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BroadVoice page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 271 reviews (171 good) (63 bad)
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Review by vanstrien See Profile

  • Location: Katy,Fort Bend,TX
  • Cost: $25 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "(Mostly) Worked out of the box with high quality"
Bad "Some glitches with incoming number"
Overall "Has been the best VOIP I've tried, so far..."
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I've tried both SunRocket and Vonage the last few months. Because I'm on Time Warner Cable (and our local phone service is Consolidated Communications - with poor but expensive DSL services) I've had problems with latency and bad voip service.

What surprised me is that while having the best international call plan, Broadvoice also worked really well straight out of the box. I figured it would be a case of 'you get what you pay for' but so far I've been pleasantly surprised.

I ordered the service last Friday and received the kit on Wednesday afternoon. It was literally five minutes to get everything plugged in and powered on.

I didn't have to reconfigure my firewall at all for the Sipura device to work correctly. In fact I didn't have to do any configuration of the device at all. No entering of passwords, setting IPs, etc. I did, however, change the device to a fixed IP on my network - but that was for my own peace of mind.

On Vonage and Sunrocket the other party had a lot of trouble hearing me, especially in the afternoon. The weird thing is that any speed tests run online showed that the throughput of my connection was still very tolerable. It must have been more of a latency issue. I've not had any similar problems with Broadvoice in the short time I've tested them.

The only glitch I've run into in the couple days I've had the service was when in dialing my own number. Apperently all the routing wasn't configured and I was directed to someone else's number. A called tech support and got what sounded like someone in my own time zone. He was a bit flakey, but who can complain if they answer within a couple minutes and actually do something about the problem?

One word of warning: there were posting on message boards that some people were being switched to Broadvoice's business plans because they were making too many calls. That switches a plan from $25 to $500 or more. I spoke to a tech support person and asked him about it. He said that some people were making hundreds of calls in just a couple days, and that it was clear they were not using the phone for normal household use. He said that people get warned first, and that after that if their activity continues they get switched over to the expensive plan. This is contrary to the stories on the net.

member for 9.2 years, 5 visits, last login: 8 years ago
lodged 8.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by JehCT See Profile

  • Location: West Hartford,Hartford,CT
  • Cost: $22 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Excellent voice quality. Fast-booting Sipura adapter. Easy install."
Bad "None."
Overall "I canceled three Vonage lines, and switched to BroadVoice"
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2/25/05 Over the months I've experienced occasional loss of audio on inbound calls. in the most recent incident, customer service responded very quickly. I have four BV lines. The phone and fax via SPA2100 work flawlessly all the time (the fax on line 2 as a BYOD device). My Xten softphone works perfectly. Only the SPA1001 has been giving me trouble. I am thinking about replacing that device with another SPA2100. Maybe this is the source of the recurring problem. Perhaps BV tech support should be more proactive about replacing funky adapters.

10/23/05 I emailed BV customer support because I had one way audio on calls simultaneously ringing to my alternate numbers, and me main extension was dead. Within a day they came back and said that my line was working correctly, that I must have a connectivity problem. This upset me, because I knew my network connection was working fine. Then I discovered that one of my telephone cables was unplugged. As soon as the phone had a proper connected to the ATA, everything worked smoothly. BV needs to have a thorough online troubleshooting process that starts with "Make sure all your cables are plugged in..." My call quality continues to be perfect,. and I enjoy all the features.

I've been using BroadVoice for five months over my Comcast dynamic IP connection, and have been completely pleased with it. I recently added two more lines, and cancelled all of my service with Vonage.

The main difference between BroadVoice and Vonage is that BroadVoice costs less, provides better features, and supplies better equipment. BroadVoice allows simultaneous ringing of ten numbers. Vonage only allows two. My BroadVoice plan costs less, and includes calling to Europe. The BroadVoice adapter boots up much faster than the Vonage adapter, and seems to perform better when my network connection has traffic.

Customer service at BroadVoice is good. I called them because I needed help running two lines on my BYOD Sipura 3000 router. They answered the phone within a few minutes, and e-mailed me the instructions. With my first BroadVoice supplied Sipura adapter, installation was exceedingly simple and fast.

