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  Reply # 50471 31-Oct-2006 14:56
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coffeebaron:
Grant17:
After 6 months of banging my head against a brick wall, I've had enough of iTalk. If VFX works as claimed, I won't bother with iTalk again.

These are the issues I've been putting up with for nearly all that time and none of them have been completely sorted. On good days, the service doesn't miss a beat but there are too many bad days where one or more of the following things happen:

1) Incoming callers receive: Beep-Beep-Beep-Beep (number doesn't exist)
2) Incoming callers cannot hear me, even though I can hear them (thanks to Caller ID I can call them back, but I shouldn't have to)
3) Voice Mail doesn't kick in when the phone is not answered (phone keeps ringing forever)


I haven't had too many problems with iTalk, except when using alternative hardware. I guess the same would be with VFX, difference being you can only use approved VFX hardware with VFX. But I do agree the iTalk service has lagged in development, and the Grandstream phone is nothing flash.

Just another thing to keep in mind when trying out VFX and forwarding calls from iTalk. VoIP to VoIP forwarding between different providers can cause some quality issues, so be sure to give out your VFX number to a few friends, that way you'll get a true measure of call quality.

I have noticed that the iTalk service produced slightly better voice quality than VFX, but it is a very marginal difference. It may be more to do with the route via the Internet, or difference in voice codec. I use G711A with iTalk, and I think VFX is G711U.

I think I'm beginning to like VFX!



Generally we will use G729 but handle the other codecs fine also and the reason for this is 2 fold,  G729 actaully handles Latency and dropped packets much better than the G711's and with the current DSL offerings you can understand why , also bear in mind that most plans are of the 128 / 256 k variety  and  we are concious of peoples use of bandwidth, G729 greatly reduces this overhead compared with G711 so it also dosn't effect your datacaps as well as not inpacting on your current bandwidth allocation as much as G711 which is almost 2 1/2 time more...of course if you were with Xnet all your national traffic for Voice is free so it dosn't effect your data cap......sorry just a plug for our XNet service.

BTW hope this info is helping you guys to understand where we are coming from and to alos let you know what our thoughts and practices are. If it's 2 much info please advise




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 50473 31-Oct-2006 15:02
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maverick: If it's 2 much info please advise

Not at all Phil!

It's a very refreshing change compared to you-know-who.

By the way, your team were extremely prompt in getting my account activated this morning and a real pleasure to deal with.

I have saved a current copy of my PAP2 configuration and am just about ready to make the switch but had to deal with some paying work first.

Cheers once again.

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  Reply # 50479 31-Oct-2006 15:29
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maverick:
coffeebaron:
maverick: Feel free to plug your fax in and see how you go with National faxing, I use faxing all the time here in the office off the MyVFX Service with the Wag / SPA's / PAP devices and don't have to many issues, but try it and tell us how you go.


Initial tests seem to work fine. Tried sending and receiving to Telstra Faxcheck 0508 500499 (test results very good), and to my Vodafone mailbox. (Oops, turn off anonymous call rejection when trying to receive from Vodafone Faxmail). This was on an ADSL 512k up-link connection and QoS router. Will try it on my friends ADSL 128k up & non QoS router next and see what happens.

I do very little faxing myself, so a bit difficult to do comprehensive testing. Would be great to get feedback from anyone else has tried too.



whewww.......Cool........lucky for us, but seriously though Fax over IP is very difficult and the hardest thing to do well over IP due to the very nature of timing and negotiation and I know for a fact the some other providers have some major issues that we don't seem to have one of the other reasons we like to keep the configs locked down, we are pretty happy with Faxing at present so any feedback is welcomed reguarding it, however  in saying this  the PAP2  range of products will not be  supported for faxing in the future as they do support T38 


OK, first up, I HAD a post here about faxing, and how I was told it was all good (which is kinda is), but maybe not in the future with the device I have (PAP2T) - but I managed to delete it somehow. Grrrrrr. :)

within 30 seconds (almost) of posting it, Phil was on the phone explaining the situation. Dude, thats some serious customer service. Thanks :)

