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What is your VoIP setup?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,184 causal


    I don't want to spam the new VoIP forum with loads of threads :o , but I thought it might be interesting and informative if people who are already VoIP users post up some details about their VoIP setup and what they think of it.

    My Service Providers:
    VoIP provider - blueface.ie :Freedom Basic package
    BB provider - ntl:750/128 (later we'll look back fondly on those speeds :D )

    My Hardware Setup:
    cable modem > belkin router > Grandstream 486 ATA* > DECT basestation

    My Running Costs:
    After the initial outlay for hardware, my running costs are:
    €35 pm - ntl bb (technically you don't need bb for VoIP, but I guess most VoIPers do)
    €9.99 pm - blueface subscription (there are 3 tariffs including pay-as-you-go)
    €4.00 pm - approx for additional blueface call credit (I only have 1 months data for this figure ;) )

    My Review:
    Excellent. I don't regret cancelling my pstn line and switching over totally to VoIP for all of my calls. When the number port (allowing me to keep my existing landline phone number) from eircom to blueface went through I told no-one, and during calls no-one commented on line or call quality - that was the litmus test for me :)
    Of course, now I'm telling anybody who will listen :D

    I've placed landline calls to Ireland and Singapore, and Irish mobiles - never a problem with quality (bar the odd one due to the other partys mobile phone reception).
    My personal experience has been that the ATA provides far superior call quality compared to using softphones (including both X-Lite and Skype) even when the softphones are used with a top quality headset (Plantronics GameCom Pro1).
    My ntl connection has been always on for 3.5 months - no problems.
    blueface customer support is well documented for being top-drawer.
    I'm only 6 weeks into total VoIP (24/7) and so far so good :cool:

    causal

    *ATA - Analogue Telephone Adapter - it allows you to plug a normal phone (via an RJ11 plug) into the ATA which then uses SIP for use in VoIP


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Comments



  • I'm using a Sipura ATA-3000 with blueface's service.

    However by default the ATA is setup for the US style numbers. This leads to a several second delay when placing calls. So I have changed the dialplan to:

    ([2-9]xxxxxx|[01]x.|999|30x|*x.)
    This will allow local (Dublin) calls to be placed straight away and all other calls will proced after a short delay. I inclued 999 and 30x (blueface test numbers) in the plan so that a shorter timeout is used before dialing.

    As the Irish numbering plan has differing number of digits in area codes and also numbers begining with 1 can have differing lengths. It was easier to use wild cards and put up with a short delay (or pressing # signal the end of the number)

    If you would like Cork numbers to be dialed as a local number with blueface (i.e. without having to dial the area code) try:

    (<:021>[2-9]xxxxxx|[01]x.|999|30x|*x.)

    This will pre-append 021 to all seven digit numbers starting with 2-9 (i.e. a local number)
    Note: I haven't yet tested this last suggestion however according to the manual it should work.

    William




  • SERVICES
    VoIP provider - Oriunde.com
    BB provider - eircom

    HARDWARE
    cable modem/wap > Grandstream 286 ATA > DECT basestation

    COSTS
    After the initial outlay for hardware, my running costs are:
    €39+24 pm - eircom BB + line rental
    US$9 pm - subscription for Oriunde.com
    whatever calls I make/receive**

    NOTE: the subscription gives me a romanian number and a freephone number. When my friends call me on the regular number, they pay local/national rates, I don't pay anything. If the family calls the freephone number, I pay 7c/min.


    CONCLUSIONS
    I subscribed to this service for two reasons:
    1. better quality than using calling cards
    2. somewhat cheaper than calling cards
    Bonus reason: free calls to other SIP phones anywhere.
    causal wrote:
    My personal experience has been that the ATA provides far superior call quality compared to using softphones (including both X-Lite and Skype) even when the softphones are used with a top quality headset (Plantronics GameCom Pro1).
    This might be due to the vocoders available in hardware ATA. I noticed that the quality with G729 protocol is far superior to anything available in free softphones.


    Cheers,
    JP




  • I Use Skype on my 56k (yeah I'm a legend) for ringing the family in the US.
    But I also use skype whenever I get access to Broadband. (I carry a headset around everywhere ;) )

    However, I also use my mates ata 286 when I get the chance.




  • I'm using a Sipura ATA-3000 with blueface's service.

    If you would like Cork numbers to be dialed as a local number with blueface (i.e. without having to dial the area code) try:

    (<:021>[2-9]xxxxxx|[01]x.|999|30x|*x.)

    This will pre-append 021 to all seven digit numbers starting with 2-9 (i.e. a local number)
    Note: I haven't yet tested this last suggestion however according to the manual it should work.

