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(Note: This page was created late 2004. We were happy with Vonage for several years and just recently switched to Comcast as part of a package.)
 

This is going to be pretty short and sweet. Vonage is good, and if you have cable modem internet service, you should probably get it.

When we moved to West Lafayette, we really didn't have much of a choice in terms of phone service. We have Insight Communications for our cable and internet, but we did not sign up for their phone service. We went with the local standard -- Verizon.

I've never really been one to think too much about telephone service. You call, you have it turned on, you plug in some phones, you pay your bills. But it was that last part that was really starting to get under my skin. We had a very simple package...standard home service, with caller ID, voicemail -- you know, normal stuff. We don't make many long distance calls...we don't even make that many local calls. BUT OUR AVERAGE MONTHLY BILL WAS $72.00. I just couldn't understand why on earth a standard phone line should cost so much.

So then I started paying attention to those wacky commercials with the "whoo-hoo-whoo-hoo-hoo" music and the people doing stupid things. I started doing some research on the web, and decided to go with Vonage. (There are many similar services.) We have the ideal setup...a fast cable modem, a wireless router, cordless phones with "bases". We signed up, they sent the adapter, I plugged it into the router. That's it. A couple of weeks later Verizon signed off on the number transfer, and we've been loving it every since.

Couple of things to consider:

  • I don't know how well this works with DSL. I don't know anyone who has it
  • You probably don't want to be doing any heavy file transferring or anything like that on your computer while you're on the phone. We really haven't had any problems, but we really haven't "stress-tested" it either
  • If your internet goes down, you have no phone. Most everyone has a cell -- you can also set Vonage up to call a different phone if it loses connection to your home phone.

Here's something cool that we tried and it worked!

  • If you are going on a trip, and you know they have internet service where you are going, you can take your adapter with you, plug it into any internet connection, and you can make and receive calls right there, just like you are at home. Snazzy!
 
 


D-Link VTA Phone Adapter

 
 

Our current plan:

  • $50 to startup
  • Phone adapter was free with signup on web
  • Basic 500 plan for $14.99 per month
  • All calls anywhere in US, Canada & Puerto Rico are considered "local"
  • Existing phone number transferred over from Verizon
  • We can see all our activity online
  • We can listen to voice messages online

    With taxes included, we have yet to spend over $18 per month for phone service, and we have not had any technical problems!