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bczoom
03-02-2006, 04:13 PM
I didn't want to hijack Nixon's "Zoom" thread but wanted to discuss phone via the internet options.

Options? I have several phone lines. Do they have package deals?

OregonAlex - You mentioned your service but never said what it was or where to get it.

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 09:45 PM
I didn't want to hijack Nixon's "Zoom" thread but wanted to discuss phone via the internet options.

Options? I have several phone lines. Do they have package deals?

OregonAlex - You mentioned your service but never said what it was or where to get it.

Brian,

Section A. Incoming PSTN (packet switch telephone network).. aka POTS (plain out telephone system).
I use Broadvoice for my incoming (keep my number) PSTN to VoIP service. They are unlocked/open and allow you to use your own equipment. Only issue right now with Broadvoice is that their E911 is not up yet but they say.. any day now.. In my case, I also have a company paid phone line, so I use a VoIP to PSTN gateway device (FXO) to sneek over to my company paid line to call 911. For other people who need 911 right NOW.. you will need to look elsewhere.

Some E911 suggestions:
Sunrocket -
Pros: cheap unlimited plan.
Cons: closed VoIP network. LOCKED adapter only

MyPhoneCompany -
Pros: cheap and open. use your own UNLOCKED adapter.
Cons. customer service seems really weak.

VoicePulse -
Pros: unlocked
Cons: A little more money

QuantumVoice
Pros: unlocked. Really high customer satisfaction.
Cons: A little more money


Section B. Outgoing VoIP to PSTN service

Sipphone.
Pros: 1 cent/min. anywhere in the US. Free 800# calling. Free conference calling and bridge setup with dial in PSTN #s. Free access PSTN numbers around the country for people to call you for free. Lots of peering relationships with other "open" VoIP providers so you can call other people subscribed to "open" VoIP networks.
Cons. 1 minute rounding, your caller ID comes out as a number which can not be called back.

VoIPJet.
Pros: 1.3 cent/min US Best international rates I have found anywhere. 6 sec rounding billing, instead of 1 min rounding. Caller ID comes through as anything you want it to be.
Cons: they charge you 3% + 30 cent fee for buying less than $500 in dial in credit. Credits are sold in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 chuncks. Example, only buy a $20 credit, and they ding you 90 cents. You cant use them if you only have an ATA adapter. You need a PBX, like Asterisk, which talks the IAX2 communicaton protocol. ATA adapters generallly only talk the SIP.

For people with DSL.. Read this..
You can only get rid of your phone company and keep DSL if you Qwest or Verizon DSL. Other wont let you keep your DSL without local phone service. But you can certainly save some money by reducing your phone services through them to only local calling. No extended area, Caller ID, Call Waiting Long distance, etc.


Regarding having multiple phone lines for a business or for yourself. Most of the time you don't need em.. and can get rid of them. Most "unlimited" providers let you have 2 active calls.. some allow 6 active calls for an additional fee. If you use the prepaid dial out providers for outgoing like sipphone and VoIp... there is no limit for how many active outgoing calls you can have at once. Since you are paying for it.

Questions?

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 09:51 PM
If you want to buy your own ATA adapter I recommend getting Sipura SPA-3000 at voxilla.com. Use the coupon code:

*user

for an additional 5% off. Plus they bundle the adapter with a voucher for both Broadvoice and Voicepulse to waive the setup fees and give you one month of free service to try them out.

The SPA-3000 iis both an ATA and a VoIP to PSTN gateway. Translation..
You can use it or internet phone service AND also use it to bridge back out to the telephone service as a VoIP client/server. A great transistioning device IMHO as it lets you use your phones to make and receive calls coming from your internet phone VoIP provider and continue to make and receive calls over your normal phone service..

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 09:54 PM
If you are interesting in setting up your own PBX, I would buy SPA-2002 ATA adapters after you get an SPA-3000. The SPA-2002 are a little cheaper.. have two ATA/FXS lines (aka extensions) but no VoIP to PSTN gateway/FXS interface. You would get these if you want multple extenions as a business would normally use multiple extenions.

