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d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Ready to leave POTS....

Hey guys, I've been paying $40/month for basic home phone services (POTS) from Bell for years and I think it is time to stop....VoIP has definitely progressed since it initially became popular so I'd like to make the switch. Find my specifications below and let me know who you guys think fits my bill:

-Cost $20/month max ideally
-Free local/Canadian calling
-Canadian company ideally with decent customer service
-No intensive setup/networking/hardware required
-Must have decent rates to Eastern Europe
-Must have excellent and consistent voice quality
-All the basic features like call display, voicemail, etc

I am currently looking at Comwave, $20/month with 15c per minute to Eastern Europe and I believe we can use our existing phones with the use of some kind of adapter I believe....At the same time however, I am well versed in linux/networking so if the BEST solution is the DIY way with a cheaper provider, I am all ears...We got fast cable internet (Dlink-655 + SB6120) if it matters....
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting



d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Also, transferring the number from Bell is KEY so I need a provider who is able to do so...Would appreciate other recommendations + cost breakdown.

Thanks in advance guys!
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting


mlord

join:2006-11-05
Nepean, ON
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to d4m1r

Most of the usual service providers will do the trick. voip.ms is dirt cheap, and crammed with zillions of features, none of which get in the way of simple setup.

Just get an ATA, and follow their online guide for setting it up. You can then use the voip.ms service for outgoing calls while waiting for Bell to release your DID (number) to voip.ms for incoming calls.

With an ATA, you just disconnect your home wiring from the Bell demarc, and then plug the ATA into a jack. The regular house phones then all become "voip" phones, with no real difference in how to use them.

Cheers


MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
·Rogers Hi-Speed
reply to d4m1r

Based on a lengthy feedback thread at DigitalHome.ca, I'd steer clear of Comwave.

I've been with voip.ms for nearly a year and it's been working pretty well except for the occasional hiccups (been pretty good the past few weeks, so maybe those were resolved with the recent upgrades). It looks intimidating at first, but setup is not as hard as it may first look. I was up and running in minutes. One advantage with BYOD providers is that if at some point you want to switch, you're not stuck with one provider's hardware. You just change the settings on your own hardware.
--
Start Communications Forum


JJ_GTA
Premium
join:2009-04-01
Ontario
reply to d4m1r

Based on the many threads here you will do just fine switching over to BYOD providers.

AcroVoice, Anveo, Call Centric, VoIP.ms, etc...



d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to d4m1r

Thanks guys, I've heard of voip.ms before but never fully looked into it...Based on your feedback, I just did and it seems like a great deal, fully featured, and (apparently) reliable. Few questions remain however;

1) I am in Ottawa, so would I be better off with the T.O or MTL server? I'd guess MTL because I'm closer (so better latency) but you never know....

2) So all I need to purchase hardware wise is an "ATA"? Any comments on the Cisco Linksys PAP2T? See them going online for $30 new which is decent.

3) How does it work with porting my number with Bell? Is there any chance I will lose it? I don't like the sound of it taking 7 days though as all incoming calls I'm going to presume are going to be unsuccessful during the transfer process correct?

4) What is this talk about demarcation points? Will I have to rejig any existing wiring in my house or can't I just plug the ATA into my router and existing phone jack and be good to go?
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting


JJ_GTA
Premium
join:2009-04-01
Ontario
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Anveo
·TekSavvy Cable

Pick a VoIP.ms server and stick with it if it works for you. There are lots of threads discussing switch overs. I am in Toronto and use the Houston server. If I need to switch then I'll move back to Toronto.

Purchase an Obi202 for your ATA. Easy setup and lots of functionality.

During the port process your number continues to work at Bell. You will receive a notice of a date that the switch over would occur. If going with VoIP.ms then make sure you use the porting promo code LNP10 for the $10 special.

You connect your ATA to your phone wiring but be sure to disconnect your Bell line at the DMARC first. You don't want the Bell voltage on your house wire once you have your ATA working.

