This is a discussion on MagicJack - So far So good within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by mi2az The computer needs to be setup for either wireless or DSL/Cable Internet. Plug the USB into one of the USB Ports ...
We've got Vonage - have had it for about 5 years now. We pay $37 a month for it - unlimited long distance, call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, and we have both a local Virginia number, and a local California number. Most of our family lives in California, so they don't have to pay long distance to call us if they use the California number. And, in addition to call forwarding, there's something call simul-ring - we can have another number (such as my cell phone) ring at the same time the house number rings. Very handy for when I have to leave the house - no hassling with setting up call forwarding if I'm just running to the store.
It's as dependable as the Internet and power - we've had no problems with it. And on the rare occasions when there is a problem - everything rings through to my cell phone, as we set it up.
I think the only IP I had with any sort of power back up was the local phone company, one was off line when the power failed, and the other is a pretty new outfit. So, even if you have power at home...
Yea. I think if you do have landline service, you should always have at least one simple (think the old "slimline" models) phone that doesn't require power other than what it gets from the phone line.
Some people say they'll just use their cell phone during a power outage or emergency when their VoIP is down. However, I don't think these people really know what happens during such situations.
As someone who had to go through three hurricanes in one summer, one of them knocking out power for an entire week, I can tell you that cellular service becomes quite spotty, as towers lose power or run out of fuel for their backup generators. Even if they are up, the network is constantly clogged and unless you'll have trouble getting through. There is a bit of relief in that 911 calls have primary priority (meaning, the network will bump a non-911 call off the network if necessary, in order to route a 911 call), but still, it's not 100% reliable. The networks learned and have implemented more procedures and emergency equipment, but still, it's not super reliable.
With that said, we even lost landline phones that week as well, so I won't lie to you and say that that is 100% reliable either. The only thing that is would be a satellite phone, but it is impractical for the normal person to have (as far as cost).
On the other hand, I had the land line folks out yesterday because of static on the line, and watching them I realized how easy it would be for a BG to stop my hard wired service from outside my home without even cutting a line. I need to take another look at that box outside to see if I can put a lock on it; though cutting wires would still be an easy thing for a BG.
Unlike mi2az (where homeowner's association has cable and internet covered) I now find myself paying for: cable tv; two cell phones one with G3 dataservice; DSL; and a land line. I would love to
cut expenses but don't see how Magic Jack or Vonage would do it.
Closest I can see would be to keep the DSL and drop the landline or go to cable modem and drop the landline, then use only the cells and Skype.
Our modern need to be "wired" and "unwired" is costing me about $200 a month and that is getting tiresome. I just don't see how to cut it down. (If I had my way the cable and TVs would disappear, but then so would Mrs Hopyard.)
For freedom is never free someone else just picks up tab.
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Hopyard, Its tough. I get internet and cable through my HOA dues and my work refunds me the portion of the internet costs of the HOA fee and the data portion of my cell phone. Since I am in IT, I am expected to work off hours when there are issues and need internet and work email for phone, so work pays for it.
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Another alternative, at least if you want to ditch the landline, is ooma: Free home phone service. Call anywhere in the US with no monthly fees. . They've gotten rave reviews as far as quality of both service and equipment. The calls themselves are free on the base plan, although you have to pay for the initial equipment.
Also, not sure if anyone cares/knows, but if you're concerned about not being able to use your phone jacks with VoIP, you actually can if you're willing to cut a few wires. Cut the main trunk line outside the house (inside the telco box on the side of your house or maybe in the basement if you have one), and then just plug in your converter unit into the wall. Hopefully it'll ring through and transmit throughout the wiring in the home, and you can use your regular wall jacks as if you had regular service. You should be ok to about 5 phones... after that, you may need to get those "ring loudeners" that basically put more voltage on the line. If you're using the older slimline telephones (the ones i actually like - they're built like a tank and sound great), it may be less, as they suck down more power from the line.
So, stuck I am. Let's see, $59 for cable tv (not worth it at all); $39 for dsl (can't live without it); $39 for land line; $96 for two cell phones, one with data service costing $30 a month.
A cable bundle runs $120 for phone, tv, internet. So, there's little savings that way.
To complicate things, I make lots of international calls using Skype and lots of domestic long distance calls using the cell. My wife gets lots of calls on the land line as well.
I need to know 30 to 50% off these expenses if it is possible to do so, but I just don't really see how to do it. Again, if I had my way, landline and cable tv (and the tvs) would all go. That's 100 a month to be saved--but....