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That misconception about the type of Vonage Internet service offered probably exists because many cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner now offer bundled services referred to in the industry as triple play service. Triple play service provides television, Internet service, and digital phone service combined at one low monthly price and delivered via one broadband connection.
Vonage Internet Phone Service
However, there is no such thing as Vonage Internet service (Vonage is not an Internet service provider, or ISP). Vonage is an Internet phone service provider, which is a subset of Internet service. Vonage merely provides VoIP phone service to customers who already have a high-speed Internet connection.
In fact, the only requirements for Vonage Internet phone service are:
- High-speed Internet access
- US billing or shipping address
- VoIP adapter
- Touch-tone phone (corded or cordless)
The point is that you can only have Internet phone service if you have Internet access. In short, the only Vonage Internet service available is the VoIP phone service that uses the Internet to send voice calls as data.
Vonage Wireless Internet Service
As far as wireless Vonage Internet service is concerned, there are only a handful of ways that Vonage VoIP phone service can be described as offering any sort of wireless functionality:
- A wireless router with Vonage phone service, allowing customers to create a home wireless Internet service, or local area network (LAN).
- Vonage's VoIP mobile app with a cellphone, enabling access to a wireless Vonage network connection point through a 3G/4G data network or a WiFi connection point.
- Using wireless phone jacks to support multiple phones in one household.
- A Vonage softphone that supports not only wireless but essentially phoneless (no physical, traditional phone) access to Vonage's VoIP phone service.
Vonage Wireless Router
A router lets users network multiple devices to one Internet connection. A wireless router supports connectivity without the messiness of cables, or the inconvenience of having to stay close to the router. With a wireless router, users can access the Internet from their laptop from any room within range of the wireless signal, send orders to printer from a completely different end of the house, and more.
Vonage wireless routers usually offer multiple ports and at least two phone jacks for VoIP phone service. Other features may include:
- MAC address filtering
- WPA/WEP security
- QoS features
- SIP support
- T.38 fax protocol
- Echo cancellation
- Multiple audio codecs
A wireless Vonage router is a smart choice for Vonage customers setting up a home wireless Internet service, or LAN. Subscribers using Vonage for business will also benefit from a Vonage wireless router.
A Vonage wireless router performs all the functions of a traditional wireless router, but also includes special functions that are typically fulfilled by a Vonage phone adapter.
Some of the wireless routers with an integrated VoIP phone adapter that are compatible with Vonage service are:
- D-Link VWR
- Motorola VT2542
- Linksys WRTP54G
VoIP Phone AdapterA phone adapter is a sort of technological bridge between the customer's analog telephone system that uses copper wires to transmit electrical signals, and the digital system that uses the Internet to transmit data.
A VoIP phone adapter, or analog telephone adapter (ATA), converts the analog signal produced by the phone into a digital signal, compresses it, and turns it into a series of data packets. The data packets are then transmitted over the Internet.
A VoIP adapter is needed to be able to use a standard phone with Internet phone service, unless the customer has another solution such as an IP phone. An IP phone is a digital phone that creates a digital signal and packetizes the data, bypassing the need for any conversion hardware between the phone and the Internet.
Wireless routers with integrated VoIP phone adapters are one way to support multi-phone access to Vonage Internet phone service.
Vonage Mobile Apps
There are two ways for cellphone users to access wireless Vonage services:
- Vonage Extensions App
- Vonage Mobile App
Vonage Extensions AppThe Extensions app is for Vonage residential and business customers, and allows for direct dialing from mobile phone contact books. The Extension app is a Vonage mobile app for iOS and Android devices, and supports the same international calling features that the subscriber's Vonage plan does.
If the subscriber's Vonage plan includes unlimited or low per-minute rate international long distance calls, so does the Vonage Extensions app. It is, as its name suggests, an extension of the user's home calling plan.
Remember, regardless of the Vonage residential plan or the country called, different rates often apply toward landlines and mobile phones. Be sure to check with Vonage for precise costs. For many countries, the rates even vary per city called.
Vonage Mobile AppThe Vonage Mobile VoIP app is another way to tap into Vonage wireless service. Also available to iOS and Android mobile phone users, the app can be downloaded by anyone — even non-Vonage customers.
With the Vonage Mobile VoIP app, users can make high-definition calls to any other Vonage Mobile user — anywhere in the world — for free. The Vonage wireless VoIP app also supports Bluetooth technology for hands-free dialing.
Vonage Mobile users aren't limited to free in-network calls. Vonage Mobile users can also use the VoIP app to text other Vonage Mobile app users.
Using the Vonage Mobile app, calls to Vonage residential and business customers are also free. Calls to out-of-network international locations are charged inexpensive per-minute rates that are:
- 70% lower than most mobile carriers
- 30% lower than Skype
The Vonage Mobile app lets users bypass their own cell plan minutes and use their data plans to call or text friends and family all over the world. The Vonage Mobile app accesses wireless service through multiple connection types, such as:
The Vonage Mobile app also lets customers keep their current cellphone number as their caller ID information.
Vonage Wireless Phone Jacks
If you have a large household or just multiple phones on one line (perhaps one in the kitchen, one in the home office or study, and one in the master bedroom), you may be wondering how to support them all when each requires a VoIP adapter.
The easiest way to do that is to get a set of wireless phone jacks. With wireless phone jacks, you can set up a wireless Vonage network using the Vonage phone adapter.
The base unit connects to the Vonage phone adapter. The extensions plug into electrical wall outlets around the house, and the phones into the jacks. In this way, an extended Vonage wireless VoIP network is created. However, there is often a lot of audio interference experienced with this setup.
Vonage SoftphoneVonage wireless VoIP phone service can also be accessed via the Vonage softphone. A softphone is a VoIP software program that emulates the functionality of a traditional phone on an Internet connected device.
Softphones offer click-to-call functionality, meaning subscribers can simply click on a number in their address books to place a call. An app such as the Vonage Mobile or Vonage Extensions app is an example of a softphone.
Vonage also offers a softphone for personal computers. The softphone is a $9.99 monthly add-on to the calling plan, plus a one-time activation fee of $9.99.
The Vonage softphone is an easy way for customers to use their laptops to make calls while at school, work, or traveling. Vonage subscribers can also use their PC or Mac computers to make calls from home without using a Vonage adapter with their regular phone, or investing in an IP phone.
The Vonage softphone offers all the features of Vonage Internet phone service such as voicemail access, caller ID and caller ID block, call waiting, and 3-way calling.
Vonage V-PhoneThe Vonage V-Phone is the Vonage softphone on a USB drive. The V-Phone offers customers wireless Vonage access to their VoIP calling plans from virtually any Internet-connected Windows computer.
The Vonage software is accessed on and run from the USB drive, so no software is loaded onto the computer. This means the V-Phone can be used on work, library, school, Internet café and other computers with strict safeguards against downloading or installing programs.
The Vonage V-Phone includes all the features included with a Vonage calling plan, such as call forwarding and call waiting.
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