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Not really a computer question but thought I'd ask here anyway...

Anyone here have any experience with switching over from a traditional land-line phone to a VOIP service?

Specifically considering Comcast / Xfinity service as we currently have our TV and internet access from them. They have several "combination" packages to choose from.

Am wondering about the VOIP service in general (I've never used it) - is making and receiving phone calls the same compared to a regular land-line? Is Comcast / Xfinity a relatively good or bad service?

Any thoughts / comments would be appreciated.
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I've been using Vonage now for nearly 12 years. The full service with Taxes and fees is around $30/month. There is no difference in quality between it and a land line service. The basics:

https://vonagelogins.com/vonage-residential/

RayB
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I don't have experience with Xfinity VOIP (though we do use their broadband service), but have used VOIP for many years -- Ooma. There are a few, minor annoyances with our setup (don't know if they're specific to Ooma or more general VOIP issues we'd have with anyone). It often seems to not be full duplex, and there's a slight delay -- but I think that might be when talking with cell users (which is the vast majority of calls these days). Sometimes there's some weird feedback-like noise on the line that can be annoying.

But mainly it seems comparable to a land-line, from what I can remember. Except the price. Unlimited local & long-distance (within the US) for about $4/mo taxes (once you've purchased the unit). Hard to beat that.

Ken
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I have a package from Spectrum that includes cable and internet and their VoIP phone service. The phone service works just fine, except that when the internet goes down or the power goes out so does our phone service. Both those events happen on occasion around here and our traditional landline always worked even when we lost power.

So the service is fine but is a bit more apt to go down than our landline was.
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Thanks - appreciate the feedback.

The thought crossed my mind concerning the loss of the cable / internet connection. That definitely happens from time to time. But, DW and I both have our cell phones to use in that case so I don't think that's too much of a problem.

When you converted over from land-line to VOIP, did you continue to use the same physical telephones that you had been using? Do they install some kind of adapter or modem or something that connects your existing phone lines in the house to the VOIP service?

Are you able to continue to use the same phone number that land line uses? Or do you get an entirely new number?

Thanks again...
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The thought crossed my mind concerning the loss of the cable / internet connection. That definitely happens from time to time. But, DW and I both have our cell phones to use in that case so I don't think that's too much of a problem.

If you both have cell phones, why are you considering going to VoIP instead of just giving up the landline?
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I’v Had VOIP for several years. First with local phone company when it was my ISP, with xFinity since I switched to them. The key difference is that when power goes out the phone is dead, unless your modem is on a UPS. Transferring the number was no problem.

I am getting really close to canceling VOIP for reasons unrelated to performance. That line gets so many robocalls I stopped answering it unless I recognize the caller. (Nomorobo stops some, but not all that many.) I hesitate mainly because only one neighbor has me cell number.
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When you converted over from land-line to VOIP, did you continue to use the same physical telephones that you had been using?

Nothing changed in terms of our phones, they just hooked our existing system into their system.

And we ported our existing number over so it didn't change either. I think that took a day or two to get that done. I think we may have had a different number for a day or so until that was completed.
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Warrl - Can't really give you a good, logical answer - I just want to have a land line.

One factor in this is that I have some major hearing loss issues. Sometimes the cell phone is the better choice, other times the land line is.

Life is what it is...
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When you converted over from land-line to VOIP, did you continue to use the same physical telephones that you had been using? Do they install some kind of adapter or modem or something that connects your existing phone lines in the house to the VOIP service?

Are you able to continue to use the same phone number that land line uses? Or do you get an entirely new number?


See...https://boards.fool.com/we39ve-used-both-vonage-and-magicjac...
We ported our existing number to Ooma and use existing phones by plugging a phone line output of Ooma into any phone jack. As this back-feeds into the phone system you must disconnect your existing service at their interface where the phone line enters your house. This was done by simply opening the interface box and unplugging the jack.

One factor in this is that I have some major hearing loss issues. Sometimes the cell phone is the better choice, other times the land line is.

Life is what it is..


I feel your pain and bought iPhone compatible hearing aids now cell phone calls are definitely the better choice.

George
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voip.ms

Need to set it up, but once set up, the running cost is super low.

Highly recommend it.
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I just want to have a land line.

In this area, the old fashioned land lines with their own very reliable power supply are going away fast. Even the phone company is forcing land line people to convert to their VOIP service.
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I shouldn't comment, really, being a true dinosaur, but we want to keep our landline as long as we can, for various reasons.

Our cell phone is an antique -- a TracFone that can only be used as a phone. No display or camera, etc., and is usually turned off except to make a call for some specific reason on a trip or something.

