vonage review

I decided that I was sick of paying too much money for my cell phone and so I've initiated a transfer of my cell phone number from Sprint/Nextel to Vonage.

Vonage assigned me a temporary number in the meanwhile, which is cool, and I've been playing with the service.

I have to say that I'm really pleased with it so far.

Installation was literally a snap - I unpacked the router they sent me (the Linksys RTP300), plugged in the power, and scratched my head over what I should do next. I figured that I'd probably have to do some port forwarding magic or something if I wanted it to work from behind the router, so I punted on that and went to Target to pick up a handset since I haven't ever owned a "real" phone.

Bought a \$9 handset at Target, a GE "Slimline" thing that has call waiting, caller ID, three-way calling, and other things that are insane for a \$9 phone. Anyway. I brought it back home, plugged it (and the ethernet cable) into my RTP300, and then mentally prepared myself for the frustration of having to do magic to get my main router to let the new toy do its thing.

I was a little disappointed, actually.

It just worked. No port forwarding, no iptables hackery, no headaches, no frustration - the lights flickered in a few weird patterns for a minute or so, and then I picked up the handset and I got a dial tone. I dialed my phone number and it asked me to log in to my voicemail.

Consider me impressed. Not to mention that the web-based UI for managing the Vonage account is really really sweet - I have it set to send me email when I get a new voicemail, and you can check your voicemails from the web (they show up as WAV files), plus it's dead simple to set up call forwarding and configure the different timeouts for voicemail/call forwarding/etc.

So, I don't know about the other routers - I've read lots of nightmare story reports from people using other hardware and things - or other phones or other VoIP providers, but so far I'm pretty damned impressed with Vonage. Oh, and for \$25/month, I get unlimited calls to anywhere in North America, including Canada, and their international rates are pretty good, too. I called daniels up the other day and the conversation - which lasted for almost an hour - cost less than a combo meal at Burger King.

Pretty sure the future is made out of awesome.