Review by ArizonaSteve
Good "Call quality is good, line noise is low and touch-tones work."
- Location: Apache Junction,Pinal,AZ
- Cost: $5 per month
Bad "Poor phone support and tech support are idiots!"
Overall "Good Option if you have a phone that's easy to setup or a softphone"
Ease of Installation:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
After running out of patience with Sipgate because I could never receive calls, the outgoing line was noisy and the their webpage is usually down I decided to try voip.ms. It has good reviews, looks easy to setup and doesn't have a lot of extra charges like Callcentric. It only looks easy to setup because their sample setting are missing a lot of information though and some of the settings are wrong. They show a 0 in place for the Outbound Proxy Server but the phone says NO SERVICE if that is not entered correctly. This is in contrast to the sample settings at Callcentric that shows screen shots of the actual phone setup screen with all the server names filled in, even the backup registrar and backup proxy server. None of the samples tell which settings are required and which are optional but the backup servers don't need to be entered for the phone to work. Since the phone was already setup for Sipgate and they use the same ports all I had to do was change the server names for voip.ms. When I was able to call the phone successfully I thought it was working but then I found that I couldn't call out. Every number I tried, even the 4443 test number, gave a busy signal and said Call Failed! I found that if I enter the port number at the end of the Registrar Server, like dallas.voip.ms:5060, the phone could answer calls but not call out. If I put in just the server name without the port number on the end the phone can call out but not answer. In the settings example they suggest putting the port number at the end to make registration work better but don't say it only works one way. There doesn't seem to be any setting for the phone that will work properly with voip.ms. After 2 days of trying every setting configuration and sending about 40-50 emails to voip.ms tech support this is still not resolved. Their tech support is responsive but doesn't seem to have a clue about how anything works. They keep telling me to remove the server name from the Outbound Proxy setting but then the phone has No Service. Once they even told me to try using a different server like dallas instead of losangeles. One problem with this is that if you change the server settings on the phone you also have to change them on their web site or it won't work.
You'd think they would know which of their servers was working but I guess not. I don't really understand how voip.ms got so many good reviews if they can't make and receive calls on the same phone but when I tried a softphone like Zoiper on the PC it did work correctly so maybe everyone else is just using a PC or smart phone app to call. My phone is an Aastra 9133i with the latest firmware but I also tried setting up a Cisco 7940. I found their settings example didn't match anything I saw on the Cisco so I didn't get anywhere with that.
After a week of trial and error settings I was finally able to get the phone working properly. My phone has 3 pages of configuration settings that have to be set correctly or it won't work. The manual tells a little about what each setting does but there's no way to know what works with voip.ms and some of the setting have values from zero to 240 million! It wasn't as hard as configuring the AT&T PBX's at work but still hard.
Voip.ms's website always shows the phone to be Registered as long as it's Ethernet cable is plugged in but doesn't show if it's actually working and there is no way to test it except to call it each time. Sipgate was better in that regard and showed when the phone was offline. They also had a way to place a test call from the site. I've contacted voip.ms several times about the lack of phone support and the example settings which are incomplete and wrong but they refuse to fix anything.
On the plus side the call quality is very good, line noise is low and touch-tones work to enter numbers correctly, unlike Sipgate. On a scale of 1-5 stars I would give voip.ms 4 stars now since I can call out with no problems and receive calls once the phone was setup properly to work with their service. I would have to ding them on setup problems, poor phone support and poor tech support though. Also, you have to pay them $25 for credit to get started and buy a number but they have numbers in most locations and take Paypal.
Update 3/17: The service has been going off line for a few minutes most evenings between about 8 and 10 pm. Since I've been getting a lot of updates in email about server problems I changed to a different server to see if it helps the problem.
