Review by dillyhammer
Good "Great pricing model, DID selection top notch, awesome support"
- Location: Hamilton,ON
- Cost: $18 per month
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "No 905 in Hamilton, prices in $US, somewhat inconvenient but necessary security procedure for unlocking certain destinations"
Overall "great value - and pay only for what you want and use. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I've been considering voip for quite some time, years actually, but I've always been put off by the reliability horror stories. I guess it's come along way, and after reading some of the recommendations and reviews here, decided on voip.ms for a couple of reasons.
First, I like their pricing model. I can order stuff, and only have to pay for what I order and what I use. I've been paying $20 a month for unlimited Canada/US calling for far too long and not using much of it. Also, we all know that a $25 home phone line turns into $40 a month pretty damn quick.
Based on my calling patterns it looked like, with 4 DIDs - 2 in Hamilton, 1 in Toronto and one toll-free (yeah, toll-free) - I'd reduce my monthly phone costs from $65 to $20. Factor in the dry loop band rate of $9, I've cut my phone costs by about 55%.
I did 2 things to connect to voip.ms. First, I purchased an ATA (Cisco PAP2T-NA) to connect the 2 Hamilton numbers, and I purchased a single license for Bria, a softphone application that runs on my PC and used the Toronto and toll-free numbers. I had the softphone up and running, making and receiving calls, in under 60 minutes. The ATA was another story, but the issues I had with it were my own stupidity. Once I discovered what the problem was the ATA hooked up in under a minute and calls received and made no problem.
The web interface voip.ms uses to let me configure my stuff is reasonably easy to use, and full of features. All that stuff that Bell charged me through the nose for all those years was all just.... there... and on. Voicemail was a dream to set up, and I can have copies of messages sent to email.
During my fit of ATA stupidity the tech support guys were more than helpful. Stephen stayed several hours after quitting time to help me out via live chat. Haven't had a problem since the ATA lit up.
I chose the premium routes (a tad more expensive) right from the get go. I need the call quality and caller id reliability it offers, but if those things aren't all that important to a user the value routes are available for about half a cent per minute.
Billing is done in 6 second increments. Everything in and out is billable. This is what I like. I pay for what I use. I also like that they take payments via Paypal. I can top up whenever I like, don't have to give them my credit card info, and I've configured my account to email me when I get below $10. Nice.
Another feature I like, I have a large amount of family in Australia and Mother-In-Law living in Scotland. with voip.ms, I can have DIDs in both those areas so that I'm only a local call away from my family at about 2.5 cents per minutes. Both those numbers would run me an additional $11 a month, so thinking about that one for a while.
So far, lovin' voip.ms.
Some minor gripes... all the prices are in US dollars. They're a Canadian-based company (Montreal) and I live in Canada. Give me the option of showing Canadian funds. That said, I'm rooting for the loonie right now.
Still haven't figured out how to make the "Messages waiting" stuff work, on neither my ATA connected phones nor Bria, but I'll get to it eventually I'm sure. Side note: I made a mistake with Bria. I thought it integrated more tightly with Outlook. That turned out to be an add-on. Also, because voip.ms allows me fine-grained control over subaccounts, I didn't need Bria at all (multiple accounts being the big pull for me). Lesson learned. It does have a nice interface and some decent features, so it wasn't all that much of a waste.
I was considering dropping the house phone altogether, with what Fido is taking out of my pocket very month. This is a good alternative. I need the MLPPP that two DSL lines offer anyways, might as well make them both a dry loop, plop some voip on there, and be happy.
Order is in with Teksavvy to cut my wet line, dry loop in its place with the DSL on that. Bottom line, give voip.ms a try (and hang onto your POTS until you have it all running and you're happy with it) and save some money.
UPDATE: Feb 26, 2010
Wet line switched to a dry loop, running MLPPP dual link.
Really digging voip.ms. Terrific technical support, very responsive. Found a little glitch that I don't like - 15 character limit on CNAM lookups - but I can live with it. Call quality is excellent on the premium routes, and have not had any downtime since getting it rolling.
Last but not least... I have an old style 1950's table top dial phone. Black. Paid a fortune for it. Doesn't work for outgoing calls on voip.
UPDATE: August 20, 2010
Discovered an issue with their long distance. There are a number of countries that are blocked by default for outbound dialing. I can understand some of the countries on the list, like Iran and Syria, but Australia? That's an english-speaking commonwealth country, just like Scotland which is not blocked by default. The only way to unlock these destinations is to upload a photocopy of a piece of government identification that shows your address. I don't know about anyone else but I'm not transmitting a copy of my ID over the internet, and certainly not to a company based in Quebec where the civil and privacy laws are completely different than the rest of Canada. This is a deal-breaker for me. I'm presently investigating other options and intend to move to another provider that doesn't have a silly requirement like this. It's really unfortunate because otherwise this is a great service with excellent pricing and features. I just can't live with this requirement.
member for 3.9 years, 1195 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 3.2 years ago