 3-1/2 years ago for Packet8's VoIP package. Had some modem problems early on- would lose connectivity (just like Comcast Broadband does regularly), but after that was resolved in the setup, I can't complain- roughly $23/month ($3 tax included) for unlimited calling, USA & Canada. There is absolutely no difference in sound quality that I can detect except under one circumstance- a heavy simultaneous download while you are on the phone will create a major transmission lag between the two sides of the conversation. I just refrain from doing that during a call and the issue is moot.
BTW, Comcast Voice's price is ridiculous- $39.95/month ($33 for one year as part of a package)? Vonage's base price is $25 for the exact same service package, likewise Packet8 does it for $20, and SunRocket has equivalent service for $200/year or $10 a month for a limited # of calls.
Packet8 has a neat feature: their voicemail system can be configured to email you a .WAV file of a missed call. We were vacationing down in OC a couple of months ago and I got an email on my laptop containing a call that had been left on our voicemail here. Plus all the Telcos' extra-cost options like 3-way calling, call forwarding, caller-ID, etc. are all free, included with the $20+ tax I pay monthly. Also, you can get auxiliary numbers in almost any area code. We have a Dayton, OH number that, for $5/month extra, lets my wife's parents call her for free, just like a local call. To their Telco, that's exactly what the call appears to be-local, instead of ringing 500 miles away here in Delaware.
Screw the Telcos- the ONLY time I have a problem is when Comcast's Broadband service dies, and then I just use my cell (primarily to call Comcast to tell them they eff-ed it up AGAIN!).
Oh, yeah, I also use Skype from my laptop if I'm out of town. Works great if you are on a broadband connection, but stinko with a normal sub-56K dialup connection. That's why you need a cable or DSL modem to use VoIP- the available bandwidth over a dialup connection is marginal at best for either Skype or VoIP.
Note that there is a new option appearing on the horizon: cellphones that are VoIP-enabled. You'll have the portability of a cell with the low fixed price of VoIP.
I have Packet 8 also and it works fine with an occasional echo. My son has Vonage that seems to be somewhat better on his cable modem. I have "widelan" wireless internet at my house from the next mountain. I'm out in the boondocks! Vonage didn't work, Packet 8 is very good.
Yes long distance rates are much cheaper.
When I travel to Thailand, which I do every year at least 2 times, I use Skype and its not bad usually. The bucks saved makes it very worthwhile. My wife has a phone job, and Skype makes it possible for her to work from virtually anywhere there is internet. The limitation is the timezones. Longterm plans include retirement for me to Thailand, YEY!!!, with my wife still working by phone calling NZ and Australia for her job.
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