With BroadVoice, the voice quality is uniformly excellent. I have very rarely experienced dropped calls, and those few I blame on Comcast, because my Internet drops out once in a while. I'd say 99% of my BroadVoice calls complete successfully. When we were with Vonage, my wife was complaining all the time because her line would not work. WIth BroadVoice, she has no complaints whatsoever.

I've been running a fax over one of my BroadVoice lines, and it works perfectly. This is not a supported feature, but if it works, why not?

member for 8.9 years, 11 visits, last login: 8.1 years ago
updated 8.1 years ago

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Review by brucenolan See Profile

  • Location: Ramona,San Diego,CA
  • Cost: $12 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "quick order fulfilment, easy install, voice quality"
Bad "none yet"
Overall "BV works great"
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I tried vonage first ordered their 500 min/mo plan and it took 15 days and 3 phone calls before I received equipment!-- Broadvoice, I ordered online and had equipment in 3 days, plugged it in and its worked since. two weeks now and works great have unlimited instate. sent vonage stuff back, granted, vonage worked great also but I can call out of state with my cell phone on weekends, I just wanted more local time and broadvoice fit the bill fo $5 less/mo and just FYI both of these VOIP are done over wireless 900 MHZ link at 6 miles from my ISP, and both work fine. tried it over my soon to be disconnected Direcway--forget it

member for 11.8 years, 1328 visits, last login: 177 days ago
lodged 8.3 years ago

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Review by dg3274 See Profile

  • Location: Lynnwood,Snohomish,WA
  • Cost: $10 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "In-state plan, easy to setup, low priced service"
Bad "More outages then most other providers, substandard call quality"
Overall "You get what you pay for"
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I signed up with BroadVoice in November of 2004. At the time they were (and may still be) the only provider to offer an In-state plan. It's $9.95 per month with calls out of state costing only 3.9 cents per minute; a great deal for someone like me who only calls primarily within my state.

It is now October 2005 and I have left BroadVoice and signed up with Sunrocket. I could no longer tolerate the poor quality of service that BroadVoice was providing me with. This is one case where I truly got what I paid for. As far as I know, $9.95 per month is as cheap as it gets for VoIP with unlimited In-state calling. Well, now I know why other providers charge more. They actually provide you with SERVICE!!

At least once a week during the time I had BroadVoice I experienced some sort of problem with my service. Be it partial service (Outgoing works, no incoming), no service at all, dropped calls, or just plain crappy call quality; there was always something going wrong with the service. Since I'm a lazy bum and didn't feel like searching for another provider I just stuck with them for awhile since the service was so cheap. Besides, my cell phone was doing fine for when BroadVoice left me hanging. Well, it finally got so bad recently that I had to search out another provider. And that provider turned out to be Sunrocket. So far Sunrocket has been flawless for me. Their unlimited nationwide plan is only a few more dollars per month and the service is much better. When the time comes I will submit my review for them as well.

So the bottom line stands. You get what you pay for. While BroadVoice may be dirt cheap when it comes to VoIP prices, the quality of their service is just plain dirty. I can only hope that Sunrocket doesn’t turn out the same. We shall see!

member for 14.5 years, 2511 visits, last login: 12 days ago
lodged 8.5 years ago

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Review by tkulyk See Profile

  • Location: Buffalo,Erie,NY
  • Cost: $12 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Talk Quality ok, Powerful Web based comtrols"
Bad "intermittant occasional outages, forget LNP"
Overall "A unbeatable value"
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I have had Vonage and Packet8 before and decided to give Broadvoice a try. I find the talk quality to be as good as any of the others I've tried. I took advantage of the BYOD offer and the Broadvoice tech support was very helpful in getting my Vonage Cisco ATA configured for use on thier system. I have seen alot of negative remarks about the Broadvoice tech support, but in the few instances I've had to call them, I've either gotten right through or through in a reasonable amount of time. I did however email them once and received no response. Talk quality has ranged from superb and has been a little choppy on a few occasions but those instances are rare. Generally I am satisfied with the talk quality. Thier web based controls are as powerful as I have seen yet, thumbs up on them. I tried to get my number ported and its been 11 weeks so far with no success, so I have given up on that ever happening. In summation, Broadvoice seems to be a pretty unbeatable value. I recommend giving it a try.

