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newguy2005

join:2004-12-28

Who is the Most Reliable Provider?

Hi All. First, a brief background: I was one of the first people to sign up with SunRocket way back when they started, even before they began their big marketing push. I stuck with them all the way to the end, after which I decided to go back to the reliability of the old POTS line. Now, I'm looking to get back to VOIP, but I'm also looking for a reliable provider. And so my question to this board...

Who is the most reliable VOIP provider these days? I don't care too much for all the extra features. What I really want is that when I pick up the phone, I'll have a dialtone. That in case of an emergency, I can dial 911. That when someone calls me, my phone will always ring. I understand that VOIP is not always going to be perfect, but who is the most reliable provider at this time?

I've been looking at Optimum Voice, Verizon Voicewing, and Vonage, as they're the big names in my neighborhood. I was also surprised to see that Lingo and Packet8 had gotten so cheap, as they used to be pretty big names (are they still?) I was tempted by ViaTalk's cheap rates, but after reading the forums here, I don't think they're #1 in reliability.

I'd appreciate any suggestions that the experts here can provide. I'm looking to make the jump within the next month, so any input would be very helpful. Thanks!

kwest

join:2003-05-15
Dallas, GA

1 recommendation

www.voicepulse.com 4 years now, it just works

Quattrohead
Premium
join:2005-02-09
reply to newguy2005
Phonepower and VoIPO are working fabulously for me

dcm

join:2008-09-12
Pennsylvania
reply to newguy2005
I've had Net2Phone for a year. I don't recall any outages or reliablity issues.

I'm a SunRocket refugee and had free service for the past year. My free time ran out, so now I'm paying $19.95 + tax.

My usage is so low, that I cannot justify paying for an unlimited plan, so I'm going to go with pay as you go.

I currently have CallCentric outgoing only for a backup, but am looking for a cheap in/out plan with 911 for my primary carrier. I've looked at CallCentric, Future Nine, Vitelity, and Voicestick. I'm probably going to go with VoiceStick; it seems to be the best fit for me based on my usage.


usa2k
Blessed
Premium,MVM
join:2003-01-26
Redford, MI
kudos:3
reply to newguy2005

Re: Who is the Most Reliable Provider?

said by newguy2005:

...
I've been looking at Optimum Voice, Verizon Voicewing, and Vonage, as they're the big names in my neighborhood. I was also surprised to see that Lingo and Packet8 had gotten so cheap, as they used to be pretty big names (are they still?) I was tempted by ViaTalk's cheap rates, but after reading the forums here, I don't think they're #1 in reliability.
...
Packet8 has got more expensive (monthly) from the $19.95 they used to be. They are still great with more features than years ago. Even though I left them for VOIPo.com, I cheerfully recommend Packet8.

Also know that Packet8 is one of the profitable publicly traded stock type companies out there.

It would appear it is the Flat Monthly services you are interested in.

»/gbu might be worth looking at, (and user reviews of the providers listed.)
--
Jim, VoIP since 12/2002, VOIPo 2/7/2007

FAH-Tool ... Whales ... VOIPo Forum ... VOIPo Review

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to newguy2005

Re: Who is the Most Reliable Provider?

As usa2K said, you should certainly look at »/gbu

And at the reviews in general:
»/reviews?slo=1&typ=voip

-------------------------------------

You mentioned you were looking at "big names". I would respectfully suggest that you reconsider that philosophy. If there is one thing that this forum and this website in general show, it is that size is not correlated with quality or reliability. Far from it.

And I was quite surprised at your mention of Verizon VoiceWing. Suggest that you peruse their reviews, which are in the ratio of 2-1 negative:
»User reviews - Verizon VoiceWing

--------------------------------------------
OptimumVoice is great, but a little pricey after the first year unless you are a big volume caller.

flroots

join:2007-02-05
Stuart, FL

1 edit
I've used a dozen different VoIP providers before ending up with CallWithUs. As fas as I know they don't offer 911, but they have been very reliable and the support is second to none. I've been with them over 2 years. I always sought out the cheapest, but that didn't prove out. Now, I am willing to pay just a bit more to get reliability and support. I pay $3.10/mo for my DID with voice mail and 1.25 cents/min PAYG for outgoing calls. They are a BYOD (bring your own device) provider so some technical skill may be required.

