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424 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 13349 5-May-2007 16:16
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The biggest issue for me regarding VoIP is reliability - if something goes wrong (ie the modem crashes) incoming calls won't be heard and obviously missed, probably going to voicemail.   I intend to buy a Linksys WAG54GP2 as recommended on Xnets website.  What are peoples experiences regarding this or other modems?  It would seem that adding one more link in the chain would decrease reliability.

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3539 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 69643 5-May-2007 20:53
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timestyles: What are peoples experiences regarding this or other modems?  It would seem that adding one more link in the chain would decrease reliability.

I agree that according to the law of averages, adding an extra device -- for example an ADSL modem with a separate ATA -- would generally make the system less reliable.

However, I have 2 sites using VFX:

1)  A site with a wireless connection and PAP2T ATA
2)  A site with ADSL and a SPA2102 ATA

In both of these sites, the internet connection was existing so therefore the modem / router used to connect to the net was existing.  Rather than throw away a known reliable piece of equipment in favour of a new all-in-one device (such as the WAG54GP2 which you are looking at), I elected to add an ATA to the existing setup.

Last month I was glad I had made this choice because a lightning hit took out my WiFi router at the site which uses wireless.  Luckily the Airspan transceiver wasn't affected.  And of course, the ATA wasn't affected.  So in this case, I just needed to replace a WiFi router at a cost of $135, rather than buying a new WRTP54G which would have been much more expensive.

At the site which uses ADSL, I have a ZyXEL ADSL modem which has never missed a beat in 3 years.  When we installed VFX about 3 months ago, again I adopted the "if it ain't broke / don't fix it strategy" and ordered a separate ATA (in this case the SPA2102 because we needed fax capability).

I guess if you don't have an existing modem that you are happy with, the situation is a little different.

But to my mind, having separate modem and ATA devices affords you more flexibility.  Say you decide to change your internet connection to wireless or cable in the future.  Then you don't need to replace your VoIP device, only the modem.

Another issue is the WiFi component of the WAG54GP2.  It is sure to be outdated before long as new standards are introduced (like the long-awaited version N protocol).  Whereas the VoIP part is likely to stay the same for a much longer time as SIP is now a mature technology.

So, my advice would be to get a separate ADSL modem / router / WiFi access point for around $100 (don't buy a D-Link though), and then get yourself a PAP2T or SPA2102 depending on whether you need to send faxes or not.

That's my 2c worth anyway, you pays your money and you takes your choice...

P.S.  Almost forgot to mention that good modems don't crash...  But if you are worried about this, I suggest sending copies of Voice Mail to your e-mail, so that in the event your modem crashes, you will have a message from the unlucky caller, or in the event that they don't bother leaving a message, you will still know who called from the Caller ID sent as the title of the e-mail.  I have found this to be a really handy feature.  Thanks WxC Smile


424 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2

  Reply # 69694 6-May-2007 16:44
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Thanks Grant for your detailed response.  It does look like I will take a chance and get VoIP, my understanding (ie I may be wrong, if I am anybody please say) is that I can forward calls to the telecom number, so even if the modem does crash forwarding will continue.  This will happen until naked DSL when I would have worked out how reliable the modem was.

I tend to look down on those multifunction scanners/copiers/printers, but in this case an all in one system would probably best fit my needs I guess.  Doubling the number of devices roughly halves the reliability, so I'll just give it a go and see what happens.  Cost is not really an issue, I've been paying for 2 phone lines for a while now (too complicated to explain!), it'll be nice to go back to one and save a bit of money.

Thanks again.


1200 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 69698 6-May-2007 17:27
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We have been using two phone and a fax line in the office with a WFX broadband connection and a Cisco/Netgear router (the two our clients have so we have been doing interop testing with them) and it's run fine.

You can logon to their web portal and change call divert on busy, no rings, or take a phone "out of service" and redirect all calls to another nunmber - such as the case when your internet goes down.

To be honest, thinking back to all the outtages we have had with internet, they have been on the upper layers of broadband (PPP auth failures, traffic routing once the ISP L2 Tunnel is setup) or DNS/SMTP issues etc. This stuff is all the ISP's (e.g. WFX's side of the fence)

WorldExchange have a very reliable network, so unless there is a physical DSL sync failure or PORT/L2 Tunnel (i.e. port reset problems for those of you on Alcatel ports) I expect very little downtime.

Having said that, their support hours are a little nutty, something like till 4pm on weekends!

Tyler - Parnell Geek - iPhone 3G - Lenovo X301 - Kaseya - Great Western Steak House, these are some of my favourite things.

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