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Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

[Connectivity] Trying to use PhonePower on Comcast HSI - not so

We dumped CenturyLink's DSL over the summer, and got Comcast HSI and it's been doing pretty well for us, except for some stuttery performance at times.

Then I mentioned in another thread, that we've had nothing but trouble with QWEST NKA CenturyLink's land line and were planning on dumping that. BUT Comcast turned us off with their demands that we had to pay a technician to come out and install their Voice box, for a hefty service fee. And someone in this forum mentioned having success with PhonePower. So we're trying them.

Getting very mixed results so far. Long delays when talking to someone long distance. Echoes. Frequent chopiness. Sometimes a client will call us and it will ring once here and then go right to voicemail and we have to try to call them back right away and see if we can salvage the work they called us about, before they call someone else, which is a big hassle.

And sometimes I try to make a call and it tells me the number cant be dialed, and I try again and it goes through!

So I contacted PhonePower and they got back to me with some links about tests and packet losses:

As the attached graphs indicate, your connection is suffering from Downstream Packet loss. I have attached the URL's for your speedtests so you can bring it to your Internet Service Provider.

»speedtest.phonepower.com/myspeed···d=778396

»speedtest.phonepower.com/myspeed···d=777626

So I contacted Comcast with this, and instead of actually addressing the problem "Comcast Denver" ( perhaps in India? ) keeps emailing me back with BS platitudes and total cluelessness when it comes to actually acknowledging and fixing the problem.

"The equipment you use to access the Internet can affect your Internet speeds. You should check:

A. Your Computer..."

WTF does it have to do with my computer?!

Then:

"after reviewing your account information, and your location, I do not see any outages in your area affecting connectivity."

JEEZ!!!

PACKET LOSS!!! PACKET LOSS!!! I replied.

Do these people have any idea what I'm telling them?

I don't know what to do with this anymore, blood is shooting out of my eyes!



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

Re: [Connectivity] Trying to use PhonePower on Comcast HSI - not

No, those people don't have any idea what you are telling them. If your problem is not explicitly in their troubleshooting script, they will be clueless.

Unfortunately, almost any residential (or even SMB) ISP is not going to be very concerned with packet loss, lag, or jitter. And even if you are an enterprise level customer, unless the packet loss, lag, or jitter is causing a problem for a VoIP application that they are providing, it will likely not get much attention.

The only thing that surprises me about your post, is that you don't mention that the first words out of the Comcast CSR's mouth was not a pitch to dump PhonePower and get CDV. Anytime I tried to get such things fixed when I had Comcast residential HSI, that was their only suggested solution. When I started to have problems sending faxes using my Vonage service over my Comcast Business Class service, I just opened a RingCentral fax account because I already knew what Comcast's response would be if I opened a trouble ticket involving a competitor's VoIP service.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

No, their replies, while completely inane, have not ( yet ) suggested dumping PhonePower for theirs.

But I'm also having problems faxing out over this too, so don't know what the heck to do now. We THOUGHT we could save money and dump CenturyLink, who was charging us $72 a month for a "Banana Republic" unreliable land line. But this aint working out very well instead and we NEED reliable service for our home business!

Not sure what the other choices are now. Drop PhonePower and just use the cell phone for all calls?

But we still have Ring Central too and they lose attachments when we try to fax out using them.

This stinks and we don't know what to do now. Costing us money for crummy non-solutions, either way.



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by Melissa2009B:

No, their replies, while completely inane, have not ( yet ) suggested dumping PhonePower for theirs.

But I'm also having problems faxing out over this too, so don't know what the heck to do now. We THOUGHT we could save money and dump CenturyLink, who was charging us $72 a month for a "Banana Republic" unreliable land line. But this aint working out very well instead and we NEED reliable service for our home business!

Not sure what the other choices are now. Drop PhonePower and just use the cell phone for all calls?

But we still have Ring Central too and they lose attachments when we try to fax out using them.

This stinks and we don't know what to do now. Costing us money for crummy non-solutions, either way.

If you are having problems with voice calls, faxes are going to be next to impossible.

I have not had any problems at all with my RingCentral fax service (except for occasional delays with transmitting the fax to the final destination...not unlike the occasional delay when an email gets stuck in the pipeline). I always use the RingCentral pseudo printer driver instead of trying to send individual documents as attachments, so perhaps that is the difference in our experience with that.