Now, just waiting for the config so I can use it and cancel my telstra cable phone line :)




Nic Wise - Waiheke Island, New Zealand - www.fastchicken.co.nz


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  Reply # 50480 31-Oct-2006 15:30
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nic.wise:
maverick:
coffeebaron:
maverick: Feel free to plug your fax in and see how you go with National faxing, I use faxing all the time here in the office off the MyVFX Service with the Wag / SPA's / PAP devices and don't have to many issues, but try it and tell us how you go.


Initial tests seem to work fine. Tried sending and receiving to Telstra Faxcheck 0508 500499 (test results very good), and to my Vodafone mailbox. (Oops, turn off anonymous call rejection when trying to receive from Vodafone Faxmail). This was on an ADSL 512k up-link connection and QoS router. Will try it on my friends ADSL 128k up & non QoS router next and see what happens.

I do very little faxing myself, so a bit difficult to do comprehensive testing. Would be great to get feedback from anyone else has tried too.



whewww.......Cool........lucky for us, but seriously though Fax over IP is very difficult and the hardest thing to do well over IP due to the very nature of timing and negotiation and I know for a fact the some other providers have some major issues that we don't seem to have one of the other reasons we like to keep the configs locked down, we are pretty happy with Faxing at present so any feedback is welcomed reguarding it, however in saying this the PAP2 range of products will not be supported for faxing in the future as they do support T38


Interesting - I asked the WXC sales person if faxing was supported ("yes") then asked where to get a PAP2T - which I've bought. Not being able to use faxing on it is going to be somewhat of a game-breaker :( Thats really the only reason we have a phone line.

This may be something that needs to go up on your site in REALLY REALLY big lights. I assumed that ALL devices you supported / listed supported all features - hence why they were listed!



Thanks for this feedback, you will find we don't list this device as supporting fax it does however work with faxing right now and will continue to do so for some time,  but it will probaly not going forward as we enhance our service offering the device itself does not have T38 Fax capability this is the problem and unless Linksys do support it later which I doubt as I think it will be a hardware change it will generally only support voice, I take your point though on the information and will sort this ASAP....thanks again for the feedback




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 50484 31-Oct-2006 15:57
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The Website has been changed to now reflect that the PAP2T is not recommended for faxing, it will work at this stage with no problems but going forward with new services potentially not.




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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Master Geek


  Reply # 50572 1-Nov-2006 02:02
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Phil,

Great to see a lot of detailed information regarding my intial concerns with your service. I'm thinking that I may now continue the setup processes, or re-signup again (if I'm already wiped from your system).

Just some more questions to satisfy me though:


This weekend I had some problem with my iTalk account. I received a bill for a load of calls I did not make. (to Pakistan, Libya, Isreal...yeah maybe it was Al Qeada planning some nasty plot!) Then I discovered that my phoneline was not working. Called Slingshot, and their intial Customer Support person was trying to convince me that I had a 'Internet Dialer' virus that was making the calls. That they would rebate half of the cost of the call as a 'good faith gesture'..

I practically had to explain what their iTalk service was and that I didn't even have a dial-up modem on my computer...and that my account had obviously been hacked and used virutally now the password had been changed so I have no phoneline at all... Finally she discovered a note on my account saying that the password had been reset to prevent fraudulent use. She got a supervisor to call me back and I got him to issue me a new password. He said they would have to investigate the calls made  and they'd let me know if there would be any rebate (at all).


From what I can gather, someone must have been 'sniffing' in on the traffic to the iTalk server and collected my user/password sent during a registration.

Originally another hesitation I had about VFX was that there was no Softphone option, and it couldn't be set up with just a username, password and server address.

