Review by DanTou
Good "Extremely low cost; the most options available, and for free!"
- Location: Quebec,QC
- Cost: $5 per month
Bad "Difficult to set-up for average person; no French on Web site (Montreal based company)."
Overall "Extremely recommended For anybody willing to spend a little time setting up."
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
You can be overwhelmed figuring out what needs to be done to get VoIP.ms. You have to figure out what hardware to buy, and then how to set it up. Not that difficult but it takes a little bit of time to understand the terminology. Then, there is the huge list of things you can do with VoIP.ms (IVR, Call forwarding, phone book, ring groups, ...). It's not as easy as a regular phone company.
Once you get passed this initial set-up, and have a phone line working, the fun begins!
You can create menus, and greet your callers with the annoying "Press 1 to do this, 2 to do that, ..."
You can filter annoying calls. I transferred all calls from Bell to Vidéotron's customer service. No calls from Bell anymore!
You can override Caller Id when you call somewhere (Have fun on April fools days), but better yet, you can override caller id before transferring to your cell. You don't see who's calling, but if you have unlimited calls from one number (Telus has it for $7), you have unlimited incoming calls on your cell from anybody.
With call filtering, you can filter on your cell phone number and direct the call to DISA. This is an option to open a line from home to anywhere. This effectively gives you unlimited outgoing calls on your cell if you have the unlimited calls to one number option.
More fun? Combine call filtering with phone book and IVR: when you call home from your cell, you can direct the call to a menu, Press 1 to ring at home, 2, to leave voice mail, 3 for phone book, 4 for DISA. Option 3 is the best: if you take time to enter phone numbers for everybody you know and group them (1 for immediate family, 2 for extended family, 3 for friends, 4 for business, and then make sub-menus, you will never have to remember a phone number again. This would remove the annoying but necessary "Enter PIN number" with DISA, and having to enter the phone number of the person you want to call.
You can also use ring groups: when somebody calls home, it rings on your cell and at the office at the same time. The first line picked-up gets the call. When feeling lonely, you can make a group ring for many friends and family members: whoever runs fastest will get to talk to you!
I haven't gone through all the options, but you can create sub accounts, have multiple phone lines, 1-888 phone lines, ...
My total costs are about $5 per month, but the cell phone is now $8.15 a month: for unlimited incoming/outgoing calls.
Overall, very inexpensive, more options than I have ever seen anywhere included in the extremely low prince, but more difficult to set-up than the average phone company. But, for the price, try it! Get a kid to set-it up. When it works as you wish, cancel the regular phone line.
By the way, if you only plan to use VoIP.ms for it's options with a regular phone or a cell, you don't even need hardware: just forward everything on those phones.
For a while, I have used my cell as an ATA over 3G. Works well with all the vonage options. Only need a data plan (I use an option of prepaid plans with no minutes included). On top of having all voip.ms options on a cell for free, there is no long distance fees on data when you're out of town. The long distance fees for calling out of town are the ones from voip.ms. You do have to pay for data though: about 1/2MB per minute. You can see how to setup here: »what is the best to replace cell plan?
member for 7.1 years, 2038 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated 1.1 years ago
Re: Low Ratings I know I can put suggestions in the VoIP.ms site directly (and I will) but just to help a bit...
Rating is 1 to 5. 3 would be average in my opinion.
The Web site... It would be nice to have a beginner and avanced menu. The beginner would have almost no options, create voicemail automatically linked to DID. The advanced would have everything else.
Recordings. Would be nice to be able to record Voicemail messages (and all others recordings directly from the phone instead of upload). Right now, to get the best sound, I leave myself a message which gets transfered to my PC by email, and I upload it to the site. There must be a better way. I tried with a microphone but never could get a clean sound like when I leave myself a message.
Would be nice to have a user-friendly step by step descriptions of how to chose the proper ATA, and a description of options for regular people who don't know what is a DID, IVR, FXS, FXO, ATA ... Took me a while to figure out what a FXO and FXS was, and what I really needed. Then figuring out what was the difference between a router and an AtA (my Vonage ATA was also a router, so I was a little confused about what to chose).
This is why I rate the site and installation as below average. Not because it doesn't do what it says (it does a lot more than I knew when I subscribed), but because it is not something you can buy and set-up by yourself like Vonage (which I would rate average) or Bell (better than average because they do everything for you).
Tech support is average because I can't say it's good or bad, didn't use it. Technical documentation or help is all there but not the easiest thing to read. Need to Google some help.
Overall, this is an excellent product once installed. Not just a good value: The best product available at any price. It just can't be installed easily but anyone. I'm getting people on it and helping them setting it up. The word is getting around!
I put a lot of explanations because I also feel my rating is a little low for such a product, so I wanted people to know I'm very satified.