Thursday, February 03, 2005


Home sick again today.

Judith and I have been paying about $50/month to Verizon for telephone service, just for local and Philly Metro. (For long distance we've been using our Verizon cell phones.) Having spoken with several people who've switched to Vonage and with one exception, have been extremely satisfied, we decided to look into VOIP to save some money. (My employer is in the process of rolling out VOIP service but I was told by the local engineering manager that my area won't get it for quite some time, due to the amount of plant reconstruction that's going to be needed to support it.)

Vonage has two plans for residential customers: Basic w/500 minutes anywhere in the USA and Canada, or Premium Unlimited. Basic costs $14.99/month while Premium is $10 more. We signed up for the Basic plan on Saturday. The box with a pre-configured Linksys RTP31 VOIP router came today.

Most users would connect the Linksys to a cable or DSL modem. However, since I already have a router, and need that router to keep my static IP, I hooked it up behind my SMC8013 modem/router, leaving the WAN port to pick up its IP via DHCP. It's generally recommended to have as few hops between you and the VOIP callee, so we'll see how this works. If necessary I can reconnect my old Motorola modem and plug the Linksys into it.

I made a few test calls from the Vonage connection to my cell phone. Until we get our number switched over from Verizon we have a temporary number for receiving calls on the Vonage line. However, calls from the Vonage line show up with my home number on caller ID. Interesting. Since Verizon hasn't switched us over to Vonage, the POTS line still works as normal.

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