View Full Version : Vontage for business phone?

James Aldrich
01-30-2008, 11:45 AM
Does anyone use Vontage for their business phone? If so, how do you like it. I was thinking of using Vontage instead of having another phone line installed for a home based business. The prices are cheaper than my local phone company. With Vontage business service I would also have a seperate fax number included.
Thank you
James Aldrich

glenn bradley
01-30-2008, 12:02 PM
Make sure they can deliver the fax service if it is important to you. My dad's provider sold the service but the local service provider did not have the hardware installed to support it. It got ugly before he was resigned to a manual fax-receive scenario. ;-(

Joe Pelonio
01-30-2008, 12:03 PM
I checked into this when I moved to the house from a commercial place.

I was lucky, my oldest daughter moved out and I used her line for the fax which is billed at the lower home rate. I use a cell for the business so I can answer it when out and about. If you want a listing in the local phone Co. yellow pages you have to be with them, though some will let you pay (handsomely) for a yellow pages ad even with a Vontage #.

Matt Meiser
01-30-2008, 12:34 PM
The company I work for uses eFax (http://www.efax.com) for receiving all faxes. We only use our fax machines for sending faxes, using our regular phone lines. Most of us receive few enough faxes that the free account is fine. If you pay, you get to choose your area code and can receive more faxes. One of my coworkers uses Vonage for his office line. He's run into some issues with it cooperating with our web-meeting provider. First, if he's the meeting host, everyone else hears odd tones from time to time during the meeting--like he's swearing and beeping it out :D. Second, if he's using enough bandwidth sharing a screen, he can get kind of choppy. The prior problem is probably related to our specific solution, but I've heard the latter with other people who use Vonage when they are doing bandwith-intesive things while on the phone.

Jim Becker
01-30-2008, 2:21 PM
Cost wise, services like Vonage can be quite compelling. But do remember...if you have no power or your Internet service is down for any reason, you have no phone unless you use their forwarding features to a hopefully working cell phone. Further, unless you have rock-solid high-speed Internet access that isn't affected by "kids in the neighborhood" (a common problem with cable services; less of an issue with DSL), you're going to have quality issues when your non-guaranteed bandwidth goes in the toilet.

FYI, I'm in the "phone" business for businesses. I work for the industry leader in such solutions. I believe in IP voice. I use it, including having an IP phone on my desk here in my office at home that is connected to a system in the Denver CO area. But I didn't give up the land line for my work until I was absolutely sure that my Internet access could provide the quality I expected. Even then, there have been a number of times that (local) service went down due to power outages (yes, I have several UPS, but they only work for so long) or a tree or vehicle taking out a pole between here and the CO. While it's certainly a nice break to spend the rest of the day working from Starbucks, it's not quite the same as being in your office with all the supports you depend upon.

OH...what's a FAX??? :D 'Haven't used one of those things in years! LOL (But valid point from another poster that VoIP can and does present issues for fax machines all too often...you're asking for too many analog to digital to analog to digital conversions along the way and that makes Murphy very happy)

Stephen Beckham
01-30-2008, 3:01 PM
I used Vonage for home and a second line for business use for over a year. Now that I'm in a store-front, I don't have broadband and have dropped the second line.

I do enjoy vonage - had it for over three years and it seems to keep getting better (broadband dependant). Originally I had several glitches where I would have to power down and power up again, but since Insight has just upgraded to their 10.0 (increased broadband at home) it hasn't given me any problems. I did have issues with outgoing faxes. Not sure why - but sometimes it would take two or three attempts to get the machines talking. Receiving was never a problem.

On Jim's note - you do have a power issue. I fixed that by buying a simple battery backup system. I've plugged nothing but the router and the modem into it. Realitivly a small current draw and allows me up to almost two hours of power loss before the home phone goes completely out.

On a second note - it also allows the wifes laptop to continue to surf while the power is out - unless (like last night with that huge storm) we lose both power and cable...

2nd edit.... Just thought of another option that I almost went for... They have the Vonage devices now that you can carry with you. Some hook straight to any wi-fi, others require a broadband connection (USB key hooked to your laptop in a hotel). If you are a traveller and want to take your phone number with you no matter where you go, that's a benny. Along with that, a third option is the forwarding service. Before I cancelled the second line, to keep the number I sent the calls directly to my cellphone until the business line was up and running.

To include another down side, some areas may or may not have local numbers. Okay that goes both ways - now all my neighborhood brats can't call my teenage daughters because it's long distance....