member for 8.5 years, 0 visits, last login: 8.5 years ago
lodged 8.5 years ago

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Review by hkvalet See Profile

  • Location: Las Vegas,Clark,NV
  • Cost: $22 per month
Good "Good Voice Quality, save $$$ for my phone bill"
Bad "No Local Number Portability"
Overall "Good Value for money"
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Update: 10/4/2005
Just cancel the service. Bad quality when calling to Hong Kong. Usually received error message "Sorry, you canll cannot be completed at this time, please hang up and try your call again." E-mail technical support but no response, call technical support and the tech said he would send the ticket to the enginneer. But no change at all after a month, so I decide to cancel it!!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------
1/3/2004

After giving up Lingo, I considered to try BroadVoice. I bough the SPA-2000 in Voxilla. It was $79.95 and came with a great BroadVoice coupon. The coupon waived the BroadVoice $9.95 activation fee and even gave me a free month of service.

The registration process was less than five minutes. I typed in the coupon code and all other required information. I was even able to pick my new phone number. Since I chose the BYOD, it took me five minutes to configure the device to receive dial tone. The device is locked by them initially, but I called the CS and requested the admin password, and received from them right away!

The voice quality is excellent. I call mostly to Hong Kong. It only takes a few seconds after I dialed the phone number plus a “#” to ring the other parties in HK. It works much better than those pre-paid calling cards. I like it so much!!! I already use 800 minutes since I installed the device. (12 days ago) And I really hope that it’s really an unlimited service because I will probably hit more than 3000 minutes by the end of the month.

I tried to place a conference call that across two oceans – U.S. -> Hong Kong -> U.K.
The sound quality was not very good, but was acceptable.

Some users report that BroadVoice Customer Service is very hard to reach. But guess what, the only time I needed to contact them was the one that I requested the admin password for my device.

They always say COMING SOON, but I don’t really know when they are going to provide LNP, or if they will actually provide this service.

member for 9.5 years, 248 visits, last login: 7.5 years ago
updated 8.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by nguyen27 See Profile

  • Location: Quincy,Norfolk,MA
  • Cost: $22 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Price"
Bad "Customer call taking a long time/number porting."
Overall "Good price, but don't think about porting your number"
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So far my experience with Broadvoice is good, call quality is pretty good, web portal is nice, but calling customer is taking forever, if you can get thru. One thing that I would like to forwarn potental broavoicer, it tooks me nearly 3 months now, and porting my number is no where near done, and keep getting we don't have any further information because the porting department is not giving any information regarding the port every time I call.

Finally drop service from Broadvoice as I'm trying to ports my number and after 4 months and look like they never bother to sent out the request to Verizon for porting because I called them up to cancel the LNP, and then sign up Vonage with LNP, and Vonage done porting in exactly 10 days.

member for 10.9 years, 1245 visits, last login: 349 days ago
updated 8.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by rcilink See Profile

  • Location: Manchester,Hillsborough,NH
  • Cost: $5 per month
Good "Bolts-up to Asterisk nicely.."
Bad "forget about LNP"
Overall "the BYOD lite plan is good for Asterisk"
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I decided to get the BV Lite (BYOD) plan for my Asterisk box. Mostly because the incoming calls are unlimited (no per minute charge). Outgoing calls are routed through other providers, so the BV bill is constant $5.95 + tax and fake tax.

Getting it setup with Asterisk is not as bad as some of the other providers. They offer the credentials on the web and have a sample Asterisk config script posted.

Currently, I have one BV BYOD Lite account with a virtual number (2 total numbers). They ring into the same context.. I did not care to test if it will distinguish the lines on incoming calls. I also have a second BYOD Lite account with just one number. After a little tweaking of Asterisk, I succeeded in getting both login accounts registered on my Asterisk box..