Your current predicament is one I am familiar with and I can empathize. In my own case, I am fortunate enough that currently my Vonage VoIP service does work reliably over my Comcast connection for voice service. But that is mostly just the luck of the draw, and if my Comcast connection were to start having lag and jitter problems that caused VoIP problems, I doubt that even being a business class customer would make any difference in Comcast's efforts (or lack thereof) to fix that problem.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

said by NetFixer See ProfileIf you are having problems with voice calls, faxes are going to be next to impossible.
[/BQUOTE :

Arghh.

I have not had any problems at all with my RingCentral fax service (except for occasional delays with transmitting the fax to the final destination...not unlike the occasional delay when an email gets stuck in the pipeline). I always use the RingCentral pseudo printer driver instead of trying to send individual documents as attachments, so perhaps that is the difference in our experience with that.

How do I get one of those? I've been doing email to fax and it seems to lose the attachments that way.

Your current predicament is one I am familiar with and I can empathize.

This is an old and tiring game that gets played, whenever you mix competing services. They point fingers at each other and no one will fix it. It's disgusting and I wish I could do without them both.

In my own case, I am fortunate enough that currently my Vonage VoIP service does work reliably over my Comcast connection for voice service. But that is mostly just the luck of the draw, and if my Comcast connection were to start having lag and jitter problems that caused VoIP problems, I doubt that even being a business class customer would make any difference in Comcast's efforts (or lack thereof) to fix that problem.

Yup.


NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

1 edit

said by Melissa2009B:

said by NetFixer See ProfileIf you are having problems with voice calls, faxes are going to be next to impossible.
[/BQUOTE :

Arghh.

I have not had any problems at all with my RingCentral fax service (except for occasional delays with transmitting the fax to the final destination...not unlike the occasional delay when an email gets stuck in the pipeline). I always use the RingCentral pseudo printer driver instead of trying to send individual documents as attachments, so perhaps that is the difference in our experience with that.

How do I get one of those? I've been doing email to fax and it seems to lose the attachments that way.

First, log into your RingCentral account and then go to the Tools tab and download the Softphone app (this app contains the fax printer driver):




Once the softphone app is installed and configured, you should be able to send faxes by just selecting the RingCentral fax printer driver as shown in the two screen shots below:







EDIT: I guess that I should have asked if you are running Windows before mentioning the RingCentral fax printer driver, because I don't think they offer this app for OS X or Linux.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

1 edit

Erk! No tools tab on mine!

Oh wait, it's in another menu. How come we have different menus?

Anyway, thanks! It shows up in my print menu now!



gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL
reply to Melissa2009B

Hard to believe that with all of these replies that nobody has asked you what type of router you're using here and what the settings are on the router.

I use Ooma, another VoIP box, and with one D-Link router I was getting nothing but garbled calls and issues, swapped the router out and the call quality became perfect.

So, let me ask the questions:

1. Is the PhonePower box attached directly to your modem or to a router?

2. If it's connected to a router, which router is it and have you put the PhonePower box into the DMZ?

3. Does the PhonePower box allow you to plug it directly into your cable modem and then into your router for the rest of your network?

Cheers!
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com



kara

@comcast.net
reply to Melissa2009B

I sure someone already said this but repeat so you clear on it. Comcast does not support you other phone software or hardware. Only cdv services is supported for you phone use. If you don't have and want help from them then suck up the cost. And cdv cae from comcast will be happy to help support their own products.. I never understand people on this lol


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to gwbuffalo

said by gwbuffalo:

Hard to believe that with all of these replies that nobody has asked you what type of router you're using here and what the settings are on the router.

Don't know the settings - Comcast installed the gateway - a TG862G. I actually bought a separate router but since they won't support it and I'm not sure it would make any difference, haven't installed it.

I use Ooma, another VoIP box, and with one D-Link router I was getting nothing but garbled calls and issues, swapped the router out and the call quality became perfect.

So, let me ask the questions:

1. Is the PhonePower box attached directly to your modem or to a router?

To Comcast's modem TG862G.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to kara

said by kara :

I sure someone already said this but repeat so you clear on it. Comcast does not support you other phone software or hardware. Only cdv services is supported for you phone use. If you don't have and want help from them then suck up the cost. And cdv cae from comcast will be happy to help support their own products.. I never understand people on this lol

I get that part, but when I'm telling them, OVER AND OVER again that the tests show about 6% PACKET LOSS and they keep telling me stupid BS in their replies, COME ON!


gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL
reply to Melissa2009B

Your problem is most likely in the router settings. Here's a list of settings that PhonePower says you need:

»www.phonepower.com/wiki/How_to_S···r_Device

Without setting these up I'm guessing you're going to see choppy quality. Since you're on a modem / gateway there's no way to put the phone device in before the router, so you'll have to go in and set up the port forwarding to send the proper ports to your PhonePower box.

