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Vonage Phone Offer!

Forgive the commercial nature of this message, but this is a truly great offer, and as I was one of the early adapters, switching to Vonage for my primary home phone in 2003, I'm more qualified than most others to have a non-partisan view of them.

Once in a while, Vonage makes some sweet offers that help both the referrer as well as the new customer in a grand way. Their current offering is two months of free service (about a $50 credit) for both the new customer (you) as well as the referrer (me)! Plus... if you order Vonage service before the 15th of July, Vonage will waive the $29.99 activation fee!

I know it's a little scary to contemplate abandoning your "land line" in favour of a digital phone, but I've held hands with quite a few people as they cut the "Ma Bell" cord, and they're all still very happy they did it!

So, what's involved with switching to Vonage? Why is it better than your cable company's digital phone service? What things should I be aware of?*** I've helped many make the switch to Vonage. If you're interested in making the switch, I offer my free help to you as well! (I hate the phone company!!)

You simply need:

  • An "always on", wired high speed internet connection (such as Comcast, Bright House High Speed or Road Runner)
  • Telephone handset(s) -- Hint: You can even use your existing wiring* without making any major changes!

    Once complete Vonage's application form, they'll put the ball in motion.

    In almost all cases you can keep your phone number when switching! Vonage will contact your current land line provider and let them know that you want to switch providers.

    Vonage will mail you your internet/telephone interface (several are available, including a wireless hub!) You get to choose the one you want (most are free) when you sign up!

    Plug your high speed internet source (i.e. cable modem) into the router, plug your existing computer into one of the ethernet ports and plug a normal telephone (corded or cordless) into the telephone outlet plug on the router.

    Play the waiting game as your old service is turned off and Vonage service is turned on! It typically takes three days to completely transfer service over.

    Once all your service is cut over, *let's power ALL your phones in your home with Vonage! Here's how: Cut or remove the outside telephone feed (d-mark) from your house circuit (normally in the basement, in a utility closet or outside your home) -- mind you, that if you can not do this, talk with me for further information. Now take an RJ-11 telephone cable/cord (if you don't have one, get one at Home Depot or any other store with phone accessories) plug one end into the telephone port on your Vonage router, and the other end into an existing wall jack. Every phone plugged into the same circuit (normally every phone in your home) will now have Vonage dial tone!

    Gosh, that's it?? Well yes and no. At this point you will have ordinary telephone service - calls come in and you can place calls as well! -- But with Vonage, there's a lot more you do and can choose from!

    Here's one of things that makes Vonage far better then Time Warner or Comcast Digital Voice services -- just look at some of the 25 free calling features on Vonage phone include:

  • Voice Mail & E-Mail Voice Mail
  • Call Forwarding or "Multi-Ring" Call Forwarding
  • Caller-ID with name
  • Anonymous Call Blocking
  • Local area-code-less dialling (within your own area code!!)
  • Do Not Disturb mode
  • ... and more!

    But wait, there's more! Ask Comcast or Time Warner if calls to the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and across the United States are free all of the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!!

  • Unlimited local and long distance calling in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico **
  • FREE calls to land-line phones in Italy, France, Spain, UK, and Ireland **

    You can completely configure your Vonage service by logging on to Vonage's secure account management webpage -- you can see who's called you, who you've called, check your bill, pay your bill, listen to your voice mail and more!!

    So, are you ready to make the plunge to Vonage? If so, click on the offer below.

    Remember, I've been through this with many other people and each and every one of them wishes they made the switch earlier! Imagine the savings in long distance costs, let alone the outrageous local 'Ma Bell' land-line bill!!

    ** With the $24.99/month "Residential Premium Unlimited Plan" (their standard plan)

    *** By switching to Vonage, your telephone service will depend upon your internet connection. If it goes down (network or power outage), it will not work. I personally have my cable modem, router and cordless telephone plugged into a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), which will keep it all working in a power outage situation. You can purchase a UPS for cheap at office electronics stores, such as Office Max, Best Buy or Staples. (It's a good idea to have one for your personal computer anyways, as they isolate you from brown outs and power spikes!) Also, E-911 service on Vonage is different than that on land lines -- read all the fine print to understand it completely (you will be reminded about this when you sign up).



    ( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
    Jul. 10th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
    One thing to keep in mind is that if you have DSL through your phone provider, you may have an issue. They may have changed policy recently, but I believe that Verizon (for example) requires that you have a subscriber line in place for DSL service. If you have DSL, check with the provider before making a switch.
    Jul. 11th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)

    Yes, you are correct.

    I reccomend against DSL on all accounts.

    If you have to go with Ma Bell, go for Verison FiOS.