    William

    Somewhat academic as "blueface" does not have numbering space in the 021 area!

    med0




  • My Service Providers:
    VoIP provider - blueface.ie :Freedom Basic package (€9.99)
    BB provider - BT Business Broadband 1024/256 (Going about getting it Unbundled so its data only and I'll pay no line rental)


    My Hardware Setup:
    Netgear Router/Modem > Sipura SPA-2100 ATA > DECT Phone
    img00042ac.th.jpg img00058ij.th.jpg
    damn dust all over my stuff...


    My Running Costs:
    After forking out for the SPA-2100 adapter (€130) the costs are the following
    - DSL €45 Per Month
    - VoIP Package €10
    - 300min of FREE calls cover my landline calls and a extra €5-€7 for mobiles


    Previous Running Costs
    EXCLUDING DSL costs I was previously forking out a average of €66 - €70 every two months just for the ability to make/recieve calls so a drop of €36 every two months is a great saving for me.


    I will properly increase my landline usage due to the fact that I know I'm no longer being ripped of :D
    But overall my line is used for incoming calls.

    Note: The Sipura SPA-2100 allows you to connect a standard phone handset to your modem/router/switch and use it with your VoIP provider......very usefull.
    Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting


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  • My Service Providers:
    VoIP provider - Skype Out
    BB provider - ntl:1500mbps (next month this is doubled to 3mbps and the monthly bill is cut by a fiver biggrin.gif)

    My Hardware Setup:
    cable modem + wireless router / AP
    VOIP USB phone (new)
    Headset (previously)

    My Running Costs:
    After the initial outlay for hardware, my running costs are:
    €50 pm - ntl bb
    €0.0196 per minute for calls to landlines anywhere in the civilized world

    My Review:
    Only tried skypeout a few times since I registered the week they started. Have been using pc2pc calls for years, previously with Net2Phone and other providers and for the last year or two with Skype. Biggest saving for me has been on very regular 2 or 3 hour calls with my best mate in the Netherlands.

    Sound quality: better than PSTN
    Duplex: leaves a bit to be desired - any tips on how to improve?
    causal wrote:
    I told no-one, and during calls no-one commented on line or call quality - that was the litmus test for me smile.gif
    Of course, now I'm telling anybody who will listen biggrin.gif

    Brilliant! My time will come soon enough for a hardware setup, methinks. Bye bye $$Eircon$$ biggrin.gif




  • My setup consists of a Draytek Vigour 2600VGI on Eircom 3Mb, connected to blueface.ie's PAYG service. Mainly used for calls to UK by me. DECT phone in first port of router, and potential to add second phone into router as necessary.

    If I could unbundle my line, I would: not available in my exchange.




  • VOIP provider: Blueface
    Broadband: Cablesurf, Dungarvan (9Mbit/512Kbit)
    Hardware: Cisco 7940 -> vanilla router -> Terayon cable modem -> ISP

    I'm a bit of a voip novice, as I only signed up with blueface 2 weeks ago. Call quality has been top class. Called a pal in Melbourne last week (on his POTS number), and he sounded like he was next door. While we were speaking, his mobile rang, and I could clearly hear what the bloke phoning him was saying.

    I probably wouldn't have shelled out for the Cisco phone, if I didn't already have one lying around the office after an old software project. I had to change the firmware on the phone to SIP version, as they ship with Cisco proprietary voip protocol firmware installed.

    Seems to be a bloody good phone though. Good speakerphone, pile of useful features (conferencing, call fwd, call xfer etc.).

    Have decided to port my number over to Blueface. Be interesting to see how long that takes.




  • Porting should take 2-4 weeks, from the blueface FAQ
    It's down to eircon, so it ta k e s t i m e :rolleyes:
    Anemone wrote:
    ...Cablesurf, Dungarvan (9Mbit/512Kbit)...
    :eek: :eek: Ya see we're living in the effing stoneage in Dublin 750/128 upgraded to 2Mbit/200kbit - whop-de-effing-do :rolleyes:
    Cablesurf - wow - proves all these other providers are blowin' smoke :mad:

    causal




  • My Service Providers :
    Broadband - NTL 1.5mpbs
    VoIP - BlueFace PAYG

    My Hardware/Software Setup
    Software - Firefly (Working great), X-Lite (Dodgy connections)
    Harware - Sony headset, Cheap microphone

    My Running Costs
    €50 a month for NTL (shared with mates)
    €10 a month for BlueFace, hrs of calls to Asia/Australia

    The only thing is I am not happy is with my headset/mic. They really sux. Wanna get sthing better but not sure whether VoIP phones or just bluetooth headset/dongle combi. Feel free to suggest. My budget is tight, €100 is max!


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  • mart_max wrote:
    The only thing is I am not happy is with my headset/mic. They really sux. Wanna get sthing better but not sure whether VoIP phones or just bluetooth headset/dongle combi. Feel free to suggest. My budget is tight, €100 is max!
    A hardware ATA costs less than that, and it will allow you to connect a regular phone to blueface.
    See this example.

