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Old 13-04-2013, 04:14   #1
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Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

I'm looking to make our home phone an internet-based phone to save money and be able to move the home phone to the boat for when we are cruising. (We already have reliable long range WiFi on Summer Boost, thanks to our Bullet2HP setup.)

Does anyone have experience with the different choices out there?

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Brad
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Old 13-04-2013, 05:03   #2
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

We used Vonage (voice over internet) service for a few years. It was reliable as long as the electric service was not interrupted. The battery that came with the system never worked. But we soon abandonded that idea and went with all cell phones at home. For what we pay for service for 4 cells phones, we can afford a home phone.
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Old 13-04-2013, 05:48   #3
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

We use MagicJack Plus in our home. Works fine for us. There are 2 styles. One is a direct connect to the 110v wall outlet, with a cat cable to the router, and a phone line to the phone base, and the other is a usb connection to the laptop, then a phone line out to the phone base.

The reason we use MJ is because we call Vietnam alot, so we sent our family members in Vietnam some MJ's to hook up so we can call each other free.

Overall, the magicjack system works good for us, and could work on a boat with internet connection. magicJack PLUS - FREE Local and Long Distance
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Old 13-04-2013, 06:27   #4
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

I'm not sure about how it would work on a boat but I have had Vonage since around 2005. I took it with me when I moved to Germany for a couple years and back again. With a broadband connection, I haven't had any issues with it.

I've only had it directly connected to a cable modem so not sure how well it would work as part of a wifi based network.
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Old 13-04-2013, 07:08   #5
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I use a Skype phone number. It is a USA number and I can forward it to any other number. This is handy as we cruise around and switch cell phone SIMs and thus numbers (yep, thats still legal out here in the free world) Anyone can call my same old USA number and still reach me.

I have voice mail on my Skype account so if I dont answer they can leave a msg and I get an email notification.

Also run Skype on my smart phone so that anywhere I have Internet I also have phone service.

Works well in my case.
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Old 13-04-2013, 07:14   #6
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

+1 to Skype-in service.
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:49   #7
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

Just bought an Ooma phone off eBay. Once it gets here I'll signup for service.

I saw that Skype wanted to charge people that call me for the part going from my number's home location to wherever I was. I figure I'll try it and see how it works.

Thank you for the advice!

Regards,
Brad
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:16   #8
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

Gee, I sorta lke being AWAY from phones, and even internet (mostly lol) I sure don't want a Phone ringing away while Im trying to sleep or raise or lower sails and such !! Just sayin I started cruiseing to get away from folks who like to call and bug me !!
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:46   #9
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

Look into Google voice. I use it for my business and when out of the country, I can still use it. I also can forward out to all of my cell phones and VM and text messages can be set to be sent to your email inbox,. It was the telecom company grand central before Google bought them. Awesome service and have been using them for years now.
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:47   #10
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

And its free !
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Old 14-04-2013, 20:53   #11
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

Vonage ... the landlines features over Internet: call forwarding, simultaneous ringing, vmail, softphone, multiple numbers in different area codes or countries, inexpensive national and worldwide calling, and reliable service with live US based support. Gives you even E911 service, just need to provide a civic address ... hmmm, green buoy H5 might not work.

The other wi-fi twists that might work for you ... Google Voice and Skype.

BTW, I do not work for Vonage. Just use the system since nearly their beginning, and saw them grow from skunk works to real and reliable service.
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Old 14-04-2013, 21:04   #12
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Re: Any experiences putting home phone number on internet-connected boat?

Google Voice does not allow you to pick up a physical phone and MAKE calls, so while it is a great service, it is no replacement for home phones.

I've used Voicepulse, they're inexpensive and fairly reliable but not 100%. A friend has used Magic Jack but switched to Oooma and is happy with it. Magic Jack Plus is supposed to be less reliable than the old service, sadly. With Ooma's "free forever" pricing...I don't know if that's sustainable long term. Google Voice is free for domestic calls, competitive for international, but their terms are not guaranteed forever.

There's another one called NetDuo which has gotten very good reviews, very competitive prices.

And another friend uses Vonage for his office phones, and that goes out several times a year as well. I'd have to say none of the VOIP phones is going to be 100% reliable the way a POTS line is, but these days?

If you have VOIP at home, plus a cell phone, you've still got a phone when one or the other goes down--as they both will. If you give folks your GoogleVoice number, and have that forward to both of your other phones, now you've got redundancy. Callers just know one number, and you pick it up on the phone you choose. I'd suggest at least looking at that option no matter which service you choose for the actual VOIP phones.

During TS Sandy, folks in the metroNY area lost ALL types of phone service at times. The cells were overloaded, the VOIP overloaded or flooded, the POSTS landlines flooded out too. No matter which service you had, some only worked one way (inbound or out) some worked sometimes, nothing was 100%.

I'd also suggest that whatever service you use, you TRY IT for a month before you drop the POTS line, and if you want to keep your old phone number, remember that you have to transfer it BEFORE you drop the POTS service. The transfer can take up to 30 days "because we can" as Verizon says. They're in no rush and they're allowed to take that long.

There are two drawbacks to GoogleVoice:
1-It is a Google product, so there is zero customer service. As Lily Tomlin used to say about the phone company "We don't have to give a damn."
2-You can't disable the voicemail, which will always pick up on the 4th(?) ring.
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