VoIP Advisor Discussions

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Comments From Page: https://www.whichvoip.com/articles/faq.htm

#134 : Posted by Fred Coad on December 17th, 2020:

I'm wondering if VOIP numbers support "line pools". So when the main number is busy it automatically directs the caller to the next number. I would like to switch my Church to VOIP but they need this feature.

-> Response: VoIP is actually a bit better than that. With VoIP there is no rollover to the next number, it can handle multiple calls all to the same phone number. That is the advantage of the Internet for calls as opposed to a circuit switched landline.
Let's say you had 3 phones, when someone calls your main number at the church it will ring all 3 phones. When another person calls in to the main number it will try and call all 3 phones again. If one is already on a call, the other 2 will ring. You can also have call waiting enabled in which case the second call will also appear on the busy phone (they will see the display flash indicating another inbound call). So in actual fact, no rollover to a new number is needed. Likewise for outbound, just pick up the phone and call out, it will always go out as your main number, never a different number.
The old school way of rollover was needed because each call needed its own line so if someone was on the main line that was it in use and nobody else could use it. That limitation does not exist with VoIP.


#133 : Posted by Leonard Krochmalnek on October 6th, 2020:

How of my internet usage limit will a single VOIP call typically use (Mb/min of calling)?

-> Response: Worst case, around 100Kbits/second so around 6Mbits/minute. Note this is Bits not Bytes. If your usage is in bytes divide by 8 so less than 1Mbyte/minute.


#132 : Posted by Royce Larson on May 31st, 2020:

Are any of the systems able to help the hearing impaired?

-> Response: You could look at CaptionCall. Just check with them to ensure they support VoIP now.


#131 : Posted by Freddy on April 15th, 2020:

I am using OOMA hub for my phone presently connected to the cable modem. Comcast 1-year promo include Voice in order to pay less. I wanted to use it since I'm paying for it. How do I connect them since there is only one phone port on the modem?

-> Response: Normally the Ooma hub connects to the modem via an Ethernet cable rather than a phone port. The phone then connects to the Ooma hub. The Comcast modems have a phone port and an Ethernet port - you would connect the phone to the phone port.


#130 : Posted by James Terrell on March 16th, 2020:

I am needing a landline for home office use. Should I use a business provider or is residential provider.

-> Response: If you are part of a larger business that has phone service at work I would get a phone from them and use it at home. If it is just for yourself at home (i.e. small business) I would use a residential service as it is lower cost and they normally have no issue with this.


#129 : Posted by Victor Micallef on August 6th, 2019:

We make most of our calls to Malta and I didn't see Malta in your list of countries, also if it were included in the list, will there be a time frame of how long you can talk to your party in Malta?

-> Response: It really depends on the provider as to whether they include Malta and if so how many minutes. For example Voiply has free unlimited calls to Malta.


#128 : Posted by Abul Hasan on January 18th, 2019:

If I set up an Obihai with Google voice and then take the Obihai outside the USA to say India, can I still make phone calls to USA and Canada?

-> Response: Yes, so long as you have a good Internet connection in India that should work fine.


#127 : Posted by James Welch on September 28th, 2018:

We have new art digital landline service and a captioncall hearing phone. Worked fine with analog phone service but now digital service will not work with caption call. All say that it can be done but caption call and art not being helpful. Any ideas?

-> Response: Are you connecting the Caption Call phone to the Internet using the Ethernet cable? It should work unless your router is blocking the communication from the Caption Call to their agents, which would be my bet.


#126 : Posted by Morris Woods on May 28th, 2018:

I have checked out detail on the 3 top providers. My question is about connecting to Google Fiber. I do not see any ports on the router. I have contract with Google Fiber that gives me 7 years for free. It runs my windows 10 computer and my Roku streaming stick quite well. Google Fiber no longer offers 5 kb but will honor our contract. Any suggestions appreciated.

-> Response: So are you using WiFi for the PC and Roku? Are there no Ethernet ports at all on the back of the router? That would be very unusual, what is the make and model? If there is even just one you could add a switch to get more Ethernet ports.


#125 : Posted by Bob on April 20th, 2018:

I'm a snowbird can I move my phone between 2 states and keep the same number.

-> Response: Yes indeed you can, that is one of the many advantages of VoIP, it is portable.


#124 : Posted by Errol Menke on April 18th, 2018:

How can I block incoming calls I don't want.

-> Response: You can use call block. Which phone provider do you use as I may be able to help point you in the right direction as it varies for each one.


#123 : Posted by Jay Pitzer on February 8th, 2018:

We have to have a land line in order to have cost efficient internet service since we don't have cable access or cost efficient satellite available. Will VoIP be possible for us?

-> Response: Presumably your Internet is DSL, hence the reason you need to use your landline (i.e. Internet goes over your landline). Naked DSL is when you use the landline for Internet but not the actual landline phone service and then you can use VoIP instead. It is very common but worth checking with your DSL provider to make sure no surprises (i.e. hidden charges).


#122 : Posted by Jeff on February 7th, 2018:

Thinking about changing voip home service companies. The quality of the one I have is OK, but I get 8 or more spam calls every single day since joining them. Have emailed them about this but got no response. Which voip providers offer some kind of help with this.

-> Response: Which provider are you using currently? The reason I ask is you should be able to log onto their online portal and enter numbers to block from calling.
Nearly all VoIP providers support Call Blocking.


#121 : Posted by Vish on December 31st, 2017:

Is it possible to use multiple phone number for 2 countries, one at residence country and the other with different country code for receiving calls only.

-> Response: Yes you can route multiple phone numbers to any VoIP device anywhere in the world.


#120 : Posted by Peggy Zappen on December 22nd, 2017:

I have a large phone and 4 smaller phones and an answering machine. Will I still be able to use these or will I only have phone service on my computer?

-> Response: You will not need to use your computer for this.
Are any of the phones cordless?
If you disconnected the phone line at your house (providing you are not using DSL for Internet) you could use existing wiring and all phones. Otherwise the best option tends to be a cordless phone set to expand your system and the cordless base plugs into the VoIP adapter that the provider sends to you.
The provider will offer voicemail so you will not need your answering machine.


#119 : Posted by Nick Neamtu on December 21st, 2017:

When the phone connection is provided by voip do I need to have the computer turned on at all times to receive and send phone conversation?

-> Response: No your computer does not need to be on. The VoIP system connects to your Internet in a similar manner to the way your PC does (Ethernet cable normally). It is a separate connection.


#118 : Posted by Mike Mcgirr on November 23rd, 2017:

In switching to Voip, since I am a snowbird, could I use the Voip system that I install in Michigan and disconnect it and then re-establish in Florida, and use the same phone number that I have in Michigan?

-> Response: Indeed you can so long as you have Internet at both locations. Many snowbirds do this and you can even get an additional phone number (called a virtual number) for Florida if you wish.


#117 : Posted by Donna Campbell on October 9th, 2017:

I have a land line in the 713 (Houston, TX) area code. I have moved to a suburb north of Houston with a 281 area code. I want to keep the phone number I have used for 30 years. Can I transfer my land line to Voip and then set it up at the apartment?

-> Response: Yes there should be no issue doing this and keeping your number. Just make sure you check with your new VoIP provider first but most of the time the number can be ported successfully, there are a few corner cases but they are rare.
You could even get a 281 number too so people can also call you on that number (i.e. both numbers reach your phone).


#116 : Posted by Lynnette C Walcheski on September 20th, 2017:

I am switching from satellite internet to broadband and I have a landline phone which is currently costing us an average of $50 per month. Can I switch to VOIP phone service?

-> Response: Yes you should be able to save a lot of money each month.
What I would recommend is you run our VoIP test once you have your new broadband connection up and running just to verify that VoIP will work well over your new internet connection. VoIP does not do well over satellite internet by the way.


#115 : Posted by Jim on September 15th, 2017:

We plan to have internet at our second home. Do we need to have a phone number there? This is a seasonal (winter) home. Are there say 3 best plans for 2 homes to choose from? If you leave one area to go to the other, do you retain the local numbers upon return?