    Cheers,
    JP

    EDIT: I bought mine at half that from US. Brought personally, not shipped. There might be customs duty.
    EDIT2: is customs duty less in Germany?




  • mart_max wrote:
    Wanna get sthing better but not sure whether VoIP phones or just bluetooth headset/dongle combi. Feel free to suggest. My budget is tight, €100 is max!
    Try eBay - the US site (ebay.com) and the UK site (ebay.co.uk); The Sipura SPA2100 ATA seems pretty good.
    If buying from the states make sure you get the correct power adapter (220V, 50Hz); and also read this thread
    For an idea of some of the hardware available check this part of the VoIP FAQ

    causal




  • My Service Providers:
    VoIP provider - blueface.ie :Freedom Basic package
    BB provider - ntl:750/128 (for now)

    My Hardware Setup:
    cable modem > Linksys WRT54G router > Sipura SP-2100 ATA > DECT basestation

    My Running Costs:
    After the initial outlay for hardware, my running costs are:
    €35 pm - ntl bb
    €9.99 pm - blueface subscription (there are 3 tariffs including pay-as-you-go)

    I was never a heavy user of my landline but still had a bill of €50-€60 every two months.

    So, for me the VoIP setup saves me upto €20/month.

    The only quality issue I have noticied is when I am doing a bittorrent. I running the 3.03.6 firmware with QoS on the router, however many calls still go straight to voicemail when I'm am doing a bittorrent. Maybe when NTL up the bandwidth this problem will go away.




  • capistrano wrote:
    The only quality issue I have noticied is when I am doing a bittorrent. I running the 3.03.6 firmware with QoS on the router, however many calls still go straight to voicemail when I'm am doing a bittorrent. Maybe when NTL up the bandwidth this problem will go away.

    I'm having similar problems, while calls don't go to voice mail they do suffer
    I can cap torrents to 10k upload (leaving 22k free) but calls are still affected quality wise.

    Currently using a Netgear DG834G (latest firmware) I've been looking into a router with QoS but is it really worth the extra money.
    Anybody have suggestions for routers?




  • In relation to limiting upload speeds* it might be worth keeping an eye on this thread

    *I think he's looking for a software limiter rather than hardware QoS, but it still might throw up something useful

    causal




  • I guess I should have mentioned that I already use net limiter, it does a good job from my understanding of QoS it would do a better job




  • Does the Sipura 2100 work as a router also?

    My current setup is

    NTL > Cheap Router > PC/Xbox

    would I be better going

    NTL > Cheap Router > 2100/PC/Xbox

    or NTL > 2100 > Switch > PC/Xbox




  • paulm17781 wrote:
    Does the Sipura 2100 work as a router also?

    My current setup is

    NTL > Cheap Router > PC/Xbox

    would I be better going

    NTL > Cheap Router > 2100/PC/Xbox

    or NTL > 2100 > Switch > PC/Xbox

    try NTL > Switch/Router > PC/XBOX/2100

    i guess it should be alrite




  • mart_max wrote:
    try NTL > Switch/Router > PC/XBOX/2100

    i guess it should be alrite

    A word of warning, when I moved my 2100 insude the router (as you recommend) I had to forward the following ports directly to the ATA in my router settings:
    SIP Ports: 5060 to 5061
    RTP Ports: 16384 to 16482




  • mart_max wrote:
    try NTL > Switch/Router > PC/XBOX/2100

    i guess it should be alrite

    NTL > Switch won't work, that's why I have a router. Does the 2100 do NATing or should I continue to use my router for that?


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  • paulm17781 wrote:
    NTL > Switch won't work, that's why I have a router. Does the 2100 do NATing or should I continue to use my router for that?
    The Sipura SPA-2100 does have an inbuilt router and NAT gateway and you can use it in the way you previously described:

    Broadband Connection -> SPA-2100 -> Switch or PC

    If you already have a router it would be better to use it in the following manner:

    Broadband Connection -> Router (and Switch) -> PC / SPA-2100

    The SPA-2100 only has a single Ethernet port availbale on the private network side whereas most routers will have a 3 or 4 port switch built in.

    As capistrano mentioned it can also be a good idea to set up a port forward through the router if you are using the second configuration. The reason for this is that to receive incoming calls the VoIP server (in this case SIP server) will need to "initiate" the connection to the adapter (in this case the SPA-2100). A server will not be able to initiate a connection through NAT unless:

    1. A connection has been kept open after it was originally established by the adpater,
    2. Port forwarding is set up so that incoming connections to the router, typically on UDP port 5060, are forwarded directly to the adapter.

    Since option 1 can be a bit erratic, and result in missed incoming calls, option 2 is normally the preferred one provided you are comfortable configuring your router. It's actually not too difficult these days as most routers provide a nice web configuration option.