Where we live, there is no cable, so we can't get that. We use DirecTV for TV. Our landline provides phone and internet as a bundle. Our phones don't display who is calling, though we do have a recorder for missed calls.

To your question: Sounds like many people like VOIP, but we've also heard negative comments from some about quality and delays, and dislike the idea of EVERYTHING going when power fails. The landline seems to always be there, even when power goes down in a storm.

Just my two cents FWIW. GL, whichever way you go.

Vermonter
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To your question: Sounds like many people like VOIP, but we've also heard negative comments from some about quality and delays, and dislike the idea of EVERYTHING going when power fails. The landline seems to always be there, even when power goes down in a storm.

I converted from a hard-wired land-line to Verizon's FiOS in about 2004, when Verizon first made it available in my neighborhood. I did not care whether it was fiber-optic instead of copper or not, but I did want the 10 Megabit download speed and 1 Megabit upload speed for the Internet connection. Since then the speeds (and the monthly charges) have gone up, so now my speeds are:

Date Download Upload Test Server
6/25/2019 09:03:54 AM 82.02 Mbps 87.87 Mbps New York City, NY
6/14/2019 11:56:38 PM 82.44 Mbps 87.53 Mbps New York City, NY
6/01/2019 04:43:44 PM 82.44 Mbps 88.74 Mbps New York City, NY

Now the terminator box for the FiOS fiber-optic has a UPS as part of its power supply, so if the power goes out, it will immediately cut off the Internet, but allow the voice line to continue to work for about 6 hours. I happen to have a spare UPS, so I plugged the terminator power supply into that, so on power failure, my Internet will stay on for the whole six hours. Now in those days, I had a choice. I did not have to do that, but then I was limited to 55.6 Kbps Internet speeds and that was becoming a problem for me.

On the other hand, my local Quaker meeting just had one hard-wired telephone line, no computers, etc. So we did not convert. Then about a year ago, Verizon forced the upgrade, so we have the minimum terminator box there. But it now means if the power goes out, the telephone goes out too. Then the only telephone service will be with cell phones, if the nearby towers continue to run.

So stick with your hard-wired connection as long as they let you.
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Vermonter,

I also have a wireline phone/DSL. The cable was dropped into the trench we dug from the road to the house, 1/3 mile, for our water line.

I have used Verizon, ATT and now Sprint for cell phones. None work reliably in our house. I don't have line-of-site to any cell tower in the area. If I go outside to the east end of our porches, I get reasonable connection most of the time.

Inside the house, I will receive most text messages but responding to them does not always work.

All three of the above providers showed me their coverage map with my home location in a "good" coverage zone, stating I would have good coverage with their system!

I also keep an antenna attached to each TV. When the weather gets bad, Dish goes away. We switch to antenna to keep track of the storms. Well, sometimes we have to go out in the storms to watch for tornadoes. If we get in a reasonable position, I can watch the radar on my phone, otherwise is is just radio.


Gene
All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page
http://my.fool.com/profile/gdett2/info.aspx
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Actually, I have an unusual "ace in the hole": my amateur radio. I can run on a car battery, if need be, and, with just a wire antenna in the trees here, I can communicate anywhere; anywhere meaning anywhere.

Hopefully, we won't ever get that far, of course!

Vermonter
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Hi - new to this board but I use Google Voice for a free phone number and this little jack that you buy, and I’ve never paid after that.

Here is the link to what it is:

It’s called an Obi.

You set it up, and it works just like a regular phone. You can pay $10/year to add 911 service to it.

I’ve had it for 3 years now. It works great!

And you just plug your regular old phone into it.
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Oh and here’s the how-to guide I used. (Can’t believe I found it!)

https://www.howtogeek.com/136959/how-to-switch-to-voip-and-d...
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At the low end, there are things like MagicJack, which is a small device you connect to your internet and get a very low cost phone number that they assign. You can easily take this device with you wherever you are, and your phone number will follow you.

At the high end, most new "land-line" phone services from recognized telephone companies is also VOIP. They provide a more robust device which isn't intended to be moved from place to place. They also provide traditional phone services (911, caller ID, call waiting, voice mail, etc.) at traditional phone service costs. I'd put Comcast in this category.

As a technology, VOIP is mature and works as well as the hardware allows. The cheap hardware may not be as reliable. The hardware that goes with the more expensive services is probably going to be pretty darn good.

I don't have experience with Comcast, but do have it with Time Warner/Spectrum. Both home and office work just fine. They use the existing phone lines in the wall and my existing phones (all of which are at least 10 years old). I suspect they'd work with any phone that is not a rotary dial phone. I can't tell the difference from my previous POTS lines. Even my fax machine - on the rare occasion I need it - works over VOIP at my office.

--Peter
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