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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 59963 15-Apr-2010 16:04
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Hi there.

I'm looking to setup VOIP for home use and need your help.  I'm on Telstra's Cable Network in Christchurch (10GB Plan), have a brand new Linksys WRP400 router.  I'm currently using 2talk a 028 prepay plan for testing with and am happy with it so far.  (I don't notice any difference in voice quality or delay, compared to regular landline or cellular call).

The wife likes to talk and looking over the last 12 months of telstra bills we (she) seems to clock up between 500-1000 minutes.

Looking over previous threads I see the main players being

Xnet VFX
2talk
Italk

All with different pricing, free call minutes and features. 

My choices for the plan I require are

Xnet VFX - $11.25(VOIP LINE) + $19.95 (SuperCap A 1000 minutes) = $31.20
2talk - $30 (Unlimited)
Italk - $19.95 (Italk lots, 1500 minutes)

I'm leaning towards the Italk Lots Package $19.95 per month with 1500 free minutes. However I'm happy to pay a bit more if the service and line quality is better. 

Please share your feedback and/or recommendations over each or all of the 3 providers, and if I've missed a provider please also share that as well. I see more positive post around Xnet and 2talk so interested to hear about Italk service.




 

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  Reply # 318905 15-Apr-2010 16:19
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iTalk would certainly rank at the bottom of my list when it comes to quality. A day long outage in February is their most recent issue.

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  Reply # 318913 15-Apr-2010 16:26
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I use both 2talk and Xnet VFX. From a quality / reliability perspective, I have found VFX to be better. The will auto provision your WRP400, and it just all works.

Disclosure: I am a WxC dealer




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 318914 15-Apr-2010 16:28
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Quality and reliability are 2 different things, would you say Italk is more or less reliable than XT network? are VOIP outages a regular event?

Compared with the $56 Line rental and kiwi yak pak I'm currently paying. I'd prefer the $30odd dollars in my pocket if it ment putting up with semi-reliable service.

Having said that if it meant spending $10 more a month for a rock solid service I'd pay the extra.

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  Reply # 318979 15-Apr-2010 17:59
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sbiddle: iTalk would certainly rank at the bottom of my list when it comes to quality. A day long outage in February is their most recent issue.


Xnet/Xfx also had a pretty big outage this month though didn't they, handover links down on 6th April for several hours wasn't it?

The occasional outage is to be expected I guess.

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  Reply # 319007 15-Apr-2010 19:15
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  Reply # 319008 15-Apr-2010 19:18
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Ragnor:
sbiddle: iTalk would certainly rank at the bottom of my list when it comes to quality. A day long outage in February is their most recent issue.


Xnet/Xfx also had a pretty big outage this month though didn't they, handover links down on 6th April for several hours wasn't it?

The occasional outage is to be expected I guess.


There was no outage of the VFX or DVX platforms, just an outage of DSL due to a major Telecom issue. This would obviously take out VFX if you were on Xnet but users on other ISP's were unaffacted.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 319033 15-Apr-2010 20:12
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I use 2talk for home (2 lines), work (4 lines) and family (1 line).
Highly recomended and I've never struck an outage (they may have had one, but I've never noticed).
I have heard it can be hard to get support, but haver never needed to so can't really say.

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  Reply # 319077 15-Apr-2010 21:45
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I use Xnet, have found it to be very good. Had some problems with my WRP400 that xnet (Maverick) were quick to sort. Not had a problem since!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 319111 15-Apr-2010 22:49
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Im like Matt and use 2talk. Have been using it with naked dsl now for just over a year as my main phoneline at home and havent had any outages. Also got my son signed up with them too and he is finding them just as good. I called customer services once to ask a question and got through to one within about a minute. So definately a thumbs up for 2talk.

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  Reply # 319142 16-Apr-2010 00:16
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+1 for 2talk. The ability to use multiple devices is a big plus.




My views (except when I am looking out their windows) are not those of my employer.

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  Reply # 319156 16-Apr-2010 01:18
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sbiddle:

There was no outage of the VFX or DVX platforms, just an outage of DSL due to a major Telecom issue. This would obviously take out VFX if you were on Xnet but users on other ISP's were unaffacted.


Fair enough.

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  Reply # 319159 16-Apr-2010 01:33
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I have only used 2talk and italk, and they both seem largly ok. Issues with nat and things timing out etc went away when I got a static, put the asterisk box as DMZ and configured it with the ext ip.