    Another alternative would be:

    Broadband Connection -> SPA-2100 -> Router (and switch) -> PC

    In this case you wouldn't need to set up the port forwarding. You would also be better off just plugging the SPA-2100 into one of the router's switch ports and not its WAN or Internet one. There is no need for another network here even though it would work providing the Router was configured to get its WAN address via DHCP.

    Hopefully that's all not as clear as mud.

    Aaron




  • I think that makes sense. I wont be able to fully follow until I have the 2100 infront of me.

    Does the 2100 have WAN and LAN connections or just one connection?

    I was thinking BB > WAN; LAN > Switch

    is that possible?




  • paulm17781 wrote:
    I think that makes sense. I wont be able to fully follow until I have the 2100 infront of me.

    Does the 2100 have WAN and LAN connections or just one connection?

    I was thinking BB > WAN; LAN > Switch

    is that possible?
    Yes that's possible. The SPA-2100 has two Ethernet ports called WAN and PC so you would do exactly as you say:

    BB -> WAN Port / PC Port -> Switch

    Aaron




  • My Service Providers:
    VoIP provider - Skype
    BB provider - IBB 1Mbps

    My Hardware Setup:
    A couple of routers
    Plantronics USB headset

    My Running Costs:
    0

    My Review:

    While the Plantronics headset is very good, I've just broken a second one. For some reason the microphone keeps going.

    I don't use Skype or anything else for POTS calls. I have a landline so I don't see the point with VoIP. The quality is more reliable using the landline and I don't need to buy lots of strange VoIP equipment and the call cost is the same. I only use Skype with other Skype users. The quality varies significantly.




  • Blaster99 wrote:
    While the Plantronics headset is very good, I've just broken a second one. For some reason the microphone keeps going.

    I don't use Skype or anything else for POTS calls. I have a landline so I don't see the point with VoIP. The quality is more reliable using the landline and I don't need to buy lots of strange VoIP equipment and the call cost is the same. I only use Skype with other Skype users. The quality varies significantly.
    Thats worring about the Plantronics headset breaking easly as I have just bought one. However it has inproved the sound quality of my skype calls no end.

    However I found that using a softphone (like skype etc) the quality varies a bit. And can be badly effected by other programs running on the computer. However when using blueface and hardware adaptor (sipura 3000) the quality is consistantly good.

    The price of calls is the main reason I use VoIP, I can call the US or a friend in China for half of what Eircom charge me phone next door!!!

    There are other benfits, like keeping my calls seprate form others in the house, which simplifes things for me when the bill arrives.

    Willie.




  • Blaster99 wrote:
    I have a landline so I don't see the point with VoIP. The quality is more reliable using the landline and I don't need to buy lots of strange VoIP equipment and the call cost is the same.
    How much is your landline rental per month? With VoIP it's as low as €0.00. Or if you want to keep your number then it's from €9.99 per month with blueface.

    Which call costs are the same? blueface are cheaper for all calls local/national/international. The only cheaper calls you might get are within your mobile operators own network.

    causal




  • With Telestunt I never pay more than local call cost to anywhere. A local call is possibly more expensive during daytime but on the other hand I don't have to rely on my ISP to deliver consistent quality, which they don't. And I don't need to worry about getting a phone call in the midst of a download. I'm sure I can setup various routers with QoS support but in order to make a very marginal saving on calls I need to invest several hundred euro and many hours of configuration to get it to work. Not worth it, and quality is still not guaranteed.

    I use Skype quite a bit with other Skype users, but I couldn't see myself paying for it. The quality just isn't consistent. It's a toy, basically. For something that's free that's ok, but if I'm on a phone call to a customer I'd like it to work 100% of the time.

    The line rental is a rip-off, but I also have ADSL as backup and I have a monitored alarm. So I need a phone line, never mind the QoS issues.




  • Aye fair enough if you have a monitored alarm and use ADSL then you're going to be paying line rental anyway. The attraction for a lot of VoIP users is the saving on line rental, and then cheaper calls. As you say the downside is the large initial outlay on the equipment necessary for switching to VoIP; it'll probably take a year or so to see savings.

    causal




  • Without a doubt, if I didn't have to have the phone line I would use VoIP too. Partly because I like mucking around with new stuff and partly because it saves money and I absolutely hate Eircom for their poxy line rental.

    Another reason to use VoIP in some shape or another is that a lot of companies either don't allow anything other than local calls or monitor phone calls. It's quite handy to be able to bypass all of that when at work without having to spend a fortune on mobile calls. And you can of course answer your VoIP line wherever you're at so it in effect works like a nomadic service so people don't necessarily need to call your mobile to get hold of you, saving everybody money. As much as Eircom is rip off, the MNO's are on a different planet.


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