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lbeck

join:2005-11-29
Hillsborough, NC

Considering Vonage -need advice for my config./circumstances

I'm currently with Verizon land-line, cell phone, and 3 Mbps DSL. I'm finding that the 3 Mbps isn't quite good enough for streaming HD video using a wireless connection (Roku). Part of the problem may or may not be disruption of the wireless transmission (can't tell - Roku doesn't have buffering capability).

Like many phone customers, I'm getting discouraged by poor support from Verizon, who is recently being switched to Frontier in our area for much of their services.

I'm considering switching to Vonage and learn that the Internet/ISP selection is a separate choice. Looking at choices I see that there are many factors, and not all of my circumstances are discussed in the considerations. Following is my configuration:

• Home is wired for cable but I’m using the home distribution system for my Dish satellite.
• Home is wired through two panel boxes (may be important if I distribute phone through home wiring).
• I’m not interested in gaming, but would like to stream HDTV through my Roku player and possibly other devices in the future (Slingbox).
• An extra bonus would be to have Internet available at electric outlets, since my satellite receiver (VIP 722) and main TV (52” Samsung LCD) have Ethernet connections and I could use it for some stuff. The TV and modem are on separate levels at my home.

Any advice will be helpful. Some of my questions are:

• Can I get high-speed cable Internet (e.g., Roadrunner) without cable TV? Cable is available but I prefer Dish satellite.
• If I get Roadrunner will it disrupt my existing home distribution system for TV (coax with wall outlets).
• High Speed Internet is available from Dish. What are the disadvantages there? Our TV satellite goes out during storms (poor line of sight issues). Would I lose Internet when the TV signal is interrupted?
• If I discontinue my Verizon land line service is there additional cost for keeping my Verizon DSL (dry loop)?
• Are there other considerations that I haven’t addressed?

I’ve searched the www for answers to these questions and each site visited covers its specific services but my combination of circumstances is not addressed. I’m thinking that possibly someone on this forum may have some experience/expertise/advice.

Thanks.



dellsweig
Extreme Aerobatics
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-10
Campbell Hall, NY
kudos:1

1 edit

said by lbeck:

I'm currently with Verizon land-line, cell phone, and 3 Mbps DSL. I'm finding that the 3 Mbps isn't quite good enough for streaming HD video using a wireless connection (Roku). Part of the problem may or may not be disruption of the wireless transmission (can't tell - Roku doesn't have buffering capability).

Like many phone customers, I'm getting discouraged by poor support from Verizon, who is recently being switched to Frontier in our area for much of their services.

I'm considering switching to Vonage and learn that the Internet/ISP selection is a separate choice. Looking at choices I see that there are many factors, and not all of my circumstances are discussed in the considerations. Following is my configuration:

• Home is wired for cable but I’m using the home distribution system for my Dish satellite.
• Home is wired through two panel boxes (may be important if I distribute phone through home wiring).
• I’m not interested in gaming, but would like to stream HDTV through my Roku player and possibly other devices in the future (Slingbox).
• An extra bonus would be to have Internet available at electric outlets, since my satellite receiver (VIP 722) and main TV (52” Samsung LCD) have Ethernet connections and I could use it for some stuff. The TV and modem are on separate levels at my home.

Any advice will be helpful. Some of my questions are:

• Can I get high-speed cable Internet (e.g., Roadrunner) without cable TV? Cable is available but I prefer Dish satellite.
• If I get Roadrunner will it disrupt my existing home distribution system for TV (coax with wall outlets).
• High Speed Internet is available from Dish. What are the disadvantages there? Our TV satellite goes out during storms (poor line of sight issues). Would I lose Internet when the TV signal is interrupted?
• If I discontinue my Verizon land line service is there additional cost for keeping my Verizon DSL (dry loop)?
• Are there other considerations that I haven’t addressed?

I’ve searched the www for answers to these questions and each site visited covers its specific services but my combination of circumstances is not addressed. I’m thinking that possibly someone on this forum may have some experience/expertise/advice.

Thanks.
Let me take a stab at some of these seeing that I have both Vonage *2 lines, 8 years) and 2 Roku boxes as well as Road Runner.

I have had Road Runner for many years and have seen both service and speeds increase over the years - I currently have thier Turbo Tier which is advertised at 20/768 but I get 25/768 consistently.

I have had Vonage for 8 years now. I have two separate adapters (I like redundancy). In the days when bandwidth was rare - I learned that QoS in your home router was essential to making VOnage play in a home network without the wife screaming about jitter and echo. I have learned that most home routers QoS are downstream only and to get good control you may have to resort to modifying your routers firmware (dd-wrt) and learning some simple IPTABLES rules to get real good control over upstream and downstream QOS.