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 10:00 PM
Options? I have several phone lines. Do they have package deals?

Get rid of all your phone lines and set up a PBX running on Linux. reference Asterisk on the internet. First buy an SPA-3000 for one extension. Then buy additional SPA-2002 for two more extensions at a time as you see fit. So if you where to buy one SPA-3000 and two SPA-2002's you would get 5 extensions total. Setup one dial in number.. when people call into it the PBX will answer it and from there they can be direction to the desired extension.. Press 1 for Brian, 2 for his CFO, 3 for his dog.

When you pick up an extension, the call will go out through the PBX dialout plan. Which could be over the internet or over your existing phone line.. Internet would be best as it would not tie up the lone phone line. Incoming via internet PSTN to VoIP provider would be best too for the same reason.

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 10:02 PM
btw... a few months ago you guys looked at me funny when I started to talk about VoIP.. .. I think I said... well.. in a few years all this stuff will be common knowledge. I think we are getting there faster then I thought.. huh?

bczoom
03-02-2006, 10:04 PM
Questions?
Yep...

Can you say that one more time... in English? :yum:

Can you elaborate/explain open vs. closed. What kind of hardware are we talking about, and how much does it cost?

I want to keep my existing phone numbers if possible. I work from home and have business voice and fax numbers. I keep these calls/numbers away from the rest of the house (I don't want my kids answering my business line).

I also use my different phone numbers for internal calls. I have all lines connected in my building and remote sections of the house. Mrs. Zoom calls from the home line to one of my business lines and I answer. It's kind of an intercom system.

HGM
03-02-2006, 11:01 PM
Yep...

Can you say that one more time... in English? :yum:

Can you elaborate/explain open vs. closed. What kind of hardware are we talking about, and how much does it cost?

I want to keep my existing phone numbers if possible. I work from home and have business voice and fax numbers. I keep these calls/numbers away from the rest of the house (I don't want my kids answering my business line).

I also use my different phone numbers for internal calls. I have all lines connected in my building and remote sections of the house. Mrs. Zoom calls from the home line to one of my business lines and I answer. It's kind of an intercom system.

Glad I wasnt the only one......Does sound interesting, I think :pat:

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 11:02 PM
Yep...

Can you say that one more time... in English? :yum:

Can you elaborate/explain open vs. closed. What kind of hardware are we talking about, and how much does it cost?

I want to keep my existing phone numbers if possible. I work from home and have business voice and fax numbers. I keep these calls/numbers away from the rest of the house (I don't want my kids answering my business line).

I also use my different phone numbers for internal calls. I have all lines connected in my building and remote sections of the house. Mrs. Zoom calls from the home line to one of my business lines and I answer. It's kind of an intercom system.

I aint gonna say it one more time.. bubba. ;-)

closed or locked.

its a lot like cell phones. Most cell phone providers give you a cell phone which is locked to only use their network SIM. Forcing you to only use them for making and receiving calls. With an unlocked cell phone you are free to switch to a different SIM card. This is useful if you want to use your phone overseas and not get charged roaming fee and want to take advantage of free incoming minutes using a foreign cell number.

a locked ATA adapter is the same way. A closed network means that people can not call you for free if they also have internet phone service with a different provider. They can only call your by dial out via PSTN, costing them money. If you are on the road, this also makes it difficult for you to call home for free via the internet. Again, because it is a closed network... Its on the same internet as everyone else but they wont let other non-network subscribers call you for free. Kind of like people with Verizon cells phones calling Cingular cells phone for free. They don't allow you to do it. But Cingular to Cingular calls are free. Same idea. This is why I don't like closed internet phone providers. Also, if I want to make an outgoing call I want to be able to shop for the best rates and pick the provider or multiple providers for the best phone plan. For example, pick one provider for US calls, another for international, another for 800#s, etc.