I know a lot of people had a bad taste with these guys in May 05, but it appears to have settled-down lately and the calls seem to work. One time in September 05, I experienced a one-way audio.. I noticed someone else had this problem, so I did the professional thing: I waited, and it fixed itself. (I guessed it was something BV tweaked..)

One big weakness of this company: LNP. If you have any intention of 'porting' you rnumber to them, just give up prior to asking them to start it. I submitted the paperwork in April 2005. It is now September 2005. Nothing. They have a record of my submission, and are blaming Global NAPS of holding it up. They made no effort to follow through with GNAPS to solve the problem. So, dont waste your time on LNP..

If you are considering them for international calling plans, please look deeper into them. I have no experience with them for any calls out of the USA. I believe it was on the Broadvoice forum at Voxilla.com that several users have pointed out that BV will selectively change your account to 'business' and back-charge previous months. If International calling is your reason for looking at them, make sure you either use a 'prepaid' credit card, or one of those virtual credit cards that you put only enough to cover your monthly bill. That way they can't put a $200 charge on you without talking to you first.

member for 10.3 years, 3468 visits, last login: 1 days ago
lodged 8.6 years ago

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Review by slicemaster See Profile

  • Location: Newbury Park,Ventura,CA
  • Cost: $24 per month (month by month)
Good "GREAT CALL QUALITY, Helpful technical support (longest I have been on hold has been 10mins), Low cost (aka best value), BYOD!"
Bad "None so fare - Recent calls to support have had very low hold times (e-mail support is a joke though)"
Overall "Great service, Great value, Great account options---Basically worth a try!"
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Well, I have only been with BroadVoice for a short time but during this short time my experiences have been fabulous. I actually signed up for the Unlimited World Plus BYOD plan and activation was free because I bought my Sipura SPA-841 IP Phone from »voxilla.com/ . Voxilla includes a coupon when you buy any Sipura product that will get you signed up for nothing (zip, zero, nada) plus the first month FREE! Anyways, I am using my BroadVoice service with a Sipura SPA-841 IP Phone. I provision the device myself and it works great. I am running their service over my Adelphia cable modem and I have never had any problems (I have a dynamic IP if anyone wants to know but it doesn’t change all that often, probably once every couple of months). I have also used my phone in hotels, friend’s houses, school, etc. and I have never had a problem (my phone is configured to receive an IP address, DNS, gateway, etc. via DHCP so I can basically go any ware and plug into any network and get service). I have made calls all over the US and have had no problems. Ordering the service was super easy and setting up my Sipura IP phone wasn’t that hard either. My experiences with this company have been nothing but delightful so far and I look forward to using them for the years to come (I will post updates to this review every once in a wile). I would highly recommend giving BroadVoice a try, especially with the use of your own SIP device; it is really cheap that way. Anyways, every thing is running smoothly and I am quite satisfied with the service, the quality of the calls are actually better then with my regular pots line. Well, that’s about it, nothing but good to report. I’ll keep you forks here posted in regards to my continued service.

Later,

Slice

::UPDATE::

Well, I have had BroadVoice for a few weeks now and I am still extremely satisfied. I have not had any service outages and every thing has been running smoothly. Anyways, this update is to inform you of BroadVoice’s international calling services. I have to say that every international call I have made has been superb! The connections were fast and actually had better quality then my POTS line. I called Sweden and Estonia and all calls were crystal clear. I have the Unlimited World Plus plan so calling to Sweden is free, while calling to Estonia is very cheap. The connection was the best I have ever had to Europe and I am ecstatic at the high quality connections that I can’t even get with my pots service.

Slice

::UPDATE:: (5-3-05)

Well, I just had my first outage (the outage was only partial though, incoming calls work perfectly but outgoing calls are spotty). I however do not blame BroadVoice for the outage because it seems to have been a bad day for all VoIP providers. According to »Sipsource.com , BroadVoice was not the only VoIP provider afflicted as major outages were reported from Voice Pulse, Vonage, ATT CallVantage, and Packet 8. BroadVoice is aware of the problem and currently has engineers working on it. It probably is a switching problem IMHO. Anyways, just thought I’d let you forks know. But like I said I don’t blame BroadVoice for the hiccup as it is probably a switching sub station problem that has screwed up most of the providers, not just BroadVoice.

