What is the best VOIP service for my future mother in law ?
December 29, 2009 1:35 PM   Subscribe

What is the best VOIP solution for my future mother in law ?

My future mother in law has decided to drop her dial up service and use dry dsl through At&t but she also wants to cut her phone line but doesn't know what the cheapest VOIP solution for her. I checked out Skype and it seemed cheap but I couldn't find conclusive information on whether you can use a regular land line phone. Thanks for your help.

The Details:
1. She doesn't want to spend more than twenty dollars a month on the VOIP service.
2. She also wants to be able to use her current regular phone.
3. She'll only be using the phone for calls to people in the United States.
posted by carefulmonkey to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've had ooma for about nine months or so, and it works very well. Occasional echo, but it is rare.

I used to have Vonage, and it didn't work too great. Lots of static and dropped calls.
posted by spilon at 1:43 PM on December 29, 2009


Vonage has a $17.99 monthly plan which provides 500 minutes for local and long distance outbound calls to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. All incoming calls are free. With taxes and regulatory fees, it might push it up over $20.

I use Vonage and can plug in any type of phone.
posted by Jim T at 1:44 PM on December 29, 2009


FYI we have no problems with static and dropped calls using Vonage. Those kinds of issues are probably a broadband issue--so that's a good point, reliable broadband is important.
posted by Kimberly at 1:49 PM on December 29, 2009


I switched from Vonage to CallCentric and I have no complaints. To be fair though I'm only using the service to forward to my cell at the moment since I haven't had the chance to buy a VOIP router to hook up my landline phone to. I was able to port my Vonage telephone number to CallCentric. It took a couple of weeks but it went through and I got it set up with no problems. I'd recommend at least looking at CallCentric but if your future mother-in-law is not tech savvy at all then Vonage makes it really easy to get set up and going. I've just heard too many bad experiences with folks using Vonage.
posted by eatcake at 2:20 PM on December 29, 2009


With taxes, Vonage's 500 minute plan is about $25.

I currently have no problems with static/stutter with Vonage. I get occasional call weirdness, but nothing serious. I used to get stuttering problems when I was on Time Warner cable, but, right now, we're on FiOS, which is booming fast. Most of the quality problems with VOIP can be attributed to broadband problems. My brother was on Comcast in Indiana and had Vonage problems, but Comcast there was terrible.

I also get simultaneous ring on my cell phone, so anyone calling the Vonage number can be picked up when I'm out of the house. Most VOIP providers offer something similar, so, if she's using a cell phone, this might be a nice bonus. Note that the cell phone basically has to be turned on all the time, or else the cell's voice mail will pick up after a ring or two.
posted by chengjih at 3:02 PM on December 29, 2009


Ooma - unlimited calling w/ no monthly fee. The device is ~$200 and works with regular phones. Costco's package comes with $100 int'l calling credit.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:06 PM on December 29, 2009


I replaced Vonage with Voicepulse, and have found them excellent. They have real people in support who fix your problem and call you back to tell you that they've fixed it. Their prices are comparable to Vonage, with a limited minutes plan - I pay under $16 a month, including taxes. With Vonage, I got hit with more monthly fees, plus my basic cost kept going up. And I use all my old landline phones.

(You didn't ask this, but can she should check that she can get DSL without a phone line. I thought DSL used phone lines, but I could be mistaken.)
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:15 PM on December 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another vote for Ooma. Works perfect with our existing phones and the call quality is excellent.
posted by gfrobe at 5:16 PM on December 29, 2009


Ooma +1
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:56 AM on December 30, 2009


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