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Voice over IP

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by kevinb, 19th Mar, 2006.

  1. kevinb

    kevinb Well-Known Member

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    For those with Broadband + Router - I just hooked up with "engin".

    Engin box2 was $229 from Tricky Dicky ($100 cash back from engin).

    I chose a plan for $29.95/month with $25 of calls to mobiles included.

    Now all local and National calls - 10c each

    Calls to mobiles 22c/minute

    engin to engin free

    Can keep old number with box2 - however I have a cable modem so I can dump Telstra altogether.

    It's time to sell your shares in Telstra

    Link:-

    http://www.engin.com.au/public/index.asp
     
  2. Tropo

    Tropo Well-Known Member

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    "It's time to sell your shares in Telstra"....

    Good one... :D :D
    I sold 6 years ago...
    :cool:
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    There are alternatives out there that don't involve locking yourself in to a monthly spend ... Internode's NodePhone is one. For Internode, there is no monthly fee ... calls are 18c each to anywhere in Australia and 30c per minute ... slightly more expensive than Engin, but arguably better quality (Internode's network has been specially designed to cater for VoIP) ... and no minimum monthly spend. If you aren't an Internode customer, you pay $10 per month for the service.

    http://www.internode.on.net/nodephone/

    Either BYO ATA, or buy one pre-configured from Internode (not locked like Engin's - so you can use it with any VoIP provider) for $190, including signup fee.

    http://www.internode.on.net/nodephone/rates/

    Also agree about Telstra !!
     
  4. Davidr

    Davidr Active Member

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    Be sure that you will never need to dial 000, as engin can't at this stage.
     
  5. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    As Davidr mentioned, you need to ensure you have an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adaptor) that has PSTN fallback support - that is, you plug a normal phone line into it (could be your ADSL line with a filter on it) so that if for any reason you can't make a phone call via VoIP, or if you need to make an emergency call - then it goes out via the PSTN line (Public Switched Telephone Network ... the normal phone network usually connected to Telstra).

    Internode's NodePhone recommends the Sipura SPA-3000, which has this support ... and the $190 option includes one of these devices pre-configured to fully support PSTN fall-back, with 000 support.

    Alternatively you can buy your own SPA-3000 and they provide instructions on how to configure it.

    I believe that one of the hardware options with Engin is actually a network-locked SPA-3000 which does have this fallback capability - but I've never used it myself.

    My NodePhone link is seamless - I use a standard cordless DSS Panasonic phone linked into my SPA3000, which then does the VoIP communications for me - but if that is offline (or I choose to override the VoIP by pressing the hash key on my phone), then the call goes out via the PSTN line as it would normally.

    The whole point is that I just pick up the phone and dial - never have to worry about VoIP ... my wife didn't even know we were using it until I told her !
     
  6. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    I have telstra faxstream. at home..which I'd need to keep (or at least somehow keep a faxline (hopefully with the same fax number)).

    Is that possible?

    With the majority of our respective families interstate, this VOIP caper looks like a real money saver! Do we need to get them on board as well or can we just call their usual number if only we have the VOIP box?

    N
     
  7. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Fax over VoIP is possible - but from most accounts I've heard, can tend to be unreliable.

    You could use the PSTN connection for faxes if need be - they are generally short calls and shouldn't cost too much.

    The only thing to check is whether you can have ADSL on a Faxstream line - I seem to recall that this wasn't possible. I use mbox.com.au for my inbound faxing, so I don't need a service like Faxstream.

    No, your family does not need VoIP for you to take advantage of low call costs - provided you are the one calling them. The VoIP calls can call any standard phone number anywhere - you just dial their normal number.

    However, NodePhone to NodePhone calls are free, so if you both have it, you can talk as much as you like. This is not necessarily a good thing :rolleyes:

    My parents don't have a fast enough ADSL link (they are on the cheap 256k plan, you need minimum 512k for VoIP) ... but they get the same call rates I do by using Agile's post-paid calling service. Like a calling card, but much much better quality (uses the same VoIP network that NodePhone uses - but without you needing VoIP equipment or a broadband link. Does cost slighly more than VoIP because you need to call the Agile number first (local call in every capital city, plus most of regional SA).

    http://www.agile.com.au/voice/post-paid-faq.htm

    This saved my parents a heap of money when my sister was in the UK last year - and they also enjoy 18c calls to anywhere in Australia.
     
  8. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Cool - my second SPA-3000 arrived today, it's one of the new LinkSys models (LinkSys bought Sipura recently ... LinkSys are owned by Cisco).

    My second NodePhone service is now operational ... I'm using this second VoIP service for business calls - I'm getting separate bills to make it easier to track.

    Currently my second VoIP service is running on a second PSTN line that I use for work, but that's more for convenience than anything else - I will eventually remove the second phone line (work pays for it at the moment) and share the PSTN line with my first VoIP service (we rarely make two PSTN calls at the same time - so shouldn't be a clash).

    Will be interesting to see how well my ADSL link copes with two VoIP calls at once - is supposed to be able to do it easily.

    I've attached a diagram to show how I have things set up.