Also, I picked up a Cisco SPA502G and have been trying to get it to work without any success. As usual tech support is totally useless. You'd think a service that depends on a lot of configuration would have useful examples of how to do that but their example for provisioning a phone only has about 10 settings in text form but the Cisco has 8 pages of settings! Other companies like 3CX and Asterisk have pretty good examples showing how to provision the phone but VOIP.MS does not! I've tried contacting tech support several times but all they can say is to follow the example and seem to be total morons! I don't believe they even have anyone there who has even seen a phone much less knows anything about setting one up! I was able to configure the 3 pages of setting for my Aastra phone before with a lot of trial and error but that hasn't worked for the Cisco since it has way too many settings.
member for 10.5 years, 1257 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 157 days ago
Regarding your review Hello Stephen
You opened an account with us on may 25th. On may 26th you opened one support ticket (which is your only support ticket, and which received a reply from our tech support in less than 10 minutes after you opened it on saturday afternoon).
We kept discussing with you about the issues you report (you mentioned you had issues too with other providers such a sipgate).
Now it is monday, 3 days after you opened the account, and you place a very negative review. As a BYOD provider we offer the support to help customer´s diagnose any issues happening on their side, we are sad to see your negative comments with your very limited (72 hours) experience with the service.
We do have the tools to diagnose any issues and in this case the issue does not seem in our side but in the configuration on your side.
We could run a live trace too to see what information we receive from your telephone, however if after 3 days you have given up on our service, then we wish you best of luck with your future provider, and hopefully you will show them more cooperation if you encounter an issue with them too.
Peter Sahui - VoIP.ms
Puzzling If you had problems both with Sipgate and Voip.MS, it is likely that something in your own router or phone is to blame.
I have used Voip.MS with several different types of ATA's and also with a Gigaset A580IP phone, and never had the type of problems that you describe.
This is the experience of large numbers of people, as evidenced by the large majority of reviews. It's too bad that it couldn't work out for you.
As for CallCentric, your statement that they have "a lot of extra charges" is simply false.
The only difference between CallCentric and Voip.MS in terms of what fees are charged is that CallCentric follows the FCC and CRTC rules regarding 911 service for US and Canadian customers, while Voip.MS still somehow considers it optional. And if you have a CallCentric flat-rate outbound calling plan (500, 1000, or Unlimited) there is no separate 911 fee.
Both companies charge setup fees for new numbers, etc.
CallCentric does NOT charge the extra fees imposed by many other US providers, such as Federal USF fee, state and local tax fee (except NY tax for NY residents), regulatory compliance fee, or an intellectual property fee (Vonage has that one).
Honestly, if you dislike both Voip.MS and CallCentric, you will never be happy with any BYOD provider.
Re: Puzzling I started using voip.ms a few months ago, and recently I ported my number to them. With a lot of patience and advice seeking, I moved from the level of complete ignorant in VOIP, to fairly informed user. Personally I managed to oil up my voip.ms service to be functional and satisfactory (porting my home number to them says something). However I could not stop noticing that the OP had posted reviews for a many telecomm services, and by scrolling through the overall ratings he gave (without reading the full reviews) I noticed all of these are negative. Without ignoring the possibility that the OP just had a ton of bad luck with all of them, I believe that some people are either not taking the time to make things work, or are simply hard to satisfy no matter what. Sorry but these are just my 2 cents.
To ArizonaSteve You simply don't know what you are doing. There service is perfect.
As I said, you have to know what you are doing to use their service!
Re: To ArizonaSteve You definitely have some problems with your installation. Their instructions are not missing anything. "Outbound Proxy" must be empty. You have to follow »wiki.voip.ms/article/Devices
It takes less than 2 seconds to log in my account, 9 seconds to get full "Registration Status" of my 5 lines. Near instantaneous to display any information in "Account settings". Navigation in menu is fast. I use Cisco SPA2102, codec G711u and you can't tell any difference from a wired line (Bell).
I am using VoIP.ms service since April 2011. I have my home phone line with them. My Internet is speed cable from Electronic Box.