After this hacking incident I can see some merit in having settings profiled to a specific hardware MAC address. I also recall someone mentioning in this thread that the settings were sent encrypted in some way. Am I correct in believing that VFX will prevent a similar hacking incident that I've experienced with iTalk, or is it just a possible for a hacker to 'sniff' the traffic and virualise the same MAC address to have their own device provisioned with my setup details?

If in the future you do add a softphone option and allow use with any sip device, what protections against hacking can you put in place? Can you provide a secure proxy?

If my VFX account was hacked, will fraudulent calls be fully rebated??

Another question just out of interest... I recall someone on the iTalk forum mentioning that when they called the iTalk customer service for some quality issue, they heard the CS people play back the problematic phone conversation in the background. They asked if iTalk records all calls, and I don't think there was an official reply to this. So are VFX calls recorded or buffered in the system at VFX for a period of time?

Also, how private is the conversation in trasit over the net? I had one expert half reply, "A standard phone line has no protection against 'tapping' at all... so VoIP being sent in a soup of small data packets has got to be better." However I see 'tapping' of VoIP calls from the wider spectrum of foriegn hackers potentially a greater risk than from than someone locally 'tapping' your ordinary phone line on your street. Should a user of VFX think twice before entering phone banking PIN numbers etc??

Hope my questions aren't too difficult to answer!

Thanks!

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  Reply # 50612 1-Nov-2006 11:45
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Hey folks

After talking to Phil a bit yesterday (and getting an email from his customer services manager), I'm all sorted. Called a friend in Auckland last night, and the call quality was SUPERB - way better than cell, and I think as good or better than my Telstra cable line.

All up, Im seriously impressed. More info here if you wanna know....:

http://www.fastchicken.co.nz/blog/2006/10/31/xnetVFXVOIPInNewZealand.aspx

Now, just to test out a few things, then cancel the normal phone line :)




Nic Wise - Waiheke Island, New Zealand - www.fastchicken.co.nz


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  Reply # 50625 1-Nov-2006 12:47
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amigo: Phil,

Great to see a lot of detailed information regarding my intial concerns with your service. I'm thinking that I may now continue the setup processes, or re-signup again (if I'm already wiped from your system).

Just some more questions to satisfy me though:


This weekend I had some problem with my iTalk account. I received a bill for a load of calls I did not make. (to Pakistan, Libya, Isreal...yeah maybe it was Al Qeada planning some nasty plot!) Then I discovered that my phoneline was not working. Called Slingshot, and their intial Customer Support person was trying to convince me that I had a 'Internet Dialer' virus that was making the calls. That they would rebate half of the cost of the call as a 'good faith gesture'..

I practically had to explain what their iTalk service was and that I didn't even have a dial-up modem on my computer...and that my account had obviously been hacked and used virutally now the password had been changed so I have no phoneline at all... Finally she discovered a note on my account saying that the password had been reset to prevent fraudulent use. She got a supervisor to call me back and I got him to issue me a new password. He said they would have to investigate the calls made  and they'd let me know if there would be any rebate (at all).


From what I can gather, someone must have been 'sniffing' in on the traffic to the iTalk server and collected my user/password sent during a registration.

Originally another hesitation I had about VFX was that there was no Softphone option, and it couldn't be set up with just a username, password and server address.

After this hacking incident I can see some merit in having settings profiled to a specific hardware MAC address. I also recall someone mentioning in this thread that the settings were sent encrypted in some way. Am I correct in believing that VFX will prevent a similar hacking incident that I've experienced with iTalk, or is it just a possible for a hacker to 'sniff' the traffic and virualise the same MAC address to have their own device provisioned with my setup details?

If in the future you do add a softphone option and allow use with any sip device, what protections against hacking can you put in place? Can you provide a secure proxy?

If my VFX account was hacked, will fraudulent calls be fully rebated??

Another question just out of interest... I recall someone on the iTalk forum mentioning that when they called the iTalk customer service for some quality issue, they heard the CS people play back the problematic phone conversation in the background. They asked if iTalk records all calls, and I don't think there was an official reply to this. So are VFX calls recorded or buffered in the system at VFX for a period of time?

