Monday, February 3, 2014

My Introduction to the Vonage Box

**Update: I have been told that you don't actually need a corded phone to use Vonage if you have a cordless phone with a base with a cord. 

Recently, Vonage offered me the opportunity to "test drive" and provide reviews for the Vonage Box as a way to keep in touch as a military family. Vonage is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), meaning that it provides phone service over the internet.  This experience with the Vonage Box is really the first time that I've used VOIP, so the project sounded really interesting. Jake and I are always looking for new ways to keep in touch, so I figured, "Let's give it a try." 

I had a few little avoidable bumps getting started.  My Vonage Box arrived a few weeks ago, but it took a little while for me to set up because I did not have one of the key components: I haven't owned any kind of corded phone, I can't even remember. We kept a corded phone at the Kansas house in case of blizzards, and of course now it's occurring to me that we should also keep one in the house that is in prime hurricane territory too.  Well, now we've got a corded phone and it's attached to our Vonage Box.

Vonage also assigned a phone number to my account to go with my Vonage Box, and set the phone number to send voicemail messages to my email address. I quickly learned that someone had the number before I did. Within days my Inbox was filled with messages about debt collections and how my delinquent son Kendrick is skipping school. Again. 

Although I don't have a son named Kendrick, I have an adult friend by that name. We got a kick out of talking about what a trouble-maker he is, but the volume of spam call messages in my Inbox got old fast. My suggestion: register your new Vonage Box number on the National Do No Call registry as soon as you receive it. That won't catch all the spam calls, but it definitely cut them down. 

Setting up the Vonage Box was easy! It connected right to my existing wireless router, and I had a dial tone within minutes. Being able to connect to my existing router was actually a big deal. I'd been hesitant in years past to try VOIP because some of the reviews of VOIP-inclusive routers are not particular good. With the Vonage Box, it's the same router I really like, an the Vonage Box is simply another output device.

I have not had a chance to call Jake in Afghanistan, but I have made a couple of calls across the U.S. The call quality has been good so far, and using the phone/internet at the same time doesn't seem to slow down the internet at all.  In the coming weeks I'll try some more nationwide calls, and some international calls, and I'll be providing feedback on how the product works. Check back often! There might even be some surprises for me readers along the way!

For more information about the Vonage Box click here:


  1. This sounds like a neat service. I haven't had a home phone in 12 years and a corded phone in...I have no idea! 20 years maybe? I do like the idea of having some kind of phone in the house in case of emergencies because my cell coverage in our new house isn't always reliable. Thanks for the review #SITSblogging

  2. I also have not had a home phone for many years, but I have been curious about the Vonage service. I appreciate the thorough and honest review.