-> Response: Actually you could bring the VoIP adapter (and phone) with you when you go to your second home, that's what I would recommend as it is the most cost effective.
Regarding phone numbers you could actually add a virtual number. For example let's say you were based in Seattle and have a winter home in Palm Springs. You could have a main number that is a Seattle number and also buy a low cost number for Palm Springs for incoming calls. So then people in Seattle and people in Palm Springs can call you using either number and each gets routed to wherever your adapter and phone are.
The adapter (called an ATA - Analog Telephone Adapter) is a small device that converts an analog phone to a digital stream that goes over the Internet. VoIP providers sell them for around $20 typically.


#114 : Posted by J. R. on August 14th, 2017:

Does this work with fiber optic internet service? I'm moving from West Virginia to Florida in about 9 months. Can VoIP move with me?

-> Response: VoIP does work over Fiber Optic Internet services (FiOS), in fact any high speed Internet service (DSL, Cable, FiOS etc.) will work and yes VoIP can move with you.


#113 : Posted by Marianne Hunt on August 11th, 2017:

How does this connect to the internet? Is it easy to do or does someone have to come out to install this service and explain to me how to use it?

-> Response: Normally by connecting an Ethernet cable (usually supplied with the VoIP ATA box or IP phone) to your Internet modem. It's very straightforward providing your Internet modem is nearby.


#112 : Posted by Ellen Williams on August 8th, 2017:

How may extensions can you have in a home and what does it hook up to?

-> Response: Most people use cordless phones as a way to get more handsets scattered around the house. The base connects to a VoIP ATA box that the provider sends you, which also connects to your Internet.


#111 : Posted by Harley Bennet on August 1st, 2017:

We have Dish satellite service with no router; we have one (1) telephone number that connects to four(4) different telephones two ( 2) of which are wireless. We also have caller ID display on our television, which is a hard wire connection.
Will this system work?

-> Response: VoIP does not work too well over satellite Internet due to the latencies involved.
I would recommend running our VoIP test on our satellite page first as it will give you some indication as to whether this has a chance of working.


#110 : Posted by Peter Dominguez on July 27th, 2017:

My land line is used for Fax only. Can this device allow to be used for both regular phone and Fax? Will there be privacy in this device transmission? Since our on line service is not that safe for fear of hackers by third parties is their a big problem?

-> Response: Yes most providers support fax detect so you can do audio and fax over the internet and through the adapter. Alternatively try Internet fax and remove the need for a fax machine altogether.
Most providers encrypt the phone service so it is very secure.


#109 : Posted by Anthony on July 27th, 2017:

Currently using Hughes. The voice quality is OK, could be better, but the bigger problem is the delay between caller and receiver. Does your system also have the delay?

-> Response: The delay is due to the latency communicating with the satellites. Unfortunately, this will always be present when your Internet service is satellite, regardless of the VoIP company you choose.


#108 : Posted by Barrett Short on July 16th, 2017:

I have had a Magic Jack plus for several years. Recently I have had people tell me that there is a lot of static or echo occurring. How do I fix that?

-> Response: It may be your Internet connection. See our VoIP Troubleshooting guide.


#107 : Posted by Bob Keller on July 16th, 2017:

We currently have a Connecticut phone number - plan to purchase home in South Carolina within 2 years. Can our CT number move with us to SC? Also, who do you feel has the best VOIP service overall - not focusing on cost - focusing on QOS and features.

-> Response: Yes you should have no issue moving the number (99% of the time it is fine to port the number to VoIP, exception is a few rare rural areas). You could also add a virtual number that is local to your area code in SC and then have 2 numbers i.e. local calling for friends/family in the NorthEast and one for those in SC.
To be honest, if your Internet is good, the chances are high that your VoIP service will be good regardless of the provider. We have a voip test that may be worth running in SC as then you can evaluate how good your Internet is before picking a provider. We have used most of the providers and seldom had issues but then again we have great Internet (FiOS).


#106 : Posted by Martha Dick on July 11th, 2017:

I will be moving to Panama in a few months. Can I purchase VoIP in the States and use it there?

-> Response: There should be no issues with this so long as the Internet service is good in Panama. Just be aware that if you are looking to call numbers in Panama you will need a calling plan that covers this. If it is just for friends and family in the U.S then it should be fine.


#105 : Posted by William Teel on July 6th, 2017:

I have AT&T (no long distance) at $37.50/month. I have a speech problem, I DO NOT CALL OUT. I only received calls from the nurse for appointment, and my daughter once in a will, and my sister 2 times a year. what is the lowest price I can get with local and long distance.

-> Response: That is an expensive plan to have based on your calling needs, in all honesty.
Do you have Internet service at your home? I ask because this is a hard requirement for VoIP. If not I may have some other ideas that can save you money.
If you do have Internet then there are some providers that have receive only plans (i.e. incoming) starting at around $2 per month and then 1.5c/min for your incoming calls. This would likely save you a lot of money.


#104 : Posted by Lois W on May 16th, 2017:

When calling 911 in the event of an emergency, can the Police and Fire Departmen locate where the call is coming from?

-> Response: Yes they can, providing you keep your address up to date in your service provider's secure portal. We have an article on E911 that may be of interest.


#103 : Posted by John L Panos on December 5th, 2016:

Is there any way to enable a VoIP telephone line to transmit an analog signal?

-> Response: Are you trying to use an analog phone? An Analog Telephone Adapter's (ATA) job is to convert the analog world (e.g. analog phones) to the VoIP world (Internet traffic) and vice versa.


#102 : Posted by Robert on August 27th, 2016:

I have a small business with offices in Florida, New York and California. Can we have service and work as one office with extensions in separate states and one central number? Also we would like to bounce the calls to our cell phones when we are out of the office.

-> Response: This is a very standard scenario for a hosted VoIP service so there should be no issues Robert.


#101 : Posted by Ralph Buschner on August 9th, 2016:

Security issues around using Voip. Are any of the providers PIPEDA or HIPAA compliant?

-> Response: As you probably know there are many parts to HIPAA compliance and the key areas seem to be the delivery of voicemail and fax and also call recordings (and who has access to each). Most providers also offer voicemail to email which can compound the issue at hand even more, though this can be turned off typically.
Another issue is security at the servers where voicemails, fax and recordings are stored. This can be a problem for hosted services since they are often in large data centers that are often not owned by the provider.
The only provider that I am aware of that is HIPAA compliant is 8x8.


#100 : Posted by Sal on March 27th, 2016:

My land line is used only for a fax machine used once a month. What is the recommended solution for this?

-> Response: I would consider an Internet fax service as it should save you maintaining the fax machine going forward (i.e. paper, ink etc) and you can then remove the expensive landline.


#99 : Posted by Mark Schroeder on March 26th, 2016:

Can I use Voip if I don't have a land line and I just want to use it with my computer and cell phone?

-> Response: Yes you can, so long as you have a good Internet connection (or data connection through cellular or WiFi if using an App on your smart phone).


#98 : Posted by Shari Miller on January 2nd, 2016:

I have Charter Communications. They keep raising my rates. Going up to $153 a month for internet, phone (this is an internet phone) and tv. I am considering turning it all off and just keeping the internet, which will cost me $59.99 a month (bad enough) but afraid if I do that, I not only won't be able to watch my favorite shows, but have to give up my land line, which I'm not sure I'm ready to do.

-> Response: If you keep the Internet service and port over your existing number to a VoIP provider (do this before ending your phone service with Charter or you risk losing your number) this will likely save a lot of money.
As for TV, get an HD antenna and connect it to your TV so you can at least get all the local channels still. Alternatively stream the local programs you like over the Internet.
This will likely get you down to under $85/month.


#97 : Posted by Susan Stepputtis on November 17th, 2015:

If I am using VoIP, can I call someone who is not connected to the internet and had a regular analog, landline phone!

-> Response: You can call anyone, whether they are using a cell phone, a VoIP line or a regular landline.


