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Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 8:57 AM Reply   
What are you guys using?

Ours just got hit by lighting. Here is what I currently have....

3 lines- One main line that rolls over to the others if someone calls in on it.
Ability to transfer calls to other offices.....basically normal phone system.

I would like....

1 main regular phone line...
2 skype,vonage ect phone lines.
Ability to treat the 2 internet lines like they are regular lines and treat it like a normal phone system.

We need something pretty bad and do not want to spend thousands of dollars. We figured this would be a good opportunity to lower our phone bill to if this can be one.

Thanks in advance!
Old    WaterBullDawg (WaterBullDawg)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-28-2010, 9:48 AM Reply   
So your not using a PBX system really correct? Just rolling lines over?
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       10-28-2010, 10:02 AM Reply   
If you are needing to roll over lines you still need a key/pbx style phone system. I sell business telecommunications equipment. We are an NEC and Nortel dealer....while Nortel still exists anyways.

Your main(analog) number has no ability to roll over to Vonage type phone lines. You can have them as their own line appearance on the phone but as I said they will not roll over. Costs depend on how many phones you need and if you want voicemail where everyone can have their own mailbox. Typically a good calculation is roughly $ 500.00 a phone to build a system. Voicemail is about a $ 1,000.00 option. At three lines you have a choice 1) the cheap 3 line phones that they would sell at Walmart or something. ( couple hundred dollar solution) 2) a true phone system where you have the KSU ( programming box) up on the wall. People often complain that with the cheap phones you can get cross talk and clicking from the other lines. Some have intercom abilities between them, some don't. On a true phone system you have an option of Music on Hold inputs if that something that you would want to have. At some point every customer has to decide when to make the jump in to a real phone system. NOTE: You do not need to have a Voip phone system to have Voip ( vonage) type phone lines. The other thing to remember with Vonage or any internet based phone line is your dial tone is only as good as your internet speed in and out of your office. If someone is streaming audio or downloading a huge file in the office beside you, you can be sure your voice quality will be crap. There is no gray area in either works or it doesn't. Otherwise dropped calls, echo, or jumbled speech is a high reality with internet based phone lines. I have had quite a few customers that have gotten rid of them because the quality just isn't there.

Ask away and I'll try and help.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       10-28-2010, 10:07 AM Reply   
^^^ I would also highly suggest a battery backup to help protect you from power spikes. The better the UPS the better the protection it provides.

One other point not that it reflects this situation by any means.

I am amazed at how many people put so little value in to a phone system when most businesses wouldn't be able to operate without one. They will spend thousands and thousands on a computer network but give little importance to phones. Yes it's only a phone and provides you dial tone...but what happens when they don't work.
Old    bigdtx            10-28-2010, 11:35 AM Reply (aka asterisk)

There is an asterisk bridge to skype - but I don't use it.
I use skype through my computer to talk to other skype users - works great.
For actual phone I use through my asterisk box.

if you want voip gateways (use regular phones on your voip network) I have a bunch of mediatrix 1104s -
and I think one 1124 -

laying around that I'm not using - all used but work great.

As for voice quality - I've got Verizon FIOS - I've been running mega torrents at 1MB/Sec and above, streaming internet radio, and talking on the phone at the same time - no problem - never been an issue. SIP traffic (phone calls) is actually very tiny in terms of bandwidth. If you have some crap internet into your office you WILL have a problem - seen it before - echo and lag are the biggest issues.

Last edited by bigdtx; 10-28-2010 at 11:45 AM.
Old    bigdtx            10-28-2010, 11:54 AM Reply   
Also you can hook up an Asterisk box to the PSTN (the regular phone network) with an interface card.
Check out Digium - or Fonality - for more info.
Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 1:09 PM Reply   
What internet service would you guys recommend if I have 3 phone lines.....downloading....uploading big files?

Great info guys!
Old    bigdtx            10-28-2010, 1:42 PM Reply   

Been with a bunch of 'em - FIOS is the best. I hear they're on the block to sell - that's why you don't see their ads anymore, but as long as the new owner keeps the quality up they will stay the bomb!
Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 1:49 PM Reply   
Fios is not available where I'm at. We currently have AT&T DSL 6.0
Old    bigdtx            10-28-2010, 2:44 PM Reply   
If you can voice Skype with other users far away - across the country / global then you'll be fine.
Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 2:49 PM Reply   
Yeah but what if 3 of us are on the phone...... and one of us is downloading.... and another uploading? I would rather be safe than sorry.... make sure my phones are ok.
Old    bigdtx            10-28-2010, 3:17 PM Reply   
Then go the old route - PSTN - buy the Nortel system from Dave. You'll never go wrong.

VOIP and soft PBX customers fall into 2 categories - super cheap and don't want to spend anything, or super rich and don't want to spend anything.

The super cheap just want to make calls.

The super rich want the advanced technology that the commercial providers are selling - but at a lower price and the ability to customize it themselves.

That's why I decided not to get into the business - no middle class.
Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 3:53 PM Reply   
We already have a ton of Norstar phones. It's the main system that took a dump on us. We can fix the one we have for about 175 bucks. But we have no voice mail system.... we have no special recording. It's an old system. I would like something that's more plug-n-play...the one we have is not.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       10-28-2010, 4:12 PM Reply   
Or get 2 DSL connections in to the office. One for voice and the other for your network or pay for one large connection. Depending how much long distance calling your making it doesn't always make sense to have Voip Lines for outbound calls. Most carriers have long distance for $.03-.04 a minute which isn't really much.

You can still have skype/vonage lines and analog lines on a digital phone system like your nortel.

If you took a picture of the Norstar system you have now I could tell you what you have and what your options are going forward.
Old    H2O Pro Accessories (h2oproaccessories)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-28-2010, 4:25 PM Reply   
i'm starting to think it will be a wash out...... have cheaper phones in one hand.... and have more expensive internet in the other..... :-(


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