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ViaTalk page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
More reviews are required before ratings can be averaged

Reviews:
bullet 488 reviews (324 good) (105 bad)
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Review by XPAMD See Profile

  • Location: Mount Cory,Hancock,OH
  • Cost: $16 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Features, like free 2nd"
Bad "Fee's have raised, Must contact Support to consolidate all invoices"
Overall "Overall great price with the included features."
Web-site:
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Call Quality:
Reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

In the time that I've had service there has been few interruptions in Service. Most were quickly resolved with the ability to change the SIP server in the Linksys PAP 2 adapter.

I've downgraded back to the VT500 plan as we don't make very many outgoing calls. My wife mostly uses her cell phone to call around (most everyone in our family/friends uses Verizon so that's free mobile to mobile).

Earlier this year I was able to get a billing error resolved with the help of the VT Billing Manager in the Viatalk forum here on DSLR. The problem was due to how I was entering my expiration number on my CC and conversely how the website explained how it should be entered.

I think the Updated Website and User Control Panel still needs work, although it just works.

=== Original Review Below=====
I decided to give Via Talk a shot since they've had great reviews. I probably chose the worst time to order service as they were in the process performance upgrades that hadn't gone exactly right.Despite only having 14 day's, decided, what the heck, I'll give 'em a couple a months.

However, after some minor hiccups I'm feeling pretty confident I'll be able to port my number over to them pretty soon.

I opted for the 500/min a month (month to month) plan. For the price AND features I can't complain. My wife and I don't normally use more than 500 minutes a month.

I ordered on August 24th(Thursday) (well early that morning just after midnight). I was planning to wait on ordering since the start up costs were fairly high, but consistent with other providers. However, since someone in the VoIP forum posted a coupon code I decided I would take advantage and try it out.

By noon the same day (24th) my order had completed, processed, number assigned, and adapter shipped---I couldn't believe it! Prior to order I determined I could port my number by chatting with Sales. Also from web I was able to determine that they had the area code and exchange that my Virtual number is in.

I decided to wait to port though as my current provider (Nuvio) is very reliable, but is more expensive and I'm not using that many minutes. Even if I were to drop to lower plan Via Talk has more features, and they're looking to have the same reliability as Nuvio in the months to come.

On Saturday--the 26th, my adapter arrived. After finding a phone I could use started making some calls. Call quality was pretty good. Early on I tried call forwarding my current primary number to my Viatalk number, but their were problems with call completion. So I took it off for a few day to give Viatalk a chance to work their their "growing pains."

As of today, all my calls are being forward to my ViaTalk number. So far there aren't any major complaints. I love the Custom CID Name feature, and the call "block" feature, which I have already used, lol.

Ticket response time could be improved, but I did decide to add Priority support. I figured until things cooled down, and they added more support personnel, it would be worth the extra 1.95 a month for a short time. I do really like how support is willing to work to resolve issues, and change settings on their end for your adapters profiles.

Viatalk is a low cost voice alternative with a great feature set that strives to improve their service. When they're doing some thing on their end, or some happens you'll get an e-mail.

All in all I think I'm gonna like Via Talk. At this point I just had to decide whether to go ahead and port my number or wait just a bit longer, lol.
===
Previous Update 10/24/07

Since my 1st review I did port my number and move to the unlimited service. Everything for the most part has worked smoothly.

I've had very few issues to speak of, and most of them I'm able to resolve on my own.

They've added the 2nd what i like to call "virtual line" They're giving customers a 2nd lined tied to the 2nd line on their PAP2. Calls to my number ring both lines and can answer either one. If another call comes in while on the phone the other line will ring and the call wait tone will sound on the line I'm on. I can also make calls while say my wife is on one line.

They also have servers located regionally. which is really nice. My closest server is in Chicago. They also have servers in New York, Virgina, Texas, and California.

I've haven't had any experience to their recent CS woes due to the Sunrocket collapse so I cannot speak to that. It's very much appreciated for Brendan Brader's presence on the VT forums.

