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I want to switch my POTS (with Bell now) to a VOIP provider. Here is the problem:

My assistant lives in London ON, I live in Kingston ON area. My current number is a GTA number I don't want to lose.

Both my assistant and I will need to alternate control of the line, and will need to be able to call out when we make follow up calls. We do not want to both use the line at the same time....just to be able to alternate responsibility for the line and to be able to use the VOIP when returning calls. Because it's a 4 hour drive, physically sharing the device is not possible.

I am told that to be able to do this, we would have to have 2 accounts. I really bristle when I am told I have to pay twice because the locations are separate.

My question: Has anyone else done this and if so how? Are there any suggestions as to how this could occur?

Many Thanks!

Lynelle
 

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With VoIP, you can be anywhere that's accessable by the internet, unless you're using something like Rogers Home Phone, which is tied to their network. Services, such as Google Voice don't care about whose network you're on. However, you'll need some method of connecting. This can be a soft phone on your computer, a VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) or a VoIP phone. You'd then configure whatever you're using to talk to the server. The VoIP server will not care what you use or when, so long as only one is connected.
 

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You can have one account to do everything.
What you'd have is two parts: incoming and outgoing
Incoming:
You'd have a DID ported in from Bell. Anyone who calls in this number you can manage what happens. E.g. call in to the number, route them to voicemail, or SIP, or IVR (e.g. "press 1... 2..."), and more.

So you could have one voip account with two sub-accounts.
If you want to receive the incoming calls, on the DID settings, have them all forward to your voip subaccount. Your voip phone will ring.
If you want the assistant to handle incoming, you route to that subaccount. That voip phone will ring.

Now, for outgoing, it doesn't matter what number you have. Both of you can make outbound calls simultaneously. If you set the phone number mask to that of your current Bell #, it will appear as though you are both calling from that number, even though you're not (someone could call the incoming number while you're making an outgoing call. You could then route it to voicemail or to whoever's phone is not in use at the moment between the two of you)

Long story short, you can set up voip to do everything you want for cheap, and all within one account from as many places around the world as you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"Long story short, you can set up voip to do everything you want for cheap, and all within one account from as many places around the world as you wish."

I hope so!

The issue isn't the incoming, but the outgoing calls. I don't want simultaneous calling, but I do want both my assistant and myself to be able to use the long distance plan to reply or follow up on calls from the routed number.

Both Vonage and Primus have said that I would have to have 2 accounts to do this. Because one account has unlimited long distance, and we wouldn't be on the line at the same time, I would be then paying twice for the same service. That's the frustration I have.



Lynelle
 

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What you are describing all could be done with voip.ms


Check out Voip.ms , you can do everything you want with them but you will be paying a per min rate for incoming and outgoing.
 

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voip.ms and callcentric.com are known a 'nomadic' VOIP meaning you can use them from anywhere... as long as you have an internet connection... you'll have your telephone.

I switched my Bell number to VOIP last year. I went to Thailand, which is on the other side of the Planet, and I could make and receive calls on my laptop as if I was still back in Mississauga. No one could tell I was 1000's of miles away. As for paying by the minute don;t let that scare you... as it's pennies a call. I use to pay Bell $80 a month for my line and what I had on it... now I spend about $15 a month and still have every feature, like voice mail, that I had with Bell.
 

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VoIP for Incoming & Outgoing Alternate Calls

One device is like having one line in a house and only one can use it at a time. With VoIP, you could have a few users each with a "softphone" plugged into a computer anywhere in the world. Each could phone in or out, phoning in would go to Voicemail if one user is on the Internet line already. I think I have that right.

I have used Vonage in UK, South Africa, all over Canada, each time it's like I have been in my former Winnipeg. They have just started a 60-country & NA all UNLIMITED for $40 a month. Hugh the Digital Voice administrator also told us about it, he's used Vonage happily for 5 years, myself for 1 year.

Enjoy VoIP, you will also mostly be glad, we are sure.

Mango on this forum recommended a service out of Victoria, I forget the name. The admin & founder is Terry, worth checking - just because Mango said so, he is VERY informed & helpful.

Denzil
 

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So here is my status quo....I currently have Rogers internet and phone, if I want to ditch their phone and go voip, using my Linksys WRT54G router, who is my best bet to go with, keeping the number we have now and at what price?

Cheers
 

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Best VoIP?

1) Vonage for ease of installation, tech help, ATA device, reliability. $20 a month for 500 minutes out anytime for North America, $40 for unlimited NA and 60 countries. I am very happy with Vonage in my year of using them.

2) voip.ms if you have tech knowledge & can tolerate per-minute charging, probably still cheaper than Vonage. This seems to be the favourite in these forums. Good service, based in Montreal I think.

Denzil
 

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^ nice, succinct summary, FeinDenz.

I call Vonage et al Consumer VoIP, certainly easier on the setup etc., whereas I call VoIP.ms Prosumer VoIP because you have to dig a little deeper into the technical details to get it setup (, but this is usually a one-time thing) and the feature set is much more comprehensive.

On the cost front, there's no comparison. I don't know why so many people are fearful of per-minute billing, because in all but the most extreme cases, it saves you money.

Sure, I understand that people like to cap their telephone costs, but my PAYG service with VoIP.ms runs about $10 monthly for 2,000 minutes = 33hrs of call time to Canada, US and UK. That's 4x the usage of Vonage Basic at half the price, plus it includes International calling. Extrapolating that, I could yak for >132 hours/month and still pay less than Vonage World. There'd be no time to sleep :)

I take the other perspective, I don't want to overpay for minutes used and/or pay for unused minutes in the flat rate plans. Plus, if I go on vacation for a month, my phone bill is $0.99, while the Vonage customer will still pay $20 or $40

Still, credit where it's due. Vonage has done a good job capping residential bills at $40 for most people (if ~60 countries encompasses your calling patterns), a far cry from what the pots and cable operators are offering.
 

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MS.voice PROSumer & Cents-sible

Thanks, APN, also for your cents-sible cost comparison. I shall check it out.

Since I like Vonage black-&-gold device with LCD screen, is there a similar ATA adapter for ms.voice?

(I wish they & all would stop this $x.99 nonsense and just make it a dollar. Dollar stores haven't suffered from this common-sense fee. Wal-Mart is rounding off its prices. Better restaurants do too. My ongoing beef, as if I'm too dumb to buy at $1 but smart enough to buy at 99c... OK, off my soap-box.)

Cheers, Denzil (in Ottawa & Winnipeg)
 

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I'm not aware of any non-proprietary (e.g. V-Portal) ATA's that feature an LCD screen, but then again, I've not looked hard either.

FWIW, I don't see a lot of purpose for the LCD (do you really need to run down to the basement to check the time? ;)), since most ATA's including the V-portal also provide a web-browser interface. Unless the power's out, I rarely go downstairs to look at my ATA, it's really a set it and forget it device.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Trustworthy CANADIAN VOIP Provider

Hi All:

I know that callcentric and Voip.ms are both recommended by many folks on this forum, but they are both in the US. I may be a bit paranoid, but would prefer a Canadian VOIP provider.

Is there a reliable one that folks recommend?

Many thanks!

Lynelle
 

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voip.ms is Canadian. I think if you search this forum you will get lots of recommendations. My advice is stick with the best known and most recommended.
 
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