VOIP, Discussion, questions and answers

in Phones & TV
658 replies 187.9K views


  • Vodka wrote:
    Its not the cheapest as you indicate, however, the ability to plug a conventional telephone handset into a router justifies the cost. Family members with no idea how to use a computer can now make calls over broadband. I think that’s a great thing. Also, with Vonage, the pc does not need to be on like it does to use Skype. Both Skype and Vonage do have their uses; I’m not sure which one I’ll stick with in the long run. It’s all good competition!

    Yes but you must have a router to use it.Most people have only got a USB ASDL Modem. Also https://www.freetalk.co.uk offer much the same for £6.99 a month.

    If you were to use 1899. £9,99p would give you 333 calls a month,so you must be a high user to benefit.
  • paul_hpaul_h Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    MSE'ers on this thread have succeeded in using an analogue telephone adaptor with voipbuster - that's my next project...
  • star1_2star1_2 Forumite
    424 Posts
    Yes - Definatly check out the thread that Paul H has mentioned.

    I'm using a Linksys PAP2 (it's capapable of having two lines), and receive calls for FREE via an 0207 number and make calls to 01/02 number for FREE on the other line using Sipdiscount.

    - It cost me :-
    - £20 for the PAP2 (plugs into my wireless cable router)
    - Nothing for the Sipgate incomming number (and nothing per month)
    - A 5 euro credit on the Sipdiscount line to make free 01/02 numbers, and other selected worldwide landlines
    - Two phones to plug into the PAP2

    * It should be noted VoIP is not as reliable as traditional lines and will drop if you loose power or your BB connection, so make sure you have alternative methods of contact ! (eg. mobile)

    Any questions - look on the other thread or ask?

    PS - The only catch with the above solution is it's not really suited to a PC novice, you will need to know all about setting up the PAP2 and unlocking it (if you buy a vonage branded unit)

    PPS - If you're a PC novice and want to buy somthing "out of the box" look at the https://www.freetalk.co.uk option (mentioned earlier), it's currently the cheepest (especially if you go for the annual option)- to connect to your RJ45 equiped router.
  • wakeywakeywakeywakey Forumite
    22 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I've used voipcheap to make free uk landline calls using my headphones with microphone - but it's not really family friendly etc. The next step using something like an unlocked Linksys PAP2 at http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?ProductID=2222 costs about £40 plus p&p plus an adapter for each of the 1-2 uk telephones at http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?ProductID=2370&CategoryID=84&ShopGroupID=40 (cost £2.57 each plus p&p).

    I could plug my Orchid dect phone into this and make free calls (for the time being).

    I have telewest broadband via an SB4100 cable modem connected to my win xp machine via an ethernet cable. Can I plug the PAP2 in between the cable modem and my PC?

    I don't use wireless or homeplug type stuff at all, although I will be looking to do this over the next 1-2 years so if I had to buy any kit it should "fit in" to the next stage.

    As Sipdiscount don't (currently) supply a phone number, I would need a number from sipgate and hence the second phone on the PAP2.

    Sorry to be Janet and John about this but this a bear with very little brain.

    The crunch is - does any one have this working in a family environment - I can't quite see me having one phone system for incoming and one for outgoing calls. I can see this working in a 1-2 people set up.

    The good news is that the market is moving fairly fast, so I won't have too long to wait before a better (i.e. cheaper, easier to use) option arrives.

    In the meantime, a telewest phone line plus orchid dect phones plus 1899 is still better than a telewest "saver" package... and I need the time whilst waiting to understand what's coming.


  • star1_2star1_2 Forumite
    424 Posts
    The PAP2 does not allow "pass-thru" therefore you would need to have a router.

    I'm on Telewest - My Cable Modem RJ45 connects to a Linksys Cable Router (WRT54GS) inturn I have a number of PC's connected including the PAP2. You could always use a lesser model of router without Wireless if you don't need this feature - but you may need to set 'ports' to allow VoIP traffic through (thats why I would'nt recommend it for IT Novices).

    I have various lines - but generally the set-up could work fine in a 'family enviroment' You could purchase some DECT multi-handset sets. And tell everyone, that handset type 1 is for incomming calls, and handset type 2 is for outgoing (people just have to dial 0044 (drop the 0) and then the rest of the UK number.