#96 : Posted by Edward on November 12th, 2015:

I have a Captioncall phone, supplied by Captioncall, will it it work with Ooma?
Received two answers. Caption call states it will work just fine. I called Ooma and the CS rep stated no it would not work.

-> Response: We have not actually used Captioncall but it seems to me it should work.
After all, Ooma connects to any regular phone so will connect to Captioncall and the Captioning is done via an Internet connection. Now the other end of Ooma is the Internet but so long as you have a decent Internet connection, in my opinion it should work (since both Ooma and Captioncall are using the Internet).
If you know anybody that has an Ooma I'd say try it out first (or any other VoIP service for that matter). If you can get Ooma from Costco and it doesn't work Costco may let you return the Ooma device.
Please let us know how it goes.

-> UPDATE: Ooma responded to Edward and stated that the Ooma phone service would indeed work with Captioncall.


#95 : Posted by Ul on November 3rd, 2015:

Providers often show hard-wired diagrams between router, adapter and phone.
Have seen only Ooma VOIP system that do wireless connection between adapter and phone.
Are there other VOIP vendors that offer wireless connection?

-> Response: Are you looking for Wireless between the adapter and phone or adapter and router or both?
Obihai may be an adapter to look at that could enable you to work with any voip provider. It has plug-ins for bluetooth (to phone) and wifi (to router).


#94 : Posted by Donald E Saunders on September 28th, 2015:

What happens if I change internet provider.

-> Response: This should not have any impact on your VoIP service - providing the new ISP also has a decent quality connection. Likely worth running our VoIP test to see the quality before and after.


#93 : Posted by Don on July 2nd, 2015:

Are ISPs (Comcast, AT&T, etc.) required to allow individuals to set up an VOIP system without permission or charging a fee for the telephone capability?

-> Response: No permission should be necessary, you are simply sending your VoIP calls over their Internet, so it is just data whether it be internet browsing or VoIP calls. Some ISPs used to play games by disallowing certain ports (such as 5060) to prevent VoIP but that is in the dim and distant past thankfully.


#92 : Posted by Thomas Hay on May 25th, 2015:

It is never discussed as to which services support modems such as fax. I have a Medtronic Carelink device which uses old modem technology. It used to work with magic jack, but does not seem to any more. I need the lowest cost service that will support fax. (I only use this about 2 times a month so hate to spend dollars if I can help it.

-> Response: Fax can be a problem for VoIP because of the loose timing specs for this technology. We actually created an article on fax over VoIP which may help your understanding, if you are interested.
If you must use an actual fax machine as opposed to an efax type service, you need an ATA that can support the T.38 protocol. Other things to try, disable error correction and reduce the baud rate to as low as possible.


#91 : Posted by Kathy on March 27th, 2015:

If I move to VoIP can I use multiple phones in my house and do I have to use the providers voicemail or can I use my own answering machine.

-> Response: The easiest way to do additional phones in the home is to use a cordless phone. Just connect the cordless main base to the ATA that the VoIP provider sends you.
Yes your answer machine can answer it if you wish, just set it to answer before the VoIP provider answer machine kicks in (i.e. based on number of rings).
However, you may want to consider using the VoIP answering service as it is quite handy. For example just press a button on your phone to get the voicemail and the voicemail to email feature is great. I can listen to my voicemails on the road (on an iphone, ipad, laptop etc) without having to dial-in to get it. It comes over as an email attachment.


#90 : Posted by Dave M. on February 28th, 2015:

I have a landline in a rural area serviced by Frontier. Every voip provider that I have checked with has said they can't port my current number to their service because they don't have a 3rd party carrier in place to do it. Frontier has said everything is ready on their end to port the number. It seems that all of the voip providers are refusing to comply with the law on LNP. Does a complaint to the FCC do any good?

-> Response: Take a look at our Porting page which highlights the process and lists some tools to check for portability. It also lists some useful resources to contact should you wish to file a complaint.


#89 : Posted by Ja Ti on February 22nd, 2015:

VOIP is great for routine calls, but for natural disasters such as flood, hurricane, blizzards VOIP requires a number of services to work properly in order for the user to make or receive calls. In other words if ANY of these are present you will not be able to make or receive calls.
1) Internet Outage, disruption, or congested anywhere between the user and their VOIP provider - think natural disaster.
2) User has no power in their home - can't power voip equipment or cable/dsl equipment. Also for extended power interruptions the ISP may not have sufficient reserves to maintain internet service if their offices are without power or if the VOIP provider is without power.
For business that means having at least 1 or 2 POTS lines with the VOIP programmed to roll to the POTS lines if the VOIP lines go unanswered (as a fallback service).
Bottom line, VOIP is great for reducing costs for routine calls, but always have a backup for the natural disaster situation.

-> Response: Good points. Most people tend to use cell service as a backup. On the power side, you can buy a cheap Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to power your modems and ATAs.


#88 : Posted by Roberto Da Silva on February 11th, 2015:

Does VoIP also work for a TDD, or Telephone Device for the Deaf? Can I plug-in and use a TDD instead of a regular phone?
TDDs are text-based tele-typewriters that use ANSCII code, not analogue voice/sound. It allows the Deaf to communicate over landlines.

-> Response: This is a great question though unfortunately it does not have a definitive answer.
I found this article from Cisco regarding TDD and IP telephony.
It is encouraging but this is for enterprise level IP communications. I state this because consumer grade Internet service does not have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) so tends to be inconsistent when it comes to packet loss, jitter, latency and the likes. All of this can cause havoc with a system such as TDD.
First I would run our VoIP test to see how good your Internet connection is.
Next I would try a VoIP provider but one that has a 30 day cancellation policy. Also, test them with a new telephone number, do not port an existing phone number over until you know the system is bullet proof.
Lastly, you want to make sure that the VoIP provider has the option to use a CODEC with minimal compression so you do not lose tones from the TDD.
Hope this helps and please let me know how you get on. I will add any feedback you provide to our website to help other visitors that are hard of hearing or deaf.


#87 : Posted by Christiane Hodister on January 24th, 2015:

My husband is a long haul truck driver, most of the time he is in the US. Can I call him on his Canadian cell in the US at no charge? Can he call me at home in Canada at no charge? Does he need to have Internet service in order to call me? Will he get charged for roaming by Telus, his provider? Thanks, Chris.

-> Response: Some good questions here Chris. Lets start by stating that to use any type of VoIP service your husband and you will both need some form of high speed Internet access. If your husband has a smartphone with a data package then that will work. If you have a home broadband Internet service or you have a smartphone with a data package you are good also. Assuming the above then there are a few options.
1) Get a "VoIP home phone service". Many providers, like Phone Power, include a free cell phone app that you can use that links to your home phone service. That means you get a home phone service with unlimited calling in US/CAN, plus use of the app on your cell phones (that uses your data package). More info on Canada home providers can be found here: https://www.whichvoip.com/canada.htm
2) You can use a call phone app like Rebtel, Skype, Viber etc. See more info here: https://www.whichvoip.com/articles/mobile-voip.htm


#86 : Posted by Douglas Prager on January 4th, 2015:

I live in Hawaii and have found only one VOIP service provider outside of the state (BroadVoice) that offers local (808) phone numbers. Can you direct me to any others?

-> Response: Good question. This doesn't come up often but the 808 area code is indeed a problem.
I did find one option, after doing some searches, Ooma.
I found in their FAQ the following info:
"Due to the high cost of Hawaii phone numbers, the 808 area code carries a surcharge of $29.99/year per number. This fee is waived for one 808 phone number if you subscribe to Ooma Premier."


#85 : Posted by Gary Johnson on January 1st, 2015:

I have cell phone service that has a marginal signal level at our house. I would like to use our Android cell phones to connect to the Internet via our LAN and make VoIP calls. This would require an app on the cell phones and it would use the phone's functions. Also my Contacts on the phone would be available to make calls.

-> Response: Here is our Mobile VoIP section: https://www.whichvoip.com/mobile-voip.htm The mobile VoIP providers allow you to download an app and do what you require. Simply add credit to your account and start making calls on your cell phone.
However, another option depending on your cell provider and the phone you are using is to turn on WiFi calling. I recently did this with my cell provider (T-mobile) and turned it on for the iphone5S. There should be something similar for Android devices. Basically when I am at home my cell coverage is bad but now it all goes through my WiFi and works great.


#84 : Posted by Paul Welsh on December 21st, 2014:

When I advise my current copper line provider (Bell) that I am cancelling their phone service, how do I know that my number is still assigned to me? What should I do first - sign up with a VOIP provider or cancel Bell?

-> Response: Definitely keep Bell until you've moved to VoIP. Here is an article on local number porting that should help you.
You should try VoIP first (i.e. go for a provider with a 30 day money back guarantee) so you can cancel it if you don't like it. In other words start by getting a new number with a new VoIP service and then transfer your old number only if you are happy with VoIP.


#83 : Posted by Mike on November 6th, 2014:

I just want to know if I can get a voip service that will work with satellite internet service ( we have no other option here ! ). We currently have Hughesnet but last I checked they were really not compatible with voip phone service. Some feedback that I read indicated that other satellite IP providers were more compatible, but did not indicate who these providers might be. I am certainly not married to Hughesnet and would switch if voip would work with someone else.

-> Response: It's a really gray area to be honest. Here is an article on satellite and VoIP we wrote and it may help.


#82 : Posted by Virginia Reyes on November 4th, 2014:

I have been using voip since last year and I feel satisfied using it. But now, when i use it, the other party cannot understand me because the communication is static, distorted or choppy. I've tried other numbers in the Philippines but I really get bad communication. What could be the problem?

-> Response: There can be a number of reasons for this and here is an article that may help. Troubleshooting help.


#81 : Posted by Sam Wrightr on October 17th, 2014:

As I read your requirements I think that a separate router is required in order to use computer and the telephone at the same time. If so, what is the model and manufacturer of a recommended router and/or anything else which may be required?

-> Response: It really depends on how many ports your modem has and your VoIP ATA. This voip setup article is quite long but highlights the (many) different ways to setup your network.
Any router should work. I usea netgear WNR1000v3 (as an example). WiFi plus hardwired connections. My FiOS modem has a built-in WiFi but I disable it and feed everything through my ATA and Netgear router and use its WiFi. We have covered a lot of scenarios in this article above but don't be put off, most setups work fine for VoIP, it often depends how good your Internet is. Run this test to get a feel for this.


#80 : Posted by Chris on October 1st, 2014:

I need to PERMANENTLY DISABLE "Call waiting" for Incoming Calls, not just Outgoing. Anyone know which of the VoIP providers facilitate that? Thanks

-> Response: Good question. This can normally be done but involves updating the configurations in your ATA (the VoIP adapter). Normally you would want a support person to do this for you so I would enter a support ticket to your provider. Most providers will do this, I know Phonepower and VoIPo can, for example.


#79 : Posted by Matt on September 23rd, 2014:

I have a phone jack in three different spots in my house. When I connect the main phone to the ATA and router am I able to plug the other two phones in the phone jacks for use?

-> Response: Hopefully this article on using multiple phones with VoIP will help answer this. Specifically bullet number 4 should help if you want to use phone jacks in your house.


#78 : Posted by Betty Harris on August 9th, 2014:

Would like to know if I should let my Magic Jack expire first and then port my number to OOMA or port before my expiration date. OOMA says may take 3-4 weeks to port over.

-> Response: Definitely do the port before MJ expires as otherwise you may have problems.


#77 : Posted by Maryann Deem on July 31st, 2014:

Can I convert my existing telephone numbers from Verizon to Voip?

-> Response: According to FCC rules you should be able to if still within the same geographical area code. Here is the FCC guide.


#76 : Posted by Bob on July 31st, 2014:

Can my cable internet service provider (ISP) block me from using their connection for voip service? If so how can I find out which providers will allow it or which voip providers have defeated internet providers from blocking independent voip connection?

-> Response: Good question - which ISP provider do you currently use for Internet? I have not come across this for a long time, the last one was Clearwire (wireless) but the more mainstream ISPs do not perform this tactic.
It is also worth noting that sometimes when this occurs, it is not a block by the ISP directly but more an issue with the modem/router setup where the ports are not open for the SIP protocol that carries the VoIP calls. May be worth asking your Internet provider about this.


#75 : Posted by Phyllis on July 24th, 2014:

Does ADT security work with something like net talk?

-> Response: I think this article on VoIP and security systems should help you as it is not an easy answer, unfortunately.


#74 : Posted by Nicole A on June 22nd, 2014:

I am curious about receiving collect calls. If I sign for a home VoIP line can I recieve collect calls to this service? Also how about collect calls from jails? If so do I still pay long distance if I have unlimited long distance?

-> Response: VoIP plans tend to be unlimited minutes within USA/CAN so collect calls don't really apply anymore.
A virtual number may work here. It is usually low cost and allows you to have a local number anywhere so the person calling you would be a free local call. Might be a good path for you to take. All the USA VoIP providers support virtual numbers.


#73 : Posted by Roberta Barton on June 21st, 2014:

I'm thinking of having my tv disconnected from cable and have only the wi fi and a phone that will work from my computer. Is this possible? I have only 1-3 calls a day and not many out as I have a severe hearing loss.

-> Response: The only issue with this is that you would need to leave your computer on all of the time in order to receive calls.
Personally I would take the computer out of the picture here and just have a pay as you go type service if your call volume is that small.
For example Callcentric has pay as you go options that are very low cost. They will send you a small box (called an ATA) and then just plug in a regular telephone in to the box.
I would take this approach as then you can buy a phone and inductive loop which may help with the hearing part of this.


#72 : Posted by Angelo Ruiz on June 20th, 2014:

Thinking about upgrading my router. It only has 1 Ethernet connection for my computer. Do I need a separate modem?

-> Response: It depends what you are looking to do with your network down the road. If you are just adding some more Internet connections perhaps a basic Ethernet switch will suffice. If you are moving to VoIP it may be good to have more ports so you can easily perform Quality of Service (QoS). This article may help your understanding on the VoIP setup side along with QoS.


#71 : Posted by Sandra Kay on June 18th, 2014:

I am getting multiple calls from the same number, how do I block their number?

-> Response: Assuming you have a VoIP service you should be able to log in to your secure portal for your provider and add a number to your block list.


#70 : Posted by Sherry on May 31st, 2014:

Have there been any issues with VoIP usage if you live in a very rural area?

-> Response: The only issues we see for rural areas are related to problems porting (transferring) phone numbers to a VoIP provider from a landline (normally this issue is more prevalent in Canadian rural areas).
The other issue can be your Internet connection. Often people in rural areas rely on satellite for Internet connectivity and this can be hit or miss with VoIP due to the delays getting to the satellite. A good Internet connection is a hard requirement.


#69 : Posted by Debbie on May 28th, 2014:

Do any of the voip carriers offer internet service?

-> Response: Typically they do not offer internet service at all and instead assume you already have a good Internet connection.


#68 : Posted by George Zahn on May 15th, 2014:

Does VOIP replace the PBX equipment? Can the existing phones be used if you switch to VOIP? In general how is VOIP priced?

-> Response: My assumption is that you have a legacy (Analog) PBX right now in your office and presumably landline phone service.
Your options really depend on how many phone lines you have. If around 100 or less a hosted VoIP service (also called Virtual PBX) would work well assuming you have a decent Internet connection. Here your PBX can be removed completely. You can then use IP phones (digital) or use Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs) to connect to existing analog phones, though IP phones tend to be better. The price is usually per line but tends to be a flat rate for unlimited minutes. If you have more than 100 lines you may be better either moving to an IP PBX (digital PBX) or buy a gateway and use SIP trunks to connect to your existing PBX so your calls go over the Internet rather than to the PSTN directly. The benefit here is that internal calls are routed internally rather than always going to the cloud to be routed, among other things. Use our business VoIP tab at the top of this page to learn more.


#67 : Posted by Jeffrey Burt on May 10th, 2014:

What happens to the service if the power and cable goes out in a storm?

-> Response: Yes you would lose your phone service under those scenarios. However you could buy a small UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) from somewhere like Amazon to get rid of the power problem. Also if you have a cell service it is often a good backup for those rare scenarios.


#66 : Posted by Ravenhair on March 21st, 2014:

My laptop connects to the internet using a NETZERO STICK which plugs to my laptop USB port. There's no other modem/router involved. Can I use the standard VoIP adapter (eg Grandstream Handytone 701 or Linksys Cisco SPA2102 with router) by connecting an analog phone to the adapter and then the adapter ethernet cable to the ethernet port located ON MY LAPTOP (not on the USB Netzero Stick) to make a phone call? Can it work that way?

-> Response: I don't believe that will work because the Ethernet port on laptops are just standard MAC/PHY usually, not a full router/switch.
However you could try a soft-phone such as Skype and test to see if the Internet connection is good enough (I think it uses 4G so it could be), using the speakers and MIC on the laptop. Have you tried that?


#65 : Posted by Bjorn Solberg on March 5th, 2014:

My ISP is AT&T. If I drop the landline service, what happens to my DSL service?

-> Response: Normally you can run naked DSL (as it is referred to) - this is DSL without the phone service. Check with AT&T to be sure. Assuming you can do this then you can sign up for any VoIP service.


#64 : Posted by Raj on March 3rd, 2014:

Regarding the $6.25/month service, is caller id , call forwarding included or not? How do you compare to AT&T?

-> Response: Yes pretty much all VoIP providers include caller ID and call forwarding free of charge. They also usually have 30 or 40 other useful features that you will not get from AT&T e.g. voicemail to email. The quality of the call is similar to AT&T.
The only potential downside is if you have a power-out. VoIP uses the Internet to make calls which is why it is so low cost. However if the Internet is down e.g. due to a power outage then you cannot make any calls or receive calls. During an emergency this could be a problem if you do not have a back-up service such as a cell phone. Another way of getting around this is to use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to power the VoIP adaptor and Internet modem. A UPS can be purchased for less than $50. Most people are happy to rely on a back-up cell phone for power outages.


#63 : Posted by Dan W on February 5th, 2014:

I have both copper lines (for my residential number) and Fiber (for my home business phone number and business fax number). Is there a way to put the three numbers under one VOIP service?

-> Response: Dan our VoIP over Frontier Fiber article may help here. There should be no issue doing this as Fiber tends to provide very high quality Internet service and high throughputs which is perfect for VoIP. You can use one provider for residential and business service or split the business out and use a different provider.


#62 : Posted by Roy on January 30th, 2014:

I have a voip service now. If I sign up for another service can't I just unplug the old box and plug in the new one without porting the number?

-> Response: Unfortunately no, you cannot do that. The phone number is tied to the MAC address of the box so that is essentially what happens when you port the number, the new provider now has your number and it corresponds to the MAC address of their box. So when a call is made (or received) the provider knows where to route it to on the Internet.
However, if both the providers have performed compatibility tests on the model for the box that you have you may be able to keep the hardware (referred to as Bring Your Own Device or BYOD). A new configuration script must be used on the box though so it tries to connect to your new provider.
One final note, make sure you keep your current provider active until the port has been completed.


#61 : Posted by Bobel on January 30th, 2014:

Currently, I am using Phone Power, Teleblend (used to be SunRocket), InTalk and all three are excellent and have had them for 3+ yrs. Just this month (January 2014) I started Basic Talk (owned by Vonage I believe) for a trial run of a year. So far, it is very basic, but good connection, no static, clear calls in and out, and the online account manager is very good. I had ITP for a year, it is very good too, but expensive.


#60 : Posted by Judy on January 25th, 2014:

Which voip home phone providers work well with WIFI internet service?

-> Response: Should not be an issue for any of the providers. Satellite often is a problem but WiFi should be fine as much less latency.
Two things to be aware of:
1. Try it out using our VoIP test.
2. Providers usually have a 30 day money back guarantee so kick the tires. Just make sure you order a new number rather than porting your existing number over. This will reduce any hassle if you need to cancel. Can port your old number over later.


#59 : Posted by Tom on January 23rd, 2014:

How do I use my VOIP phone to check voicemail or when calling a company and asked to hit a # or a series of #'s to get to the right person?

-> Response: When I check for voicemail with my provider I just dial *21 (on speed dial now) to access voicemail from my own phone. This assumes I have already setup my voicemail. It then asks for a PIN. This may vary for each provider though.
When accessing from a different phone (e.g. if I am out of town) I can dial my own number and then press the * (star key) when I hear my greeting. Usually I set up voicemail to email though as I find that is the easiest way to check my voicemails.
If you are having issues with # and * type keys when calling companies it may be an issue with your setup, in particular the Codec being used. Get the provider to change the codec to G.711 or something like that where less compression. Also the provider may be able to change the settings for the VoIP DTMF tones to in-band rather than RFC2833. Some people have had success with this.


#58 : Posted by Debbie on January 8th, 2014:

I currently have a VoIP phone (which I love, especially the cost) and my Internet provider is Cogeco (cable). I am thinking of switching to Bell Fiber for Internet service but am concerned that VoIP will not work with it. Is this true?

-> Response: There should be no issues with this. VoIP just needs a decent Internet connection, it doesn't matter the company or the type of connection. I use fiber at home and VoIP works great.


#57 : Posted by Dave Goodman on January 8th, 2014:

Is it possible to use a cell phone with any of these voip plans?

-> Response: Many providers now have apps for your cell phone so you can take your home service on the road. Phonepower has one as an example.


#56 : Posted by Sonya on January 3rd, 2014:

I am moving in about 3 week about 40 miles from here but I do not have the finance to still pay the 80 dollars for my tv and phone. Any other options? Excuse my English writing I am French.

-> Response: Sonya your English is great! For VoIP you need a decent Internet service so although VoIP is low cost the Internet can be expensive. If you can get low cost Internet then VoIP would be worth it and there are providers that offer some free International minutes so you can call France. Basic TV is normally low cost but alternatively just get an antenna for your TV and use Hulu. Add Netflix if you want more shows. Another option: Get a smartphone if you do not have one already. Low cost no contract options here and LTE 4G internet so it is fast. Add mobile voip apps e.g. Rebtel and make very low cost calls home to France. These options could probably get you down to about $40/month.


#55 : Posted by Liz Smith on December 30th, 2013:

I have a great router and do not want another one. Is the phone service router required?

-> Response: It is not so much a router as a little box that converts analog phones into digital service. It is called an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) and it plugs into your existing router as per the diagrams on this page.


#54 : Posted by Denise on December 30th, 2013:

I am currently using VoIP, with a telco adapter, but also running a wireless network for all my other internet devices. Currently the router, my telco device and my cable modem are all in one location and I constantly get static/popping on my wireless home phones. I am suspecting it is interference with with wireless router, right?

-> Response: Do you get the static noises constantly or do they come and go? Do you get it on all the phones? Also, for your setup, do you have the VoIP adaptor after the modem but before the router? I would recommend looking at our Troubleshooting section at the top of this page and read through it as it tends to fix most issues we see that are call quality related.


#53 : Posted by Pat Moody on November 21st, 2013:

I need to know if I can use all 5 phones in the house that is 4100 sq ft on one story with this system. Also my phones are two line phones. Can I still use them and just use one of the lines?

-> Response: Yes this should be fine Pat. See FAQ16 for a link to our article on this.


#52 : Posted by Darlene on November 13th, 2013:

Can I plug the basic talk VoIP box into my Internet box? Is the internet box considered a router also? Why can I not get service in a area code that is listed on the basic talk web site?

-> Response: Darlene, yes you can usually plug your Basic Talk VoIP ATA into your Internet modem using an Ethernet cable (normally supplied). The Internet modem often has router functionality inside, I would need to know the model to confirm. Regarding service in a specific area code, you may need to talk to them about that as usually this is fine but always are some corner cases.


#51 : Posted by William on November 9th, 2013:

Why is Vonage not listed? Or any of the others like comcast AT&T ?

-> Response: Good question. They used to be but are so much more expensive than the providers you see. On the residential side the majority of our visitors are focused on savings so the providers you see are the most popular. We do have a tool that may help you though if you want to see the other guys. Also our review pages can be found here so you can see reviews for Vonage, AT&T and the likes.


#50 : Posted by Tim Siewert on November 8th, 2013:

What if I do not have a DSL or Cable service at my house? I have a wireless "hotspot" for my internet service and cell phones through Sprint. Can I still get VoIP? I am looking for a less expensive alternative.

-> Response: Tim you do need high speed Internet for VoIP. Your best bet may be to look at mobile VoIP offerings. These are apps for your cell phone that enable you to make low cost calls and uses your cell data plan.


#49 : Posted by Priscilla Corona on November 8th, 2013:

I need to have my voice message send an alert to my pager that I have messages waiting for my response. Can this be done with a VOIP phone system?

-> Response: Great question and one we've never had in all those years! The only real feature for this is voicemail to email and we have never come across a voicemail to pager feature. It is likely that this hasn't come up before because fewer people use pagers these days. A smartphone is likely your best bet as you can set up voicemail to email and then your smartphone can notify you when a new email comes in. Alternatively you could forward your calls to your cell for when you are on the move. This likely does not meet your needs though as the pager part is probably a hard requirement here. Doing some searches there are email to pager type services out there so that could be worth pursuing as you could use voip to get the email notification and the email could go to the email to pager service. Sorry we could not provide more assistance here.


#48 : Posted by Kenneth on November 8th, 2013:

Is charter communications phone service considered Voip i.e same as getting ata and voip service provider

-> Response: That is correct, its ATA tends to be built into the modem it supplies but pretty much all of the larger cable companies are using VoIP, they just don't advertise it this way, often calling it digital phone service and the likes.

-> UPDATE: So the quality should be the same if using the same Internet provider right?

-> RESPONSE: Correct. I have never used Charter so I would recommend trying it out first as the VoIP providers usually give you 30 days money back guarantee. Just order a new phone number initially from the VoIP provider and if happy then transfer your Charter number over to the new VoIP provider later ? that way if you are not happy it saves a LOT of hassle! There are a few ISPs that play games and do not allow third party VoIP service on their network hence the reason to try this first though unlikely to be an issue these days, especially with a big company like Charter. Regarding quality, so long as you have a decent Internet connection you should have great quality and loads more features (e.g. call forward, voicemail to email etc). Best way to test your connection right now is to run our VoIP test. If you want further reading here is on article on switching to VoIP for Frontier FiOS.


#47 : Posted by Rosaire Gingras on November 5th, 2013:

I would like to keep my home phone number in the house and in my motorhome on the road - can I?

-> Response: This is not something that would be easy to do as presumably you would need to rely on cell coverage when you are on the road. One option to consider. Get VoIP for home service and a cheap cell phone service if you do not have one already. Enable call forwarding for your VoIP line so it automatically forwards all of your calls to your cell service when you are on the road.


#46 : Posted by Dennis Coleman on October 24th, 2013:

Is this type of phone service compatible with my home security system? The questions that you have posted on the site addressed my other concern about multiple lines but I saw nothing about security systems that need to notify police in the event of a break in. Thanks.

-> Response: Good question Dennis. We get this question a lot so added our response to FAQ17 above, hopefully the article that this points to will help.


#45 : Posted by John Dobson on October 16th, 2013:

If I purchase a Vonage or Magic Jack setup with a local USA number, can I take it to Scotland, plug it into an internet connection and make calls from Scotland to the USA and from the USA to Scotland using the local number (without incurring any additional charges)?

-> Response: Scotland, why on earth would you want to go there? Kidding (one of the guys here is from Scotland, great place). Yes that should work just fine, of course always worth confirming with the provider when you sign up. Some providers also have an app for Android/iOS devices so potentially you could use that in Scotland and use WiFi for the Internet and then not need to bring any hardware with you. That is the beauty of IP based phone service, location is not important. I say to confirm with them simply because they could use the IP address and determine your location in the UK and then block calls accordingly. This is not something that the providers usually do though. Vonage also has service in the UK so potentially even less likely to have issues with them.


#44 : Posted by Marie on October 12th, 2013:

I have basic talk and it was working fine for a month now my internet keeps cutting out, I have returned my box twice and it it still cutting out. I have to disconnect everything and wait to see if it comes back on, I don't know if it's the phone or I need higher speed on my internet, can you help please.

-> Response: Marie it does sound more like an Internet related issue or your setup perhaps. I recommend you run our VoIP test and look at our troubleshooting and setup pages. Feel free to respond with the results and we will try to get to the bottom of this.


#43 : Posted by Lrm on October 11th, 2013:

Would it be possible to continue to use a fax machine with VOIP since the fax uses the phone line?

-> Response: We actually recently created an article on this very subject. It is possible and there are a few options. Take a look at our article on Fax over IP (FoIP).


#42 : Posted by Paul on September 17th, 2013:

We spend half our time in Costa Rica and Half our time in Canada. We have a internet connection in both places which is fast enough for Voip (5mbps). I have been using Google Voice for free, but I prefer to use a regular telephone and somehow use our wireless CR or CDN phone in conjunctions with VOIP...how could I do that

-> Response: It may be worth taking a look at Obihai, they have hardware solutions for Google Voice.

-> UPDATE: Thanks, this may be the solution I am looking for.


#41 : Posted by Buddy on September 15th, 2013:

How can I make calls an my iPhone on vacation. Over wifi. I have no cell services there but good internet

-> Response: No problem, just choose a mobile VoIP provider such as Rebtel. Phonepower also has a soft phone if you want home phone service and a softphone for your iphone.


#40 : Posted by Nathan on September 14th, 2013:

I have a device from my previous vonage service. It's a Uniden uip- 1869v combination adapter and phone. Do any of the services support these devices if I can unlock it? I was very disappointing to find that vonage no longer supports it after I paid hundreds for the device a few years ago, and refuse to return to them.

-> Response: If you can unlock it I would expect you should be able to get this to work with other providers. Callcentric tend to be a good option for BYOD.


#39 : Posted by Rob on September 13th, 2013:

I have a home security system that's hardwired into my landline. Any idea whether/how I can get it to work with VoIP? I'm probably going to go with AXvoice, if that helps.

-> Response: Rob, it tends to be hit or miss when it comes to home security systems and VoIP. Probably not the answer you want to hear I know. Axvoice states in their T&Cs that they are not compatible with such systems. My recommendation would be to talk to your home security company as often they have a list of VoIP companies that they have tested for compatibility.

-> UPDATE: We get this question a lot so created an article that may help on VoIP and security systems.


#38 : Posted by Dave on September 9th, 2013:

Does anyone offer VOIP service that can be plugged directly into a Verizon FiOS router?

-> Response: Dave, all the providers should work for this configuration. You just take their VoIP ATA and plug it into the FiOS router, although most people have multiple devices in their home so tend to have another router or switch downstream too. I have a similar setup at my home (Frontier FiOS) and I just connect my FiOS router to my ATA box and then my ATA box to my own router which then connects to my home network. We also have a decent page on various VoIP setups that may help.


#37 : Posted by Lan Pham on August 28th, 2013:

I want to use VOIP but there are many ATAs out there( Obihai 202,Duo wifi etc). Could you please tell me which one I should go for? I plan to use CALLCENTRIC service for basic home phone.

-> Response: Good question Lan, there are indeed MANY ATAs out there today. We recently created a phone adapter comparison page that may be worth checking out. I think it will help.


#36 : Posted by Emilotte on August 1st, 2013:

Is a Voip phone portable in that can I take it to the cottage and plug it into my internet router.

-> Response: Yes, that is one of the many benefits of VoIP. Assuming you have a VoIP phone service provider set up you can take your analog phone adaptor (ATA, typically supplied by your service provider) along with a regular analog phone, or you can take an IP phone if you have one. Plug into a high speed internet connection and you will have your phone service. Your phone number is "coded" inside the adaptor/IP phone so you can take your phone number wherever you go. Some providers include a free "softphone" which is a software app that you can download onto a laptop for example. You can then use your laptop to make calls when you are away from home with the addition of a microphone and speakers (or headset). Hope this helps.


#35 : Posted by Rick on July 29th, 2013:

Is there a way for me to put in my zip code on your website, and get a comparison list of only those providers that are available in my zip?

-> Response: We do not currently offer this service and recommend that you visit the provider's website to find out this info. Most providers have quick and easy tools that will show you this. We realize you are looking for a list of providers that support your area but as most providers support the entire United States, it is more than likely that your area is supported.


#34 : Posted by Dee on July 29th, 2013:

I want to dump my Qwest landline phone. Is basic talk any good?

-> Response: BasicTalk is owned by Vonage and is effectively a lower cost service with less features when compared to Vonage. The unlimited calling feature (subject to reasonable usage as per Vonage terms) does not include calls to Canada and there are only a few basic features supported such as caller ID, call waiting and voicemail. The VoIP providers listed in the table above typically include 40+ features for a lower fee, so these providers are definitely worth some consideration. You can also check out our home phone rates tool for a full list of options.


#33 : Posted by Dave Holdener on July 27th, 2013:

Currently have a 2 land line system. Will one VOIP account handle both lines or will I need 2 accounts?

-> Response: One account for as many lines as you need on the business side. For the residential side usually 2 lines can be covered under one account.


#32 : Posted by Abby on July 23rd, 2013:

If we go with hosted VOIP system, do we have to have extension #s or is it possible to have direct lines?

-> Response: You can definitely get direct lines and toll free numbers. Can then add extensions as needed and use auto-attendants and dial by name directory to help direct people if that is of interest. Here is a complete feature comparison for the main providers by the way.


#31 : Posted by Ron on July 22nd, 2013:

It appears that if you want your phone number transferred, it immediately applies a 1 prior to the area code. Does this mean our neighbor must call long distance to call us?

-> Response: This should not be the case as most providers include a feature called 7 digit dialing in addition to 10 digit and 11 digit dialing. Please check with your provider directly as it may be a simple configuration change in your setup.


#30 : Posted by Peter Shepherd on July 21st, 2013:

A friend of mine recently switched from Bell to Talkit, and I've noticed an extreme drop in quality from his calls (he's using a $30 cordless phone) at my end, while he notices little difference on his end. We both live in central Toronto. I wondered if the difference in quality could be a marketing decision on the part of some VOIP providers, to ensure that the client hears better than the call receiver? When I looked at other bulletin boards, Talkit.ca appeared to have a bifurcated reputation, two-thirds liking and one-third disliking. As there's a large up-front cost to join, is it worth complaining, or do they usually give a 30 day guarantee on new service?

-> Response: Peter, if I was to hazard a guess I would say your friend may be having bandwidth issues on his uplink path (i.e. from him to you). Usually Internet providers have asymmetrical broadband so fast downlink but relatively slow uplink. A VoIP call typically takes up to 100Kbps so maybe this is the issue. He could try running our VoIP test - see top of this page (speed test). Yes there are usually 30 day guarantees for most providers. If the VoIP test looks okay I would definitely complain to the provider.


#29 : Posted by Mike Bodenhausen on June 25th, 2013:

Our County is looking to switch our outdated phone system to a VOIP system. Do you have a rating on Cisco? They are the one we are looking at.

-> Response: Mike, we do have a review page for Cisco. How many phone lines do you require? If under 100 it may be worth looking at a hosted solution. Check out our VoIP price tool.


#28 : Posted by Kenny Washburn on June 24th, 2013:

how can I change my area code,now that I have moved

-> Response: You should be able to call your provider and get them to change your number. Alternatively ask them about virtual numbers. Keep your current number and add another area code for a small fee.


#27 : Posted by Eric on June 19th, 2013:

Which VOIP services provide V.150.1 V.MOIP analog modem over IP services ?

-> Response: Good question Eric but unfortunately I am not aware of any providers that support v.150.1. This is unfortunate as it would potentially fix some legacy issues.


#26 : Posted by Lenny on June 17th, 2013:

I use a fax machine will this be affected by changing to voip? it is a once a week thing but I definitely need the fax.

-> Response: Lenny, fax can be problematic with VoIP due to the timing specs for this old protocol. Some fax machines work others not so well. However many of the providers actually provide eFax (internet fax) service as part of the service or for a small add-on in which case you could remove the need for your fax machine altogether and do it all from your computer.


#25 : Posted by Anita Ramsawak on June 17th, 2013:

I am currently use TekSavvy High Speed Internet, I have 2 questions. If I get a home phone service, do I have to have a computer up and running while I'm on the phone and secondly do I use up my internet with the use of the home phone?

-> Response: Anita, you do not need a computer to run VoIP. The VoIP provider will usually send you an adaptor. Your regular phone plugs into this adaptor and your adaptor connects to your internet modem. Your calls then go across the internet. Your phone service will use up some of your internet allowance but it is very small compared to your regular internet use.


#24 : Posted by Heidi on June 11th, 2013:

i have hughesnet satelite will that work?

-> Response: Heidi, satellite broadband can be hit or miss due to the latencies involved (i.e. enough bandwidth but delays make the quality poor). Most providers have a 30 day return policy so you could try it (just with a new number, do not transfer your home number over yet, you can do that later). Also worth trying our Speed/jitter test first..

-> UPDATE: We created an article on VoIP over satellite which may be of interest to you.


#23 : Posted by Judy Bullard on June 8th, 2013:

Can I get a new number as I have not had home phone service for a while.

-> Response: Sure Judy, you can get a new number.


#22 : Posted by Pete Dodd on June 5th, 2013:

This is all new to me. I'm a senior with very basic pension. Been with Bell for over 40 years. Bell handles my telephone land line (about $40 per month), plus my Internet and personal website with 2 emails to that site (about $39 per month), and won't give me any better deal...(over $85 / month with taxes!...so much for loyalty!!! How do I split everything up and not lose my website / emails, but still save money with VOIP? Is there another way or a different handler (sorry, I'm mixed up with Servers, Providers and Hosters, to handle my website and emails?). Could you advise me (and all other seniors not schooled in digital), the simplest way to slot Tel, Internet, Website and Emails to get the best and efficient service? Thank you so much for your efforts. Pete.

-> Response: Hi Pete. Providing you are not under some form of contract with Bell, you should have no problems just removing the telephone line and keeping Internet and website/emails. You could pick up a VoIP service for as low as $6 per month (see our comparison tables) so that would save you $34 per month. Only issue may be that Bell usually is DSL service (i.e. your Internet runs over your telephone wires coming into your house) so they may pull a fast one and still charge you line rental so ask them about that before you cut them off. The terminology here is naked DSL, I think in Canada it is called dry DSL. Basically this allows you to use their DSL without their phone service, may cost a few dollars per month but still significant savings for you I'm sure. Before you switch their phone service off, it may be worth getting the VoIP running over your Internet to make sure you are happy (just get a new phone number when you sign up for VoIP, to begin with). Once happy, transfer your existing number with Bell over to VoIP. Do not shut off your Bell phone line before transferring your number over to VoIP, the timing is important here. The Internet bill including email and websites seems reasonable to me so you could shop around and save a few dollars but not much I would say. Hope this helps.


#21 : Posted by Duane Foote on June 4th, 2013:

Can I get it to work? All I have available is phone modem service or 3g wireless or satellite. Currently I only use phone modems and have an old fashioned landline and one cell phone plan with Verizon.