Lenagainster

join:2005-01-07
Silver Spring, MD
reply to newguy2005
I'll second kwest on VoicePulse. But I DO like the features. $15.89 total for the "local" plan and we never go over our 200 minutes of LD. It just works.

dm33

join:2007-07-05
Raleigh, NC
reply to newguy2005
I've had Vonage for a year and have NEVER had an outage. But they're more expensive than most, and they charge $40 if you cancel within 2 years. Which leaves me a bad taste since I'm leaving them for Quantumvoice. When someone charges me a cancellation fee, it just assures me that I'll never go back to them.


usa2k
Blessed
Premium,MVM
join:2003-01-26
Redford, MI
kudos:3

2 edits

Re: Who is the Most Reliable Provider?

Early Termination Fees are a down-side. Packet8 also varies depending on the device you get, it can be more than $40, but is only a year term.

Conversely, VOIPo.com has a $29.95 setup fee, but will prorate money back if you've not used up the plan's value. For example, if you Paid the $99.00 for 6 months and cancelled after two months, you would have paid $128.95 and maybe taxes, but the $99.00 would be their $21.95 rate times two months and fees, and the rest should be credited. (I *think* the ATA is not owed back either.)
--
Jim, VoIP since 12/2002, VOIPo 2/7/2007

FAH-Tool ... Whales ... VOIPo Forum ... VOIPo Review


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
reply to newguy2005

Re: Who is the Most Reliable Provider?

How REFRESHING it is to have someone ask which provider is the most reliable instead of which one is the "Cheapest". Definitely some good ones out there. I definitely second VoipO and Packet8. I had packet8 for 3 years and VoipO for 2 years. 2 different type companies, but both excellent choices. Packet8 is better for professional services, business lines, etc...; but they also do very good residential service. VoipO definitely a fantastic residential service.

FWIW; I posted another thread to mention that voipo; which is headquartered in Houston, with their equipment in Houston and Dallas. Even with all of Hurricane IKE, my service never dropped once. I guess I would call that pretty reliable. Later... Mike....


N9MD
Too busy to chat
Premium
join:2005-10-08
Boca Raton, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
·VOIPO
·CIKTEL Telecom
reply to newguy2005
said by newguy2005:

...Who is the most reliable VOIP provider these days?
In no particular order, my personal VoIP experience for reliability points to CallCentric, VOIPo and PhonePower.

priller

join:2000-10-20
Gainesville, VA

3 edits
reply to newguy2005
I'll add my vote for Callcentric as being highly reliable.

Also, being a Vonage customer for over 5.5 years now, I'd have to say that they just plain work .. 24x7x365. I couldn't even guess when they were down last. However, providers like Callcentric offer much better terms and pricing these days. Vonage is like a stuffy old fashion VoIP provider now ... with their contracts, fees, no PAYG plans, no BYOD allowed.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to N9MD
At the risk of being yelled at... shouldn't VOIPo be tested under "real world" conditions first - before being labeled "reliable"?

No offense to anyone at VOIPo - and I do wish them good luck with their launch - but I think we need to give them a few months in production mode before concluding whether they are reliable or not. Even ViaTalk used to be reliable before they got a lot of customers.... (before the Sun exploded)

From my personal experience, I would second VoiceStick for reliability. ViaTalk is cheap - but reliability is not their strong point.

soitgoes2
Premium
join:2005-01-14
said by nitzan:

At the risk of being yelled at... shouldn't VOIPo be tested under "real world" conditions first - before being labeled "reliable"?
All reliability discussions are focused on historical and present reliability. One can only predict the future. It is perfectly fair to talk about VoipO reliability if that meshes with user experiences.