Also experiment with multiple providers. You will learn all the features that each can provide, plus you have a backup provider ready if your main provider goes down. I use VoIP.ms and Anveo.



d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

said by JJ_GTA:

You connect your ATA to your phone wiring but be sure to disconnect your Bell line at the DMARC first. You don't want the Bell voltage on your house wire once you have your ATA working.

This is the confusing part...Coming from the world of cable, I have no idea what a demarcation point actually is or where in my house it is :P How can I find out where it is with instructions on how to "disconnect" it?

Also, lets say I don't use any promo codes....Does it cost extra to port my Bell number over (and if so, how much) and are there any other activation charges?

Thanks again guys!
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to d4m1r

said by d4m1r:

I am currently looking at Comwave, $20/month with 15c per minute to Eastern Europe and I believe we can use our existing phones with the use of some kind of adapter I believe...

If you did not miss a couple decimal points, take a look at »www.anveo.com/consumer/rates.asp

conwaytwt
Premium
join:2004-04-09
Conway, AR
Reviews:
·Conway Corp.
reply to d4m1r

said by JJ_GTA:

I have no idea what a demarcation point actually is or where in my house it is :P How can I find out where it is with instructions on how to "disconnect" it?

Up until recent years you could have found this information (including line drawings) in your local telephone book. I haven't looked at our phone book in years so I don't know if the info is still there. There are several sites on the web that give detailed info, so some web searches will turn up a few.

HOWEVER if you are at all uncomfortable / unfamiliar I would urge you to consider either paying a local company to do the wiring OR plan to ditch the "old fashioned" POTS phones altogether and get VoIP phones instead and not mess with the "legacy" wiring.

I have two ATAs, a PAP2T and an SPA2102, and even when they were working their best they had some annoying issues, so I'm glad I didn't bother to try to wire them in to the house lines.

I have been MUCH happier with a VoIP phone I bought -- mine is a Panasonic KX-TGP551 with three (it can have up to six) KX-TPA50 cordless handsets. There are other similarly-priced phones that probably work just as well.

Just be sure whatever you get -- ATA or VoIP systems, put the main unit and your router and Cable Modem or DSL adapter on a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) of some sort.

Dan_voip

join:2007-01-03
Saint-Hubert, QC
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to d4m1r

For the demarcation point if you have a house it's a box outside the house but it's also an entry point inside the house close to the outside box, maybe in the basement. You'll want to disconnect from inside the house where you have full control, if you disconnect from outside a Bell tech might reconnect it by mistake and fry your ATA.
Providers you might want to look before making a decision:
Anveo, Freephoneline, Callcentric, voip.ms.
Callwithus has very good rates for outgoing calls with many destinations.
Each one has different plans, take a look to see which one suits you better.
Usually for VoIP incoming and outgoing are paid separately but that doesn't mean you can't have a great deal. You can have many providers by example 1 for incoming calls, 1 for outgoing Canada/US and another for Eastern Europe, that way you can minimize the costs and have a backup all the time. If you go that way you'll need a device who can register to two or more providers, an option can be an IP phone who can register to 6 providers by example.
Eastern Europe is vague, which country/countries do you need to call? BTW 15c/min it's a lot for an European country. Do you need to call also cell phones there and how many minutes landline/cell?
What's your estimated need for incoming/outgoing with Canada?
Do you need to have more than 1 call in the same time, that will decide which ATA to buy if you don't want an IP phone.
All the providers named before don't have activation fees except Frephoneline who has $50 to give you the credentials but will not bill you anything for incoming calls and outgoing to most of the destinations in Canada.
Porting the number will cost you $25 with most of the providers, voip.ms has a promotion for dslreports members for $10 and Anveo has a promotion with free porting for Canada(and US).
Take your time, ask more questions, read more about it to take the better decision for you.



d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

said by Dan_voip:

For the demarcation point if you have a house it's a box outside the house but it's also an entry point inside the house close to the outside box, maybe in the basement. You'll want to disconnect from inside the house where you have full control, if you disconnect from outside a Bell tech might reconnect it by mistake and fry your ATA.