Slice

::UPDATE:: (5-9-05)

Well, the service outage is over and service has been restored (after 6days). It is actually better then ever. I am very satisfied and I am going to stay with BV. I attribute the outage to growing pains and that’s about it. But like I said, the service is back up and running better then ever.

Slice

::UPDATE:: (5-19-05)

Well, my service has been restored for quite awhile now and I am happy that the outage is over. I am currently experiencing some intermittent audio problems but I have concluded that this is because BV is still tuning their systems after the software upgrade and new currier changes. I am completely satisfied with the service and I am excited that they are back on track. I think BV could have handled the outage better however I am just happy that this type of outage probably wont happen again. I have been noticing that a few other providers have been reporting downtime recently so that just goes to show you that VoIP is still a new technology and is not to be relied on 100%. Some people here obviously made the mistake of VoIP as their only means of telephone communication and they seem to be the ones huffing and puffing the most. I think most people under stand this concept but some seem to have just missed the boat on that note. There have been plenty of useless rants but I think things are finally settling down so I expect it to be smooth sailing. Just to clarify, my service is working great and word is that BV actually supports some new codecs so that is also a welcome addition for some.

Note: BV obviously took a rating hit due to the recent outage and the way they handled it, and I think this was completely warranted. I do however expect those who reduced their rating to bring them back up when the criteria has been met.

Slice

P.S. At this point I can’t in good conscience recommend BV to anyone due to the recent outage and how they handled it. I however also understand that these things do happen to all providers so I am a little more forgiving then others. I also see BV making a quick recovery in service so in a few weeks I will reevaluate the service and reconsider my stands as fare as recommending them. The service right now is great and as long as it continues on its current path I would have no problem recommending them again in a few weeks.

::UPDATE:: (6-2-05)

Well,

Service has been improving and so I have to comeback here and update my ratings and review. Ever since service was restored after the outage, the service has been more and more reliable. Voice quality is also going back up. I have only experienced a few hiccups (issue with voice mail and calling to Canada, nothing major) since the outage and those have been resolved very quickly.

Signed,

Slice

P.S. at this point I still can’t recommend them because I feel it is too soon to do that. Even though their service is good I feel I need a little more time to solidify these updated opinions.

P.P.S. BV got the shaft on the ratings recently and this was called for because the service level we as customers received during the outage was just plain horrible. However I think some of the more angry users are purposefully giving BV the shaft because of their own anger rather then actual recent service state. I would challenge all those who have yet to update their reviews to do so because many of the reviews posted now are just not accurate according the current service state.

::UPDATE:: (6-11-05)

Service is great; I have not had any major issues with BV since service was restored after the outage. Support has been extremely helpful and the service it self has been extremely reliable as of late not to mention the superb voice quality. BV is on the come back and I look forward to this type of quality of service for years to come. People have just been too hard on BV; it is also ironic that people have not been as hard on some of the other providers that have been experiencing issues recently. Anyways, I am almost confident enough to start recommending them again but I will wait to the end of the month before I will give that my stamp of approval so to speak.

Slice

::UPDATE:: (7-27-05)

Well, QoS has greatly improved since my last update, and so has call quality. I am currently overseas using my BV line via a laptop with Xten Lite (a popular softphone) and a USB handset over a wireless Internet connection. It works great; it is definitely saving me a ton of cash on what would have been a huge bill if I didn’t have BV. Anyways, I am using the DCA proxy and have had great success using my BV service from Sweden, Estonia, and Norway, as those are the countries I have been visiting (call gets a little digitized sometimes according the some call recipients but I know that is due to the wireless internet connection and increased latency of the long roundtrip to DC). Anyways, I am extremely happy with the service and look forward to further improvement.

Slice

P.S. Customer support via telephone is fabulous as the people at CS are always friendly and eager to help (recent calls to CS have resulted in 30sec-3min hold times); however, e-mail support could use improvement.

