Author Topic: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy  (Read 3044 times)

MsPeacock

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Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« on: January 08, 2015, 09:58:34 AM »
So - I've been head scratching and reading on the internet and trying to wrap my head around the whole VoIP thing for the past week or so. I currently have Verizon FIOS bundle with cable, phone, and internet. I want to ditch that and get just internet and use VoIP. I'm a bit confused on some of the steps and options and want to run things past the forum here for a little guiance and clarify before I start cancelling things willy-nilly.

From what I gather, I likely no longer have a copper phone line, due to FIOS, and thus I am stuck w/ cable internet rather than DSL. There are only two providers in the area, really, of DSL and cable internet anyhow - Verizon/FIOS and Comcast - and little difference between the degree of suckage that they offer.

Are these steps correct, and in the correct order?
1. The first thing I need to do is order a analog telephone adaptor from Amazon or other source? Make sure it is unlocked.
 
2. Then set up the VoIP w/ Future Nine or some other similar service. This can be done online I think.

3. Call Verizon and tell them to move me to internet only service at the lowest speed (I never get the speed I am supposed to get anyhow - so not much point in paying any additional for the sucky slowness that I get.) Send them back their cable box.

4. Plug in my analog phone adapator to the modem and do whatever set up I have to do (very vaugue on what/how to do this set up - but will fuddle through).

I don't really have anyone techy to help me - and I do tend to get stuck when I try to get techy things rolling.

Lastly - how to I carry over my current home phone number. I'd like to avoid getting a new number if at all possible.

Am I missing anything? Any steps? Details? Instructions?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Returnoftheyeti

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 10:39:56 AM »

Daley

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 10:52:05 AM »
MsPeacock, it looks like you're familiar with the guide here in the forums, but I'm not sure if you've seen the unabridged guide or the relevant post on Technical Meshugana yet.

http://www.techmeshugana.com/theguide/voip-providers/
http://www.techmeshugana.com/2013/04/voip-and-the-return-of-the-home-phone/

You've about got it worked out. The thing to understand is that if you're going to port your number, given your phone and internet services are bundled together with Verizon, they will likely disconnect your internet service after you successfully port your number out to a VoIP provider, meaning you'll have to set services back up and depending on what sort of contract you might be under on the FIOS end, could ding you further.

There are also VoIP providers who will provision your equipment for you in advance so you do not have to set it up yourself, you simply have to plug the ATA into the router. VOIPo is one of these companies. Future Nine also sells pre-configured ATAs as well. This is a good option if you don't think you're going to be able to manage configuration on your own, but it does limit your ability to quickly and easily switch providers if you ever wanted to.

Any questions from this point, don't hesitate to ask me for clarification.

Jared

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 10:58:56 AM »

If you are using your phone line for an alarm or faxing basically anything with a modem you'll need to find an alternate means. For the most part anything using a modem won't work with VOIP.

Daley

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 11:12:27 AM »
If you are using your phone line for an alarm or faxing basically anything with a modem you'll need to find an alternate means. For the most part anything using a modem won't work with VOIP.

Wholly untrue. There are ways to make it work, it's covered in the unabridged guide (linked above), and the long short of it boils down to T.38 FAX relay support with both the ATA and the VoIP provider. If FAX alone is the concern, most of the real open standards VoIP providers (read: not Skype) usually provide virtual FAX support (both incoming and outgoing) as part of the core service anyway, whether they support T.38 to your device or not.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 11:14:03 AM by I.P. Daley »

MsPeacock

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 12:15:16 PM »
I don't really need fax ability - as I can fax from work as needed, and I can occasionally figure out how to scan things at home if given enough time. I do have a fax machine and in a real pinch could trot over to a neighbor's with it if I needed to send a fax when not at work.

Thank you all! I need a phone line sort of thing, like VoIP, because I basically live in the bottom of a valley and have no cell phone reception in my house (also no TV reception, even w/ the various antennas that I've tried). I don't want to depend on skype because it is my understanding that I have to call from a computer, rather than a handset - and there are problems w/ that (e.g. can't walk around in the house while on skype) that make it very unappealing. I am typically chasing after my kids, or cooking dinner, or folding a basket of laundry, or something during any phone conversation that I have.

Looks like I have to call Verizon and see if they are going to ding me for scaling back to internet only - and get one of those preconfigured dohickeys.

Jared

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 12:59:35 PM »
If you are using your phone line for an alarm or faxing basically anything with a modem you'll need to find an alternate means. For the most part anything using a modem won't work with VOIP.

Wholly untrue. There are ways to make it work, it's covered in the unabridged guide (linked above), and the long short of it boils down to T.38 FAX relay support with both the ATA and the VoIP provider. If FAX alone is the concern, most of the real open standards VoIP providers (read: not Skype) usually provide virtual FAX support (both incoming and outgoing) as part of the core service anyway, whether they support T.38 to your device or not.