    [​IMG]

    There are four types of outgoing calls possible with this setup:

    A. Personal VoIP call

    This is what happens by default when I pick up our cordless phone at home and just dial a number ... the call goes phone - SPA3000 - ADSL Router - ADSL (via line 2) ... which corresponds to the numbers 1 - 2 - 3 - 8 on the diagram.

    B. Personal non-VoIP call

    If for some reason I want to use the Telstra line, I can dial # on the cordless phone to dial via the PSTN line (or in the case of an emergency, dialing 000 will automatically go via the PSTN line). This path is 1 - 2 - 4 on the diagram.

    C. Business VoIP call

    From my desk phone, I can call my property manager or do other "business" calls by just picking up the phone and dialing. This makes a VoIP call. Path is 5 - 6 - 3 - 8

    D. Work non-VoIP call

    Also from my desk phone, I can make calls for work - I just dial hash first to get to the Telstra line. Path is 5 - 6 - 7

    ... it's all pretty straight forward, and is incredibly reliable.

    I will most likely move to the following configuration at some point, once I remove the second Telstra line.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    Hello All,

    I also just recently starting using nodephone as i am an internode ADSL provider.

    I didnt purchase the SPA-3000 but instead upgraded my router from my old trusty unit the Billion 743GE to a Billion 7402VGP which supports VOIP.

    This had the added advantage that once ADSL2 comes to my area i wont need to upgrade as this unit supports it. It also supports WPA which my old unit didnt, just WEP, so my wireless network is now also much more secure.

    The billion router cost me $249, the cheapest i saw it in sydney.

    So far all has been good, will take a bit longer to determine for sure how good to the setup is.
     
  10. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    I've heard pretty good things about the 7402VGP. Internode are now recommending them to their clients as an alternative to the SPA-3000, so it must be okay.

    I already had the ADSL2+ enabled 7402G, so I went the SPA-3000 route. The SPA's give me a bit more flexibility too.
     
  11. Davidr

    Davidr Active Member

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    I agree that the Billion 7402VGP has a very good reputation. As you can see on the Billion Homepage, aaNet is a partner with Billion for the provision of VOIP. The modems come pre configured so you just have to plug them in and it all works.

    When hardware becomes the standard fit for a number of high quality service providers, you should feel fairly safe it is good gear.

    David.
     
  12. MichaelWhyte

    MichaelWhyte Well-Known Member

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    I'm happy with my Netcomm gear and its not tied to any one service provider so I remain portable.

    I've got the NB5Plus4 Router, and the V300 ATA. The router has 4 LAN connections and is ADSL2 ready, and the ATA has all the bells and whistles described above. It has QoS and PSTN automatic fallback. Of course, I can always ## to choose to dial out through PSTN too if I want something like Telstra directory assistance or 000.

    Here's a full review of the V300 which stacks it up against some other ATAs and rates it top of the pack.

    I think Exetel is an Engin reseller, but the quality has been pretty good thus far, and my call rates are pretty cheap. Won't be as good a service as Nodephone, but my calls are only 10c not 18c, but I do have to pay a $15 a month minimum fee which includes $15 worth of calls. That's not an issue at my place though, so the 10c call rate ends up being the winner.

    All in all, a great little investment and service. Love my VoIP!

    Cheers,
    Michael.
     
  13. Davidr

    Davidr Active Member

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    I should clarify re the Billion and aaNet. They are not locked only preconfigured for your convenience.

    If going directly through Engin, their Voicebox2 is locked to their network. Though there are hacks and work arounds.
     
  14. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

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    I think that would be *very* arguably Sim ;-) Engin is one of Australia's larger and more robust VoIP-specific providers. I've found their quality excellent, and either $9.95 per month or $29.95 (including $25 calls), given their STD call prices are nearly half that of internode, they're a viable option for people to consider. It would depend on your call volumes, but definitely don't discount them purely on the fact there's a monthly fee.

    If anyone IS considering Engin, look at the "Bring Your Own Box" option (http://www.engin.com.au/public/voiper/voiper_byo.htm). You can buy a Sipura SPA-3000 (which is the Engin Voicebox 2) and configure it with the Engin settings, rather than buying an Engin Voicebox which is locked to the Engin network. The price for the SPA-3000 should be around $155 at most providers (www.ozvoip.com etc) Just gives you some portability for the future, in case you want to switch providers, or add a second provider later.

    People with more business-like needs might want to look at a very cheap PBX alternative using the SPA-9000 by LinkSys. Hooked up with the SPA-3000 you can run a pretty impressive business system up to 4-16 lines.

    Have fun - I love sending just the line rental to Telstra every month - massive satisfaction factor !

    Cheers
    Carl
     
  15. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    At the end of the day, when things are going well - you won't notice any difference ... heck, even Skype is good enough for most people. It's when things go badly that things get ugly.

    Unless the entire end-to-end network is tuned for your VoIP service, you can potentially have reliability problems. Of course, if you choose a good ISP (as I'm sure you have), these problems will be virtually nil.

    I'm not making a big deal out of this as part of a "my ISP is better than yours" campaign - just trying to point out to people who might be reading this thread that there is a LOT more to a successful VoIP setup than just the ATA ... you MUST have a good ISP and router as well. Fortunately we have several choices available to us in Australia (which does NOT include Telstra!)