Also, how private is the conversation in trasit over the net? I had one expert half reply, "A standard phone line has no protection against 'tapping' at all... so VoIP being sent in a soup of small data packets has got to be better." However I see 'tapping' of VoIP calls from the wider spectrum of foriegn hackers potentially a greater risk than from than someone locally 'tapping' your ordinary phone line on your street. Should a user of VFX think twice before entering phone banking PIN numbers etc??

Hope my questions aren't too difficult to answer!

Thanks!



Actually no they are all excellent questions and I will try and answer best I can.

First off security is a big issue for every one and hence the reason why we are deploying the network the way we are with locking down Configs / Passwords etc, at this stage it is not possible for sniff the details from your config files, it is fully encrypted with all user names and passwords so sniffing the packets will not give away user details unlike some of the other services out there . we also have a few more things up our sleeves relating around security but will not discuss them here. However we are committed to everyone to have the most secure network we can for our users, saying this however there are always people out there trying to hack /break the systems.  But we are generally looking for these types of problems.

As for fraudulent use we would generally look at each case by case basis and generally we pretty helpful with rebates on this, at this stage we have not seen a single case of this on our network to date.  Now about a secure proxy  , there are some other reasons why we have gone with this CPE range what this means in a cryptic type of way is that we will bring to the table a lot more security enhancements to the Network and our users, Once again I will not go into detail here for obvious reasons. 

Should people be worried about entering PINs etc, no not really actually getting in the way of a DSL data stream connection is very difficult so not really a big concern at this stage so hacking is actually very hard to do. Once again some future enhancements will also help with this. I can discuss some more in-depth details directly with concerned users of our service but will not do so here and I hope you can all understand why.

Now the last one I think you have asked is about recording calls, Yes we can if required all calls are capable of being recorded on the MyVFX service but only if necessary, let me point out this is the same for any network VOIP or TDM but let me assure you right here and now Call recording requires it to be set up specifically and the access to this is Limited to only certain Operational Staff, Now the only time we will be doing this is if we have a continual customer complaint about Call Quality and only then it would be my OP’s staff using it as fault finding tool, this is exactly the same way as happens now in the TDM networks so no change there.
 I hope I have answered some of your concerns RegardsPhillip MooreOperations ManagerWorldxChange Communications




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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  Reply # 50630 1-Nov-2006 13:11
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Nic.Wise:
That's an excellent narrative on your Fast Chicken blog, thanks for taking the time to post it.

I also have a Linksys PAP2T and am just about to do the switchover from iTalk, having finally got clear of all the end-of-month stuff, quotes for customers etc.

Phil:
Could you post here in the forum exactly what Port Forwarding settings I should use in my router?
I think normally it's Port 5060 but if that's wrong, or if there are any others please let me know so I can get it working with the minimum of fuss.

Cheers Guys Laughing

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  Reply # 50641 1-Nov-2006 14:24
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Grant17: Nic.Wise:
That's an excellent narrative on your Fast Chicken blog, thanks for taking the time to post it.

I also have a Linksys PAP2T and am just about to do the switchover from iTalk, having finally got clear of all the end-of-month stuff, quotes for customers etc.

Phil:
Could you post here in the forum exactly what Port Forwarding settings I should use in my router?
I think normally it's Port 5060 but if that's wrong, or if there are any others please let me know so I can get it working with the minimum of fuss.

Cheers Guys Laughing


I have 5060, both TCP and UDP. Not sure if I need both tho. Thats for line 1. I think  its 5061 for line 2.




Nic Wise - Waiheke Island, New Zealand - www.fastchicken.co.nz


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  Reply # 50643 1-Nov-2006 14:33
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Grant17: Nic.Wise:
That's an excellent narrative on your Fast Chicken blog, thanks for taking the time to post it.

