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
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
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.