Hope that helps!
Darren
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

3 edits

Click for full size
I'm not sure how to do that myself. I guess Comcast might have really needed to send a tech over to install the Voice device.

I just dialed *** and got a busy signal.

Oh, I just remembered how to login as admin to the gateway.

Here's a screen shot. Does this help?

As for setting up that port forwarding stuff, I have NO idea what I'm doing and don't want to risk winding up with no phone or internet?

Is this box a Grandstream?


flwpwr

@comcast.net
reply to Melissa2009B

Just becasue they have packetloss does not mean its comcast that is losing it it can be ANY point from where they are testing to where you are that is losing it.

The best thing for you do di with THIS forum is post your signal levels and error logs on the modem by going to 192.168.100.1 or if you have a dory 10.0.0.1 log in using admin/password, do not answer the wizard if it pops up but instead navigate to gateway > xfinity, as well go to the tools on this website and run a line quality test and see what it shows.



gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL
reply to Melissa2009B

This should help you with the router's settings:

»screenshots.portforward.com/rout···ault.htm

I'd suggest putting the PhonePower device into the DMZ. You'll have to look at the PhonePower documentation and figure out how to set a static IP on the device if it doesn't do that by default.
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to Melissa2009B

I'm not a network tech and it sounds like we need one. I have no idea about all this, and how to fix it without risking hosing it.



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by Melissa2009B:

I'm not a network tech and it sounds like we need one. I have no idea about all this, and how to fix it without risking hosing it.

That is one of the reasons that I did not suggest that you attempt to make any router QoS or port forwarding changes.

The other reason was that the problems you are describing don't sound like anything that port forwarding would fix (although QoS settings might help). Since I am not familiar with your particular cable gateway, I don't even know if it has QoS settings, so I won't likely be able to walk you through looking for that in your router's admin menu (but it would likely be buried somewhere in the Advanced settings if you decide to take a peek and post some screen shots).

Anytime I have seen a problem with SIP devices/applications where a restrictive firewall was interfering and port forwarding might help, the symptom would be that the SIP device/application could not even establish an initial session with its call control server (and that is not the symptom you have reported).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

Guess we're gonna have to send back the PhonePower box and get Comcast Voice, so it's supported.



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by Melissa2009B:

Guess we're gonna have to send back the PhonePower box and get Comcast Voice, so it's supported.

That should at least eliminate the multi-vendor finger pointing, and since Comcast is trying to present itself as the new "phone company", in most areas they do tend to give priority to CDV problems. Also, since Comcast delivers their VoIP service over a different channel that is not used for Internet access, they do have the ability to tightly control things all the way from your local connection to where they hand over the signal to whatever CLEC handles their PSTN interface in your area.

I hope that you don't have a hefty ETF clause in your new PhonePower contract. Also remember that if you are planning to port the telephone number, don't terminate the PhonePower service until after Comcast notifies you that the number port is officially complete.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

I purposely signed up with PhonePower without contract, and paid more a month, to try it. And we don't care about the number, we just got it and have an 800 number for the business anyway, with simultaneous ring to the home and cell.



gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL
reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

I'm not a network tech and it sounds like we need one. I have no idea about all this, and how to fix it without risking hosing it.

You can't be serious. The link I provided has a link to the DMZ settings, which you can see here:

»screenshots.portforward.com/rout···/DMZ.htm

All you need to do is enable it and enter the IP address of your PhonePower box. You need a network tech to enter an IP address into a box?

And, I'm sorry NetFixer, but if a device requires port forwarding to work properly and it's not set than it will cause EXACTLY the problems that she is describing.

Good luck!
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

1 recommendation

said by gwbuffalo:

said by Melissa2009B:

I'm not a network tech and it sounds like we need one. I have no idea about all this, and how to fix it without risking hosing it.

You can't be serious. The link I provided has a link to the DMZ settings, which you can see here:

»screenshots.portforward.com/rout···/DMZ.htm

All you need to do is enable it and enter the IP address of your PhonePower box. You need a network tech to enter an IP address into a box?

And, I'm sorry NetFixer, but if a device requires port forwarding to work properly and it's not set than it will cause EXACTLY the problems that she is describing.

