I’d Love to Say Bon Voyage to Vonage (but I just can’t quit you)

How many times do I hear this in a business meeting, “Mike … I can’t really hear you.  It’s breaking up.  Are you on a cell phone?”  No, I am not on a cell phone.  In fact, I am on a cordless phone, sitting in my home office in Jerusalem.  The problem?  Vonage.

VOIP sounds like a great idea in theory.  Make calls on the Internet for a fraction of the cost of what phone companies charge.  I love the concept and if I can ever get my Vonage phone to work right, I would be one happy customer.  And when I am a happy customer, I am an advocate (see Apple – although there is a post a brewin’ about MobileMe uninstall let me tell you).  The problem with Vonage is that I hear people perfectly, but they hear me choppy.

There are plenty of instructions on Vonage’s FAQ page about how to deal with this problem.  They include:

  1. Plug your Vonage unit right into your modem rather than a router
  2. Keep the Vonage box at least 4 feet away from any other wireless device (is this even possible in a home office?)
  3. Change your bandwidth settings via the profile page (did that – didn’t work)
  4. Pray (no, it’s not on their FAQ but seems to work with most other things)

I am now going to attempt to rearrange my home office to try my last hope in #2 up there.  Wish me luck.  If it doesn’t work Vonage, I’ll be looking for a better alternative.  Magic Jack comes highly recommended.   Anyone have any luck fixing the choppy, one-way audio problem?  Your feedback would be most appreciated.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Commentary and Critiques, Technology

One response to “I’d Love to Say Bon Voyage to Vonage (but I just can’t quit you)

  1. Michael Sanchez

    Hi there! Just read your post about your problem with your VOiP. There are factors that could cause you this problem, (1) is that your internet speed is low or latent, You could check your bandwidth using some speed test like http://www.mycooltools.com, www. speedtest.net or http://www.speakeasy.net. If you’re speed is high enough (remember that they need at least 256kbps for download and the same with upload), you could try to check if your internet connection is latent. Having latent internet connection means you lose your data while sending or recieving. You could check that by typing this command in DOS mode or command prompt: ping http://www.vonage.com -l 600 -n 100. If there are time outs, chances are, your internet is latent, but most of the internet problems can be solve by turning off your ISP modem for 1 min. (2) If you’re using DSL not Cable internet, and you have a modem router from your DSL company, you should check if they have your firewall enabled in your modem/router. Most of these modem/routers have their firewalls enabled which blocks the ports that your VOiP is using. Most of the time your audio will be choppy, but sometime it would work fine. You have your choice to turn off the firewall, but if you don’t want that, you could put your VOiP router in DMZ (call vonage’s Tech Supp to help you how to put it in DMZ), or you could do port forwarding (Tech Supp should know how to do it). (3) If your VOiP router is behind a third party router, chances are your bandwidth distibution. How many devices are connected into your router? That’s why they prefer to connect your VOiP router directly to your modem. And if, your VOiP router is connected behind a wireless router, and you’re using a cordless phone, remember that most of the cordless phone uses 5.44ghz of rf (radio frequency), same goes with your wireless router. With this you could try to change your routers channel until the line goes clear and you might try to secure your wireless connection. You just don’t know how many devices connects to your wireless router. If all fails call Tech support and ask for Advance Operations Engineer (AOE/AOS), but most of the time AOE would just replace your router if you have done everything. Hope it helps.

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