Before I converted to FIOS, my Optimum Triple Play came with a phone line via the cable modem. I had the regular house line with Verizon and a home office line with Cablevision.
I used that line strictly for work. It was the number that the NOC would call in the middle of the night when I had to provide support. That way only myself and Lily got woken up and the rest of the family did not get disturbed.
Since I discontinued Optimum Online, I lost that line. Going forward Lily and I plan to use a second line for both work and personal use.
Today I ordered the second line with Verizon. It came out to $44.99+tax each month and had the Verizon Freedom Essentials plan. No international calling but calls to the US and Puerto Rico were bundled in. A quick check with Vonage’s web site and I called back Verizon and canceled the order. I ordered the Vonage World plan for 24.99+tax per month and that includes calling internationally to 60 countries.
For anyone that has been under a rock for the last 6 or 7 years, Vonage provides a box that connects to your network and does VoIP. One end of the box goes into your LAN/Internet connection, the other end goes into your telephone. No Internet connection means no Vonage.
There are several things I like about Vonage.
Caller ID and call waiting. Vonage looks like a regular phone and has all the usual features that you expect these days.
Transcribed voicemail. You setup in your Vonage dashboard your voicemail so that it’s not only accessible form the web, you also get a transcribed e-mail with the WAV file as an attachment. I can have that go to multiple e-mail addresses so both Lily and I know when someone left a voicemail as well as the text of what they said. It works, I’ve already left myself a voicemail and got a kick out of the e-mail that soon followed.
Call forwarding and SimulRing. Call forwarding is one thing, but ringing multiple lines can be cool. There are times when we’re expecting a call and we don’t want to miss it. Now we can forward the call to ring both our cellphones. After 30 seconds the call will go to voicemail.
Network Availability Number. If your Internet connection goes down, you can have a standby number for forwarding to. No Internet connection? No problem, just forward to your cell phone. This forwarding will only occur when the Vonage box falls off the network.
My Vonage V-Portal (the hardware to provide a phone jack) is arriving tomorrow so I expect to beat up the service a lot.