The real voip providers you listed say "no guarantee of it working or it's not supported". Faxing isn't a big deal because there are some many virtual providers. If you require a DVR, Security system, credit card, etc etc is then good luck.


http://www.future-nine.com/faq/content/1/5/en/can-i-use-fax-over-your-service.html?highlight=codec
"The short answer is yes, you can.

The long answer is that Voice over IP as a whole does not support fax well at this point. The settings below will work MOST of the time, but not all the time. Please understand that while we encourage you to try and use fax with our service, we cannot guarantee it will work. If fax is very important to you we recommend keeping a basic PSTN phone line for this purpose.
"
Vopio

http://www.voipo.com/help/article/is-voipo-compatible-with-my-alarm-system-dvr-credit-card-machine-or-fax-machine-83.html

"Unfortunately, the success of analog transmissions from these devices over VoIP technology is inconsistent and unreliable. We cannot guarantee compatibility with these devices, therefore, they are unsupported on the VOIPo service. "



Daley

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 03:38:01 PM »
If you are using your phone line for an alarm or faxing basically anything with a modem you'll need to find an alternate means. For the most part anything using a modem won't work with VOIP.

Wholly untrue. There are ways to make it work, it's covered in the unabridged guide (linked above), and the long short of it boils down to T.38 FAX relay support with both the ATA and the VoIP provider. If FAX alone is the concern, most of the real open standards VoIP providers (read: not Skype) usually provide virtual FAX support (both incoming and outgoing) as part of the core service anyway, whether they support T.38 to your device or not.

The real voip providers you listed say "no guarantee of it working or it's not supported". Faxing isn't a big deal because there are some many virtual providers. If you require a DVR, Security system, credit card, etc etc is then good luck.

And if you'd read the actual guide, you'd have noticed that I've singled out specific carriers that actually do support T.38, specifically Phone Power and CallCentric. Even the ultra-cheap proprietary recommended service from the guide, the netTALK Duo, technically supports FAX. I didn't say all of them support T.38, but even most of the ones that don't can either still do virtual FAX online and/or still potentially support analog transmission through G.711u with the right settings and sufficient bandwidth, even if the carrier won't guarantee it.

It is a condition and option that I considered, and it's one that is definitely doable. FoIP has been possible for 20 years, it's old technology, and most of the VoIP providers in the guide can support some form of it because they're built off of some degree of open standards (excuse netTALK). To simply make a blanket statement that it can't be done is rubbish advice.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 03:39:41 PM by I.P. Daley »

Jared

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 07:56:49 PM »
Quote
It is a condition and option that I considered, and it's one that is definitely doable. FoIP has been possible for 20 years, it's old technology, and most of the VoIP providers in the guide can support some form of it because they're built off of some degree of open standards (excuse netTALK). To simply make a blanket statement that it can't be done is rubbish advice.

Have you done it? You're still dependent on jitter, latency over the internet blah blah. 
Dialogic has a good article on fax transmission success rates vs packet loss/jitter etc. With T.38 your depending on everyone's implementation of T.38 playing nice.

http://www.voiptroubleshooter.com/problems/jitter.html Note how the packet discard rates affect audio and the human ear isn't nearly as sensitive to timing as a fax. You haven't made any comments about other analog devices and using them over voip.

I've messed around with this with a couple of different hardware/software ( sonos, audiocodes, callweaver, acme ) providers and in general it hasn't been what I would classify as reliable. My "blanket statement" stems 100% from implementing VOIP systems and faxing not working as reliably as a POTS line. Setting the expectation of slam a VOIP solution in there and use any analog/fax device to your hearts content with the expectation it will work like a POTS line is equally rubbish.   

Daley

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Re: Help with VoIP - not at all tech savvy
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 08:51:00 PM »
Have you done it?

Yes I have, and you're talking with someone who has done some rather exotic VoIP network engineering, including developing systems that have to tolerate incredibly high latency and jitter connections... but I'm not here to wag my e-peen. I'm here to provide reasonable advice. Can you run dial-up modems at 56k for hours on end on these things? Of course not, but who would!? For most residential and SBE low speed legacy analog systems, if the network connection is solid and you use a good provider, it can be done, and done so with sufficient reliability, even with alarm and PERS systems with the right settings.

Setting the expectation of slam a VOIP solution in there and use any analog/fax device to your hearts content with the expectation it will work like a POTS line is equally rubbish.   

If you had bothered to read the advice I actually linked, you would realize that I set very conservative and conditional expectations.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 09:31:06 PM by I.P. Daley »