Welcome to Vonage

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from my brother about the Vonage voice over IP service. The call was clear and unlike most volP services I had used, it was full duplex, meaning we could both talk at the same time (for the most part)

After reading reviews on the web I signed up. Once I had returned from Canada, my phone adaptor was waiting. I plugged it into my router, went to the website and configured my account and made a call at 1am!

The system works like this. Vonage has a fairly sophisticated three layer network. The Cisco ATA 186 box they sends you plugs into your cable/DSL internet connection you have, and allows you to plug one or more phones (through the use of splitters into it) Once that is done, you can make calls!

Let me be clear – You can call any number in the world. Don’t confuse voice over IP with talking from one PC to another. This uses good old analog phones just like any other phone service. In fact, this same concept has been in use by the phone companies for many years now, you just never knew it. The adaptor box was in their building, not yours. They used their own private networks, not the internet. But the concept is similar.

The proxy servers they have set up keep people from knowing who you are if any packets should be intercepted. We’ll see how this works out over time, if someone is able to gather information by cracking and listening to someone hand out their credit card.

So why the hoopla? What are the cons?