Your Vonage will use 100k up/down during a call. Remember that is someone is using other web services or your router is busy - Vonage will feel the pain more so as it requires packets to arrive in some semblence of order to prevent Jitter. DSL speeds are OK but the chance of being effected by other network traffic is greater.

The Roku uses between 3 and 6 mbps (standard or HD) and that would kill your DSL.

As for Road Runner, not knowing how your current distribution scheme works - I would have TW runa a drop from the termination box to your cable modem - no interaction at all with your current coax distribution system. Also you can get just internet from them but they will charge you more if youre not a tv customer.

as for Satelite based internet - the latency is too great for effective VoiP

You have options to distribute your internet (after the cable modem). One is wireless - with a wireless bridge located near your TV or wireless directly to your Roku. Another is using yourAC power - Linksys and others have power line adapters that work quite well.

The vonage adapter works great with house wiring - just plug it into a jack like you would any phone and th house is powered. Just make sure your dsconnect the street to prevent any voltage feedback issues.

In addition to my 2 vonage boxes, 2 Roku boxes and numerous PC's, game systems and laptops, I have an ATT Microcell (another Voip device) on the network. I have built a very effective QoS policy using DD-WRT on my Linksys WRT320N which keeps all the network connected devices happy - and keeps the wife from complaining.

These forums are a great place for answers but as you already know, an out of the box solution is not going to work for you. I can help you out if you have questions on IPTABLES rules and there are programs out there to help you generate the scripts for your routers allowing you to set up/down rates and ceilings as well as traffic priorities and types.

good luck
--
Nothin' left to do but smile smile smile

lbeck

join:2005-11-29
Hillsborough, NC

2 edits

dellsweig - Thanks for the great reply. I'll contact TW to see what the internet-only option will cost. Your speeds sound great.

Using my home wiring to distribute Internet is attractive for me also. I've already drilled holes in our nice hardwood floors to distribute other stuff like surround speakers to/from our home theater setup. Talk about the wife screaming! I just need to determine which outlets are connected to which panel box (I have two) assuming that makes a difference. Or if it somehow sends a signal through the main bus bars maybe it doesn't. I'm assuming that both are connected to a common feed from the road. I need to look further into the AC -> Internet option.

Your comments on the Roku box is helpful also. I'm thinking that if I get a wired ethernet connection rather than wireless and up my bps that my Roku problems will go away. I don't know whether my HD reception is hindered by a poor wireless connection or the 3 Mbps. You say that it needs 3-6 so that may be the problem.

Anyway, thanks for the response. You seem to know what you're talking about and any further advice will be helpful.



dellsweig
Extreme Aerobatics
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-10
Campbell Hall, NY
kudos:1

1 edit

said by lbeck:

dellsweig - Thanks for the great reply. I'll contact TW to see what the internet-only option will cost. Your speeds sound great.

Using my home wiring to distribute Internet is attractive for me also. I've already drilled holes in our nice hardwood floors to distribute other stuff like surround speakers to/from our home theater setup. Talk about the wife screaming! I just need to determine which outlets are connected to which panel box (I have two) assuming that makes a difference. Or if it somehow sends a signal through the main bus bars maybe it doesn't. I'm assuming that both are connected to a common feed from the road. I need to look further into the AC -> Internet option.

Your comments on the Roku box is helpful also. I'm thinking that if I get an ethernet connection rather than wireless and up my bps that my Roku problems will go away. I don't know whether my HD reception is hindered by a poor wireless connection or the 3 Mbps. You say that it needs 3-6 so that may be the problem.

Anyway, thanks for the response. You seem to know what you're talking about and any further advice will be helpful.
On the home wiring - the outlets need to be on the same phase (or side of the panel). I believe you can have an electrician bridge the two but I have no idea how that works. In homes where I have setup powerline adapters the outlets are always on the same side.

Personally I like the wireless option. I run wireless N and G. I use the N network for my media server and a wireless bridge connection to my home office. I use wireless G for client PC's and the Roku's. The Roku issue ismost definatly related to the DSL speeds.

In case you dont know what a wireless bridge is - it is basically another wireless access point confirgured to "bridge" your wireless network to physical ethernet connetcions. Using third party software on a home router you get options like repeaters, bridges, etc. Linksys and other vendors sell repeaters and bridges but they are WAY overpriced.

My network basically has a main Router/Access Point in a central location with the Vonage adapters, Microcell and a G Access point directly connected. Then, distributed wherever I need them are both wireless N bridges and Wireless G bridges as well as assorted network clients. If you needed a repeater, you would just set one up where needed - no wires.

The Roku works fine using wireless G speeds.
--
Nothin' left to do but smile smile smile