I'm surprised that someone from the main VoIP Forum »VOIP Tech Chat
has not yet popped in with a recommendation or two.
As I see it, the OP has been paying an exorbitant amount to Vonage ("~$28/month
") which drops down to around $15/month (with taxes and fees) with their "special forever deal" just to hold onto a barely utilized number
My comments reflect the OP's specific statement "I never use it."
So, I am reporting only on very low cost options.
I suggest porting the Vonage number to a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) provider such as VoIP.ms or CallCentric.
They both offer Pay as You Go (PAYG) plans that, given the OP's minimal usage, would be "cheap". Both providers would charge a one time $25 fee for porting in the number ... but over the course of, let's say, only two years this would amount to $1 extra per month.
Both providers offer awesome feature sets (well beyond Vonage's features); their services are quite stable; their companies have been in business for several years; their support is excellent ... all confirmed by the excellent reviews posted by lots of BBR Members (»/gbu
Voip.ms charges 99¢ each month with absolutely no additional monthly fees or minimum/maximum usage (and optional E911 at $1.50 extra per month). The user is billed ~1¢ per minute for incoming and outgoing calls.
CallCentric charges $1.95 each month with no additional monthly fees or minimum/maximum usage (and "sort of" optional E911 at $1.50 extra per month and a New York State Sales Tax if the user lives in NY). CC bills calls at 1.5¢ per minute incoming and 1.98¢ per minute outgoing.
Regarding the adapter (ATA), Vonage's adapter is "locked" and, thus, would be problematic for use with any other provider. Two options for an adapter exist:
• One of our long-term BBR members in good standing ... DogFace05 ... can permanently "unlock" the adapter (over the internet) for a small fee.
• If the OP is comfortable in obtaining and setting up an ATA such as a PAP2T-NA (averaging about $50 or so for purchase), both VoIP.ms and CallCentric show simple, step-by-step instructions for setting up a variety of devices.
Personally, I lack confidence in the GoogleVoice "solution" ... since they have little motivation (financially speaking) to keep their service "free" or, for that matter, to keep it running in the future ... and GV offers essentially no support for its service.
In conclusion, my comments are aimed directly at the OP's opening statement wherein he regrets paying lots of bucks just to keep his beloved "212" DID.