I have NodePhone and it kicks butt. Quality has been absolutely brilliant, well once I set packet priority and the default codec to be PCMA G.711 A-Law that is.
Anyway, I have now started to think about dial plans and other VoIP providers. It was kicked off because my Dad is looking to change ISP and go VoIP. I came across TPG which looked promising and so compared their VoIP rates with NodePhone. Turns out TPG is cheaper (which I expected) on a few things like international calls to Hong Kong ($0.0277 per minute with $0.10 flag fall compared to $0.15 flag fall and $0.05 per minute with NodePhone). This gave me the idea that I could use a second provider for some outgoing calls, while still having my VoIP incoming number (and Naked on top of that, though I can’t get it myself). I thought I’d test it out.
I signed up with TPG’s softphone account (which you just top up with credit) and from the F.A.Q found the SIP server settings. Once I had this, I logged into my Billion 7404VGP-M router to configure the account. Here’s what I did:
Configuration - VoIP - Wizard
VoIP User-defined Profiles
Registrar Address = tpgphone.tpg.com.au
Authentication Username = 0[account number]
Authentication Password = ******
Back at ‘VoIP Wizard’, choose TPG server from the SIP Service Provider drop down.
Phone Number = 0[account number]
Authentication Password = ******
Configuration -> VoIP -> General Settings
Next to "Setting for Phone Port" hit Sync Now.
Configuration -> VoIP -> Phone Port
It should show it registered.
The main thing was the zero in front of the username/phone number, which fooled me for a while (I’m not one to read manuals first).
Once it was registered, I plugged in my telephone to the second port and made a phone call to my sister’s mobile. It all worked well, voice clarity was fine and the 5min 35sec call cost $1.56. I’ll do some more tests, but if the quality is there then the cost of long calls to HK could be cut in half
Now I really feel like a cheapskate!
First we needed a phone line to dial the Internet, but we couldn’t use the phone. Then we got ADSL which let us log on and use the phone, now we have VOIP so we don’t even need the phone!
Problem is, it has always been too expensive. Every now and then I do the maths compared to a regular Telstra line and Internet connection and it would always come in higher (by around $10 per month).
But now Internode (my favourite ISP) has dropped the price of their Naked ADSL2+ plans, so that now it is actually worthwhile dropping that line rental tax.
$49 a month gets you 5GB download at ADSL2+ speeds (or $59 for 10GB) plus VOIP with all the fancy features like dial-in and $10 worth of included calls.
Can I get an Amen!?
I repeat, for a measly $49 a month you can have awesome Internet and cheap calls with VOIP. Hello?
Unfortunately, my phone line is connected to a sub-exchange and I cannot get ADSL2. Dammit. So for now I must continue forking over $74 a month to have ADSL1 and VOIP (including the Telstra line rental).
So please, for me, go and switch to Internode’s Naked Extreme ADSL2+ with their Nodephone2-Special service. Get on the VOIP bandwagon and ditch Telstra for good, you’ll be glad you did!
P.S. If you can’t get Naked where you are, then honestly, go get a freakin’ room.
P.P.S. Seriously though, if you can’t get Naked where you are, then I recommend going with regular Internode ADSL and Nodephone. It’s still worth it and the quality is brilliant.
It’s time for me to jump on the VoIP bandwagon..
This was the post I made to the CLUG list the other day. Why? Mendy is moving back to Australia permanently in December (yay!) and in the mean time I want to be able to call her at reasonable rates. Currently this means calling her Macau mobile at a hefty price through Telstra. Once she is back I also want for her to be able to call her parents in Hong Kong for cheap.
I knew about VoIP and had played a little with Ekiga (the open source VoIP client for GNOME), but that was about it. Looking into it seemed pretty complex, with a myriad of providers, software and hardware. I wasn’t quite sure which provider to go with, what hardware I needed and what was the best way to set it all up. What traps were there? As usual, my fellow CLUG’ers came through with great advice, so thanks!
It appeared that the general consensus were things like:
Make sure your router supports QoS (Quality of Service), so that the quality of your call doesn’t drop when someone is downloading
Get a provider in Australia (preferably your ISP) to reduce latency and help with billing
Get an ATA (Analogue Terminal Adapter), so I could use my current analogue phone
This is how I got it working..
Continue reading ‘Taking a SIP of VoIP’