Overall I've enjoyed VT which has a great price with the features included.



member for 12.1 years, 3804 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments:

Review by Gunite See Profile

  • Location: Steubenville,Jefferson,OH
  • Cost: $3 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "$199.00 for a year plus 1year, 2nd line to same #"
Bad "Monthly charge"
Overall "So far it's been good"
Web-site:
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(ratings match consensus)

I've had service for a little over a month now and everything has been good. I signed up on their web page and received the PAP2T in 3 days. Start with a temporary number while they ported my number. porting actually took about 10 days. I don't know if that's because of ViaTalk or Comcast(former VoIP). I would like to think ViaTalk.( When SR told me they were going under, I actually had to look up the actual holder of my number and call Comcast to provide them the info because they were porting from wrong company, needless to say my phone got shut off and Comcast had to give me free VoIP for awhile).Anyways, Quality has been great for me I don't loose or drop calls and friends or family haven't complained about quality yet when calling us.I still have SunRockets Gizmo but decided against it after most of the negative reveiws seemed to stem from people bring their own device, plus the Gizmo didn't seem to work all that good anyways(lost calls).I also read about quite a few negatives from people with their own devices(they have to configure it themselves) in ViaTalks Forums. I yet to use Tech Support but to be fair I gave them a "5" until they prove themselves otherwise, because they have upheld their end of the deal so far. As far as the monthly charge goes I wish they would have incorporated it into the 1 time fee ie. raised the price. but if it keeps them from turning into another Sunrocket then I stand behind them. My kids are always on the phone and some(most) times they won't answer incoming calls. I hooked up another phone in line2 of the pap2 and now those days seem to be over,I love that feature. The website is easy to use and there seems to be alot of features(I don't use but about 3 of them) for people to use. I was on the fence about Viatalk because of the negative reviews that seem to have been when the were trying to absorb to many SR customers at once, but I am hoping they have learned from that mistake.-Beef up before you put up. In closing I can only say that I am pretty happy with their service right now and hopefully for years to come.

Update:07/02/08

called Tech Support today for an issue related to porting.I was the third in line so i left my number and they called back when I was next in line(5min).So I Am leaving my ratings the same.By The way its an issue related to Comcrap.Tried to change my package but of course Comcrap hasn't closed the ticket out on their end. Internal error again on comcast part.needless to say I can't change my programing yet.

member for 6 years, 3 visits, last login: 6 years ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments:

Review by jay_rm See Profile

  • Location: Hampshire,Kane,IL
  • Cost: $13 per month (3 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Good value for a bring-your-own-device provider"
Bad "Problems with some web-based features"
Overall "It just works..."
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update 06/18/08

Still plugging along with two BYOD lines - few problems, few worries - nothing to warrant a change in providers. I have had to change servers twice - people seem to pile on to one that is published as 'reliable' on DSLR and degrade it's performance.

update 10/22/07:

I don't understand why MY two VT lines just simply work when all these other reviewers seem to have such a problem. Two lines, two AT's, both un-provisioned, no issues, no worries, no drop-outs. **end of update**

update 8/10/07:

My review still stands. I now have 2 lines since the Sunrocket meltdown forced me out of my cheap line. I know people bitched about the customer service during the Sunrocket transition but I, for one, am willing to cut them slack. After all, they got tens of thousands of new and probably clueless customers dumped on them. The few CS calls I made were handled professionally and quickly. I don't need CS all that much as I am BYOD and have some IT knowledge. **end of update**

I signed on with Viatalk during the height of the Vonage/Verizon legal battle - I didn't want to be caught holding the bag without my long time number if the worst was to happen to Vonage. It didn't, but I'm happy to be with a BYOD provider and at several $$/mo less then Vonage (what a cheapskate )

member for 12.2 years, 1838 visits, last login: 3.5 years ago
updated 6 years ago

Comments:

Review by rlazica See Profile

  • Location: Grosse Pointe,Wayne,MI
  • Cost: $199 per month (24 month contract)
Good "Lots of features"
Bad " service keeps improving"
Overall "I recommened this company"
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I had a bumpy start with Via Talk when I first started with them after Sunrocket crashed, The service works great now, I do have a occasional dropped call usually at high internet usage times I think it is the fault of th ISP and not the VIOP service. I am happy with Viatalk.