also, closed networks GIVE you a free adapter.. but if you want to leave before your contract is up they hit you with large fee. They also want to charge you a setup fee when you get started. If you have your own device, you can come and go as you please without fees. If they start giving you crappy service, you give them the finger and go elsewhere. No fees. Its your device, you own it..

an SPA-3000 is around $80-90.
an SPA-2002 is around $66.

check the website I told you about. www.voxilla.com (http://www.voxilla.com)

having multiple phone lines is a bit lame. Instead it is better to have a PBX and use extensions. Incoming calls can be directed as you with which ever extension you wish and you can controller the ring too if you which based on the caller ID. When people call into a certain number, it will go into the same PBX but will be routed to ring which ever extensions you wish. A single extention or multiple ones or ever call other numbers like your cell phone, passing the number calling the PBX straigh to the cell phones caller id.

another cool thing as I briefly touched on eariler is when you take your computer on the road, you can answer and make your calls remotely using your laptop. When someone calls your number, your normal extension(s) will ring, plus cell phone, plus laptop half way around the world at the same time.. Who ever picks up the phone first, causes the other phones to stop ringing. Just like you would on a common shared phone cable in your house.

actually the computer is just another extension.. if you dont want to use your computer as an extension, simply buy another ATA adapter and install it at your office.. This way when people call your number, your extension at home will ring as well as your extension at work. Take another ATA adapter with you to the hotel and it will ring there too.

You don't have to give out different numbers to people.. just have them call the one number and the ring will find you. Where you are at.

when people call into my house, they get greated by a VMI (voice messaging interface). Hello.. blah blah.. dial one for Alex, dial two for his wife, dial three for his daughter.. blah blh... etc.. If they dial one, it rings my extension at the house, another extension at my office, and my cell phone. Cell phone, caller id shows me who is calling me. Even though the call is being made by my PBX, the caller id of the person calling into the PBX is forwarded to me. If I don't pick up any phones, the call is set to voice mail. If someone answers the phone at my office, and they determine the call is for someone else, they can transfer it to another extension which might be my cell phone again, etc.

OregonAlex
03-02-2006, 11:22 PM
If you dont want to dish out money for your own ATA adapter just yet.. you can plan around with the VoIP provider sipphone.com using your computer as a softphone (software based phone).

http://www.gizmoproject.com/

hit download and you will get a softphone called "Gizmo" which only works with sipphone.com. I suggest this because it is easiest to setup and you can create a free sipphone.com VoIP account from without their softphone. You don't need to use Gizmo to use sipphone.com but you cant use Gizmo to use someone else's VoIP service. sipphone.com is NOT a closed network.. its just that the software they give away for free only works with their VoIP service.

caution.. the quality on your computer will probably not be very good. But you can give it a try. ... don't confuse this with the quality of sipphone.com calls. They very good if you use an ATA adapter and/or PBX to connect to it instead of the softphone.

remember.. 800# are free with sipphone.com as well as setting up conference calling, calling other open VoIP network users internet phones.. dont forget about the PSTN access numbers too. This way a person can call a local number in Miami for example, and you can answer the call on your softphone or ATA adapter in Ohio.

bczoom
03-02-2006, 11:34 PM
OA,

I'm a software guy so it's going to take a little time for me to catch on to all this hardware stuff. It'll be tomorrow as it's getting too late right now.

A couple follow-up questions.

If someone needs to send me a fax, how do you get past the VMI?

If I set it up to ring my cell phone, how does that work? My issue is (don't ask as it belongs in the "Grrr" thread) but it's a long distance call from my home line to my cell.

Thanks for all the help and please pardon my ignorance...

OregonAlex
03-03-2006, 12:17 AM
OA,

I'm a software guy so it's going to take a little time for me to catch on to all this hardware stuff. It'll be tomorrow as it's getting too late right now.

A couple follow-up questions.

If someone needs to send me a fax, how do you get past the VMI?

