"Best phone option in the UK - landlines watch out!"5.0 starson by rich_edwards79
Pros: Price, easy setup, good customer service, fantastic sound quality
Cons: No phone in power cut, can't transfer existing number (in UK)
Summary: I was a bit dubious about Vonage after reading some of the reviews on CNET and elsewhere, however in November I had a flyer pushed through my door offering inclusive UK and international calls fo £7.99 a month. This seemed too good to be true - I make A LOT of overseas calls and was paying up to £90 a month on my standard NTL (cable) line through a poor-quality, 1p per min access number.
The kit arrived the next day, and the installation went without a hitch - good clear instructions were provided, and although I suspect a complete tech novice might struggle a little (as it involves plugging in cables etc) the diagrams and troubleshooting guides were very comprehensive.
The system worked straight out of the box and instantly I noticed how clear calls are with Vonage. I'm on a 2MB cable broadband connection and even whilst surfing the net or using a webcam simultaneously with an international call it's very rare that there's any noticeable effect on sound quality.
Vonage has already saved me an absolute fortune since I subscribed - and all this for a better service than I received with NTL. Extra features such as Caller Display, Call Waiting, Ring Back, Call Divert and even the ability to record your own voicmail greeting - all of which cost significantly more on NTL / BT - are completely free with Vonage.
Plus there's features which you simply don't get anywhere else. Like the level of online control over your account which means you can change your settings or even set up an additional phone number in seconds. This extra number, by the way, can be anywhere in the world - so for just £2.99 a month my girlfriend in Boston can call me at local rates - and because her US plan includes free calls to local numbers, she doesn't pay a cent.
All in all the only issues I've had have been due to my NTL broadband connection, which has dropped out once or twice leaving me without phone service. The contrasts between NTL, with their extortionate prices, horrendous customer service and poor reliability, and Vonage, who fall over themselves to help - could not be more obvious. Even fluctuations in broadband service, however, aren't a huge problem - Vonage allows you to specify another landline or mobile number to which your calls will automatically divert in the event of service failure, so you never miss an incoming call, and again this is completely free.
People are always quite curious about the little flashing box on top of my TV set, and when I tell them what it is they genuinely can't believe how little I pay for calls. "What's the catch" is a common response. I haven't found it yet. It's a very good feeling to know I'm not contributing to the obscene profits of BT and the rest of the telecoms dinosaurs.
All I would say is that you need a reasonably reliable broadband connection - if you suffer a lot of downtime you won't have the same dependable service as a fixed line. Otherwise it's better than a landline in every way. It would have been nice to have been able to keep my old number, but in the end it wasn't as big a hassle to change it as I thought.
Vonage is quite simply the best technology product I've ever encountered.