I have had ViaTalk for close to 10 months and have found that one of the reasons I had dropped calls is that one of the wireless phones was not compatible with the system why I do not know.Once that phone was removed I no longer have dropped calls.

It is nice to be able to make all the phone calls you need with out having the high cost of extra minutes and long distance charges.



member for 12.3 years, 14 visits, last login: 6.1 years ago
updated 6.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by brendanmac See Profile

  • Location: Falls Church,Fairfax,VA
  • Cost: $20 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "BYOD. Competative yearly price. Many features."
Bad "Changing monthly "fees." Servers change location without notice. Call quality has ups and downs."
Overall "Great for those looking to save $; Quality probs can be overlooked.Cheaper than traditional phone line, with many more features."
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I had been a SunRocket customer, and they were my first VOIP service. I never had any call quality or customer service issues with them. I dropped my land line completely, and I ported my number to them. A year and a half later, they went under. I had to research my options and in the end I chose ViaTalk. Below I will describe experiences with my initial sign-up/setup and an overview of the ups and downs I have experienced since.

I signed up for ViaTalk service using their website on 2 August 2007. I chose their unlimited plan for $199 for one year of service and signed up for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) service. The site explained I would get a welcome e-mail that would include control panel credentials so that I could begin using their service almost immediately. I did not receive this automatically.

However, I did receive a sign-up e-mail almost immediately. It stated, "Thank you for choosing ViaTalk. We look forward to helping you save money and enjoy high-quality telephone service packed with features. Your order has been received and is currently processing." Further, it gave me a URL that I could use to track my status. The site showed the following check list, Order Placed, Invoice Billed, Number Acquired, Order Not shipped. Only 'Order Placed' had a green check mark next to it.

The very next day I scanned my LNP request and my most recent SunRocket invoice to pdf and e-mailed them to "loas@viatalk.com." I followed the directions posted on their Technical Support article titled "How do I initiate a phone number transfer?"

I remained patient, however my credit card had been charged on 2 Aug. Come 5 August 2007, I began to wonder what was going on, as I still had no welcome e-mail. I had called their toll free support line multiple times without success. They were swamped due to the influx of customers from SunRocket and their system could not handle it. I would wait on hold after work for 4+ hours; I'd move down the call queue, announced every so often, from number 40+ to number 2 or 1 and then the system would disconnect the call. This happened multiple times over multiple days (3 - 5 Aug). This experience was very frustrating.

While continuing to call and wait on hold, I opened a support ticket on the evening of 5 Aug. This ticket did not get a response until 4 Sep 07. The delay in support ticket response was frustrating.

I did eventually get through to them on the phone near midnight on 5 August. The representative could not explain what had happened and claimed the welcome e-mail should have been automatic. She was able to quickly finish processing my sign up and I immediately received the welcome e-mail. Further, she located my LNP information and set that up to be processed as well.

I followed directions found on dslreports.com and other sites to setup my AC211 ATA, which I still had from SunRocket. ViaTalk had assigned me a temporary phone number and I forwarded my SunRocket number to that. I tested the service using my cell phone, and everything seemed to work great.

As I stated earlier, the response to my original ticket got a response on 4 Sep. A representative wanted to know if I still had issues. I responded the same day with yes, as my LNP had not yet been completed and I asked him to keep the ticket open. Fifteen days after sign up, on 20 Aug 07, I got an automated e-mail stating my LNP had been received and was being processed. The ticket did not see activity until the LNP had been completed on 20 Sep 07. In all, the LNP took 46 days to complete. During this time my SunRocket forwarding had stopped working; Who knows how many phone calls I missed! I notified everyone I could think of by e-mail and phone of my ViaTalk temporary number. When the LNP was complete, I then let them know my old number was back up. The LNP experience was very frustrating.