Before that it was iffy for incoming calls. ATA and IP Phone devices directly to 2talk less iffy, but still missed the odd calls.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 319193 16-Apr-2010 08:05
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Another vote for 2talk. Thing that swayed me (over VFX) was the ability to use other devices. Certainly came in handy when we were overseas (in Sri Lanka) getting in touch with people back home - with real cheap mobile data plans it was awesome.

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  Reply # 319198 16-Apr-2010 08:33
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tanivula: Another vote for 2talk. Thing that swayed me (over VFX) was the ability to use other devices. Certainly came in handy when we were overseas (in Sri Lanka) getting in touch with people back home - with real cheap mobile data plans it was awesome.


There is nothing to stop you using any device with VFX - you can use an Asterisk profile and configure your own device. You are totally on your own however when it comes to support and configuration. Most people out there do not have a lot of things set optimally in their ATA's or IP phones (such as ringtones, dialplans , FXO/FXS impedance, RTP packet length etc) which is why the autoprovisioning model makes so much sence. 2talk even advise incorrect settings on their website for configuring Linksys ATA devices, people then encounter issues such as echo and think VoIP is bad.


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WorldxChange

  Reply # 319216 16-Apr-2010 09:21
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All depends on what you are after, I wasn’t actually going to respond to this but still see a couple of comments on why we don’t support  bring your own devices, this was something that we were going to a adding to a thread in the very near future, so will add something here first,

VFX has been designed to be a fixed line service replacement, using the Industry leading carrier grade soft switches and SBC’s (Session Border Controllers) we have aim to be NZ’s leading VOIP provider for large residential and commercial services through quality of deployment and network infrastructure. Hence the reason why WxC and VFX was chosen to be the sole Service provider for Telecom’s FTTH projects, do not underestimate the importance of Carrier grade equipment.

We deployed our network with a controlled device deployment, this would enable any non technical user to change to an IP based service and expect to see the same interaction as they had with their old PSTN lines, Dial Plans, Ring tones etc should be exactly the same as how the current PSTN works, obviously we add all the new NGN IP features as well which the PSTN couldn’t do, but we have aimed to make the change as seamless as possible, with the customer thinking that it sound and works just he same as the old line.

We have not offered open access devices fully as bringing proper acceptance to this new technology is fraught with danger, we see what happened with XT, customers are pretty unforgiving, so by controlling devices we control and own the end user experience, can you imagine your Grandmother configuring a device to get the right rings tones because it doesn’t sound the same as her old line Smile, For the uptake of VOIP based services to be successful on mass we as providers are pretty much duty bound to bring the best experience possible under current conditions and to do that it’s best to control the device, people will think VOIP is crap if they get echo etc, but they didn’t understand that because they had default impedance settings on their device,  or they changed the line levels it was them and their configuration of the device causing the problem, they won’t see that of course, it will be “boy this VOIP is crap”, this Technology is going to be a very important part of our future and we make no apologies for trying to deploy it correctly.

WxC’s aim is to be the true Fixed line replacement offering for the general public because it should just be the same user experience as the PSTN and is scalable to be able to support very large numbers for a national network , I am pretty pleased to say we have pretty much achieved that in the industry as everybody knows, Other offerings are fine and can do the same thing and will work well in most cases for the technically minded which a lot of Geekzoners are but for the general public natting, port forwarding, dialplans, SIP and Proxy servers is way to much info and it will work different because of this, different ring tones and PDD (post dial delay) not a biggee to some people but it is to others. Different offerings are also good for all as they will suit different user requirements, different strokes for different folks, however we have chosen our Platform to be a national network provider and is fully carrier grade and the leading IP softswitch in the world, if you had a choice would you like to see a majority of the National network run on an asterisk box with little SBC control.

However in saying all of that that we have allowed non supported Asterisk deployments for a while now, to see what the impact on the network was, see what the requirements for Tech support for people that can’t get there systems working etc, analyze what issues we did see with this, has been pretty successful with a large number of Asterisk systems deployed now with VFX, I must also add there a number of badly configured systems out there as well with a large amount of excess and incorrect traffic being sent, Networks have to process that traffic as well and with growth comes more and more of that,  it’s like a dam works well until you get to capacity but once there and start overflowing over the sides pretty hard to fix….sorry digressed a bit there and I was getting to a point …..

One of the reasons we did this was not only to appease our Asterisk friends who harangued me daily until we delivered J but to look at a service offering for a bring your own device …so as a heads up ….expect something from us in the very very near future for a bring your own VFX service.

longest post I have done in a while and sorry if it went off topic a bit Smile




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