    It really depends what 'family friendly means' but once everyone has adopted the rules of dialing it's should be ok .... I guess you might be able to get an orchid dialer to do the 0044 bit - but thats somthing someone else might be able to help with ....

    On the otherhand if you need something really simple to use (and totally 'family friendly' - try freetalk from Dixons - its the cheepest VoIP (out of a box solution around) - and might even have RJ45 pass-thru (which you would be able to use on your Surfboard (but check with Dixons and see if the box will do this - ie. an RJ45 in (from the modem) and an RJ45 out to the PC.

  • wakeywakeywakeywakey Forumite
    22 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker

    mmmm - some pennies beginning to drop.

    "You could purchase some DECT multi-handset sets. And tell everyone, that handset type 1 is for incomming calls, and handset type 2 is for outgoing (people just have to dial 0044 (drop the 0) and then the rest of the UK number."

    Using the built in orchid dialler, for the incoming calls set, dialling rules could be set up to effectively "ban" all outgoing calls. For the outgoing calls, using sipdiscount, presumably rules could be set up to send uk landline calls "to line" and divert calls to mobiles via the 0808 number for 1899 (for example).

    Does this sound feasible?

    If the Telewest phone line rental can be done away with - there is 12*£10.50 (£126) to play with per annum. This is the lynch pin to the dixons offering you mention, which presumably will draw in other players to this rapidly changing market.

  • star1_2star1_2 Forumite
    424 Posts
    yes - you seam to have a plan that would work.

    - You might find some DECT phones that have a call restriction feature anyway (I know Binitones have a babysitter mode - that stops certain call types) - I guess you could use this on one set of phones, and as you suggest the orchid dialer to do the other FREE Calls, although I don't know if Sipdiscount will carry 0808 calls? - I guess 1899 would charge the .5 p/min - but they could always be used for calls to mobiles.

    - The Dixons Freetalk deal - gives the cheepest easist 'out of the box' solution - that I'm aware of at the moment. Although - as you suggest - the market is changing rapidly - so, by the time you read this post - there may be a better deal out there :-)
  • wakeywakeywakeywakey Forumite
    22 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks star1

    After looking at the freetalk website, it does look as if their box could be inserted between the cable router and the standalone PC. Given that their mobile rates are 15/10/5 for day/evening/weekend, does it sound feasible to use the 0808... number (which I assume is free on freetalk) to access 1899 and bring the mobile charges down to 3p connection plus 10p or 3p per min on weekdays and weekends.

    It looks as if freetalk doesn't have a connection charge for mobiles... so need to do some calculations on that one.

    So for £80 for year 1 (or £20 for box) and £6.99 a month thereafter, I could use freetalk with my orchid dect phones and justify that expense against being able to give up the Telewest phone line rental of £10.50 per month (£126 per year), and probably give up the telewest tv package because I couldn't be paying an extra few pounds a month for having the temerity to give up the phone line...

    The only caveat as has been pointed out is 10p/min to access freetalk helpline if needed, loss of service when power lost, and no 999 access. We have mobiles to cover the last two. THis certainly looks like a feasible option to me, and it is good to have a option (I don't consider BT a viable forward option) if the 1899 costs go pear shaped.

    Is anyone actually using freetalk or who's done the research who can give some more info?


  • I have been using Skype successfully to fellow skype subscribers. I then downloaded Voipcheap for Uk landline calls. Then up flashed an offer I couldn't refuse which was SIP Discount.com. I payed up 5 euros and thought I was going to get free calls to Australia and USA using my voipcheap link. But no. They aren't the same. How do I use a SIP account? Do I have to buy yet more equipment?
  • FF99FF99 Forumite
    602 Posts
    For a non techie what is the easiest and cheapest way to fix up some hardware to my computer that will enable Voipbuster or Voipcheap to be used to make outgoing calls (either at the computer or over DECT cordless phones).

    If I have understood correctly the cheapest is a USB device that would enable me to listen / speak and might enable me to dial if I have the correct drivers. Any suggestions on this with the emphasis on cheap. Please indicate whether drivers are / are not available for Voipbuster or Voipcheap.

    After that comes some sort of ATA box (unlocked PAP 2 ?) which connects to the main phone network and to my internal computer network, enables switching between the two and enables a DECT phone to be connected. If this is correct what would be the cheapest option that a dimmo with only limited tech skill could use (and where to acquire it from) ?

    Thanks for all the help.
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