Over the past ten months, I have had a few issues with ViaTalk that have required support tickets to be opened. The response time has significantly improved and I generally see responses in a few days. However, a number of times the responses have not answered my question. In these cases a few iterations was required before the problem was resolved. Sometimes the problem even magically disappeared. One issue that comes to mind is my anonymous Caller ID issue - My outgoing calls were appearing as 'anonymous' on the receiving party's Caller ID. This problem went away on its own and the support ticket eventually closed itself after I did not reply to support's response that addressed a different issue than I was asking about (His response came 12 days after I'd opened the ticket).

Call quality has been up and down over the last ten months. I saw call quality degrade at the beginning of 2008. By degrade I mean, dropped calls, one way audio (another party can't hear me), and some 'digital' and static audio break-up. Support ticket response was to put my ATA in the DMZ, which did not solve the issues. Another issue is a two second delay for incoming calls. I have had to say "hello" twice before the calling party hears me. Others have complained, and are still complaining of these issues in various forums on the Internet. These problems are not present for me as of 19 May 2008. I changed servers from Richmod-2 (resolving in Chicago now, without notice), to Richmod-4.

This brings up another issue. The ViaTalk servers appear to all be migrating to Chicago without notice. Using visual trace routes I find that my response time is 21ms+ (some over 100ms) to this location. Being near Washington DC, I have changed my ATA to use Richmond-4 which appears to actually resolve in the state of VA. Since the server change, my family has stopped complaining about the two second delay when answering. This is frustrating as I should not have to keep track of servers. If a server is named "Richmond" it should be in Richmond, VA. If changes are to be made, customers should be notified - especially BYOD customers.

One last item I take issue to is the fees they charge me every month. I signed up for a year long contract and paid 199. International calling aside, I should have no further fees. If I do have fees, they should remain static. Shortly after sign up, they began charging $2.50/month in 911 and "cost recovery" fees . In Jan 08 they raised this to $3.45/month. Being on a contract, I find this unacceptable and disappointing.

In all, as of 21 May 08, I am content with ViaTalk service at this point. They have upgraded their Control Panel, and I heavily use the call logs, custom call routing (to block toll free and other numbers of telemarketers), simulring, and custom call id features. Their support ticket system yields decent and fairly timely responses. Until I see a VOIP company with more features, cheaper price, or ViaTalk's quality goes down to unacceptable I do not see myself switching.

member for 6.1 years, 11 visits, last login: 4.4 years ago
lodged 6.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by ktdid0 See Profile

  • Location: Tucson,Pima,AZ
  • Cost: $21 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 11 days
Good "Efficient, reliable, good voice clarity and solid service response."
Bad "I don't have any."
Overall "Excellent."
Web-site:
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Call Quality:
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(ratings match consensus)

I ordered Via:Talk when SunRocket announced its demise. I paid for the expedited service and received my new adapter in eleven days. I had it hooked up in two or three minutes and it worked fine from the start. I have had three minor issues that VT had to "tweak" the config on the adapter. They did so each time quickly, professionally and efficiently. I have no complaints with them at all. I had router problems and at first I thought it was a VoIP problem with the phones. I realized my old router was failing and replaced it with a new one. It has been perfect ever since.

I am not knowledgeable about these systems, but I do think the Broadband quality makes a lot of difference. I have Comcast cable and it has been excellent. I get speeds up to 20 megs in Ubuntu Linux and 4 to 8 megs in Windows. That tells me it is more than enough to handle VoIP easily and I think the quality of the service greatly enhances the VoIP performance.

I only hope Via:Talk keeps up the good service and does not go the way of SunRocket. We don't use phones much and it is nice to have good service and not have to pay much.

member for 7.1 years, 29 visits, last login: 5.4 years ago
updated 6.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by tony520 See Profile

  • Location: Anaheim,Orange,CA
  • Cost: $26 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Custom Features"
Bad "none"
Overall "Great service, Great price, Great features"
Web-site:
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(ratings match consensus)