I also have a Linksys PAP2T and am just about to do the switchover from iTalk, having finally got clear of all the end-of-month stuff, quotes for customers etc.

Phil:
Could you post here in the forum exactly what Port Forwarding settings I should use in my router?
I think normally it's Port 5060 but if that's wrong, or if there are any others please let me know so I can get it working with the minimum of fuss.

Cheers Guys Laughing




You have an EMail




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 50646 1-Nov-2006 14:48
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Hi there, I like this topic.

I'm already thinking to move to this service but want to resolve one issue, this is about Linksys PAP2T, I use Linksys WRT54G v.1 (TCL provider). My house is 2 level house and currently I have 4 analog phones connected (2 upstairs and 2 downstairs), 2 phones are wired and 2 phones are cordless and say about 20-30m telephone net(inside the house). My understanding is that I should disconnect my phone net from the pool(outside the house) and then connect the PAP2T to my phone net.

Question:
1. Does the PAP2T have enough "power" to handle ALL my phones?
2. Will 10Gb traffic enough for 1 hour phone talk everyday?

I think you agree with me that this isn't quite comfortable to have just one phone.

BTW: Phillip, what is a price for Linksys PAP2T on your website? I cannot find it.

Thank you

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  Reply # 50663 1-Nov-2006 17:45
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01EG: Hi there, I like this topic.

I'm already thinking to move to this service but want to resolve one issue, this is about Linksys PAP2T, I use Linksys WRT54G v.1 (TCL provider). My house is 2 level house and currently I have 4 analog phones connected (2 upstairs and 2 downstairs), 2 phones are wired and 2 phones are cordless and say about 20-30m telephone net(inside the house). My understanding is that I should disconnect my phone net from the pool(outside the house) and then connect the PAP2T to my phone net.

Question:
1. Does the PAP2T have enough "power" to handle ALL my phones?
2. Will 10Gb traffic enough for 1 hour phone talk everyday?

I think you agree with me that this isn't quite comfortable to have just one phone.

BTW: Phillip, what is a price for Linksys PAP2T on your website? I cannot find it.

Thank you


Hi 01EG, very good question 4 lines off one port not 100% sure but will talk to some people at linksys and let you know, have a felling the voltage will be fine but not so sure about the current. We don't actually sell the harware we just recommend it for our network Places like Dick Smith or ascent have the boxes  http://www.ascent.co.nz/





Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 50680 1-Nov-2006 19:24
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The phones should have a RAL value, the sum of these should not exceed the RAL specifications of the device you are using.

Laymans terms: Each device in the wiring loop uses so much power, the device can only supply power up to its specification on each port so the sum of the power values each phone uses cant exceed this power value.

Eg there is no magical 'phone usage' value for all phones, you might have 4 phones work fine then switch to 3 new phones which are greedy on the power and find there is not enough power to drive these.


Maverick:
First off security is a big issue for every one and hence the reason why we are deploying the network the way we are with locking down Configs / Passwords etc, at this stage it is not possible for sniff the details from your config files, it is fully encrypted with all user names and passwords so sniffing the packets will not give away user details unlike some of the other services out there .


Encrypting the configs and encrypting the SIP auth process are two different things, perhaps you are reffering to using CHAP for the auth process in which case the username is actually sent in plaintext. Unless you are encrypting the data stream before the SIP auth in other words its easy enough to get the username, if you are in a position to sniff traffic in the first place (unlikely with UBS connections).



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  Reply # 50682 1-Nov-2006 19:34
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The PAP2T supports 5 REN (Ringer Equivalence Number) per port, what you need to do is add up the REN of all the phones that you want to connect to the PAP2T (it should be on the phone somewhere) and make sure that that the total is less than 5.

As an aside, you may find it difficult to get a PAP2T or SPA2102 at present as Linksys NZ has withdrawn them from sale and will be returning them to sale with configs locked to the VFX service.

As such, we will now be sourcing our Linksys ATA's from overseas.

hads




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