Thanks Dan. I do have a green box outside my house and a line is run from that box to my house, but I thought it was a Rogers only box for cable? What type of adaptor/cable do I need to find in my house? Sounds like I might need a VoIP expert to come and help me with the wiring lol...

To answer a few other things, I only want to have 1 VoIP provider for simplicity, so I would use them for everything (including, outgoing, long distance, etc). Also, I only need 1 line. So far, voip.ms seems like my best bet but messing around with the demarcation point is the only scary part
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting

MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
·Rogers Hi-Speed
reply to d4m1r

I'm in Ottawa too and I'm currently on the montreal server. I switched a few days after they upgraded both montreal servers. So far, so good. If you decide to use a U.S.-based server at some point, make sure to change the toll-free number termination to a Canadian carrier, otherwise some Canadian-only toll free numbers may not work.

For the ATA. I have a PAP2T and it works well, but I think it went "end of life" in May of last year. Lots of good feedback on the Obi ATAs, so I'd look into those instead. Also, lots of "fake" PAP2Ts offered on eBay for cheap, so be careful if you go that route.
--
Start Communications Forum



StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to d4m1r

said by d4m1r:

I do have a green box outside my house and a line is run from that box to my house, but I thought it was a Rogers only box for cable? What type of adaptor/cable do I need to find in my house? Sounds like I might need a VoIP expert to come and help me with the wiring lol...

The demarcation point is where the phone line responsibility switches between the phone company and you. That point would typically be a box on the side of the house if we are talking about a house. This box would also be called a NID (network interface device, I think). In the US it would have a TelCo side, which is harder to open, and a customer side which is easily opened with a screwdriver. In that box, there may be a pigtail with an RJ connector. If you have that, unplugging the pigtail will isolate your inside wiring from the TelCo wiring. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_in···e_device

If your phone wires don't run through your green box, don't mess with it. A


d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

said by StillLearn:

said by d4m1r:

I do have a green box outside my house and a line is run from that box to my house, but I thought it was a Rogers only box for cable? What type of adaptor/cable do I need to find in my house? Sounds like I might need a VoIP expert to come and help me with the wiring lol...

The demarcation point is where the phone line responsibility switches between the phone company and you. That point would typically be a box on the side of the house if we are talking about a house. This box would also be called a NID (network interface device, I think). In the US it would have a TelCo side, which is harder to open, and a customer side which is easily opened with a screwdriver. In that box, there may be a pigtail with an RJ connector. If you have that, unplugging the pigtail will isolate your inside wiring from the TelCo wiring. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_in···e_device

If your phone wires don't run through your green box, don't mess with it. A

Thanks for the info guys and indeed, it is a standalone house so I'm hoping I can figure it out.

Worst comes to worst, I'll snap a few pics of the boxes we have on the outside of the garage and in the basement and you guys tell me which is which Seems like I will be going with voip.ms, using a montreal server, and a PAP2T.
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting

Mango
What router are you using?

join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:11
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
·AcroVoice
·callwithus
·voip.ms

Like the others, I recommend the OBi devices instead of the PAP2T - OBi202 if you need two lines and/or a router or OBi100 otherwise. The OBi has a great deal of improvements that result in better audio quality, among other things.

I still have one PAP2T in service that I haven't yet replaced but all my other ATAs are OBi now.



rollerblader7

join:2004-01-11
Burlington, ON
reply to conwaytwt

I second conwaytwt's recommendation of the Panasonic, after much the same experience by the sounds of it.



TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 edit
reply to d4m1r

I'm a big fan of voip.ms. I've never had any issues other then when the TO server was being an asshole switched server all good. I used tech support once in chat and guy was nice and knew his stuff.

Hardware wise as an ATA the OBi VoIP Telephone Adapter looks to be very populier among people. I use a Cisco SPA myself I got like over a year ago but from reading it seems the newer ones suck unless you do firmware updates.