I ordered service through their website, everthing was very clear and went through smoothly, received confirmation of my order very quickly and also received confirmation of receipt of Letter of authorzation to port my phone number within a hour of faxing it over. Received my equipment in two days, which was great being I'm in California and it shipped from New york. also my number was ported over in one week! Everything works great. Prior to ordering I contacted there customer service several times to ask questions about there service and to see what type of response I would get. I contacted them through online Tickets and also calling. They responsed quickly and answered all my questions completely.I really like there Control panel every thing works great.

member for 6.2 years, 51 visits, last login: 3.7 years ago
updated 6.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by rjl2 See Profile

  • Location: Atlanta,Fulton,GA
  • Cost: $18 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 14 days
Good "Good value, great voice quality"
Bad "None for me."
Overall "It works when I need it to."
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
Call Quality:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

4/29/2008 UPDATE

Been with the service for almost a year. Things are still working very well for me and I rarely, if ever, have any issues with the service (maybe I'm just not as picky).

Basically, it works when I need it to and that is the most important thing. Plus, you can't beat the price.

8/9/2007 UPDATE

Port complete. All is well with ViaTalk at the moment.

8/4/2007 UPDATE:

After using the service for a few days I am very pleased. The voice quality is excellent and I haven't really experienced any issues with the service other than the VM message issue (callers hear choppy voice when listening to the message). However, I think this is a known issue and ViaTalk is working to correct it.

I'm still waiting for my port to go through and doubt it will happen by tomorrow, but I'm confident it will complete early next week based on the amount of time it has taken for other ports to ViaTalk to go through.

I've yet to call ViaTalk for Tech Support so I can't comment it.

So far things are working well and I am pleased with the service.

ORIGINAL COMMENT:

Order Placed: 2007-07-17

Porting Request Submitted: 2007-07-21

Invoice Billed: 2007-07-23

Number Acquired: 2007-07-23

Email Stating Port Request Received and in Progress: 2007-07-25

Order Shipped: 2007-07-30

ATA Received: 2007-08-01

Port Complete: 2007-08-09

I was up and running within minutes as all I had to do was plug the ATA in.

Length of time to "go live" is due to the influx of SunRocket refugees. I wasn't really sweating it since no one really calls me on my home phone so I just waited to see how long things would take (no-rush when ordering and used free shipping code).

member for 13.3 years, 816 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 6.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by arturse See Profile

  • Location: Rosemount,Dakota,MN
  • Cost: $8 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 20 days
Good "many features, great service, low prices"
Bad "the affiliate program is a scam, the more technical issues will go unsolved, taxes are way too high"
Overall "the best open-SIP VOIP provider; stay away from the affiliate program"
Web-site:
Ease of Installation:
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hi,

i've had viatalk for almost two years! in the past i had vonage, lingo, and sunrocket and finally settled with viatalk.

overall, it's a great service, the open sip provision is great, the price is right, and nothing beats it, at least in the USA.

the annoying part is the high monthly tax, and the fact that the affiliate program is run like a scam (you won't get your money until you bug the ceo).

i still recommend the company to anyone and wish it success against the cable and the incumbent telecom oligopoly that sucks the blood out of the US consumers together with the FCC.

ps i'm switching to voipdiscount.com - $3.75/mo to call 30 countries; get a free US number at www.ipkall.com. NOBODY can beat that but of course you will not have e911, have to be a bit technical, but you will also not pay taxes ))!

member for 9.4 years, 9 visits, last login: 6.2 years ago
updated 6.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by andy_c See Profile

  • Location: Louisville,Boulder,CO
  • Cost: $15 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Sound quality of calls is very good and cost is reasonable"
Bad "Poor customer service, sneaky fees and sleazy business practices"
Overall "Reasonable prices and good sound quality, but poor reliability"
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(ratings below consensus)

The Friday before the Sunrocket collapse (which occurred the following Monday), I decided to sign up for ViaTalk. At that time, the "2 years for the price of 1" deal was still in effect. I ordered the "bring your own device" (BYOD) option. The following Monday morning, I was hearing all kinds of gloom and doom on the forums here from Sunrocket employees who had just been laid off, and yet my ViaTalk order had not been processed yet. So I called ViaTalk. The wave of Sunrocket refugees that later overwhelmed ViaTalk customer service had not hit yet, so I was able to quickly talk to a guy in billing, who set up my account right there while I was on the line.

