Ditching Land Line for VOIP? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 01-16-2009, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anybody gotten rid of their land line to use Yahoo Messenger Voice or Skype exclusively?

Yahoo is $30 a year to receive phone calls over your computer, and then one cent per minute to call phone numbers. (Computer to computer calls are free, receiving or outgoing. )

Skype is also $30 per year to receive, and $3 per month outgoing to U.S. and Canada. (Again, computer to computer is free.)

Right now, I'm paying about $77 per month for DSL and a land line with unlimited calling. So I'm thinking if I went to DSL/WiFi only (at about $40/month), and went to VOIP, I could save about $30 per month. But I wanted to hear if anyone else had done this, and what the experience was like.

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#2 of 25 Old 01-16-2009, 08:58 PM
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Vonage is cheaper - $25 unlimited calls but international is more expensive. I have Vonage and it is pretty good. If my internet never went down, I would be thrilled.
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#3 of 25 Old 01-16-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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We dropped the land line and switched to Magic Jack. Love it and will never go back.

WOHM to DS11 and DD9, both T1Ds

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#4 of 25 Old 01-16-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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I just saw the magic jack add. I may check that out... we don't have a land line so I reckon I can do without it but I'm intrigued by unlimited calling for under $20/year!
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#5 of 25 Old 01-16-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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the problem i had when i had VOIP is that when you lose electricity you lose it. even with teh cable version, there is a reverse amplifier that boosts the signal from our modem back up to the head end (??)...then our internet goes down and then the VOIP goes down.

where we live,we lose power ALOT. we have a generator but that doesnt make a difference with VOIP b/c its the service provider's electricity that needs to be up and running, not our home's....:

it is inexpensive comparatively...and we do have cell phones but we cant get reception w/ our cell phones at home.
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#6 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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I find Lingo to be very reasonably priced. Just got this offer below when I was checking out their site.

Chatter Box plan for $17.95 a month

• UNLIMITED calling in the U.S.
• UNLIMITED calling to 22 countries
• FREE 20+ calling features including voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID with name
• FREE State-of-the-art Linksys phone adaptor - $50 value
• FREE Activation - $29.95 value
• FREE Shipping - $14.95 value

When signing up, mention or enter promo code AEFAS3.


Oh, and right now I have Voip through cable and before that it was packet8 for many years. I am thinking of switching to Lingo because of pricing.
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#7 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Does your computer always have to be on to use Voip? We only have laptops, and the modem/router is always on but we turn off the computers when we're not using them.
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#8 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, my gosh, I am so glad that I asked!

I checked out all of these, and I think that I am going to go for Magic Jack. $20 a year! We spend $40 a month right now on our landline with unlimited long distance. That's a savings of, wait, .... $460 a year.

And there's no question, like with Skype or Yahoo, of "is it a free computer-to-computer call, or is it a fee for service phone-to-computer or computer-to-phone call" blah blah blah.

And yes, I know that if my internet or my electricity goes out, I will lose my phone. But I'm okay with that possibility, because: 1) DH have decided that we simply must get a cellphone for emergencies, which is why I have been exploring VOIP- that is, trying to save $$ on a landline to pay for mobile service; 2) neither our internet nor our electric goes out very often (1x in the 3.5 years we've lived here, and that was only for a few hours); 3) We have good, physically close neighbors, and we live less than a 1/2 mile from our police, fire, EMS, ER, and business district. So even in a pretty dire emergency, I feel good about getting the help we need.

Thanks to everyone who responded, especially you, ALittleBitCrunchy.

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#9 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
the problem i had when i had VOIP is that when you lose electricity you lose it. even with teh cable version, there is a reverse amplifier that boosts the signal from our modem back up to the head end (??)...then our internet goes down and then the VOIP goes down.

where we live,we lose power ALOT. we have a generator but that doesnt make a difference with VOIP b/c its the service provider's electricity that needs to be up and running, not our home's....:

it is inexpensive comparatively...and we do have cell phones but we cant get reception w/ our cell phones at home.
Us too. I got locked into a contract with a VOIP provider and after the first month my phone was virtually unusable. Constant reception problems, and when I would call my internet dude he would tell me it was the phone people who had a problem, they would tell me it was my internet service. Their customer service was nonexistent once they had me trapped in a contract. Finally the real phone company put up lines by my house and I ended up paying 2 phone bills until my contract ran out for VOIP.

