Bon Vonage

July 13th, 2005  |  Published in old and busted

Re: Vonage tops study of Net phone service

> “VoIP reliability and audio clarity are important factors limiting the widespread adoption of VoIP in consumer markets,” Dharmesh Thakker, senior product manager for service solutions at Keynote, said in a statement. “Consumers are unsure whether VoIP can live up to the dial-tone reliability and crystal-clear communication quality they have come to expect with traditional phone service over the years.”

Consumers are right to be unsure.

For most call contexts between a pair of traditional handsets, Vonage, in my experience, is fine. Add something with poorer sound quality or more noise (a cell phone with a lot of background noise, a conference mic with a lot of ambient noise) and the incidence of clipping and echo gets worse. This is on a 1.5/384 DSL connection with the quality settings in the mid range. It gets terrible at the highest quality, and somewhat better at the lowest level (which is still fine).

In terms of reliability: It’s as reliable as my DSL connection, and that’s fine. Since we’ve got two cell phones floating around the house, I don’t sweat the periodic “we’re shutting down your POP at 3 a.m.” messages from Speakeasy.

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