I load it up with $25 every few months. I just call local and call my family in the US. my number is 1.99 a month and 2 bucks for e911. Make sure you set-up the e911 too as I did not do that for months as I did not think about it. here are the calling rates for voip.ms

»www.voip.ms/rates.php


scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to d4m1r

I haven't bought one yet - but if I was just getting into VoIP and wanted a new ATA - I too would look pretty close at the OBI 202. If my PAP2T ever goes out, That's probably what I would get - and I may get one sooner. If you have or obtain a DECT6 analog phone system with multiple handsets - you wouldn't need to connect to the house phone wiring - just put a recharger base and handset in each room you want a phone - I've been trying to convince the wife that this is the route we should go if not the digital VOIP counterpart of the same.

Those who use the dedicated Voip phones seem to like them better, and there are some advantages to them over an ATA / analog phone setup, especially if the people you call are also using VoIP on the same provider with a Voip phone - higher bandwidth CODECs should mean better sound quality.

Just remember - with any voip setup - YOU need to think about your backup plans about alternate providers if necessary. Go read the accounts about Callcentric and how they had to deal with Sandy and how some of us customers had to make some alternate arraingements until they were back online. Power outages also become a concern - you may need to have a cell phone for this if nothing else.



d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to Mango

said by Mango:

Like the others, I recommend the OBi devices instead of the PAP2T - OBi202 if you need two lines and/or a router or OBi100 otherwise. The OBi has a great deal of improvements that result in better audio quality, among other things.

I still have one PAP2T in service that I haven't yet replaced but all my other ATAs are OBi now.

Is there an additional service cost for 2 lines? If so, how much or does that merely depending on the ATA being able to handle it?

I liked the PAP2T for the simplicity of the device when I researched it and how common it is, and despite it slightly older age, it does have fairly good reputation. Anyway, what are these "OBi" devices people keep talking about? Exact name of manufacter/model? Do they work in the same light as the PAP2T?

Let me know and thanks guys!
--
www.613websites.com Budget Canadian Web Design and Hosting


cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse
·T-Mobile US
·magicjack.com
reply to d4m1r

In your case I would go for a 2 line Obi 202 voip adapter ( US $ 75.-) and voip.ms for the first line and Localphone.com for the second line( international calling) . If you are a heavy user you could take Voxbeam instead of Localphone.
Like some people mentioned, 'Eastern Europe" is very vague.



TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to d4m1r

the PAP2T is the one I'm using and I love it as it's has two phone ports unlike the Obi that only has one or at least the models I've seen only have one port.

So setting up two lines on the same device is nice as in the future I'll need a business number. Now yeah you would have to pay for a number for that port from voip.ms if you want two lines. If you can find one for a good price I've no issue it's been good to me.


JJ_GTA
Premium
join:2009-04-01
Ontario

Obi202 has two phone ports. I love that it supports 4 wire wiring green/yellow and black/red so I only need one connection into the Obi for phone1 and phone2.

»www.acrovoice.ca/obistore/



TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3

ah cool did not see that modal on amazon.



sluggish

@WC-TDM.com
reply to d4m1r

Good luck with it.


Mango
What router are you using?

join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:11
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
·AcroVoice
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to d4m1r

said by d4m1r:

Do they work in the same light as the PAP2T?

 
Yes - actually the same engineers developed them. The OBi devices are just the latest versions.

m.
--
myvoipnews.com


Joey1973

@verizon.net
reply to d4m1r

I think it's worth pointing out that once you're setup for VoIP/SIP, you'll be able to call others who are setup likewise for free via SIP. Plus, for example, if you have an OBi and the one or two parties you talk to most in other countries also have an OBi, then you could call each other for free using the OBi numbers of each device. The point is you won't be limited to using just PSTN numbers, which could save you some expense--a little or a lot.


SCADAGeo

join:2012-11-08
N California
kudos:2
reply to d4m1r

said by scooper:

you may need to have a cell phone for this if nothing else.

I was wondering if the OBi202 with OBiBT (and compatible cellphone with Bluetooth - all on a UPS) can be used as a backup cellphone gateway?