Our cells don't work by our house, either, so we really had no options without VOIP at first, but I wouldn't advise anyone in my area to bother with it. My regular phone costs me about $10 more a month than VOIP did, and with the aggravation and lost work time I can't say VOIP saved me any money, especially when I had to pay for another phone just so I could work. :

I feel like the VOIP provider ripped me off because they knew I had no other options at the time. Then I tried SKYPE and never could get it to work right. When I was following the directions to set it up a setting on my PC got screwed up and it took me months of searching online to find out what had happened and how to fix it. Very annoying.

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#10 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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bigeyes and PassionateWriter, can I ask what VOIP provider you were using?

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#11 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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at one point we had Comcast. but my neighbor had Vonage. it wont matter. you need electricity for it to work. and in NH, electricity goes out OFTEN (hence the reason we have a generator).
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#12 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I use Vonage currently. It's not nearly as cheap as Magic Jack, though! I paid a year in advance to get a price of $17/month. Anyway, I like it all right, except that it does crash occasionally, and when someone's on the internet, there are some significant lags. And if it crashes and you don't realize it, you can miss quite a few calls.

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#13 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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We use Vonage. Love it!

-sarah-
mom to three, 4 and under.
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#14 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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bigeyes and PassionateWriter, can I ask what VOIP provider you were using?
Pacific Lightnet.
My internet provider recommended them when I signed up for my internet service, but by the time my year was up he said he'd had so many complaints he was no longer recommending them to anyone.

I would call them to tell them I was having trouble with my phone and they would say they would call me back, but they didn't most of the time. I usually had to call all day long to finally reach a person to talk to, then they would try to say it was my internet that was the problem. My internet guy would test to see how my service was (I forget the term, but he could see how fast the connection was from his office.)

I probably could have gotten an attorney to get out of the contract, but by the time it dawned on me how full of cr@p they were I only had 4 months left and it would have cost me more to hire someone. I probably should have just on principle, but at the time I just wanted my phone to work.

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#15 of 25 Old 01-17-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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We're on Magic Jack, and we'll never go back.

It's a stupid name, but it's stupidly cheap, too! We got ours for Christmas at Radio Shack, and we were told that all of the Radio Shacks were ditching their in-store systems to Magic Jack as well.
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#16 of 25 Old 01-21-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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I dont use a VoIP but we have heard great things about the magic jack system. Cant beat the price and its nice that they seem to have quite a few area codes available to use ( if that matters to you ). They do still have th3 30 day free trial going on the website as well
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#17 of 25 Old 01-21-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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This is timely. We are thinking about the Magic Jack.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#18 of 25 Old 01-21-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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We have skype and no problems.We love it .Had it about a year and a half.You can buy a special phone that goes through the router so you can use it with out the computer turned on.
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#19 of 25 Old 01-21-2009, 08:42 PM
 
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Thanks to everyone who responded, especially you, ALittleBitCrunchy.
Quite welcome! I first heard about magicjack on this board and was intrigued. I ordered it, not expecting it to work...but it's fantastic!

WOHM to DS11 and DD9, both T1Ds

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#20 of 25 Old 01-24-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Listening in as we're trying to figure out what all our options are.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#21 of 25 Old 01-24-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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We switched to vonage before. We had one constant problems with it: our lines were always noisy. We troubleshoot it several times with Vonage and it was still noisy. Otherwise, it was a very good price.

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#22 of 25 Old 02-06-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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Another Magic Jack customer here! We really don't use it often (we don't get or receive many calls) so it's a great cheap alternative to a land line!
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#23 of 25 Old 02-06-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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We're using Ooma which is free once you buy the device you plug your phone into. After 2 months of no Verizon Ooma has paid for itself. Love it!
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#24 of 25 Old 02-06-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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I don't know if any other phone companies do this, but out here we've been told that if we drop our land line phone, we also lose our access to DSL, because the lines the DSL runs over are owned by the phone company.

Being in earthquake country, the electrical issue was the big deterrent, but basically being told that if we want VOIP we were still stuck with paying for the land line cinched it.

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#25 of 25 Old 02-06-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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We just ordered the Magic Jack through the free trial period offer earlier this week. DH is expecting it not to work, but I have higher expectations!

We are also considering the ooma through Amazon, which is on sale for $209.99 with free shipping. Then it is free to use from there on out. (This would only be if the Magic Jack does not work.)

We have our internet connection through our cable company. We have cell phones, but they do not consistently work in the house. Just a few minutes ago, I missed a call from DH. My cell was sitting right next to me and I didn't hear a thing until it buzzed to let me know I missed a call.

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