However, the fact that VOIPo keeps delaying their public beta is a little annoying.


N9MD
Too busy to chat
Premium
join:2005-10-08
Boca Raton, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
·VOIPO
·CIKTEL Telecom
said by soitgoes2:

...However, the fact that VOIPo keeps delaying their public beta is a little annoying.
As an alpha/beta VOIPo participant, it appears to me (as an "outsider") that the delay is mostly due to smoothing out behind the scenes processes ... such as billing ... while developing a customer support and fail-safe server system. There have been very few feature or function-related problems in actual day-to-day use of VOIPo.

gbh2o

join:2000-12-18
Longs, SC
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·VOIPO
·callwithus
reply to newguy2005
said by newguy2005:

Who is the most reliable VOIP provider these days? I don't care too much for all the extra features. What I really want is that when I pick up the phone, I'll have a dialtone. That in case of an emergency, I can dial 911. That when someone calls me, my phone will always ring. I understand that VOIP is not always going to be perfect, but who is the most reliable provider at this time?
Based on several years of use, my overall reliability award for full service over time would have to go to TelaSip [has e911]. Next with e911 would be MyPhoneCompany, and now VOIPo. An other reliable 'full-service' provider, but without e911, would be the Vbuzzer of Canada.

I also have a 'stable' of just BYOD or providers from whom I just order partial services that I have found reliable, but that may or may not not offer e911 due to the nature and location of their services.

edmidor
Tech - the hard way
Premium
join:2008-05-19
Canada
reply to christcorp
I honestly don’t understand this entire quest for a super-duper provider. Residential VoIP is inherently not a good choice for any mission critical application, it’s a chain of independent services, and a chain is just as reliable as its weakest link. Any of those residential services aren’t designed and built for anything mission critical.

There are more then enough weak links for us, think just few
- ATA – cheap but complex electronic device with no extra protection/redundancy, can break/burn easily
- home DSL/cable link, which can fail often unnoticed
- dependency on power in absence of any serious UPS (how many plug ATA, router, and modem into a good UPS? How long will it hold?)
- add all those Nitzan listed in e911 thread

So, what’s the point to pay the premium to The Ultimately Reliable provider to be a part of the system where just reasonably reliable would do just as good? I’m not trying to say that VSP reliability is irrelevant – far from it, but it’s role in overall system is limited by other components of *your* system.


RockyBB
Premium
join:2005-01-31
Steamboat Springs, CO

1 recommendation

said by edmidor:

I honestly don’t understand this entire quest for a super-duper provider. ...
So, what’s the point to pay the premium to The Ultimately Reliable provider to be a part of the system where just reasonably reliable would do just as good?
I can't disagree with any of your points, but nevertheless find it refreshing that someone (ANYone) is recognizing that carriers have differing levels of uptime and reliability. While consumer VOIP has multiple points of potential failure, there's no reason to choose a provider that will replace the ISP as the weakest link.


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
reply to newguy2005
"Residential VoIP is inherently not a good choice for any mission critical application"

Of course if you have residential voip, it's not as important as a business line. However, for many, their residential service is important. I know for a fact that my ISP is about as reliable as they come. In 7 years; my DSL has been down only 3 times. 2 times were obvious outages; CAR HIT POLE; Lightning Direct hit. The 3rd was storm related. All 3 times, even my POTS line would have gone out. My voip on the other hand (Packet8) has only gone down about 5 times. 3 were because of the DSL I mentioned and the other 2 were provider related. (Supposedly there were a couple other times, but it didn't affect mine). With VoipO, I've had no unscheduled outages at all.

So, for me and many others, reliability is definitely a factor. No because of emergencies or whatever. But rather because of the convenience of having the phone available when we want it. Nothing is more frustrating than to pick up the phone and it doesn't work; noisy; dropping calls; etc... Yes, I've had those providers also. I'm all for reliability. I will pay a little more for a provider that works when I need it. You can take all the Sunrocket's, Joiphones, etc... and keep them. Considering how much I save using voip over POTS; I'd rather not get greedy and try and save $5 a month on a cheaper voip provider. I'll pay that much more for the reliability.

dcm

join:2008-09-12
Pennsylvania
said by christcorp:

With VoipO, I've had no unscheduled outages at all.
IMO, you really should include scheduled outages.