Re: To ArizonaSteve If you follow the Reviewer you would know he has no good Internet connection and his reviews are without merit.
Wait, I make the assumption his Internet connection is poor. That may not be the case. I think we have a classic case of operator error all the way around.
The OP should be banned from making reviews.
Take what you want.
said by ArizonaSteve:You do not have to buy a phone number. You may have chosen to get one. VirtualDiD is .25c a month(hardly worth complaining about) and Inum's are free. Service could just be used for outbound calling with no inbound number at all which is how I use it. I complained silently about the $25 deposit at first but after 2 years of use and still haven't had to replenish account that stopped a long time.
Also, you have to pay them $25 for credit to get started and buy a number
Re: Take what you want.
said by RiverMerger:It would be pretty stupid to get phone service without a number though wouldn't it? said by ArizonaSteve:
Also, you have to pay them $25 for credit to get started and buy a number
You do not have to buy a phone number. You may have chosen to get one. VirtualDiD is .25c a month(hardly worth complaining about) and Inum's are free. Service could just be used for outbound calling with no inbound number at all which is how I use it. I complained silently about the $25 deposit at first but after 2 years of use and still haven't had to replenish account that stopped a long time.
| |N9MDToo busy to chatPremiumReviews:
Boca Raton, FL
Actually Voip.ms is awesome (and easy to set up) Sorry, AzS ... but without my meaning to sound harsh or mean-spirited, your complaints are foolish and ill-founded.
Yes, all ATAs and IP-phones have many pages of settings ... but the good news for those reading your misguided reporting is that very few settings need to be changed in order to successfully register one's VoIP account. Almost all of the setting on the various adapters/IP-phones should be left as they are ... as the default settings!! Usually, the only page that need be modified is the Line registration page (Line 1 and, if available, Line 2). And even on this page, most of the settings are left unchanged. Some devices do call for an altered setting here and there on one or another of the other pages ... but these situations are well-documented by Voip.ms in the Configuration Guides.
The instruction to leave Outbound Proxy blank is clearly shown for every device ... nowhere does it say 'zero'! A proxy is a URL (e.g., atlanta.voip.ms) or an IP address (e.g., 184.108.40.206) representing the provider's server that is handling your account.
Some folks like to play with the Dial Plan to achieve specific solutions for dialing 7- or 10-digit numbers or for other reasons ... but most all devices come with a pre-set generic Dial Plan that will work out of the box.
I am sorry you did not grasp the available information enough to get up and running with VoIP.ms ... given that my multiple accounts and DIDs have been working perfectly since inception ... and the Voip.ms feature set is awesome.
And lastly, you are a registered member of the BBR Forums ... you have had numerous posts in the CenturyLink Forum within the last 180 days ... you took the time to post and subsequently update your Voip.ms review ... and yet you did not once ask for help in the VOIP Tech Chat Forum within the last 180 days!
·Time Warner Cable
Re: Actually Voip.ms is awesome (and easy to set up) Direct quote from the VoIP.ms terms of service:
VoIP.ms is not intended to be a plug and play service. It does require configuration and knowledge of SIP and basic configuration of IP phones. It is not possible to provide exact instructions for every IP phone ever made. All of these settings exist for a reason, as these IP phones are usually used in corporate environments with more complicated needs than the average person needs at home.
Due to the nature of our offering that allow customers to bring their own device, software, PBX or switch, the customer shall understand that the level of support, and the service offered is intended to customers with a higher technical level.
If you don't want to worry about this, you would be better off with a VoIP provider that sends out pre-configured devices. An intermediate step would be an OBi ATA and a regular analog phone, since Obihai has a very nice configuration wizard that works with VoIP.ms, Callcentric, and other BYOD providers.
This complexity is not a valid reason to give VoIP.ms a bad review. The service is working as intended - it is very powerful and can do way more than Vonage and other similar services. It serves a completely different customer base, and there's nothing wrong with that.