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Are there any decent VOIP in the UK that will allow me to bin my landline

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by dapex, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. dapex

    dapex
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    Just wondering really if there are any decent voip providers in the UK that actually give you at least one but ideally multiple phone numbers??

    I am on NTL cable modem so I do not need my line rental if I can get Voip, but obviously i dont want to be limited to being sat at the PC..

    Cheers
     
  2. sjdigital

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    Sipgate (www.sipgate.co.uk) can provide geographic UK numbers for free and very competitive calling costs with 1000 minutes to UK landlines costing about £6 per month. It works fine with ntl but you have to remember that it isn't as reliable as POTS: there will be the occasional outages, and there is no 999 service at the moment.
     
  3. rct

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  4. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I must admit that I haven't had any issues with sipgate...I would find it interesting to learn how and on what basis gradwell, voipfone and vonage are more so highly regarded than sipgate? Maybe I am missing out on something...
     
  5. andrewmc

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    I have had issues with Sipgate but never looked into them in much detail. When I changed my broadband router, incoming audio stopped working so I forwarded a number of ports in the new router to my ATA and now the service is rock solid. My old router was a Netgear WGT624, I'm now using an older SMC 7008BR Barricade. The ATA is a Sipura SPA-1001. It is configured to use STUN but I suspect it probably determines that it doesn't need to use it now due to the forwarding of ports directly to the ATA by the router.

    I'm forwarding the following ports from the WAN interface to the ATA IP address: 5060, 5004, 8000-8012, 10000, 3478-3497, 16390, 16000-17000

    Slight overkill on the last range I suspect. I based this configuration on the recommended settings for X-Lite (I think).

    I suspect STUN introduces some latency as I would imagine the traffic has to go via a third party server, the performance of which may relate directly to how much money the provider has to spend on it !
     
  6. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I have signed up with Voipfone now as well. Can't notice any difference in call quality compared to Sipgate...But I do like their conference feature...I have used it several times now for work....Definitely saves some of my own bandwidth...
     
  7. andrewmc

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    I noticed in Staples yesterday that they are selling the Netgear ATA for £ 99 pre-configured (and presumably locked) to Sipgate, not really a bargain considering the Sipgate shop sells it for £ 79. But there was a two for the price of one promotion so that works out £ 50 each.
     
  8. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    I can heartily recommend Gradwell. We have been using them for several years to host my wife's web site www.amb-cotedazur.com We have always had excellent support on the odd occasion that there has been a problem. They have been pioneers in VoIP & are doing a great job. You can have any UK area code that you choose including 0845 & the cost is 4 pounds plus VAT per month. Outgoing calls are cheap too. We use a Sipura SPA 2002 Dual Port VoIP Adaptor which just plugs into our home network grabs an IP address & then you configure it via a web interface.

    http://www.gradwell.com/voip/
     
  9. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I'll take your word for it that they are good. I just don't get why you can honestly recommend someone where you have to pay a monthly subscription?

    Are they so much better then the others that they are worth £4/month to get an incomming landline addressable telephone number?

    Call me cheap ;-) But at least the likes of Sipgate and Voipfone offer that for free and I can't fault their quality either...
     
  10. GFROSTY

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    I bought a Dratek 2600 adsl/voip router and signed up with Draytel.
    I got a 0845 number for 9.99 one off fee.

    Have made calls to both mobiles and landlines no problem.

    further info here www.draytel.org
     
  11. LouLou

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    I saw this one that looks quite promising... www.voipbuster.com apparently free for certain countries (including the UK).

    Unfortunately I can't get my microphone to work on this new PC (though I'll get it sorted) so I can't give my verdict yet. Thought it might be useful though. :)
     
  12. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    We could have used free web space for the web site too. It all comes down to a question of the fact that you usually get what you pay for. We are relying on this for our business so if there is a problem then I have more confidence in getting a quick resolution from Gradwell. Having said that I d have a spare port on my Sipura box so will probably give one of these free providers a trial.
     
  13. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Guys,

    how do all these services differ/compare to Skype with Skype In/Out extras? I just started a new job and have purchased Skype In with an 0207 number but I will be working in Germany and China, should I ditch it and move to another supplier?


