| Review by Bingo_Ringo |
member for 3.2 years, 726 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 247 days ago
- $3 per month
- about 1 days
- "I get everything for almost nothing"
- "Sometimes calls don't go through"
- "It's a brand new unassembled Ferrari, for the price of a rusted 1986 Hyundai Pony"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I knew absolutely nothing about VOIP, but there was a thread on this site and people said they paid close to nothing for their land line, while I was paying close to $30 a month with Caller ID and voicemail. I thought it might be interesting to take a look.
I'm glad I did!
To be honest, if you're a beginner, it's near impossible to use voip.ms' service without third-party knowledge as their documentation is not for everyone, although this has vastly improved with the launch of their wiki site. Fortunately, I got the support I needed by email from voip.ms, and with Mango's instructions on how to configure the ATA I got this thing running in no time.
So this is all you need to configure the ATA, it takes a couple of minutes but it's very straightforward.
I use the value service, it costs close to nothing and in almost a year only twice did I have an issue with the sound quality, and yet I managed to place the call and complete it. 99.9% of the time, it's the same as Bell and Videotron.
This is where voip.ms gets its high score. Every imaginable option is available for free, not only called ID, voicemail, call forward, etc. you can build menus, you can block numbers, you can setup different extensions, you can even have different messages depending on who's calling. And the best part, it's pretty simple with the web interface, as long as you don't mind looking around and doing a few tests.
Since you can use any SIP ATA you can build your dial plan the way you want it. I use the PAP2T-NA and with no knowledge I managed to make a new 311 that calls the city (else by default it calls Montreal's 311 as it's the server I use).
Installation and order process
Ordering a number takes a minute, I wanted to keep my current number and it took a few days to be transferred, but they update you and they were on schedule.
The installation is very simple, once the ATA is configured. Just plug it in and it works (of course any extra wiring in your house will take more time, if you need some).
One thing that is very important, since you do no draw power from Bell, you must have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that covers the modem, the router and your ATA, so that you can still use the phone during a power outage. Add $50-75 to your initial cost.
So, overall your initial cost will be around $100 - 125 (ATA $50, UPS $50-75, transfer number is $25).
I save $25 a month on average so it's definitely worth the initial investment.
One thing you should know, the DID (your phone number) is $1.00 a month and e911 is $1.50, if you don't use the phone, that's all you'll have to pay in a month.
I took the time to read and learn from others, and play on the website. Now I have a very powerful telephone service that costs me next to nothing. I'm no expert, but it works and I can change the settings when I want to, for free. When my first year is over, considering my initial cost, I will have saved $300. Not bad!
Quick edit, I realize I didn't specify why I removed some points in my scoring.
1- Web-site, sometimes it's extremely slow and it's not super user friendly; yet anyone who's not afraid to look around can figure it out.
2- Ease of installation, I couldn't put 100% since the user has to do the configuration, etc. but I also realize this is why the service is so affordable.
3- Tech support, I had some issues where the phone would answer but the person on the other side couldn't hear me, and opened a ticket. They provided a few workarounds that didn't work, and it turns out it was my ATA. They should have told me to reset and reconfigure the ATA as I ruled it out since most of the time it did work well.
Now the problem seems to be solved but we experienced a lot of issues with calls for the whole Summer. Most often, people would call and I didn't hear them. Seems to be better now though, but if you're a business or your line is extremely important, you might consider another company for increased reliability.
Re: It's really very reliable when setup right. My comment was for the Linksys with Mango's instructions, but yes depending on the ATA/IP phone, etc., and many other variables it can become tricky. For example, some people will have to change their router settings, and most people will have some research to do online to figure it out.
However, this is true with most voip providers that do not provide a router.