When I'm ready to try an Internet telephone service, I now have plenty to read on the topic, thanks to replies to my prior post.
For lots more first-person commentary on the subject, fellow blogger Chairman Maoxian directed me to this mini-blog from Philip Greenspun. It is titled, "Voice Over IP, or 'How to make your home phone just as unreliable as your mobile phone.'"
Another fellow blogger Chuck Lauber (of The Asset Allocator), writes:
"I've been using the Vonage service for a couple of months now, and think it's great. You have to get used to the idea, however, of using your router as your only phone port-- and that can be a problem for some. I just stick my cordless phone base station next to my router, and use other phones on an expandable cordless system. If you are in a one room flat, great -- one cordless phone will do. But you will need to invest in a expandable cordless system if you want more outlets. Just plugging into the usual RU phone jack won't work.
I think having one flat price to call just about anywhere is great; and I like the additional features you get with the flat rate pricing (answering service, call waiting, caller ID, etc.). I also found that you can still get service for cable broadband even if the power is down-- you need the router and cordless phone connected to a UPS.
I think having this service combined with cell phone service is all one needs. The call quality with Vonage is pretty good, but not great. It still gets the job done. And keep the cellular in handy for trips, emergencies, etc..."
Then there is the simpler advice of Joe Sosville:
"Vonage has real hilarious commercials on TV and that?s about it. You can do much better in terms of pinching pennies by using that same money to increase the number of ?anytime minutes? with your cell phone carrier. Or, call your friendly local phone company and buy additional long distance minutes in their package deals or promotions. The technology behind VoIP is no big deal. You can get much better call quality on the standard landline or for that matter, your cell phone. Aside from that, if you visit the Vonage site, you can download their hilarious commercials and view them anytime you want a ?giggle?.