Another upside - the 800 service and or the alias phone numbers. Couple more $$ a month and you can purchase alias line numbers that may be local to other areas (parents, customers, college kids) so they can reach you at no extra expense on their part with a local number to their area.

Scott Shepherd
01-30-2008, 4:23 PM
I've used Vonage at home for a couple of years now. Use the fax number, the virtual numbers as well as the 800 number. I even had a virtual number in the UK so friends over there could call "London" and it would ring through to me at home. Was a really nice feature. About 1/2 of it I have cut out now, but it all worked okay.

You can certainly expect getting cut off from time to time and if your internet connection isn't the best (which you never know until you hook a phone into it), then you might get dropped calls all the time. I've had it plugged into DSL and it was horrible, but plugged it into the same thing about 6 months later and it almost never cut off. I've also packed the box and phone up and taken it with me while traveling, so anyone who called, it would ring through.

Plus, I really love the email me the voicemails so I don't have to be at home to get the voicemails.

I've been quite happy with it, but it does all depend on the quality of your service. Just because you have cable or DSL doesn't mean you have a good connection.

Greg Funk
01-30-2008, 5:32 PM
We have a small office with some Vonage lines and a couple of standard telephone lines. I don't give out the Vonage lines to customers as the quality is not as high as landline. Most of the time it's fine but the occasional ticks and pops are annoying. We have the Vonage running through a cable internet supplier vs DSL so that could be part of the problem.

Bottom line - it is not as reliable as landline and the Fax performance is poor.


John Shuk
01-30-2008, 8:17 PM
I don't know where you are located but you might call your local telephone provider and ask how you can save money. There are some pretty good deals out there these days and the call quality is still rock solid.

Jim Becker
01-30-2008, 8:21 PM
I don't know where you are located but you might call your local telephone provider and ask how you can save money. There are some pretty good deals out there these days and the call quality is still rock solid.

I have to agree. ( ;) LOL! )

Curt Harms
01-30-2008, 8:35 PM
I don't use it a lot, but when I find myself sending faxes to the Caribbean, I set my fax machine (brother MFD) to "basic" or 9600 bps and it seems to be as reliable as any other Caribbean phone service:rolleyes:. It works okay in the U.S. at 14.4 kbps. We use Vonage for long distance and maintain one local POTS line. My SWMBO doesn't cope well with new things. I don't use fax much but its nice to have the option. I've heard that fax has had a bit of a resurgence in the wake of Oxley-Sarbanes and email subpoenas and other unpleasantnesses. Shredders make faxes disappear; the same is not true of email.

Matt Meiser
01-30-2008, 9:12 PM
John, any tips on what? Verizon is getting over $50/mo from my company for my office line (others with SBC are getting their service for a good $15 less) and we are paying $35-ish for very basic home service which I think is too much since we paid just over $20 at our old house.

Cliff Rohrabacher
01-31-2008, 8:53 AM
I run a law office on a Vonage line.
For a while I was making calls all day all over the country saved me a bundle.

Uma Duffy
01-31-2008, 9:07 AM
I have Roadrunner 'All in One' voip phone, cable and internet at home and it is excellent. Absolutely no complaints. Yet. ( could be cheaper) RR is trying to introduce tiered internet service and I'm wary of that.

I had Sunrocket VOIP as an extra line for personal calls at the shop. It was $200 for the year, included equipment and was absolutely great....I loved it...UNTIL they very suddenly went belly up and I lost 6 months of prepaid service. My plan was to test the stability of VOIP for business and if it went well I would change over everything except the FAX. Don't count on VOIP for fax service.

I'm much more cautious about selecting a VOIP for business now. The online research gave me no clue that Sunrocket was anything but an industry leader. All the while they were going under and it was Big buzz in the news when service suddenly stopped.

John Shuk
01-31-2008, 8:45 PM
I pay about $35 for my home service which includes unlimited calling to anywhere in the US. I also get caller ID, call waiting, and voice mail. I get no employee discount. I gave that up to get the package I now have. My savings run to about $120 a month compared to having individual pricing so giving up the discount was worthwhile. Unfortunately regulation hasn't caught up with competition and pricing in each state is different and packages and discounts have to be approved. Business lines have always cost more even though they aren't any different than home lines. The reason for this is that under the old model of regulation business lines subsidized home lines to make them more affordable. What is available in one state isn't available everywhere.

Peter Meacham
10-16-2009, 1:02 PM
Any update on Vontage for use as a home/business phone or any other VoIP service that folks are happy or unhappy with?