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What is Vonage?

Posted On 2011-01-13 by dwirch
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Vonage is one of the leading providers of commercial and residential VoIP telephony. In a short span of three years, it has acquired more than a million customers for this recent communications technology. The company is based in Holmdel, New Jersey and offers quality-rich features as a part of its VoIP offering to customers. Customers throughout the United States can avail Vonage services; Vonage started its Canada and UK services in 2004 and 2005, respectively. 

In order to make use of the services provided by Vonage, customers need a broadband internet connection and a good quality VoIP router or adapter. Vonage is different from IM-based VoIP services such as Skype as it offers greater ease of use and a greater selection of plans. A number of monthly packages are offered by Vonage; these include fixed minutes as well as unlimited use. The minutes allotted can be used for communicating with anyone in the U.S.; long-distance charges are applied for international calls. These charges are far less than those charged when using traditional telephony. Vonage offers a 14-day or a 30-day money-back trial period for customers to test the features and quality of VoIP service provided by Vonage. 

Vonage subscribers are provided with a regular telephone number that can be used from anywhere in the world. Subscribers are free to choose an area code different from that of the place where they are located. For a small monthly fee, subscribers can obtain virtual numbers. The concept of virtual numbers helps subscribers, especially if they are businesses with a global network, to save on communication costs. If a US-telephone number is used from outside the US for making a call to the US, it incurs only local charges. However, all area codes in the US are not covered by Vonage; therefore prospective subscribers should check for number availability before deciding on Vonage. 

Vonage is one of the few VoIP companies that provide a package which is a complete fully functional replacement for land lines. Vonage provides its subscribers with an extensive set of features including 911, call forwarding, 3-way calling, free in-network calling, call waiting, and voice mail at a fraction of the cost as compared to traditional telephony. Vonage makes use of SIP, which is a robust open source protocol, for its software. 

Subscribers are not required to connect a computer to the Internet for using the Vonage phone service, as the company provides handsets. Moreover, unlike other VoIP services, Vonage does not charge extra for calls between the Vonage network and landlines. Vonage is ideal for those who need to make regular long-distance calls, since it works just like a regular telephone; it suits people who are not comfortable in making calls through a computer. 

The flip side of subscribing to Vonage is that the cost, although lower than traditional telephony, is much higher as compared to other VoIP services. However, the cost is offset to a large extent by the services offered and voice quality. Also, since the phone number of a subscriber may not correspond to his actual location, implementing 911 is not easy. Vonage runs its own emergency telephone number service, which requires that subscribers provide the residential address to Vonage.


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