Friday, April 20, 2007

VOIP -- An update

My initial access to unlimited long-distance phone service was thru Vonage via a cable connection with Comcast. It has worked very well. When the service was up an running and when my phone number had been rolled over from Qwest I cancelled our Qwest service completely and disconnected their wires from our house at the little grey box on the outside wall.

When we moved to another home in the same city, Seattle, I made sure that Comcast scheduled a high-speed cable connection before our move date. Then moving our phones and phone number to the new house was very, very simple. Unplug the Vonage modem from the network in our old house and plug it in at the new house. Voila! We had phone service with our old number at the new house.

I tried Lingo voip briefly but found that their SIP protocol did not work well with the router on my home network. Their incoming signal could not get thru unless I established a DMZ to get the Lingo box outside our router's firewall.

Now I am in the process of moving to Sun Rocket features at a lower price and it has a couple of additional benefits. First, the price is only $199/year; that includes all of the US and Canada like voip. Sun Rocket provides most of the Vonage features, but it also has an international allowance of $3/month at their discounted international rates. That can be up to 100 minutes each month to call anywhere.

Then Sun Rocket has "Anywhere Numbers" that can make up some of the six numbers ringing on your home phone. Added numbers are an additional $3/month. I am using one to replace a land-line phone in Montana that we have used for over 30 years. Our Montana phone number will ring on our Sun Rocket phone--wherever it is--and we can disconnect Qwest and their high monthly charges once more.

So, add it all up:
  1. Go from $24.95/month (plus taxes and fees) on Vonage to $199/year (taxes and fees are included) on Sun Rocket.
  2. Go from $35/month for a land line on Qwest in Montana to $3/month on Sun Rocket.
  3. Call my sister in China at $.03/minute using $3/month allowance = 100 minutes FREE.
  4. Special sign-up bonus for me of 15 months for the price of one year.
  5. Special sign-up bonus for the friend who referred me of $25.
Just compare these benefits of Sun Rocket against the advertisements for alternative VOIP that fill your mail, newspapers and TV.

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