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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm looking at voip.ms as my primary voip provider for my new house coming in a month's time. As such, I have a lot of freedom from now until the new home closing and before the alarm company's setup appointment. I want to make use of this time to explore all that is needed to get voip.ms running to even include alarm system hookup options. I know there are threads on forum to discuss voip.ms and alarm system in general, but I have not yet seen a thread with a theme regarding new home.

I want to use this thread as an example to help any future members to:
1. acquire equipment needed for voip
2. pre-closing test with voip equipment and voip.ms configuration tests
3. transition of equipment and voip.ms account settings to new home
4. explore alarm system hookup options

I will keep track of my progress and organize/consolidate the steps/instructions/help I gathered at a later time.

I will attempt to use common voip acronyms and learn as I go. Starting point for new members: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VoIP_phone

Now, onto the questions!

On topic of equipment, I am thinking of getting the much appraised Linksys SPA3102 ATA.

Any suggestions on voip.ms configuration for the purpose of testing the equipment before "moving in"?
 

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The fact that your moving into a new home doesn't really change anything.

I would be investigating our very long thread to see what users are saying. Mango's articles on the best equipment to use are still mandatory reading along with his recommended ATA settings. If you are buying all new equipment, you may wish to consider IP phones.

My suggestion is read his helpful articles, try out his recommendations and then tweak from there.
 

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How exciting! I wish I had a new home :)

Like Hugh, I'm a fan of IP phones. They have more features, often better sound quality, and I find their features easier to use than traditional analog phones. Also, each phone can make an independent call (based on available bandwidth) so there's no waiting for a family member to get off the phone. Aastra makes some great units and there are a few members using them with VoIP.ms with excellent success. They are more expensive though, and require network cabling rather than phone cabling.

If you go the ATA route, I wouldn't recommend the SPA-3102, unless you have a burning desire to have its gateway feature, which allows you to route outbound calls via different providers based on your dial plan. (Since you only mention VoIP.ms, that's probably not the case.) It does have an FXO port, but most people report that it doesn't work very well. May I suggest instead the SPA-2102, which has an extra FXS port for a second line, and is less expensive?

You probably already know this, but in case any newbies wander into the thread, this is just a reminder that you shouldn't connect your ATA to household wiring until you have verified that the phone company's wiring has been disconnected.

You may wish to order an IP-based alarm system to eliminate VoIP from the equation. If you are particularly concerned about security, you could get a system with cell backup. This would be even more reliable than an alarm system that communicated over the PSTN.

I look forward to hearing about your progress if you have the time to tell us about it.

Mango
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Hugh and Mango for your replies! I'm very much honored to have the two senior members on this forum on voip topic to answer my thread.

@Hugh: I'm reading that long thread for days now :p I do realize you started a consolidation thread. But like I said, it may be useful to take the ideas from your consolidation thread and some other tidbits to organize into something useful for new home buyer trying to get themselves setup for VOIP. Maybe I could end up contributing in one post in your consolidation thread.

@Mango: Thanks for the recommendations on IP phones and the ATA suggestion. I must have posted before reading more about the ATA discussions on the big thread. Or I am confused (like many newbies out there) with the difference behind the Linksys ATA offerings. With this said, I'm going to refer to your blog (I think it's yours..) for any new comers: Mango's blog on Linksys ATA. For the purpose of accommodating PSTN-based alarm system (locked-in contract) and a cordless phone set that allow bluetooth connections to cellphones, I am opting for the ATA route. Will look into the SPA 2102. (~$60 currently on many online retails, http://www.shopbot.ca/pp-linksys-spa2102-linksys-price-19345.html). The reminders about household wiring is very important. I have the link from Michigan Telephone that I will investigate further once I get into the new home.

I got set back from other priorities in life but I got a few important questions answered:

1. My new neighborhood already support Rogers cable internet. As my current home uses the same service, I will be transferring the existing internet service to new home.

NOTES on 1) With above said, I will be testing on ground of Rogers cable internet.

2. My alarm company confirmed that their existing alarm products can support VOIP as long as the connections can generate adequate FAX signals.