Two days later, the Linksys PAP2T-NA I had ordered from an online VOIP supply place arrived. I found some instructions for setting it up in the forums at forums.viatalk.com and was up and running quickly. Note that if you choose the BYOD option and do not have a device, you must order an unlocked device. For the Linksys adapters, these are the ones whose part number ends in "-NA". Many VOIP adapters sold in stores are already set up for Vonage or some other provider. If you mistakenly buy one of these, you'll be locked out of the part of the web interface that you need access to in order to get running with ViaTalk. If you choose the BYOD option, I would recommend buying your adapter at an online VOIP supply place rather than a local store. Most of these online places are very clear about specifying that the devices are unlocked, while employees at local stores will not know about this problem.

Here's how I computed costs:

$199 for two years, plus:

$68 for the Linksys PAP2T shipped, amortized over two years, plus:

$3.50 per month that ViaTalk charges you for the "Regulatory and E911 Recovery Fee"

Good sound quality

With my previous VOIP provider (Sunrocket with the Innomedia gizmo), I had become accustomed to slight echoes and delays, resulting in call quality that was mediocre at best. I had to put the Sunrocket gizmo on the WAN side of the router to even achieve this. Sound quality with Sunrocket was literally comical with the gizmo on the LAN side. At the time, I thought this might be due to my cable internet provider, Comcast. When I received my Linksys adapter for ViaTalk, I was concerned when I found out that it had to be put on the LAN side of the router because of my prior bad experience doing this with Sunrocket. However, after testing it with several lengthy phone conversations, I'm happy to report that call quality is excellent - way better than Sunrocket ever was. One person I spoke to said it sounded like a POTS line to him. I am very happy with the call quality. I do get occasional echos, but at its worst it is much better than Sunrocket was at its best.

Poor customer service

Since I have the BYOD option and am somewhat of a computer geek, I can get all the tech support I need here at BBR. That's fortunate, as there have been numerous horror stories about poor customer service and long hold times. This was especially bad around the time of the Sunrocket collapse.

Sneaky fees and sleazy business practices

When I signed up, I thought the total cost would be exactly what was stated on the sign-up form. Unfortunately, I failed to read the TOS thoroughly. It wasn't until my credit card got charged for the monthly fee that I read the TOS more carefully and found the $2.50 per month fee. A few months later, they upped the fee to $3.50 per month. So if you enter into a contract with them, this only fixes the base price, but they can still jack up the fees arbitrarily.

There have been even worse situations with regard to fees as well. Customers who entered into a contract before the fees started all of a sudden found their credit cards were being charged with the new fees. This started a long and angry thread in the ViaTalk forum here:

»ViaTalk charging pre-paid customers for E911 AGAIN

The upshot of all this was that the ViaTalk CEO determined that customers who signed up before the fees could supposedly have them removed by calling up ViaTalk and talking to customer service. The trouble was that the customer service people had either not been informed about this policy, or were deliberately making this difficult for people by arguing with them at length.

There are also sales affiliates who have been not been paid, and have been given the runaround for months by ViaTalk. There is another long and angry thread (still ongoing) about that here:

»ViaTalk Commission Payment Issues

This resulted in complaints to the Better Business Bureau. ViaTalk was subsequently de-listed from the BBB for failure to address complaints.

Poor reliability

When I first signed up with ViaTalk after the Sunrocket collapse, service was good and reliable. But after the first of 2008, I began to have numerous outages. Sometimes I'd pick up the phone and there would be no dial tone. Other times I'd get a dial tone but not be able to dial out. With the BYOD configuration, one can enter the SIP server name in the web interface of the VOIP adapter. There is a list of servers, and one can try different servers from the list. Usually, switching to a different server fixes the problem. I have to test my phone each day now, to make sure I can dial out. This week, I had to change servers twice - two days in a row. One user has dubbed ViaTalk "the maybe phone". My experiences so far in 2008 are similar to his.

member for 13.4 years, 1335 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 6.2 years ago

Comments: