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#109889 by Darkbob
Wed May 15, 2013 8:46 am
Hopefully this is an allowed topic. I've got several VOIP devices and I wonder what people think of each?

Magic Jack
Pro:cheap, generally reliable. Plugs directly into router or directly into computer. Android app directs calls to your cell and calls from your cell show your home number. Kinda works awesome.

Con: Call quality runs between terrible and poor. Lots of lag and echo. First 3 seconds of every call are lost. Does not work with faxing at all. They took away Call-Forwarding without any notice from my accounts. When you contact "technical support" they claim it's temporary. That's been since last November. Grrr.

NetTalk
Pro: cheap. Plugs into router or can run wirelessly.
Con: Call quality runs from poor to "meh". Occasionally faxes work. Calls drop. Call-forwarding has a lot of lag and echo. They recently had a MAJOR outage that lasted 23 days and everyone lost their numbers and were assigned new numbers - some in the wrong area codes. (Financially unstable?). Android app is a scam for some "penny talk" type service.

Ooma - I'm too new to do a proper review - your experience?
Pro: call quality is fair to excellent. Call forwarding works well with minimal lag chop or echo.
Con: I need call forwarding and that only comes with premier so for me the cost is about $120/year. Android app doesn't work at all (for me - Jellybean customer) but even if it did it's just a scam to sell pre-paid minutes.

Vonage: Get serious. Big telco costs with no upside.

So what's your experience? Any I missed?
#109899 by lbmofo
Wed May 15, 2013 2:52 pm
I've never experienced NetTalk but I've heard/seen negative stuff about them. MagicJack, I've experienced first hand, (1st generation) their horrendous quality.

IMHO, the bottom line is that they are not even in the same league as Ooma. They are not to be trusted. I hear and see stories about MJ putting folks on prepaid plan and charging per minute when it suits them (doesn't matter where you are...today you are making free calls but tomorrow you might be put on prepaid calling plan because of your location or based on where you call most often. FL is one example I've seen). NT cuts people off or put on prepaid plan after they go over their usage limit for the 1st time (1 strike you're out! 3000 min both incoming and outgoing added together). With MJ, calls are limited to 90 min or something like that and once you're cut off, you can't even call back (circuit busy). The list goes on.

For some fun:
MagicJack slimy
MagicJack's outspoken founder Dan Borislow on NetTalk

PS: Ooma mobile app, if you're Premier, you get 250 min free domestic every month. Of course people who dip into their prepaid or international bucket of minutes for international calls, mobile app is awesome (access to minutes or prepaid $ away from home).
#109911 by EX Bell
Wed May 15, 2013 10:40 pm
Welcome to Ooma Darkbob. I have no personal experience with the other providers, but it's good to have feedback on them. Thank you for that. You might say that I was fortunate to find the right choice from the start. I've installed many Ooma Telo for non-technical clients and some required additional routers for QoS handling because of the setup from their ISP.

If your Telo is in-between your modem and router, make sure the upload QoS setting is 80% of your total internet upload speed measured. If it's not possible to place your Telo between the modem and router because you have one of those combo units from your ISP, then you have two options.

1. Place the Telo after the ISP modem/router combo, set the QoS in the Telo to 80% of total upload speed and then get another WiFi router and attach that router's WAN port to the Telo Home port. Disable the ISP's WiFi if applicable.
or
2. Get a good router like a Linksys that supports QoS by MAC address and set it up manually to limit upload to 80% of total upload speed based on the Telo MAC address. I also recommend in that config to set DHCP options in the router to assign an IP address to the Telo based on it's MAC address. To prevent DHCP problems, also set the Telo MAC address setting to "Use Built-In".

Access to the Telo setup is done by connecting an ethernet cable to your Telo's Home port and type 172.27.35.1 in a web browser address bar.

If you set the Telo up with proper QoS and your internet does not suffer from excessive latency, dropped packets or slow upload, then you should not have problems with echo and lag chop as you described. When I and my clients use Ooma, call quality is exceptionally good and there is no indication we are using VoIP except for the Ooma dial tone.
#109995 by Darkbob
Fri May 17, 2013 8:46 pm
Thanks for the welcome and the great tips. I'm lucky to have really solid high speed internet. Something like 25Meg down and 8 meg up. I haven't noticed any major lag or chop or echo except while Ooma was getting it's initial updates. If it becomes a problem I'll try some of those solutions.

I may pop in with the ethernet cable and see what options are under the hood just for fun. I don't think I'll be using the Ooma to make many calls. I have great cell coverage and an awesome plan through Koodo. I got in on a good promo plan last Christmas.

Mainly I'll be using the Ooma service to forward calls from my old Sask phone number to my new Alberta cell. I've started the porting process and once it's complete I'll turn on call forwarding and probably just put the Ooma in a drawer. About the only use I might have for the actual Ooma device is calls to the US. Koodo charges way too much for that. Other than that, I don't see much point in a home phone in 2013.
#110001 by murphy
Sat May 18, 2013 3:01 am
If your Ooma device is offline for 6 months your account will be canceled.
You may want to rethink your strategy.
#110024 by lbmofo
Sat May 18, 2013 12:04 pm
murphy wrote:If your Ooma device is offline for 6 months your account will be canceled.
You may want to rethink your strategy.

Although not sure if that 6 month language applies if credit card on profile current and monthly RRF and/or Premier is being charged.
#110049 by Tom
Sun May 19, 2013 7:47 am
This policy is subject to change, but the current rule is:

If you pay no RRF AND have neither Premier, an international plan, or some other paid service, AND your “last seen” date is six months ago, then you go on a list to receive an email telling you that you have 30 days to plug in and be recognized. If you are on the 7 month list with the same criteria, then we presume that you have been notified and your account is terminated. For your unit to be "seen" it needs to have a VPN connection with our servers, so it needs to be plugged in and have either a blue logo or a blinking red logo with the top 3 lights off (volume, brightness, antenna icons).
#110054 by lbmofo
Sun May 19, 2013 10:08 am
Okay, so the online every 6 months is a must unless you have Premier or International bundle.
#110071 by tbeltz
Mon May 20, 2013 5:16 am
lbmofo wrote:Okay, so the online every 6 months is a must unless you have Premier or International bundle.

Still do not understand their logic on this. If the account is being charged and paid without complaints then why would they want to consider it abandoned. Can understand if the credit card charge bounces. Makes no sense to me??
#110073 by lbmofo
Mon May 20, 2013 7:01 am
I think what Ooma is saying is that their list will catch any non revenue generating devices. Evidently, RRF (monthly taxes) is not considered revenue.

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