    Cheers!
     
  14. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    It all depends on your requirements. I find the voice quality of Skype very inferior to that of VoIP from either Gradwell (UK number) or Wannadoo (at our place in France). I believe that they are using different technology. I do use Skype with my laptop & a USB headset when travelling & staying in hotels (this week Stockholm) but wouldn't use it at home.
     
  15. dejongj

    dejongj
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    As Nigel stated, there are some technical differences...Though not even that much if you look really deep under the bonnet....The main reason why I can't stand Skype is indeed voice-quality and the proprietary system use. For example if you want to speak to another VoIP user who doesn't have Skype, you have to go out to the normal network with all costs associated etc....If you sign-up with a decent normal SIP provider they have codes to ensure that you stay on the Internet and have a free call.....

    Also I really can't see the point and find it environmentally unfriendly to have to use your computer with Skype....This is probably a lesser point for you as you travel....

    From a personal interest point of view SIP is much more interesting as it is being utilised within Corporate solutions from the likes of Avaya, Alcatel, Genesys, CosmoCom, etc. etc...

    Skype doesn't do much more if not even less, besides having a 'landline' gateway compared to what MS-Netmeeting was able to do for years if not a decade....

    I know it is a bit negative, but I just dislike Skype. However with their current strategy I wouldn't be surprised if they turn out to be the VHS and the open standard SIP the Betamax....We all know which is better but only the pro's used Betamax eventhough it was initially available as a consumer format...Do I dare to mention Video-2000 ROFLMAO ;-)
     
  16. Monty Burns

    Monty Burns
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    Cheers for the feedback guys! Even negative is good :)

    As none of my friends use VoIP and as mentioned I travel a lot, it makes no sense for me to change. The quality seems ok to me even over my Dual Phone gizmo.


    And yeah ... Digital Compact Cassette 4tw! I wasted 200 nuggets on one of those things ... bah! It just went into the same rubbish bin as the Betamax. Bloody mini-disk :)
     
  17. dejongj

    dejongj
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    ROFLMAO :rotfl: I must have the same bin....
     
  18. Setch

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    I have just started to use voip again, I started with Skype over a year ago and did not really get on with it.

    I now have a couple of extra phone numbers from Sipgate, one for voice and the other as a fax. I obtained an unlocked PAP2 and have one port to my DECT phone and the other to the PC modem for incoming fax.

    I also use VOIPBuster for free outbound calls to most European countries, Australia and the U.S.

    I am off to the U.S. this month, so it will be interesting to see if I can call home to my free phone line from Sipgate using Voipbuster from my laptop. I'm sure it will work, but nothing like trying it for real.

    Setch.
     
  19. DougWeller

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    I don't understand why one can't honestly recommend a phone service for which you pay monthly.
    Unless you don't want:
    good call quaility
    reliability
    support when needed
    etc.

    As for Skype -- it's an interesting example. Ebay's game plan now that they've bought Skype is to sell the numbers to marketeers -- not a rumour, this is what Ebay itself says.

    If I wanted VOIP just out of idle curiousity or for casual use, sure, free is the way to go. If it was going to be improtant to me, I'd expect to pay.
     
  20. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Doug that is fair enough. But please don't make the common mistake that just because you pay you get good call quality, reliability and support when needed. Monthly connection charges and per use charges are just different models. And yes if you use it for business use or want guaranteed high availability above and beyond you probably should pay...
    But then you get into a serious professional market. On a professional level I did not setup a 2000 seat VOIP call centre using a free service...But do you really think this forum is generally attracting such an audience?
     
  21. DougWeller

    DougWeller
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    I realise I may have misunderstood you.
    There is free -- then there is paid for, either by per use charges or monthly connection chargers. And although you don't necessarily get what you pay for, tehre is usually some cost for even 'free', eg Google has no financial charges but I do have to have ads on my web page, just as this forum has ads.

    When we move in a year or 2 I expect that we will not have a landline unless we need it for broadband. What I'll want is VOIP with decent call quality, but I won't expect 100% reliability and in any case will have a mobile phone for backup.

    Doug
     

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