NOTES on 2) My research thus far point out that the alarm system must be compatible with SIP. Also, the codec configuration with VOIP service is very important. Again Mango's blog on Linksys ATA configuration suggests the G.711u. There are posts on this forum that also describe the better quality of FAX signals over the voip.ms premium service. Maybe someone with the exposure can provide some insights here.
 

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If you end up going for a 2-line ATA, you may want to dedicate the alarm to one of the lines. These settings would be useful for the alarm line, though they would not be optimal for a voice line. Also, it would be easier to wire, since with a dedicated line you would not need to worry about setting the alarm up to "sieze" the line.

Network Jitter Level: Extremely High
Jitter Buffer Adjustment: Disable

If you have problems, also try to set the following:

Echo Canc Enable: No
Echo Canc Adapt Enable: No
Echo Supp Enable: No

I would be interested to know what configuration you find to work best, if you have the time to tell us.

m. :)
 

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Yes, please keep us posted!

My alarm company won't officially say they don't support VoIP... they've said i) they won't do installs using it and ii) many people have had issues using it.

I'm wondering how much of that can be attributed to poor configuration at the users end and issues with the VoIP provider.

If at all possible, I'd like to find a way to test my system thoroughly using it so I could then make an informed decision on my own.

Not taking any new hardware into account for a backup solution, I'm looking at saving $120 - $240 per year in monthly fees. On one hand, it's a smallish price to pay to have the reliability but on the other hand is it wasted money? I don't mind insurance but it doesn't make sense to be overly insured.

All cases are much better than the ~$720 per year I was forking over to Bell.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@nosture:
That's exactly why I join the voip community in the first place... Bell doesn't offer jack for the most basic service. I figure I would have better insurance with a dedicated VOIP line and cellular backup solution.

@Mango:
I never thought about the config you mentioned, because of many posts about "proper" household wiring but I suppose that's because people want one outgoing/incoming VOIP line into an ATA that supports only one VOIP line. This config could really save a lot of time for the right setup. Could you confirm whether the following is what you meant:

Network components:
Broadband Internet Modem (Cable, or Dryloop DSL)
Router (DLink DIR615)
2-line ATA (Linksys SPA2102, bought @ NCIX price matched to Onhop.ca :))

VOIP setting:
DID (a different one, *not* sub-account)

Connection map:
1) Broadband Internet Modem <= to => Router
2) Router <= to => 2-line ATA
3) 2-line ATA (say Line 2) <= to => Alarm system
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Stumped with the ATA registration to voip.ms

Since I purchased SPA2102, I was trying to configure it to adapt to the connection map above (particularly step 1 and 2)

These links help me greatly:

SPA2102 Bridge mode with no DHCP

How to access SPA2102 config settings via phone (including restore to factory defaults!)

The steps to upgrade firmware are also useful, but for North America you'd want to download from linksys.com instead of the New Zealand site :p

An important note: since I am using voip.ms with an unlocked ATA I can restore to factory defaults without any issues. Not sure how this affect people with other providers.

Following the links above, I upgraded firmware of SPA2102 to 5.1.12 and am able to access web admin pages without plugging a PC into the ATA's ethernet port.

The next step is to setup various SIP and Line settings. I used Mango's blog for that. Mango's blog on Linksys ATA configuration

I followed the thread that Hugh started on configuring voip.ms account and ordered a DID (toronto-2 server). VoIP: Basic How-to Setup

Before I venture into setting up ATA with the voip.ms DID, I followed this thread (also Hugh's) on setting up softphone to test the DID:
Setting up X-Lite with voip.ms

I could register the connection to voip.ms's server, and hear myself when I called the number setup with the DID.

Next thing I want to do is to get the ATA to register with voip.ms using the DID. But this is where I'm stumped at. Despite setting up the Line 1 options to those recommended by Mango's blog, and setting up Port Forwarding from the DIR615 router, the ATA failed to register to voip.ms server with many hard restart attempts.

Here is what I use for SIP ports:

Line 1 options screen:
SIP port 5060

SIP options screen:
SIP ports 5060 min to 5080 max
RTP ports 10001 to 20000

DIR615 port forwarding:
Set up a new rule for the ATA IP, and in the UDP ports field:
5060-5080, 10001-20000

Do I need to put the SIP ports in TCP as well? What am I missing?
 

