OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

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For quite some time I've been paying for a minimal service business =
line but I normally use my personal line which is part of my FIOS =
For a while I had a 24 hour hotline on the business line, but I no =
have need for that. I used it a couple of times to send a fax, when my=20
computer still had a modem and phone jack, but my new one does not. So, =
been paying about $30/month for something I don't use, but I have heard =
it's a good idea to keep a POTS line which may be more reliable in case =
certain disasters. Usually the advice applies to cell phones, and I =
FIOS is probably equivalent to copper land lines, so I think some sort =
VOIP for the business phone may be reasonable.

I just purchased a Magic Jack for $40, which includes one year of =
which is $20/year. I have not tried it yet, but I read some reviews =
were inconclusive.
And this was recommended for VOIP for $5/month:

One disadvantage of the MagicJack is that it needs a USB connection that =

stays "live", which can be done with a laptop but it is still =
I have some other computers I could dedicate to the MagicJack, but there =

were other warnings about poor performance over a wireless connection. I =

could use the computer with an Ethernet cable connection, but I'm =
there should be a way to eliminate the computer and USB, and just use=20
something that connects the phone line to the router. Or, maybe, I can =
another line added to my FIOS account. But I'd prefer a business =
and that might require another separate installation, which would be =
costly and not really needed for my purposes.

So, if anyone has any ideas and experience in this area, please let me =



Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

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Not much other than that we use VOIPbuster to call to USA/Netherlands
now and then. If you have credits you can make free calls for quite some
time, and you can call up those credits. I think we up our credits twice
a year or so, so about 20 euro/year.

John Bokma                                                               j3b

Blog: http://johnbokma.com/        Perl Consultancy: http://castleamber.com/
Perl for books:    http://johnbokma.com/perl/help-in-exchange-for-books.html

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

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I've had my MagicJack for almost 2 years, and I love it.  It is my
primary phone.  I have a cell phone, just in case I have to call my ISP.  
MagicJack is coming out with a unit that does not require a computer - it
plugs straight into a router:
http://www.magic-jack.com/category/magic-jack-plus /

Adrienne Boswell
Arbpen Web Site Design Services - http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info /
The Good Plate - Fresh Gourmet Recipes - http://the-good-plate.com /
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

arbpen@yahoo.com says...
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I had the opposite experience with MagicJack a couple years ago. When I
tested it out with several friends and relatives, they all said the call
quality was terrible, worse than a bad cell phone.  I tried a different
headset, there was not difference.

I tested OneSuite and found that to be much better.  Then I called AT&T
to cancel, they gave me the super-secret $25/month unlimited business
plan, so I stayed with them.  When we lost power for a few days after
bad storms hit the Chicago area last summer, I'm glad I had POTS, we
used it for personal and business, especially after all our cell phone
batteries died.

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

Per SAZ:
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My main rationale for keeping POTS around is 911.

I don't really know anything, but it seems logical that a 911
call on a cell phone's getting routed to the right 911 center
depends on a table somewhere that is maintained by somebody and,
furthermore, isn't used all that much and probably isn't tested
as rigorously as I'd want.

OTOH, 911 on POTS would seem tb pretty much shaken down, used by
many people, and therefore more reliable.

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

"(PeteCresswell)"  wrote in message=20

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I can see the rationale for not relying on a cell phone for 911, and =
the phone has a GPS the best you could hope for would be a location =
by the nearest towers. By their very nature, it cannot be assumed that =
user is at home. I have my personal phone service through FIOS, which is =

essentially similar to a traditional POTS copper connection, but it =
must pass through some high tech devices to translate the 48VDC and =
system to a modulated light source for the fiberoptic link and also =
some microwave links which are also used for many POTS connections. So, =
the case of an extreme disaster, all phone service may be down.

With POTS, it is possible to make a 911 call even without a phone. If =
can just get to a live pair of TELCO wires, you can simulate a pulse =
dial by=20
just tapping the wires together at the right cadence. You might even be =
to listen to the response by using a headphone or a speaker, maybe =
needing a=20
capacitor to block the DC.

The ultimate emergency communication system is probably still ham radio.

