Vonage Review: VoIP Service Provider

CES: Vonage
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What We Like
  • Ability to use the same line in a different place, with Vonage Pro

  • Huge number of subscribers, over two million

  • Gives you an ATA along with the service

  • Money back guarantee (14 days)

  • Supports phone number portability

  • Many features

  • Low international rates

  • Supports 911

  • Offers a second line

  • Sophisticated and user-friendly web interface, for online account management

What We Don't Like
  • Does not have numbers in all cities

  • Setting up the service requires a minimum skill

  • Many users report poor customer service

  • The 911 service is difficult to handle

Vonage is the most popular phone-based VoIP service provider and is one of the best VoIP service providers. Vonage has been doing well both in terms of technology and marketing; no wonder why it attracted more than two million subscribers. This adds up to their user relation experience and momentum. On the user's side, it is more serene to sign up for a service which you know many other people have signed up for.

Included (Free) Features

  • 911
  • Voicemail
  • Caller ID with Name
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Forwarding
  • 3-Way Calling
  • In-Network Calls
  • Take Vonage With You
  • Area Code Selection
  • Call Transfer
  • Click-2-Call
  • Call Return
  • Caller ID Block
  • Repeat Dialing
  • International Call Block
  • Ring Lists
  • Call Hunt
  • Vonage V-Forecast

Features That Can Be Added On

  • You can upgrade to Vonage Pro, which allows you to use the same line with at other locations.
  • Add a Line - Allows you to add multiple phone numbers to your existing Vonage account.
  • Virtual Phone Number
  • SoftPhone - which you can use on your desktop or laptop computer, with 500 minutes included for local and long-distance calls.
  • Toll-Free Number
  • Fax Service
  • Enhanced 411 services.

Bottom Line

Vonage service delivers good quality at a good price. It is not the cheapest service on the market, but it is not at all expensive, compared to the service it offers. Getting back to voice quality: it depends a lot on the connection you are having. To get satisfaction with Vonage VoIP service, you have to have a good broadband connection, at least 90 kbps. Dial-up simply won't work well.

Vonage has the greatest number of features among providers. Some are very interesting and useful, like voicemail and 911. You can also add a new line, or get a second number for fax for only $9.99. If you are on the move and want to carry your Vonage service along with you, you can take a laptop and install the Vonage softphone on it. You can then use it with a headset wherever you are, as long as you have a good broadband connection.

Two features we find very interesting are the weather forecast and the traffic information service. If you are using Vonage service, you can dial 700-WEATHER on any Vonage phone, followed by the 5-digit ZIP code of your location; you will have the local weather forecasts recited to you. You can also listen to traffic reports on your Vonage phone by dialing 511. Your location for the traffic reports will be that of the 911 location you registered for.

Vonage allows you to save money on hardware by providing you with a Linksys ATA, against a termination fee, which is refunded to you when you terminate your service and give the ATA back in good condition.

Vonage also allows a 14-day trial, with a money-back guarantee; so that you can try the service and decide whether to adopt it or not.

Before deciding, you also need to note that many Vonage customers have complained about their less-than-good customer service and some occasional drop in quality. Also, the setting up is a little bit difficult. But these still don't prevent Vonage from being a good provider.