If I set it up to ring my cell phone, how does that work? My issue is (don't ask as it belongs in the "Grrr" thread) but it's a long distance call from my home line to my cell.

Thanks for all the help and please pardon my ignorance...

Brian,

Re: fax you can do it a couple ways..

1. you can have it time out and then go fax automatically after say like 10 secs.
2. Buy another in coming number for $2-5 mo and have it go straight to the fax machine.

re cell phone. from an internet phone point of view it does not cost any more to call US long distance then it does next door.

the cell phone forwarding is only a convience if you don't want people to chase you down.. but you will pay for incoming cell phone minutes as you normally do.. AND the outgoing call from your PBX to your cell phone. @ whatever your plan is. 1 cent/min... flat rate because you have an unlimited plan... whatever.

the only other way to get around paying for incoming and outgoing cell phone minutes is get another cell phone with the same provider.. put ou the SIM and install the sim into a VoIP to GSM gateway box. Call between your VoIP to GSM gateway box and your cell phone will be free. But you will be paying for two cell phones per month. Family plan deal or whatever.

plus the GSM gateway box is not cheap.. about $300-500.

I would rather pay 1 cent/min for the convience. If the call gets too long, i can call them back or ask that they call my cell directly.. but at 1 cent/min my battery will die before I spend $1.00. i.e. over an hour and a 1/2 on the cell phone. as you can see 1 cent/min is nothing!
$300 at 1 cent/min is 30,000 minutes or 500 hours.. Relate that to tractor hours. ;-)

humor_me
03-03-2006, 03:00 PM
Brian,

Section A. Incoming PSTN (packet switch telephone network).. aka POTS (plain out telephone system).
Questions?:nono1: :nono1:


First,
Let me correct you. The PSTN is the Public Switched Telephone Network
NOT "packet" switched.

The PSTN is true voltage-driven telephone service where physical circuits are created to make calls.

Packet switched is strictly a "virtual" connection.

POTS - is circuit switched.
VOIP - is packet switched.

OregonAlex
03-03-2006, 03:29 PM
thanks for that... if you haven't noticed by now.. the wrong words seem to come out of my fingertips at random times.. They are real words, just not the right ones. Notice I said .. plain out telephone system.. instead of plain old telephone system. I am 2 for 2.
LOL.

OregonAlex
03-03-2006, 03:35 PM
btw, once the POTS line hits the CO, its all converted to packet switched anyways. But I bet few people around here care about splitting hairs on the matter.

villi
03-03-2006, 08:22 PM
This is working fine http://www.skype.com/

OregonAlex
03-03-2006, 08:58 PM
too bad Skype decided not to use the existing SIP open protocol that is used by the rest of the world (VoIP internet providers, PBXes, dozens of softphones, and off the shelf "generic" VoIP equipment). I guess they wanted to go at it themselves against what the rest of the world is doing. Plus this unforunately makes them a closed network. :-(

Skype reminds me alot of AOL in the late 80's to early 90's. They have a large following and have their own world of members. And do a great job of marketing and making their product known. Yet they could not talk to other Internet users because the AOL network did not talk the open and standard TCP/IP protocol, nor was it part of the Internet. Later, AOL created email gateways to allow member to exchange email with other people on the internet and eventually AOL overhauled their entire network to TCP/IP.

as far as I know, you can only use Skype with the Skype software client and some other device attached to your PC via USB. So it may use the Skype software on your PC. correct?

Here is a list of SIP based softphones and hard phones. To give you an idea of how many companies support it.
http://www.iptel.org/info/products/sipphones.php

Here is a list of SIP VoIP providers.. To give you an idea of how many companies use it as a basis for providing "phone of internet" services.

http://www.sipcenter.com/sip.nsf/html/Service+Providers


Here is a list of PBXes which support SIP. To give you an idea of how many companies offer it in their commercial PBX (phone systems for businesses).
http://www.sipcenter.com/sip.nsf/html/IP+PBX