Review by rolande
Good "Good pricing model with bundled features and SIP open access"
- Location: Powell,Delaware,OH
- Cost: $15 per month (month by month)
- Install: about 9 days
Bad "Lack of order confirmation required me to continually contact support to verify order was actually placed"
Overall "Best bang for the buck! Good call quality, decent set of features, and most importantly support SIP open access"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
I did a lot of reading of reviews and comparing all the various VoIP provider service offerings out there. I wasn't looking for the cheapest service but something reasonable that offered good call quality (i.e. manage their network latency and jitter well) with a decent feature set and most importantly provide SIP open access to their service.
ViaTalk, in my opinion, has the best mix of call features, package pricing/variety, and call quality of all the providers I spent time reviewing.
I was looking for a provider to integrate into my existing Cisco CallManager Express installation at home as a second line initially for testing. Every other provider I was looking at either didn't offer open access to a SIP proxy or else they had strings or conditions attached to use of the SIP proxy like much higher cost etc. ViaTalk not only supports open access to their SIP proxies but practically encourages it. No matter what service you sign up for, all you have to do is send them an email requesting credentials for the SIP proxy and they will grant you access.
The only downside has been the ordering process/communication. They recently had a big sales promotion which increased their customer service request volume and slowed things down. Understandable. However, I placed an order for the vt_500 package with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option online and got a response screen stating that I should receive confirmation within 24 to 48 hours via email. I never got a confirmation email. I watched other people posting in forum threads regarding the order slowdown and I put on my patience hat. However, I still had a nagging feeling that I needed to at least get some form of confirmation so that I made sure I wasn't wasting my time waiting for nothing. So, it took me several days of logging into their Live Online Chat option and asking questions before I got somewhere. A customer shouldn't have to do that just to get confirmation. I wasn't asking for service to be made available right away. I just wanted that warm fuzzy feeling that they were working on it. That's all!
Anyway, I finally got connected to a rep who checked the ordering system and found my order. She wasn't sure why I hadn't received a confirmation email. She pushed it through the system and I got an email within about 15 minutes with all of the info that I needed to get started and log in.
When I got home from work, I completed the SIP configuration on my router with the login credentials. I ended up making just over an hour call to a friend of mine out in San Jose, right after I got it working. I am definitely happy with the call quality. No pauses, distortion, echo, feedback or anything during the whole call. The only sound was the normal background noise generated automatically by my Cisco IP phone. It was much better than a cell phone call.
I ran quite a few tests at different times of the day for the providers who I could find a domain name for one of their SIP proxies. By far the best and most consistent latency was to the SIP proxy for ViaTalk in their Manhattan POP. Here is one set of results...
--- neptune.vtnoc.net ping statistics ---
33 packets transmitted, 33 received, 0% packet loss, time 32318ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 26.106/27.317/28.899/0.645 ms
So, I average about 27.317 milliseconds to their SIP proxy with a median jitter of .645 milliseconds. That is pretty darn good for the Internet. I can not complain with that kind of performance. The good thing is I know that I get pretty consistent latency performance and uptime on my SBC DSL connection, so that will add to the quality and reliability.
Overall I am quite pleased so far with how it has turned out. If it goes well for the rest of the month, I am going to can my long distance service with the Incumbent LEC that they are swindling me with for close to $60/month. I have to keep the POTS line for my DSL service so I'll use it as my backup landline for 911 and other emergencies etc. as well as all my normal inbound calls.
I called my parents up in Ontario, a few hours north of Toronto, and the call quality was noticably lower than compared to the calls I have placed within the US. I would compare it to a choppy cell phone call with occasional echo, delays, and static. I can deal with that for now for the price. The good thing is I don't call all that often, so it doesn't bother me that much. I can also call them on their US based cell phone number and the call quality is much better.
Here is a link to my Call Manager Express Configuration for your reference:
I'll update my review as we begin to use it more regularly and get a better feel for call quality/reliability throughout the day and week.
member for 12.1 years, 4173 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated 32 days ago