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VOIP setting:
DID (a different one, *not* sub-account)
I didn't entirely understand what you mean by this...but you may not need a DID for your alarm system. Some alarm systems only require a DID when you request the alarm company to change the programming. If your alarm is already working, maybe you could save the $12/year. Or you could just place your main DID in a ring group for the occasion that they need to program it. You could check with your alarm company to be sure. Ask if the alarm system needs to receive calls or if it will work properly if it can only make outgoing calls.

It would be good to have two sub-accounts: one for line 1 and one for line 2.

m. :)
 

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and setting up Port Forwarding from the DIR615 router, the ATA failed to register to voip.ms server with many hard restart attempts.
You shouldn't need to forward ports. I believe the VoIP.ms site suggests you "open" ports, but that is different from forwarding. (I agree, it's confusing.) If you are using a consumer-grade router (and you are) these ports are already open. Remove your port forwarding and let's go from there.

Check some other things:

On the VoIP.ms portal, be sure your Device Type is set to ATA device, IP Phone or Softphone.
Be sure your softphone is not attempting to register with the same account, and "stealing" registration.
If registration still fails, what does the ATA say on the Info tab for Registration State?
Can you make a call to the echo test at 4443?

One other thing...D-Link routers do not always play nicely with VoIP. Give your router a try for now and if it doesn't perform properly we'll be happy to help you with that.

m.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Mango about the 2-line config

I think I better understand what you mean now that you elaborated a bit more. I was assuming that alarm monitoring and the alarm system is 2-way. I could find out from the technician when he comes to install the alarm system. Also, I'd assume this config leaves the other line open to do household wiring to the rest of the phone jacks throughout the house?? Can this be done and has someone done this? I was wondering how this little ATA can power all those lines..

@Mango about the router/ATA config:

I can confirm that at the voip.ms portal, the Device Type is set to ATA device, IP Phone or Softphone. I will take your suggestion to remove the port forwarding tonight. I also browsed 15 pages (of 111, and growing) of the huge voip.ms thread and picked up a few things that I wanna try. I will report back later tonight with more info.

One thing you could help clarify is the echo test. What exactly is that?? I saw a few posts about it too but I'm not sure how I can do it. Is it keying the digits through a phone connected to the ATA?
 

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Indeed, you may distribute the other line to the rest of your household. The important thing to remember is that you must not connect your ATA to the phone company's wires. Otherwise, you could damage the ATA. If you have dry loop DSL, this is tricky, but possible. See http://michigantelephone.workbench.net/ for very detailed instructions.

You may reach the echo test by dialing 4443, or sometimes 4443#. You will hear some instructions about what is going to happen - basically, you may speak and your voice will be repeated back to you. This way, you may test how the audio quality of your setup sounds. There is no charge for calling the echo test and it is a good way to be sure things are working properly without having to pay.

m.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Mango for your reply.

And I forgot to reply to the settings you posted that could be more "alarm friendly". I will keep that in mind when I settle in the new home. Still a fair distance away to call victory on the topic of this thread! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Minor victory!

Long story short... my DLink DIR-615 has MAC filters on and the SPA2102 can't communicate to the router other than having an IP address presence. Turning off MAC filters allow the SPA2102 to talk to the router. Also removed any port forwarding rules that may use the 5060-5080 ports, and the 10001-20000 RTP ports that voip.ms seems to suggest.

I did a factory reset on SPA2102, plugged in PC to its ethernet port and browsed to 192.168.0.1 (default of SPA2102 web admin interface).

I change the default network settings to following:

WAN is static IP (change this to something in router's subnet, for me I have to pick an IP from 192.168.0.x, and I must change it from 192.168.0.1 to avoid conflict with router IP)
Gateway point to router's IP
Primary DNS set to router's IP
NTP time servers 1.ca.pool.ntp.org and 2.ca.pool.ntp.org
enable WAN Web Server

LAN change Networking Service to Bridge

Then followed Mango's blog on Linksys ATA configurations. I pretty much followed everything in that blog except DTMF settings and visual call waiting.
I did change FXS Port Gain Input/Output to -1/-11

Also followed Mango's blog on dial plan. I picked the 10 digit North America dial plan.
([23456789]11|*xxx.|<:1>[2-9]xx[2-9]xxxxxxS0|1[2-9]xx[2-9]xxxxxxS0|011xxxxxxx.|[#*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x][*x].)

