voIP in the USA AND in England !!

OK I am going to split this in to a few sections :

1.} What providers are there ( Both for USA and England with regards to voIP obviously ) and how much does each one cost ?

2.} What things do I need to use or have a voIP phone system ( I'm not sure what exactly to call it lol ) so basically I can call people cheaper then a regular phone call, especially people over seas !! ??? !! ??

3.} how much would it cost altogether taking into consideration buying the stuff I need in the first place and the monthly bill roughly just to give me an aprox figure per month ?

4.} If there are any other suggestions with regards to makes  / models of what phone handsets or any other equipment that you know is good, please suggest them.

I hope I have not got too many questions in this one, if you want to leave some of the numbered items out that is fine but please let me know so I can ask this in a seperate question as I really want to know all of this stuff !
LVL 23
gecko_au2003Asked:
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Hi gecko_au2003,

The answers depend on what level of service you are looking for.  Home user type stuff?  Small home business stuff?  Large Corporate stuff?

> 1.} What providers are there ( Both for USA and England with regards
> to voIP obviously ) and how much does each one cost ?

Vonage is available, I believe to both USA and England (they offer UK phone numbers I know).  In the USA, equipment is MAX $100 and you can then connect ANY phone to it.  The Cheap $5 kind or the expensive $500 kind, doesn't matter.  Monthly service is $25 + taxes, which usually don't amount to more than $2 or $3.  (I use them, for all my services, I pay $35 month, that includes an extra fax line, an extra phone number in another area code, and all the phone bells and whistles, such as Caller ID, Call Forwarding, Voice Mail, etc.


> 2.} What things do I need to use or have a voIP phone system ( I'm not
> sure what exactly to call it lol ) so basically I can call people
> cheaper then a regular phone call, especially people over seas !! ??? !! ??

VoIP services provide you with a REAL phone number that ANYONE can call you on.  Likewise, you can call ANYONE with a real phone number the same way you would with your traditional telephone service.  Outside of the service itself, you usually need a small box that converts your phone connection into a VoIP connection.  Again, these boxes are selling in the USA for $100 or Less.
 
> 3.} how much would it cost altogether taking into consideration buying
> the stuff I need in the first place and the monthly bill roughly just
> to give me an aprox figure per month ?

As I've said, you need the box, MAX $100+first month's service - which some companies give away free.  MOST I would expect you'll pay is $135 for the first month.  Then $25-$45 depending on what other services you want.

> 4.} If there are any other suggestions with regards to makes  / models
> of what phone handsets or any other equipment that you know is good,
> please suggest them.

Any you want.  You don't even need to change, just get the equipment needed to get VoIP access.

Now, if you're talking about a BUSINESS VoIP solution for MANY lines, then I can offer some basic info, but extended really useful info, I don't have.


Cheers!
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
It will be for myself , so in that case I would have to say home user !
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
What equipment is need for voIP access ? Can you please list them  :)
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
ok well I am off to bed now, I will leave this question open for longer just to see if I get any other replys, either way you will def get points and a good grade considering you replied really fast with concise and good info leew !!

Thanks again to yourself and other experts for all the input and help I have had since I have been apart of this forum !

I really appreciate it !
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
All I have for my Vonage system is a Cisco ATA-186 box.  It's roughly the size of a 300 Page paperback novel.  I plug my standard, plain old cordless phone and fax machine into it.  Bang I have service.  See:
http://www.vonage.com/no_flash/index.php

I did forget to mention, while you don't technically NEED a router, if you want anything else connected to your high speed internet connection, then you need a router.  So RECOMMENDED equipment is as follows:

1.  High Speed internet Connection with at least 128 Kb/sec upload capability; preferrably 256 or faster.
2.  Cable/DSL Router
3.  VoIP Device (contact the VoIP provider; they will either sell you one or tell you the ones compatible with their system)
4.  Your existing telephone.

There are also other companies offering VoIP service; Vonage is probably the oldest, best known company (this is not to say they are old; but putting the technology into home use is a new practice only about 3 years old, give or take).  

AT&T is offering service, SpeakEasy.net DSL is offering service, AT&T, I believe Verizon, a company called Packet8, my cable company, Cablevision, and probably two or three dozen others.
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BILJAXConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Packet8 has service in Europe and Asia.

http://packet8.net/about/intplans.asp


I use it for home use and by far better than Vonage and AT&T (based upon my experience).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You've used both Vonage and AT&T?

I've been using Vonage since August of 2002 and have no problems with service, reliability, or pricing.  Indeed, they've LOWERED their pricing TWICE since I joined.
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BILJAXCommented:
leew,

that was based on my experience.    it may be different for others, so I can't comment on that.

AT&T does stink though.



SHould note that I tested them all on a 3MBDown/512k up cable modem
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
AT&T I've read reviews has the BEST voice quality, but worst installation experience.

To be clear, I've only used Vonage and helped one person setup AT&T.  (I'd agree with the review I read concerning installation; voice quality I can't say as I couldn't tell  the difference).

Just wanted to know if you have PERSONALLY used all three?  It's unusual, I'd think, for someone to try 3 different companies offering the same kind of telephony technology.
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BILJAXCommented:
I've tried Vonage and now use Packet8.   I helped a good friend setup AT&T and I have made calls from it while over.  Seemed to be staticy and delayed.   That person also had standard DSL, so who knows if that was it (even though my Packet8 worked fine over it when I plugged my adaptor in).




AC
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
Does it reduce the cost of international calls considerably using voIP ?? If so what would the difference be aprox ? I mean do they show the difference between prices on the voIP providers sites ?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
That depends, what are you paying now and to what countries?

Best thing to do is check the rates - vonage has them published here:
http://www.vonage.com/intrates.php (if in the USA)
http://www.vonage.co.uk/intrates.php (if in the UK)

Where are you?
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
UK , I am basically trying to find out what I need to get voIP to work and how much it would cost to call the USA from England and visa versa.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Look at the international rates listed in the link I posted - USA is £0.02 per minute.
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gecko_au2003Author Commented:
ok leew, thanks for all the help ! Been very much appreciated ! As you can tell from the grade ;) wink wink nudge nudge :D *GRINS*
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