I sell VoIP service.
It will save most
people a LOT of money. However, it is NOT for
I tell prospective customers
that their fax machine will not work (sometimes
it will, sometimes it won't).
I tell them
it will NOT work with home burglar alarm systems
(sometimes it will, sometimes it won't).
I tell them it will not work with their credit
card terminal if they are using it as a dial-up
machine (sometimes it will, sometimes it won't).
Newer credit card terminals have an ethernet
port if you don't mind the cost of the security
If you are pretty much alone
in the home, then you can get away with a "1.5
Mb/s" ISP. If you have gamers or video watchers,
then you are going to need at least "4.5 Mb/s"
ISP. In your case you have cable, they are
likely delivering 6 Mb/s or more. It's actually
the upload speed that is the 'limit' to your
happiness, but it seems no ISP ever advertises
their upload speeds.
Oh.... if you use
satellite internet.... VoIP will not work.
(Baffles me because two-way video works just
fantastic on a "1.5 Mb/s" satellite internet
service, but I have never found a VoIP that
works on 'consumer grade' satellite service. You
need a C.I.R. service (committted information
rate) which will be very expensive.)
can't believe people are buying the magicjak
idea. It costs here, in Florida, $21 a month to
leave your computer turned on all the time... so
any 'savings' by using their 'service' is eaten
up by the cost of electricity. Plus if your
computer goes down, well... no telephone !
I only support customers that buy a well
known "ATA" (Analogue Telephone Adapter). It is
basically a "sound card" and a 1 or 2 port (or
more) router in a box plus the power supply to
generate 20 Hz 90 volt ringing voltages and a
bunch more functions. With a good ATA, you plug
in your traditional telephones (wired, wireless,
answering machines, whatever) and then your
telephone acts pretty much as you have used it
all of your life. Except that you get every
feature you have ever heard of for free (at
least from me)... call-back, call waiting,
conference calling etc. If you have 10
telephones in the office but only want to pay
for 3 "telephone lines" you get a box that is
kind of like a router and all of your
inter-office calls are taken care of and the
incoming and outgoing calls are automatically
connected to the "telephone lines" (used to be
known as "c.o. line").
When choosing a
company look at the total cost ! The big orange
box company "tech support" is script readers in
India. Is that going to save you money?
Others do NOT include a telephone number in
their price. Heck... if I wanted to mislead
people while still telling the truth I would
tell people my service is free ! (it can be, but
I won't recommend it).
Some states are still dealing with the matter of
taxes. The US congress a few years ago decided
it had the power to forbid states, counties,
cities etc from taxing the internet. However,
states like Florida say that they are taxing the
telephone, not the internet. (the internet is
merely a substitute for the telephone 'central
office'. Florida has a "substitute
communications service" tax which means that if
you use two tin-cans and a string to
communicate, you still have to pay the tax. So
if you sign up with a company that is not
collecting communications services taxes keep in
mind that someday they might go belly-up and
your state might come after you for back-taxes.
(Florida has 575 different taxing
authorities for communications services, I fill
out an 18 page tax return every month.)
Another HUGE consideration for anyone
considering VoIP; the International Standards
Organization ! Many VoIP services out there do
NOT use I.S.O. standards. So if you sign up with
them and want to go to another VoIP provider you
have to buy all new equipment ! In rare cases,
you cannot even change your ISP without a big
hassle. If you sign up with a service that is
using the I.S.O. standards, you can change your
ISP all you want and never even have to notify
your VoIP provider (it makes absolutely no
difference to me who your ISP is..you can change
10 times a day and I will never care). In a
small office or large office this could be a big
expense... if you have to buy new "switches"
(servers whatever you want to call them) you
could have a very expensive bill when it is time
to change services. With a company using the
I.S.O. standards, you can change VoIP provider
simply by entering the new account information
into your equipment.
are that your VoIP provider should (if you don't
choose one of the cheap or orange brands) will
give you nearly total control of your
telephones. You can see all the calls in and out
to each extension. You can restrict all the
privileges for each individual. You can control
your voicemail. You can control the forwarding
etc. Or you can give your employees (family etc)
all the control if you wish.
If you have
any more questions look at
Hunt around the menu and there is a
lot of techical information there.