And I have taken up on Mango's suggestion to use sub-accounts on the DID I ordered. I created 3:
-one for line 1
-one for line 2
-one for softphone

Gave a call to my future wife and she was impressed, but she soon complained about a 1 to 1.5 sec delay in response. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Following Mango's advice on diagnosing call quality (from his sig):

I did a ping to toronto2.voip.ms for 30 minutes and got 0% packet loss.

I did not notice any echo or "pressed digit". But 1 to 1.5 sec delayed response and a slight jitter are noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Anyone can offer some help in terms of the issues I reported above?

Also, noticed around 75 spam calls in 3 days... Do you guys using voip.ms deal with that on daily basis?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some updates:

I cancelled the first DID I ordered and got a Toronto #. So far so good in terms of spams. I must have bad luck first time around..

For the quality of call. Toronto-2 is the best server to my connection as I have done multiple ping tests (ping <server> -t) for 30 mins each session to note avg time and packet loss.

I have tweaked the SPA2102 SIP tab's setting according to apn's post on this forum:
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=946640&postcount=390

Future wife hasn't been complaining about the delay. There is still some jitter random within a call sometimes, but not noticeable. Has anyone tweaked settings re: Jitter?

Thanks!
 

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With regards to jitter, I would suggest you set (Line tab) Network Jitter level to low (to reduce delay/latency) and Jitter Buffer Adjustment to up and down (to compensate for jitter if it exists). As long as you're having no audio quality problems, then a little jitter in your ping is fine. Since ICMP is often given a low priority, that's to be expected.

Note that these settings I suggested contradict the settings I suggested for your alarm earlier.

I can't remember which routing you're using, but Premium might further reduce the delay, if it returns while you're using Value.

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage :)

m.
 

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Sorry to hijack this thread, but I was hoping to get some help as I am also moving into my first new home at the end of the month and I plan on wiring my home with my existing Dry Loop Bell DSL with an ATA connected to voip.ms.

The house was built in 2007. I plan to also continue using Bell DSL (Dry Loop) at my new residence. Since DSL is going to be thrown into the mix means I cannot simply disconnect Bell at the NID (Demarc point).

I've done a bit of reading on how this is setup, but I'm pretty new and have never experimented with Telephone wiring. I understand most homes having telephone jacks setup to allow for 2 telephone lines but obviously only 1 being setup at each jack (Blue & WhiteBlue pair along with Orange & WhiteOrange pair). Can I expect the same type of colour pairing in a home built in 2007?

I assume since all the jacks in the house would be setup under the Blue & WhiteBlue pairing, it would make sense to replace 1 of the telephone jacks with a Orange & WhiteOrange pair Or buy a dual plate telephone jack and have Blue & WhiteBlue pair for jack 1 and Orange & WhiteOrange pair for jack 2 - Orange for the DSL Service? I am not sure how I would connect Bell @ the Demarc to only the Orange & WhiteOrange pair so that it only feeds that connection where I'd then connect my ATA with voip.ms service to the Blue & WhiteBlue pair?

Can anyone point me in the right direction to a youtube video that would explain how I'd wire VOIP with Dry Loop DSL? Or at least a tutorial with decent pictures?

I recall reading through some sites on people setting up a "home run line" to the DSL service leaving the rest for my ATA to connect too, would this be ideal? how is this done?

What sort of equipment/tools would I need in setting this up?

djino
"Thanks!"
 

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^^^^
For the past several years, 3 pair CAT 3 cable has been used for home phone wiring, so you also have a green & green/white pair. At the demark, wire the 2nd or 3rd pair to the terminals where the blue & blue/white pairs would have gone. You might want to use the 3rd pair for ADSL and leave the 2nd for phone use. If the jack at the demarc is already wired, you can make up a jumper cable that cross connects the pairs. HOme run refers to running a cable from point a to point b for some specific use. You can google on "home phone wiring" for lots of info.
 
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