Yes, if you have a heads up, you can work around it.
Yes, scheduled outages usually prevent unscheduled outages.

But, an outage is still an outage.


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
said by dcm:

said by christcorp:

With VoipO, I've had no unscheduled outages at all.
IMO, you really should include scheduled outages.

Yes, if you have a heads up, you can work around it.
Yes, scheduled outages usually prevent unscheduled outages.

But, an outage is still an outage.
You don't include scheduled outages witha BETA program. I agree you should be a HOT service. But with a BETA program, the whole purpose is to continually make changes. That is one of the things I like best about voipo. Many providers go live, and they continue their beta. They are ALWAYS having issues. Their excuse is that things are being upgraded or changed. Customers don't want that. Mind you, after a year or two, many of the providers get their bugs worked out and things go smooth. Voipo choice to work out such bugs before releasing to the public. For that reason, I won't include scheduled outages. That is the whole purpose of a beta program. NOT when you start collecting money for the service. Later... Mike....


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
said by christcorp:

said by dcm:

said by christcorp:

With VoipO, I've had no unscheduled outages at all.
IMO, you really should include scheduled outages.

Yes, if you have a heads up, you can work around it.
Yes, scheduled outages usually prevent unscheduled outages.

But, an outage is still an outage.
You don't include scheduled outages witha BETA program. I agree you should be a HOT service. But with a BETA program, the whole purpose is to continually make changes. That is one of the things I like best about voipo. Many providers go live, and they continue their beta. They are ALWAYS having issues. Their excuse is that things are being upgraded or changed. Customers don't want that. Mind you, after a year or two, many of the providers get their bugs worked out and things go smooth. Voipo choice to work out such bugs before releasing to the public. For that reason, I won't include scheduled outages. That is the whole purpose of a beta program. NOT when you start collecting money for the service. Later... Mike....
Aren't they collecting money for the service now though?


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
Yea, but they aren't making changes to the service any longer. The ONLY thing that was holding up the public release, was being able to handle the massive influx of customers. They don't want to get into a position of not handling too many customers at one time. Unlike other providers who rely on forums and some online advertising; VoipO already has a customer base that will be a large market to work with. They've been allowing many of them to join during the "Soft" launch. But since collecting money; probably the last few months; there hasn't been any outages.


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
said by christcorp:

Yea, but they aren't making changes to the service any longer. The ONLY thing that was holding up the public release, was being able to handle the massive influx of customers. They don't want to get into a position of not handling too many customers at one time. Unlike other providers who rely on forums and some online advertising; VoipO already has a customer base that will be a large market to work with. They've been allowing many of them to join during the "Soft" launch. But since collecting money; probably the last few months; there hasn't been any outages.
That makes sense to not make changes prior to launch. But let's be realistic, from beta into the open market as people have stated are two different worlds.

Other providers have started with previous businesses under their belt or brought customers with them. Would it be great for a massive influx of people for them? Sure it would. But hosting customers and voip customers are not always one in the same.

It's good that there hasn't been any outages in the past few months. Hell, I hope they don't have any, then they would be really blazing ground.


RockyBB
Premium
join:2005-01-31
Steamboat Springs, CO

1 recommendation

reply to christcorp
said by christcorp:

You don't include scheduled outages witha BETA program.
I'll second that relative to VOIPO. Speaking only for myself, VOIPO collected no money and represented to me that outages could happen at any time. The point of the beta was to let them know when things weren't working well, which means that we should expect that things would not work well from time to time. There were outages, that were infrequent and short, but things were always restored. Anything structural and planned was always warned of in advance, to those who viewed their beta bulletin board. Given the basis on which the beta participation was offered, I would agree that uptime would not be a fair variable to discuss for VOIPO. Good uptime would not be a predictor due to limited number of users, and bad uptime would not be a predictor as that was not a stated goal. Given Timo's narratives about not wanting to launch before they're ready, and the relaxed urgency to finish up, I think things will be relatively smooth for the first batch of paying customers. Nothing in my experience would lead me to warn others to stay away, should the feature and pricing options meet one's needs.

