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Wayne's (Vonage) World

I'd heard about Vonage but never tried it. My buddy Wayne has a Vonage VOIP line. Wayne always has something high tech before me. It seems like it's his role in life to get in on something cool and new before the rest of the world.

Small Print

Wayne wanted me to mention that he is NOT affiliated with Vonage in any way. He is just a regular subscriber who has been happy with the service. He's been using Vonage since February 2005.

So I wondered -- was Vonage still cutting edge or was it ready for prime time? Did it require hacking, tweaking, and prodding that only a super techie could love?

Wayne quickly explained that Vonage was easy to set up. He said you just had to plug the Vonage Linksys PAP2 into your router, hook up a phone...and presto. You are the proud parent of a brand new bouncing VOIP phone line!

Wherever you wander in the world you can bring into a high speed connection and make cheap or free long distance calls (depending on what plan you have). And people can still reach you on your regular Vonage number! Regardless of whether you are in Toronto, Ottawa, or Petawawa. How's that for number portability!

Vonage: Second Hand Smoke

But how well did it work in the real world? Wayne called me once or twice on his Vonage phone and the call quality was good. At first I heard a slight bit of static. Almost with glee I had found a tiny flaw in Vonage's service - or so I thought!

After Wayne convinced me to get off my cordless phone and onto a corded phone...presto. The static was gone. Moral of the story? Wayne is always right. Other moral of the story, the quality of my cordless phone is worse than a Vonage line. ;)

Vonage: First Hand Look

Wayne was kind enough to bring his Vonage device (Linksys PAP2) over for me to play with. We hooked it up, and a few seconds later we had a dial tone. It was that easy. I made a call from his Vonage setup to the phone at my desk. Call quality was excellent.

There was a slight lag between when I said something and when it pops up on the other phone. The lag is a bit less than what you get with a cell phone. However, when you are not calling someone standing right beside you the lag is imperceptible and it will not affect your conversation.

Tech Note: Why is there lag?

Your phone conversation is converted to a digital signal, chopped up into 20ms pieces and fired off over the internet. It takes time to do this. Even regular phones have lag. However, as long as the delay is short enough it will not be noticeable and affect your conversation.

Vonage: Overall Initial Impressions

Time will tell if Vonage can stay up to par. However, my initial impression is positive. If you do a lot of long distance calls consider Vonage as a second line. I'd still keep a regular phone line "just in case".

Vonage Update: A new Addict

I'd been having some *problems with Bell Canada* installing a new line. After almost two months of getting the run around I was fed up with waiting. If you want to hear how to sign up for Vonage in five easy steps click here.

I am truly glad I signed up with Vonage. My local phone company gave me nothing but excuses, delays, poor service, and frustration. The only silver lining is that it forced me to try (and enjoy) the fine quality of the Vonage experience.

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