Thursday, June 21, 2007


I've had Vonage for almost 2 years now and it's been a great experience. One of several reasons I chose Vonage is so that I can call my family back home. I'm in the US Air Force and live in Minot, ND so the closest family members live 30 hours away. Vonage has been a life saver for me.

The Phone quality is great, just like a normal phone and they have tons of free features that they are always adding to. The only time there is a problem is when the internet goes out and that's not a problem if you have a cell phone. You can set up Vonage to forward calls to your cell phone in case you lose your internet connection . They have thought of everything.

I also added the 1-800 number for an additional $9.99 a month with 100 free incoming minutes. It enables family and friends that don't have free long distance to call toll free. I have my Vonage adapter set up in a way that I can hook up multiple phones to all the phone jacks in my house. It's simple,all you do is unplug the phone line coming into the house and plug up the adapter to any phone jack.

Here are some additional features.

Residential Premium Unlimited Plan
$ 24.99/month Unlimited local and long distance calling anywhere in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. NEW! FREE calls to select European countries! See details below.

Residential Basic 500 Minutes Plan
$14.99/month 500 minutes of local and long distance calling anywhere in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. Only 3.9¢ per minute after the first 500 monthly minutes.


Voicemail -
This is nice because you can check voicemail through your phone or from the internet via windows media player, etc. The voicemail can be configured from the web to pick up after so many calls or after being forwarded to another number with no answer. Vonage does not limit the number of messages that you can keep in your mailbox and they can all be managed online. Vonage will also optionally email you when you have a new voicemail. You can customize the greetings and configure so that if you don't like call waiting, a person calling in gets a message stating you are on the phone so please leave a message and you will get back to them.

Call forwarding -
This can be configured from the webpage and is better than most because you have the option of forwarding immediately or after so many seconds. The fact that there is no long distance charges means you can forward it to any phone number in the United States or Canada for free. You are still able to have the Vonage voicemail be the default voicemail if the forwarded number does not pick up in case you want to keep all your voicemails in the same system.

Call Transfer -
I have to admit that I love this feature. You can transfer your current call to anywhere or anyone within the U.S. and Canada. Lets say you are on the phone with someone and you need to hit the road. Just transfer the number to your cell phone and keep on going. Don't stop there. Think of the possibilities. Lets say you live in Boston and your brother lives in Seattle and your mom lives in Dallas. Call your brother and talk to him for a few minutes and then say "Why don't you talk to mom". All you need to do is transfer him to your mom in Dallas and hang up. Those two will be talking absolutely free of charge for everyone.

Caller-ID -
Vonage currently supports caller-ID assuming your phone has it built-in. This works fine but does not support caller-ID with call waiting at this point.

Caller-ID Blocking -
Vonage allows you to use the *67 in order for your phone number not to show up on other persons caller-ID display.

Repeat Dialing -
This is sometimes known as "demon dialing". You dial 5 when you get a busy signal and then you it keeps trying to contact the person and rings the phone when the line is no longer busy.

Call Return -
You can dial *69 and a computer voice will tell you the last person that called and ask if you would like to return the call. This is voice activated so you just need to say YES or NO into the phone.

911 Service -
This is a new feature at the time of the writing. You have to register this with Vonage by entering in your exact address and then Vonage will have any 911 calls go directly to your local emergency team for your area.

Bandwidth Saver -
This allows to sacrifice sound quality for the phone using less bandwidth. If you have a good broadband connection, you might as well leave this at full which is 90kbs.

Network Unavailability Forwarding -
This is the feature that allows me to get rid me of my local phone carrier. If your cable modem is not on or there is a network failure then Vonage will forward the calls any number of your choosing. I have it set where it forwards to my cell phone. This way if there is a power, I can still receive the calls to my cell phone.

Virtual Phone Numbers -
You can have multiple virtual phone numbers in different cities. If you live in Boston and want to make it local for your family member to call you in Atlanta then you can get a phone number that is local to Atlanta. It does cost 4.99 a month extra for each phone number outside of the first one you choose.

Instant Online Records -
In case you want to see who called and didn't leave a voicemail or who you or a family member has called in a month, it is all accessible in real-time from the web page. They have a dashboard view that shows all activity of incoming and outgoing calls. You can do advanced searches in case you want to find out who called on a certain date or how many phone calls were made to a certain phone number.

Take Vonage Anywhere in the world -
You can travel anywhere that has broadband connectivity and hook up your phone and still call the U.S. and Canada for free. The internet connection still goes to the Vonage server so as far as Vonage is concerned, you are calling from the U.S.


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