The experience of having cell phone batteries go dead during an extended =

emergency points out that one should have alternate sources of power. An =

ordinary generator is most convenient, and I have a small one (900 =
that I bought from Harbor Freight for $89 on sale. Five gallons of =
mix should last a week or more if used only for necessities. Having an=20
automotive adapter for cell phone charging is a good investment. I also =
a car starter which has a SLA battery which I keep on constant charge, =
it has a cigarette lighter socket for 12V accessories. It's probably =
for 20-50 amp-hours. I also have some small 12V to 120V inverters which =
power line-operated equipment.

I guess the Magic Jack will be good enough for occasional calls and =
I'm not sure if the computer can be set up for incoming and outgoing =
through it, however. One of the standard VOIP devices on an Ethernet=20
connection to my router may be better, but I still have the problem of =
having a modem on my newer laptop. I could probably use a USB to serial=20
converter and dig out an old 56k external fax modem. And there is =
software that can use a wireless internet connection for fax.

Usually I just ask customers to send things to me by email, which just=20
involves scanning the original (or, often, sending the original document =
native digital format - Word, PDF, etc.) which is even better. =
there are still some entities, such as lawyers, that demand fax. =
I think fax is just about obsolete.


Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

P E Schoen wrote:
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FiOS is only similar to a POTS copper connection as long as the battery
in the ONT is charged. After about 6-8 hours without AC power to your
house, the ONT will shut down and you will not have any of the FiOS
features. Perhaps powering your ONT with a generator would solve that
problem. Wouldn't take very much.
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Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

On 10/6/2011 4:04 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
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Pete, cell calls are routed to the correct 911 center based on your
phone's gps, if your phone has one and it's active.  If not, calls are
routed based on the cell tower.

Of course it means it's possible if you're on the boundary between two
jurisdictions you might get routed to the wrong one, but that doesn't
happen very often.  And dispatchers can handle transfer you to the
correct dispatcher.

Yes, there are tables - but those also don't change unless there's a
change in the boundaries of the jurisdictions (which happens very
seldom).  And your POTS line is run by tables also, which can be just as
wrong as the cell phone tables.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

Per Jerry Stuckle:
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Thanks for the elucidation.   This might be the ground work for
getting rid of my regular phone service altogether.

"Regular" and not "POTS" in light of PE Schoen's observation that
those of us on FIOS don't really have POTS any more anyhow.

Last question: with 911 over VOIP, assuming the call gets routed
to the appropriate center, would it be the same center as a POTS
call would have been routed to?

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

On 10/7/2011 9:49 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
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Yup, POTS lines do have their advantages.  I keep them for my business
lines, although I have FIOS for home service.  That way even when the
power is out and the batteries on the phone system die I still have some
phone service (cell towers don't run forever without power, either!).
But Verizon can handle power outages on POTS lines (we lost power for
over 5 days in a blizzard a year and a half ago but my POTS lines still

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It should be - at least that's the FCC requirement.  However, I would
think that would be a little more difficult with DHCP and some smaller
ISPs which cover multiple jurisdictions. I don't know for sure, though.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: OT? VOIP vs MagicJack vs pay for phone line

Per P E Schoen:
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I think I am coming from the same situation: I wanted to keep
POTS for 911 reliability and the Skype helper that connected to
my home phone system required a 24-7 PC.

My solution was a LinkSys SPA3102 VOIP gateway and a pay-per-call
prepaid account with CallCentric.com that costs less than two
cents a minute to call anywhere in the USA or Europe - or,
probably, anywhere else in the world.

It's been at least a year now, and I have absolutely no
complaints.    CallCentric monitors my balance and when available
minutes get below a certain threshold, it dings my credit card
for five bucks and adds the minutes.  Totally maintenance-free.

If you go that route, the only learning curve will be something
they call a "Dial Plan" - which is a bunch of cryptic stuff in a
text file that the gateway uses to decide whether to route a
given outgoing call over POTS or the Internet via CallCentric.

If you're in the USA, my dial plan will probably work for you.

The first part is the actual dial plan - which can be
copied/pasted into the gateway's Admin Login | Advanced | Voice |
Line1 page/field.

The second part is just the first part documented step-by-step.


First Part:
 1xxx[2-9]xxxxxxS0       |

Second Part:

immediate POTS

 1xxx[2-9]xxxxxxS0         | "1" + 10 digits: Immediate VOIP  
 <:1>[2-9]xx[2-9]xxxxxxxS0 | Only 10 digits: Prefix with "1",
immediate VOIP  
 011[2-9]x.                  Overseas dialing via VOIP

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