    Jul. 11th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
    Well, for many of us it's either cable or DSL, and I sure as hell am not giving any more money to Concash. FIOS is not an option and probably will not be for the foreseeable future, since my area is already served by DSL and Verizon is concentrating on growing into areas otherwise unsuitable for DSL, or into new housing developments.

    Once I get my ducks in a row, I may go with a wireless provider (we have one with a good rep here in Baltimore), but the costs and speed are about the same as DSL. but then I could ditch my landline, at least.
    Jul. 11th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
    Oh, don't get me wrong... I despise Comcast as well.

    It's the media equivalent to paying a cover charge to go to an event (such as a computer show) where you will be spending money to buy things...

    It's a monopoly. A corrupt, evil monopoly.

    Once hardware used by services like 5G Wireless (a leader in the wireless broadband industry, who currently offer "Long Distance Wi-Fi" which sends signals eight to ten miles at full 802.11 speeds), get into homes, telecoms can be taken out of the residential internet market as individuals act as the global hub which will be the internet. Let's see Comcasr filter/shape that with nak packets!!

    802.11 has not really seen its full potential yet.

    An example of an existing Community Wireless Network

    For further reading about 'Community Wireless Networks' see this article. And, of course on the depositary of all human knowledge, Wikipedia (algo known as the Gallifreian Matrix).

    Edited at 2008-07-11 02:43 am (UTC)
    Jul. 11th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
    Free International Calls
    I've been using a company called WQN for years now to call to both India and UAE. There are no taxes, fees, or equipment to set up. The quality is great and the rates are very competitive. They give FREE minutes to their customers all the time with special bonus offers. They also have a loyalty program that gives their customers up to 3000 FREE minutes every 6 months. I'm able to get lots of free minutes to call my destinations with great quality.

    Check them out at www.WQN.com
    Jul. 11th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
    Re: Free International Calls

    From the WQN website:

    To make a call:

    - Simply dial your local or toll-free WQN access number. (we recommend that you save your local access number as a speed dial number)
    - If you are not calling from one of your pin-less access phone numbers, at the voice prompt, enter your Authorization Code.
    - Use your Easy Dial preset number or dial the number you wish to call. If you are making an international call, dial 011 + country code + city code and number. If you are making a domestic U.S. call, dial 1 + area code and number.
    - If you make a mistake while dialing, simply press the * key and start over when you hear the prompt.
    - Talk and enjoy the WQN savings!
    - If you would like to place another call, don't hang up. At the end of your first call, simply press the # key twice (##) and dial the new number when you hear the prompt.

    Calling London with Vonage is as simple as:

    - Pick up phone, dial number
    - Talk as long as you want for FREE
    - Hang up when done

    There's no comparison.

    Jul. 11th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
    Re: Free International Calls

    If we're going to compate apples to oranges, you can make internet phone calls anywhere in thw world with Yahoo voice, Skype, and a ton of other services.

    Of course, Skype-to-Skype or Yahoo Voice-to-Yahoo Voice calls are free, the problem is if you want to ring up a real telephone, there is a cost involved.

    For Yahoo Voice, calling India costs 7.9¢/min
    For Skype, calling India costs 10.6¢/min

    Why so expensive? Because India officially joined the "NoVOIP club" formed by their asian counterparts Bangladesh, UAE, Oman etc. This really took me by surprise that Indian government, in fact the DoT (Department of Telecom) has finally decided to cut down on all foreign VOIP operators providing services in India. The impact will be huge. This move is directly going to affect people like you, me, companies such as BPO's, call centers etc.

    Although, Indian government has given reasons such as, Foreign operators do not come under any regulations, so it's difficult to monitor activities done through them. Indian government perhaps think VOIP users in India are not mature enough to think that it's not about regulations but more about ensuring the benefits of local telecom operators and ISPs who are loosing money. Money which needs no brainer. Slowly, Indian telcos will offer you dream VOIP services at Rs.1 per call etc and later bundle it around other applications. Finally, the customers end up paying much higher than they ever thought.

    In India, VOIP is a big money game. Everyday millions of $$$ are at stake. I wouldn't be surprised if Reliance, Essar and Bharati will push the government to a level that they will outright ban foreign operators. Banning a VOIP service isn't a solution but traditionally India has never thought of a good solution, since most of the decisions are influenced.

    This move will greatly impact a home VOIP user. It means no more Skype Calls, I wonder if ISP's will be asked to ban Skype. In other words, they will be making you handicapped and leaving you with only one choice, Use Reliance and other mobile services. Furthermore, it's also going to affect BPO, KPO and call centers in India, since they can no longer buy minutes and dedicated services from foreign operators. Does that mean, they will pay 10 times what they are paying? isn't that sick?

    ... of course, there are tons of ways of getting around this, provided that you have an internet connection. Using alternative ports or using encryption can mask VoIP traffic.

    ( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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