Good luck!

believe me, she's better off using Comcast's VoIP service rather than fiddling with her connections...

she claims to be some sort of a tech BEFORE, but that was years ago...


gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL

How is putting a device in the DMZ "fiddling with her connections?"
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by gwbuffalo:

How is putting a device in the DMZ "fiddling with her connections?"

let me re phrase that...

anything with tweaking and or setting up devices have been a challenge for her...

there's always the easy way but a little costlier and then there's the hard, trying to pull her hair way but cheaper options that sometimes really doesn't work right.

the KISS rule doesn't apply to her...

================

my rule of thumb has been to make sure I can setup, tweak or fix techy stuff and make sure everybody can use it without them calling me every time, if either one doesn't work, I scrap the idea and just suck up the cost.

rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI
reply to Melissa2009B

what are the modem levels like? if there is packet loss, there may be an indicator if one of the levels are out of spec



gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL
reply to medbuyer

said by medbuyer:

anything with tweaking and or setting up devices have been a challenge for her...

Understood. With that said, when it's literally a couple of easy steps and she doesn't even want to try them I'd have to wonder why help is even asked for here.

Also it's amusing that she's more than willing to make the Comcast reps sound stupid with a "PACKET LOSS! PACKET LOSS!" tirade but the reality is the problem is possibly on her end. Don't throw stones at anyone (even Comcast) until you KNOW they're the problem.

Melissa, I wish you luck in getting your service up and running!

Cheers!
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by gwbuffalo:

said by medbuyer:

anything with tweaking and or setting up devices have been a challenge for her...

Understood. With that said, when it's literally a couple of easy steps and she doesn't even want to try them I'd have to wonder why help is even asked for here.

Also it's amusing that she's more than willing to make the Comcast reps sound stupid with a "PACKET LOSS! PACKET LOSS!" tirade but the reality is the problem is possibly on her end. Don't throw stones at anyone (even Comcast) until you KNOW they're the problem.

Melissa, I wish you luck in getting your service up and running!

Cheers!

i'm not throwing stones at anybody here..I'm merely stating a fact that when it comes to techy stuff, people have tried to help her before but she always tries to find a way how to complicate things for her...

»Wireless fax module? What's this called?

»[Speed] May have to switch to Comcast

»[Rant] I want to add Voice but they won't let me!

she had a perfect system for her before....her cost cutting measures coupled with this is how I want it to work kinda seemed didn't work at all.

sometimes, when you cut costs, you may have to adjust the way you do things as well. specially when your business depends on it.


gwbuffalo

join:2001-12-08
Mokena, IL

said by medbuyer:

i'm not throwing stones at anybody here..I'm merely stating a fact that when it comes to techy stuff, people have tried to help her before but she always tries to find a way how to complicate things for her...

I was referring to her original post in the thread with the "throwing stones" comment, not to any of your posts. Sorry for the confusion.

It appears that the PhonePower box is similar to the Ooma box I have in that it lets you plug it in directly to the modem with a passthrough to a router, allowing the phone to have priority.

Melissa, since you're not using the phone part of the modem / router combo you have you'd be better off getting a dedicated modem and plugging the VoIP device in as shown here:

»www.phonepower.com/wiki/Physical···am_HT502

This way you can use the other router you said you already have and there would be no phone setup to be done since the device is first in line before anything else.

Again, good luck!
--
»twitter.com/darrenoneill »alt-this.com

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to medbuyer

said by medbuyer:

said by gwbuffalo:

said by Melissa2009B:

I'm not a network tech and it sounds like we need one. I have no idea about all this, and how to fix it without risking hosing it.

You can't be serious. The link I provided has a link to the DMZ settings, which you can see here:

»screenshots.portforward.com/rout···/DMZ.htm

All you need to do is enable it and enter the IP address of your PhonePower box. You need a network tech to enter an IP address into a box?

And, I'm sorry NetFixer, but if a device requires port forwarding to work properly and it's not set than it will cause EXACTLY the problems that she is describing.

Good luck!

believe me, she's better off using Comcast's VoIP service rather than fiddling with her connections...

she claims to be some sort of a tech BEFORE, but that was years ago...

Yes, I was an Electronics Tehnician with an ASET ( Associate in Science in Electronics Technology ) from 1969 to around 1995, NOT a network tech

medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by Melissa2009B:

Yes, I was an Electronics Tehnician with an ASET ( Associate in Science in Electronics Technology ) from 1969 to around 1995, NOT a network tech

Melissa2009B See Profile I understand what the difference is but both aren't that too far from each other too...

I used to be called an electronics tech too doing refurbishing on networking equipment.

Networking isn't really that complicated specially when you've got the background in electronics.