Vonage anyone?

Hi,

My husband and I are relocating to Buenos Aires (Palermo Soho) in January 2010 from Chicago, IL. We are very excited for this big move but also have a few concerns. I will be working remotely for a US based company as a recruiter. Because of the nature of my work it is crucial for me to have a telephone with a US based phone number and internet connection. Vonage claims you can keep your US phone number in Argentina. I am curious if anyone currently is using Vonage and if so - how is it working out? Also, does anyone ever have internet connection issues?

Thanks!
 

ElQueso

Registered
I have a friend who uses Vonage and swears by it. He uses it for various businesses he has going back in the States. I personally use Skype, but I'm at my computer all day anyway and that suits me. Even though you could buy a Skype phone (and I'm sure other accessories) to go with Skype, if you are just looking for more or less regular phone conversations Vonage would probably be your best bet.

As far as internet connections go, it can vary. Even in one area most may have good connections, while people in your building are having problems continuously because of the service provider's infrastructure in the building itself.

Most of the time when I was in the city (I live in the fr north suburbs of Pilar now, where internet can be even worse!) I had decent internet connection, certainly good enough for voice comms.

But for downloading big files, you're probably never going to see anything like what you can get in the States. In fact, even though the provider will boast 3 megabit connections (download), you will most likely not see that if you are downloading from servers outside of Buenos Aires because of the lack of bandwidth to the backbones (notably to the US) for the rest of the world.

Your uploading speed will be excruciating slow most likely, around 300 kilobits at best.

I am a software developer, and all of my clients are in the States. I do manage to conduct business well enough here.
 
ElQueso said:
I have a friend who uses Vonage and swears by it. He uses it for various businesses he has going back in the States. I personally use Skype, but I'm at my computer all day anyway and that suits me. Even though you could buy a Skype phone (and I'm sure other accessories) to go with Skype, if you are just looking for more or less regular phone conversations Vonage would probably be your best bet.

As far as internet connections go, it can vary. Even in one area most may have good connections, while people in your building are having problems continuously because of the service provider's infrastructure in the building itself.

Most of the time when I was in the city (I live in the fr north suburbs of Pilar now, where internet can be even worse!) I had decent internet connection, certainly good enough for voice comms.

But for downloading big files, you're probably never going to see anything like what you can get in the States. In fact, even though the provider will boast 3 megabit connections (download), you will most likely not see that if you are downloading from servers outside of Buenos Aires because of the lack of bandwidth to the backbones (notably to the US) for the rest of the world.

Your uploading speed will be excruciating slow most likely, around 300 kilobits at best.

I am a software developer, and all of my clients are in the States. I do manage to conduct business well enough here.
El Queso - thanks for the message. I just started research Skype and am still a little confused on how that works... If I would be working from home (near the computer most of the day) would it be better to get Skype? Do you use a telephone or is it somehow integrated into the computer?

I guess the main objectives I need covered are:

1) a US based phone #
2) unlimited calls to US and Argentina
3) caller id would be good as we would likely use the same phone # for work and personal.

Thanks again!
 

captdave

Registered
Hey guys!

I bought a "magic box" last time I was in the US, and to my surprise and delight it works better then I expected!
The sell them at Staples, CompUSA and many other places.

Basically, you pay 30 or 40 bucks for the thing,which plugs into the USB port of any internet-connected computer. The first time you plug it in, it starts up registration program which gives you a US phone number in any one of a long list of area codes (your choice). You are givin the option of paying a couple of bucks extra for a "vanity number" (which I didn't do) and a few other options, and when the registration is finished your "box" has it's own phone number that will work on ANY internet connected computer with a USB port (including locotorios), anywhere in the world. You can connect a handset (regular telephone) or use the on-screen pad with headphones.

Although it rings and functions as a regular phone when connected, one of the most useful features for me is that if a call goes to voicemail (either not connected or not answered) the voicemail is sent as a .wav file attached to an email, where you can play it without having to use your phone!

Works great - the 39.95 price gives you a year of unlimited national calls (within the USA), and it's 20 bucks a year after that!

I have not used my Vonage since I hooked up this little device!
Website at www.magicbox.com gives all he details...


So far my only complaint is that it does NOT work on Linux systems (at least not yet....)
:(

David
 

ghost

Registered
Oh, yes, forgot, internet in Argentina sucks at best and is a ripoff at worst. But it's all you have.
 

katti

Registered
I don't think skype works good all the time. It often happens that we just take the fixed phone as we hardly understand each other.

We now have a Belgian number (for the belgians to call) that is connected to our cell phones, and an argentine number (for us) that is connected with the Belgian office number. So people call us on a local number, and we pay for the transfer over the internet to our cellphones. This usually works fine, and if it doesn't, just call back and then it's fine. It costs 2,5€ per month, plus costs per minute somewhat cheaper then skype. Sometimes you must call 3 to 4 times until you get connection (sometimes it works immediately), and it only starts ringing here after about 6 rings in Belgium (so people must not hang up too fast) but once you know this it's fine.
I will have to check with which company/ system we are working.We have only started this this month so I don't know many details. We are now working on another telecommunication system to be in touch all the time (open lines) between the office in Belgium and in BA. If you are interested I can keep you posted on this.

Internet is very slow here, only 4 to 5 M per minute where back home we had 53. Impossible to compare (you can get 20 here but that is quite expensive- like 550 pesos/month). With skype we must often switch off the camera as the communiation blocks. Mostly around 6pm local time or when it's raining or in weekends (and everyone seems to be online)....

On this subject it is really a 3th world country... I have already moved the world to get internet in the kids rooms, but that does not seem posible (thick walls) and they don't understand here why we would need internet in the kids rooms. Also we have 2 internet providers, (cable and ADSL) because internet often falls out (which they both do reguralarly). Up to now they never fell out both at the same time.

So to answer your question, yes, it is possible, but you must be patient, this is not "home"! If you expect the same "easy communication", you will die of stress :eek:

Last week the electricity fell out 3 times for 2 to 3 hours. If that happens once in Belgium it comes in the news. Here no one talks about it. This is Argentina.:)
 

Sleuth

Registered
Vonage is my choice. It's an unbelievably solid and reliable product. It's great that it comes with its own router and you do not need a PC to use it. Plus, they now have unlimited calling around the world for the same monthly price.

I'd strongly recommend it.
 

citygirl

Registered
I use skpe for business and have to say - it's great. You can either buy a skype phone if you need to be mobile - (buy that in the US) or you can use it directly from your computer. That is fine if you're going to be next to your computer all day.

With a yearly subscription, you pay a flat rate (60 USD) for unlimited calls to one country. You also can pay an additional 30 USD for a skype-in number, that way people can dial a US number and reach you here without paying international fees.

I would add make sure the apt that you are renting has a high-speed internet connection.

I use mine for business and 95% of the time, I have a great connection.
 
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