Friday, September 04, 2009

Tried, Ditched Vonage

I absolutely hate paying $40/month for a landline. At this point, I could even do without Caller ID, but with a family of 5, I just can't risk not having free long distance. As with cell phone minutes, all it takes is one overrun to offset all the savings from a bare bones plan.

So I decided to try Vonage. A very respected geek friend had nothing but good things to say about it. Well that turned out to be a disaster. It was easy enough to set up, but after that, it was all downhill:
  • My first 2 calls over 1 minute dropped 5-10 minutes into call
  • It caused massive bandwidth interference--my cable connection dropped from 10-15 Mbps down to 3 Mbps with a phone off hook. I experienced similar, qualitative symptoms while using VPN and making calls.
  • It also seemed to interfere horribly with VPN, even when not making calls. After losing VPN 5 times in an hour this morning, while working from home, I had to take time out of my workday to disconnect the Vonage box.
  • On top of all that, call quality questionable--not awful, but seemed fairly crackly.
  • Finally, I found it quite inconvenient having the cordless charger in the basement--which is where my inbound cable lives.
So, I am ditching Vonage and heading over to Qwest. I really wanted their $85 bundle, but I also wanted HD and an HD DVR, so they talked me into a $110 bundle (still cheaper than Comcast, though 7 Mbps instead of 15-20) that includes NFL Sunday Ticket. Normally I would never pay for that, but it will be really nice to have.

I will cancel Sunday Ticket after this season. Not sure what I will do about phone service in a year. Maybe by then we will really be ready to ditch landlines. Or maybe Comcast will be trying to lure me back and will treat me as a new customer. (I've been a Comcast customer for 7 years, and they really didn't try very hard to keep me from leaving, even when I told them/threatened them with my plans.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know as I have been thinking of using vonage as the wife really wants a land line "for emergencies/911" purposes but I hate paying Qwest the $30 bucks a month plus a million taxes/surcahrges etc... that they lay on top.

    NFL Sunday Ticket is great, you'll love it, all in HD this year too.