-> Response: There are often latencies and jitter with satellite broadband so I would not recommend it. There is not enough bandwidth for dial-up modems to run VoIP. You can use Mobile VoIP on your cell phone though, see our Mobile VoIP section from our navigation at the top of this page.


#20 : Posted by Sylvia on June 2nd, 2013:

There are so many ATA adapters I don't know which one to use. Can you list the top 3 in terms of quality/reliability/features.

-> Response: Syliva there are many ATA adapters but usually they are provided and configured by the VoIP provider you select. A common ATA used is the Grandstream HT502, small form factor and seems very reliable.


#19 : Posted by Fernando Almonacid on May 20th, 2013:

Hi: I have been using a VoIP phone for the last year without issues, however I decided to change my internet provider as well as my router and since then my VoIP phone just take messages. I really want to continue with VoIP, any suggestions?

-> Response: Fernando do you get a dial done when you pick up the phone? Can you make a call but not receive calls? You have changed a couple of variables. Do you have your ATA adapter downstream from the router? If so try putting it upstream as then you can take the router out of the equation - it may not be allowing that port through.

-> UPDATE: Router problem, now resolved.


#18 : Posted by Mort Forney on May 19th, 2013:

I have optimum phone, I intend to keep it - are there any complications to getting an extra phone?

-> Response: Not usually any issue ordering another line Mort. If you just want another phone I'd consider a cordless phone setup for your home as it is simple to add more phones.


#17 : Posted by Kt on May 18th, 2013:

I live in a rural area, though I have DSL. I thought if I joined Vonage it would work for me. Sadly, it didn't. Are there ANY VOIP that work in rural areas which work in rural areas?

-> Response: Hi, if you have DSL and it has reasonable bandwidth you should have no issues running VoIP with any provider. May be worth running our speed test, see the link in the navigation menu after clicking on WhichVoIP.com.


#16 : Posted by Leilani on May 15th, 2013:

I need a cheap phone with collect call capability unlimited long distance.

-> Response: VoIP plans tend to be unlimited minutes within USA/CAN so not sure collect call applies anymore. A virtual number is usually low cost and allows you to have a local number anywhere so the person calling you would be a free local call. Might be a good path for you to take. All the USA voip guys on this page support virtual numbers.


#15 : Posted by Tod on May 14th, 2013:

I noticed you also didn't include ooma which I use and all you pay each month are the fed taxes or 9.95 for the delux plan which is totally optional.

-> Response: Tod we do have Ooma on our site. It is a valid option but quite expensive to purchase up-front.


#14 : Posted by Bruce Fraser on May 8th, 2013:

Under "Disadvantages": Please talk about latency, or the time lag between when I speak and the other person hears my voice. I tried a friend's VOIP phone while visiting, and it was awful: the other speaker and I were constantly interrupting each other because we thought the other had finished talking.

-> Response: Bruce, often this can be due to your broadband connection. For example if you have satellite broadband. Was this a local or long distance call, or International? The latency can be due to the amount of hops the call takes as it travels the Internet or QoS issues. For example the packets of data (your voice) get buffered as it hops across the Internet due to priority issues. This buffering can cause latency issues and the type of call quality you witnessed. It is rare though and can be down to the provider and how good their wholesale provider is i.e. who they buy minutes from. As an example, when I call family in the UK from the US it is amazing quality but when they call me with their provider I get long delays - maybe their provider has poor traffic routes which is causing the delay.


#13 : Posted by Cliff on May 6th, 2013:

learned a lot from your 16 VOIP Questions. Thanks. About ready to set up Ooma Premier service porting my 2 lines from Vonage that used to be with Qwest/Century Link. Still have DSL 12down/5up . Thinking about a new 3rd line # thru another cheap VOIP provider but concerned whether my 4 port CL router can handle it with my 3 desktops & hp printer without losing any sound quality.

-> Response: Hi cliff. should be fine, you have loads of bandwidth there to handle this. Only downside is having multiple providers to deal with. You can add a switch downline to the router to handle the PCs etc.


#12 : Posted by Neil Dubner on April 28th, 2013:

can I use hughes satellite as my internet connection. I have no other access to the internet

-> Response: Only issue with satellite broadband is the latencies/delays rather than the actual bandwidth as this can affect the voice quality. We do have a voip test that you should run to check your broadband for VoIp. VoIP tends to be hit or miss though with satellite backhaul to be honest.


#11 : Posted by Sally on April 25th, 2013:

How good does my broadband connection need to be?

-> Response: VoIP typically is much less than 100Kb/s bandwidth so pretty much all the broadband providers will work. Only issue you may have is satellite broadband and that is due to latencies/delays rather than the bandwidth so it can affect the voice quality. We do have a voip test that you should run to check your broadband.


#10 : Posted by Robert on April 25th, 2013:

I cannot find MagicJack in the table, do you have info on them?

-> Response: Robert, the providers on this page tend to be a step above MagicJack in terms of quality (based on our user reviews). You can make up your own mind though, take a peek at our MagicJack page.


#9 : Posted by Jimm on April 21st, 2013:

Can you have the same land phone number and VoIP number at the same time

-> Response: Hi Jim. Your VoIP number would replace your landline and you can still use your same phone and number, it's just the call will go across the Internet to its destination.


#8 : Posted by Nancy on April 15th, 2013:

Will I be able to get email notifications of messages left on my VoIP phone?

-> Response: Hi Nancy, yes any messages left on your VoIP number can be emailed to an address of your choosing. It's a great feature.


#7 : Posted by Rick Kelly on April 11th, 2013:

There are just 2 of us in the office. Would we need 10MB x 1 MB for internet or could we use 7MB x 768 KB. We have one computer each.

-> Response: Yes that should be fine Rick, typically you would need less than 200Kb/s for 2 calls simultaneously so that still leaves plenty for data at the same time (i.e. computer traffic).


#6 : Posted by Joel on March 27th, 2013:

what happens when your phone doesn't work. Who do you contact? Internet provider or ooma?

-> Response: Hi Joel. If you still have Internet access i.e. check a few websites then it would suggest ooma may be down. If no internet then worth contacting your internet provider....using a cell phone :-)


#5 : Posted by Jasper on March 20th, 2013:

Sometimes I have no dial tone - what would cause this?

-> Response: Normally you would see this if your Internet went down - VoIP needs an Internet connection to make and receive calls. A power outage would cause this too but guessing you'd have noticed that one Jasper :-)


#4 : Posted by Jackie on March 19th, 2013:

Not sure I understand when I would use sip trunks?

-> Response: Jackie you would use sip trunks if you had an IP PBX for your business calls. The IP PBX would be used to manage all of your calls and assuming you want to take advantage of VoIP and its low cost for calls that leave your office, you would buy SIP trunks from a SIP trunking provider to handle those calls. Take a look at our SIP Trunking section by clicking on the tab at the top of this page to learn more. Usually this is cheaper than hosted VoIP but you have the complexities of managing an IP PBX.


#3 : Posted by Jeff on March 17th, 2013:

You refer to a web portal for hosted plans, what do you mean?

-> Response: Hi Jeff. For a hosted plan everything is located in the cloud so all you have are IP phones. When you make a call it goes to the hosted provider and then gets routed to its destination by them. When you want to update your account and create an auto attendant or add lines, as an example, you would login to your account on the hosted providers website and make the changes there. You are then good to go.


#2 : Posted by Ted R on March 15th, 2013:

One of the best features is voicemail to email. When I'm away from home I can listen to my voicemails using mail tool on my ipad, love that man!

-> Response: Yeah we love that feature too Ted!


#1 : Posted by Janet on March 11th, 2013:

Some of the providers say they work on smart phones - what does that mean?

-> Response: Good question Janet. This is called a soft phone and it means that you can download an app for your smart phone (or even WiFi tablets) and make calls from that device using your home phone service provider. Great if you are on the road! On a smart phone this would just use up data minutes rather than voice minutes. If you prefer to use your cell phone for all calls and make low cost national and intenrational calls try mobile VoIP providers - see the tab at the top of this page.



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