::UPDATE:: (7-28-05)

Well, I didn’t state it above but I am also traveling with my SPA-841 (Sipura hardphone) in addition to my laptop softphone combo. This has enabled me to have the greatest flexibility based on whether there is a data port (hardwired internet access via Ethernet) available or just WiFi. Anyways, the hotel I am staying at has a data port so I decided to give the SPA-841 a try to see if it made any difference in call quality over my laptop softphone combo, and man was the quality better. I am attributing this to the fact that the SPA-841 is hardwired and therefore has decreased latency and less packet loss when compared to even the best WiFi links. Anyways, the call quality is much better (for both the caller and callee) when using the SPA-841; it is simply amazing what hardwiring can do for quality. Call quality over WiFi and my laptop softphone combo is good (some digitization once in a wile on the call recipients end) but wile using my SPA-841 it was flawless (ZERO digitization for either parties). The people I called said that the quality when using the SPA-841 was just like talking face to face with fantastic voice dynamics and depth wile they said that when I was using the laptop softphone combo over WiFi they said call quality was that of a decent to good cellular phone call. Either way, I am happy, and I just though I would report the quality difference that I have observed wile using both WiFi and hardwired Internet access, as well as softphone to hardphone differences.

Slice

P.S. If anyone wants to know I have been using the G. 711 codec on the proxy.dca.broadvoice.com outgoing proxy.

::UPDATE:: 9-4-05

Well,

Overall service has been very good. No outages as of recent and better voice quality. Pretty much what my last update was saying. But for all those who say I have been to kind to BV here is a list of things I am either still affected by or am concerned about. First is the fact that BV has still not been able to bring all their proxies on line in a fully operational state. The only proxies that are fully operational are DCA and MIA (last I checked). I would like to use LAX but important features such as call transfer and caller id with name are still not working on LAX(thank goodness they got the DTMF issues fixed). This is just bad business, it does not affect me because I can use DCA just fine but why have more then one proxy if they aren’t maintained properly so that they all function properly? It is just stupid. I just wish they would fix them, and there is no reason why they cant, they just need to dedicate the resources and do it. Next would be the fact that their e-mail support and engineering ticketing system response times are terrible (I for one filed a trouble ticket about the LAX proxy and I have still not received a response months later). I want to be clear, BV is not perfect based on the above complaints but in my honest opinion they deserve a chance, and for me they have been great. I also stated in earlier updates that my international calls are crystal clear and are actually better connections then I can get on my Verizon pots line and this is still true to this day. Service is great now even with the proxy fiasco that I described above. I would have no problem recommending them; things can only get better if they get their other proxies online and fully operational.

Signed,

Slice

member for 12.3 years, 166 visits, last login: 4.8 years ago
updated 8.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by thehothit See Profile

  • Location: Trenton,Mercer,NJ
  • Cost: $22 per month
Good "Cheap"
Bad "Very unreliable"
Overall "Don't bother. Wait until they get their act together!"
Web-site:
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I signed up with BroadVoice in October 2004. At first, I was very excited about their service. Call quality was excellent (even compared to my Verizon PSTN line). There was the occasional outage, but they were few and far between.

After a couple of months, I started having problems with call quality. Some calls would be choppy, some would drop, others would have either no incoming or outgoing audio. These problems would usually be overcome by forcing my SPA-3000 to use another explicitly defined proxy server. Of course, that would only solve the problem for a few days or couple of weeks until that proxy server started playing up! I'd then have to play the proxy server switching game again.

Calling BroadVoice support usually resulted in getting a fast busy or waiting on hold and then getting hung up on before my call was answered by a tech. When I did get through, they were usually helpful, but never really had an answer as to why their proxy servers were so unreliable.

Then came the big outage of Spring 2005. Their service was basically unusable for a few days. Call quality from that point on was touch and go.

They have a lovely website, very tweakable settings, but generally unreliable service.

I've been using ViaTalk for the past month. Only a couple of minor outages so far. Hopefully they'll turn out to be a lot more reliable than BroadVoice.

member for 13.6 years, 1042 visits, last login: 5 days ago
lodged 8.6 years ago

Comments: