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Residential VOIP newbie questions

Last response: in Networking
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August 12, 2004 2:07:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Hi,
I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit. I'm
completely new to VOIP though and have some questions:

1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?
2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?
3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
use?
4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?
5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?
6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want to
know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.

TIA for answering these. I'm really interested in pursuing VOIP service;
you can't beat the price!

thanks,
Jonathan
Anonymous
August 13, 2004 2:04:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

>I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit.

>1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?

It varies a lot depending on how congested your net connection is.
When it's good it's very good, when it's bad, it's choppy and echoy.

>2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?

The delay is unobjectionable, the echo is only bad when the voice
connection is bad.

>3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
>use?

At idle it's negligible, in use it's 90Kb unless you tell it to use
lower quality mode.

>4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?

Keeping in mind the 90Kb per connection, yes.

>5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?

Vonage says it'll work, but I haven't had much luck getting fax
connections to work reliably. I use my landline for the rare outgoing
fax, efax for incoming.

>6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want to
>know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.

Having watched the traffic from the ATA 186, I see it uses DNS, NTP,
and TFTP to get booted. After that it mostly seems to be UDP port
5061 for control and 10000 for data. If you ask Vonage, they'll tell
you.
August 13, 2004 8:40:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Thanks a bunch, this is the type of info. I really needed!

"John R. Levine" <johnl@iecc.com> wrote in message
news:cfh7j3$rfd$1@xuxa.iecc.com...
> >I'm looking at getting a Vonage phone line for my 1.5/768 ADSL circuit.
>
> >1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than
POTS?
>
> It varies a lot depending on how congested your net connection is.
> When it's good it's very good, when it's bad, it's choppy and echoy.
>
> >2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?
>
> The delay is unobjectionable, the echo is only bad when the voice
> connection is bad.
>
> >3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
> >use?
>
> At idle it's negligible, in use it's 90Kb unless you tell it to use
> lower quality mode.
>
> >4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?
>
> Keeping in mind the 90Kb per connection, yes.
>
> >5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be
reduced?
>
> Vonage says it'll work, but I haven't had much luck getting fax
> connections to work reliably. I use my landline for the rare outgoing
> fax, efax for incoming.
>
> >6) What protocols and ports does the analog phone adapter use? I want
to
> >know how to safely and properly allow this traffic through my firewall.
>
> Having watched the traffic from the ATA 186, I see it uses DNS, NTP,
> and TFTP to get booted. After that it mostly seems to be UDP port
> 5061 for control and 10000 for data. If you ask Vonage, they'll tell
> you.
>
Anonymous
August 14, 2004 1:02:35 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

> 1) How is the voice quality? Is it closer to cell-phone quality than POTS?
Nobody knows they are talking to me on Vonage until I tell them
and I use the 50kbs medium setting. My broadband connection generally
give me 200kbs up and 3-4 times that down.

> 2) Are there delays or echos when making VOIP calls?
I have an occaisional glitchy call, too few problems to hurt my
enthusiasm for Vonage.

> 3) How much bandwidth does a VOIP circuit consume when idle and when in
> use?

Vonage allows the customer to set 90, 50, or 30 kbs for call bandwidth
and if you put the vonage box between your router and cable modem the
box will reserve bandwidth for itself during calls. I'd guess Vonage
box uses negligable bandwidth or none when it's idling.

> 4) Can I have more than one line on my ADSL circuit?

I am in a location right now where there are 2 vonage boxes, behind
the router, and we have not been having problems because of that.

> 5) Can I use my fax machine over a VOIP circuit? Will speeds be reduced?

I use efax so no experience with that.

I've written in other news group posts that I waited until i had a
cell phone before getting VOIP because the internet is not yet as
reliable as the traditional phone system. Vonage lets the customer
set up a phone number for forwarding calls during network outages and
a feature for simultaneous ring. I use the cell phone number for
both. For me Vonage is the right product at the right price.
!