Pros Cheap, unlimited long distance.
Cons Call quality while surfing, proximity to modem, obviously doesn't work when power is out.
Summary I must first admit that I have not tried any other VoIP. Overall, I am happy with Vonage. I do wish I could find a land line company that would provide unlimited long distance cheaper than $50. In the meantime, I will continue to use Vonage. The call quality on Vonage is good. Unless of course you are surfing the internet. Then at times, you will find that there is a huge delay in your voice being transmitted, or it is simply not transmitted at all. Another downfall of this service, as it is with all VoIP services is the proxmity with which your phone, or cordless base unit must be to your modem. This could become troublesome depending on where you place your broadband modem. And as previously stated, don't consider this service, if you are in a location with frequent power outages. Even though it is obvious it should probably still be stated. No power, no internet service. No internet service, no phone service. Keep a cell phone charged and handy. One plus I must give that I wasn't sure about before I started the service, was whether or not it would work with a cordless phone. It does. My one suggestion; make sure that the frequency of your cordless phone is different from your wireless network, as you will have interference. Even with the problems, (which I can't say is specific to Vonage) I still recommend this service.
Pros Monthy bill is cheap (excluding all the fees).
Cons Customer service, fee to connect, fee to change plans, fee to disconnect, service is spotty.
Summary I regret that I ever decided to use Vonage, it has cost me an arm and a leg and the whole reson I considered it was to save money in the first place! Signing up was easy, cancelling the account was nigh impossible. There is a $30 activation fee, a $30 fee if you change service plans, a $40 fee to cancel the service. If you cancel withing 90 days they will charge you for the equipment too, I would not want to find out how much that might cost. I had some difficulty installing the service, but got it after a week or so of contacting customer service for Linksys, the router manufacturer. The service worked for the first 2 weeks or so, then calls became progressively more choppy until people could not hear me at all. I followed the troubleshooting guide on the website and tried everything and it did not work. I called my internet service provider (cable modem) who assured me that my service was fast enough. I bought and installed a new router, same problem. I paid my bill for months while not being able to use my phone AND paying for overages on my cell phone. I decided to cancel the service and the customer care was horrible to me (once I fanally got through, after being on hold for almost an hour). They slammed me with a $40 cancellation fee, then when I asked to speak to a manager, the "customer care rep" put me on hold and then hung up on me. I called back, sat on hold for about 15 minutes, then finally got to speak with a so-called manager, who said he saw no reason to waive the cancellation fee. We argued for about 20 minutes, I pointed out that he can see that I haven't even made phone calls in months and that their service is defective and I am not canceeling just for personal preference. I further stated that I've been paying them $25 plus tax monthly for a service I couldn't use and that I had even recommended people to their company. They still treated me very badly and refused to budge on anything. I was glad to pay the $40 plus whatever other silly fees they'll slap on their just to get off the phone before I had a stroke. This was one of the most stressful experiences with customer service anywhere and I highly recommend the 'buyer beware' with Vonage.
Pros Reliable, Features are cool, saving $100's!
Cons Bad info in documentation; no connection tabs
Summary This service is great! The extra services (call forwarding, network availability, etc.) are features that would cost you quite a bit with a land line provider (at least $10/mo), or would be totally unavailable.
It may be more expensive than other VoIP's, but reliability and features outweight anything else.
The digital divide has been widened. Those that have broadband will have great phone service. Those that don't will be beholden to the Bells.
The cons are minor:
No Connection Tabs: When you disconnect from the land line at your phone box, you should make up a tag and install it on your lines so no one accidentally connects lines to your house. Other services provide little tabs for these warnings. (Minor)
Bad Install Documentation (pet peeve):
You cannot follow the directions if you use the Wizard, which directs you to hook up the router prior to first starting the wizard, but the wizard searches for your initial setup config and will not run until you disconnect the router. While nothing is damaged, it is potentially a big time waster.
Pros Very cost effective, Has abilities far beyond a standard phone, Great international rates, Compared to a standard phone there is no comparison this is the future of phone comunication and it is here.
Cons Requires some technical knowledge for proper setup
Summary To start let me put forth my credentials BA EE Purdue University, Engineer for 5 Years. AKA you can put some stock in my opinions. To be most helpful I'm going to include some details and examples for those who want the "cliff note" version Vonage good, get a fast ip ie comcast (8mps!)even if you have a satalite as I do for tv just do your internet with comcast you won't be sorry, dsl will work but is slower and will have problems isn't the idea to stop paying the phone company? get linksys non wireless router, If not working right 9/10 it is not setup properly on your end. If you know what you are doing great if not see below. First off don't get a voip home phone. Proper Set-up is impractical and with out proper setup you will have many problems from jagged conversation to echoes accross the phone. The best solution is to go with a non-wireless router. This has several advantages the most obvious is expandability. A voip device has what is called a mac address this uniquely identifies a device your phone number is associate with it essentialy making that your phone line except that you can pick it up and go anywhere. a voip phone would would limit you to a single line and make the phones you already own useless (Yes I know there are some phones that have a seconday port on it for additional lines, but this still limits how many phones you can use) A. wireless voip router is a mistake for a couple of reasons. Like a wireless voip phone it needs to be placed 10 to 15 feet away from other wireless equipment to avoid risk of distortion on your calls. and 2 Wireless protocols are changing rapidly geting a wireless voip router lmiits you to it's wireless speed and prevents you from upgrading. Which comes to a important point you say you don't own a router thats not an issue well the fact is that technology including the livingroom and kitchen is going that direction. If you don't own one you will want to soon, and with HD content on the way related applications will make it very important to have the fastest possible wireless speeds. So we have our non-wireless router maxamize its use. take your phone line out puts and plug them directly into the wall phone jacks (both if you are wired for two lines or just line one if you only have one) then (very important) go to your phone interface outside on the user interface side use a screw driver open it up and disconnect any phone lines that our pluged in wrapp black elc tape around it and close the box. Congratulations you are now your own phone server and your entire home is ready use all of you phone lines just as have always done. It is ggod to be very neat and tidy with you connections to avoid problems. To test your system call your line on a cell phone. (important) place the cell phone on mute then put both up to your ears and read a script don't let the delay bother you that is normal but listen for any echos or distortions or cut offs. echoes and distortions are most likely a symptom of wiring keep electrical wires away from communication wires. if cutting off words youmost likely have bandwith problem if you have a fast ip check other devices such as computers downloading typicaly isn't a problem bu uploading is. If you are using a peer to peer network be sure you have limited you upload speed to a small number as well as check for viruses and spyware that could be eating up your band with. Don't bother transfering phone number unless you really need to it just complicates things, most phone companies for a very small fee will add a forwarding number to the disconnected message. Finnaly this is an incredible service that is very future oriented and has great additional features like virtual numbers imagagine not just being able to call long-distance, but them being able to call you back for free using a virtual number that is local to them. I do find it nessesary to point out because of how positive I am that I'm not a vonage employee or any other voip service employee nor do recieve any money from the sale of any voip product. I just happen to have some knowledge and experience hope it helps.
"Vonage is aweful"on by jrusse
Pros there aren't any
Cons without question the worst of any service ever
Summary I signed up for Vonage several months ago. I was initially excited not only for what appeared to be state of the art technology but cost savings for the service. Boy was I wrong! At some point in the future some company will get it right but not Vonage. Our service was non exsistent. We tried time and time again to get support form them, Every time we called we were on the for at least 20 minutes. Our service was so bad my entire office had to use personal cell phones to conduct business. We not only had dropped calls but often times not connection at all. Don't let the low fees dupe you into their service.