New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bon Vonage!

Jenn and I are finished with copper telephone wires as far as our home phones are concerned. We are fully on the Vonage VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system now.

It took a couple of weeks for our former carriers (Verizon for local and AT&T for long distance) to release our wonderful 718 telephone number, but yesterday it finally happened. Call the crib, same number, same 'hood. It's all good.

Barring circumstances unforseen, we are completely finished with the Old Guard of telecom services. And good riddance to them. We paid so much money (about $140 a month, all told) for phone service that it's a pleasure to give them the old kiss-off. We'll now be paying $25 a month for unlimited calls in the USA and Canada. If we need to call somewhere else, we'll figure it out somehow, or else just send an email.

The sound quality is basically the same as it was before. If there is a difference it is negligable. Other than where you plug your phone in, there's no difference at all (except you don't have to dial a 1 in front of the area code, unless you want to).

The way it works is you get a router (in our case a new router to replace our existing router) that you use to connect your cable modem to both your computer(s) and your phones. It only took me a few minutes to plug the router in, and most of that time was spent clearing junk out of the way and moving the bookshelf to get to a wall outlet.

Now we have to register with 911, so they know where we are located in case of an emergency. And that's it!

I know that we are the guinea pigs for a lot of you who are considering switching your phones over to VoIP, so I can tell you that so far we are pretty happy with it. No snags yet. We have everything we had before (voicemail, etc.) and more (conference calling) for one cheap price. Vonage seems to be one of the lowest priced options, certainly cheaper than Time Warner Cable, as if it's a shock to anyone that Time Warner Cable's products and services are expensive.

Saving money is fun.

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