Personally, I don't think that carriers offering service for payment should be using the word "beta." ViaTalk did that for a long time, and our friend at F9 is doing it now. In my view, using the word beta with a for-pay service to get around E911 requirements and 100% uptime goals is too much like the old childhood game of it being OK to lie so long as you cross your fingers. ("Thank you for your payment. And by the way we're sorry you've been down for 3 hours, but we're in beta, nah-nah!") In professional business telecom services, we don't charge if offering something on beta, and don't include any service level agreements, either.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

said by RockyBB:


Personally, I don't think that carriers offering service for payment should be using the word "beta."
Agree with that.

Brings back memories......In the 1960's and 1970's when the Connecticut Turnpike (now I-95) was a toll road, they would put up signs that said: "Construction Ahead---Travel At Your Own Risk---ROAD LEGALLY CLOSED".

But darn it, the road may have been "legally closed" but they still kept on collecting those tolls!

I would have loved for someone to blow past a toll barrier, then tell the judge that the road was "legally closed".

-------------------------------------------------------

Regarding Voipo, it's a good thing we have them. What else would we talk about?

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to RockyBB
said by RockyBB:

In professional business telecom services, we don't charge if offering something on beta, and don't include any service level agreements, either.
I disagree. Our "beta" proclamation - in Future Nine's case - is just a fair warning to the customer that this is a new service and some features may be incomplete. It is not an attempt to excuse outages or problems with the service - as I do believe in giving the customer as close to 100% uptime as we possibly can.

While we are on the subject of outages - I really don't understand what a "planned" outage is. An outage is an outage is an outage - if the customer can't pick up the phone and talk then it's an outage. It doesn't matter if you "planned" it or your server crashed - if you have time to plan, plan to bring up a backup server while working on whatever issue you're working on.

To give you some history- I've worked for AT&T (then SBC) for 6 years doing production application support for one of their larger applications. If there is one thing I do know well- it is high availability, the need for it, and what happens if you don't plan for it.

Having said all of that- it will soon be a moot point, as E911 is almost ready, and that is really the only major thing preventing us from getting out of beta.
--
Nitzan Kon, CEO
Future Nine Corporation


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
If you don't understand the difference between a "Planned" outage for a company in beta not collecting monthly fees; and an unscheduled outage by a company that is collecting money from customers each month; then we can't discuss this.

It was stated different ways by different people. If a company is in "BETA" and expects to have outages as a part of building and enhancing the service to bring it up to par; then they SHOULDN'T be charging for that service. Or if they do, it should be at a discounted rate that the paying customer is willing to pay for sub par service. Personally; using the word "Beta" for your service as a way to provide voip service and make money, all WITHOUT E911 support to get around a ruling or law, is not quite the type of business "ethics" I'm looking for in a company.

I have to assume that because you are in Beta, and it's because some of your "Features may be incomplete", that what you charge your customers is not full price. If I pay monthly for a particular provider that offers certain services, then that is what I expect. I can live with the FUBAR unscheduled outage. Things happen. But even with VoipO; I didn't port my number to them and establish a paid account until they were ready to start going public. Reliability and availability are very important to me. VoipO has been adding user continuously for the last couple of months. Some are from their internal customer base and some are true general public. But I hope that VoipO doesn't use the word "Beta" once they open up 100% to the public.Later... Mike....


ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
said by christcorp:

But I hope that VoipO doesn't use the word "Beta" once they open up 100% to the public.Later... Mike....
The $100,000 question is....
Will it be in 2008 or 2009?
--
"A religious war is like children fighting over who has the strongest imaginary friend."

Have you been touched by his noodly appendage? »www.venganza.org