Phonepower vs anveo vs vestalink

Started by evrk, March 24, 2014, 12:33:13 PM

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evrk

Hi, so after searching, I haven't really found a thread that compares these three options, which sound like the ones people are most interested in.

Here's my situation. My number is ported to GV, but due to latency, I'd like to port it to a new provider, so it doesn't have to skip and jump to get to my home phone.

I'm concerned about call quality (which hasn't been THAT great with GV, on a semi-fast DSL connection in Michigan), cost, and stability over the long term.

COST
It looks like Vestalink has the best prices at all plan levels, but will the prices stay the same after the first year?
Anveo has the worst prices, followed by PhonePower, but both of these seem like more established companies, so maybe it's less risky porting to one of these. PhonePower confirmed in a chat with me that the prices would renew at the same price, next year.

QUALITY
After having a so-so experience with GV, I'd really like these calls to be of better quality. As such, I'm definitely hoping to port to my new provider, so I don't have issues with the jump through GV slowing things down.
I know I can set up trial accounts with these companies, which I'll probably end up doing, but I'm wondering what people's opinions are on which of these have good call quality.

STABILITY
People are saying since VestaLink it's a young company, it could potentially fail, or might not handle the load of calls, which makes me worried about porting over to them. I would be less concerned about porting to the other companies. Thoughts?

ceg3

I'll let the rest debate the particulars of your questions.  I ported to Vestalink in January and I'm happy with them. They have been around about 4 years under the name Intelafone.  Just this past weekend they began a beta upgrade of their network, adding features.  I can't say what will happen to your rate after the first year, but if you are interested in their current rates note their website states they end 3/31/14.

evrk

Actually, just got an email from Vestalink saying that the rates you start in are the rates that you'll stick with, which is good to know.

If you don't mind me asking - where are you located and what kind of internet connection do you have? Any dropped calls or delayed voice or rings? Thanks for your input!

TonyTib

My thoughts so far:
-- I have had an Anveo personal DID + E911 for several years, and have been happy with it, but their outgoing rates don't match my calling patterns
-- I think the Obi auto-provision is good to have, but I prefer to manually provision (it's not that hard, and gives more flexibility.  If I didn't desire flexibility, I would have stayed with Ooma)
-- In my limited testing, Vestalink had good quality (noticeably better than GV or Localphone), although that's based on 2 half-hour calls.  
-- I'm probably going to go with Vestalink for my main provider, with Localphone for backup plus the Anveo DID (I might drop the Anveo E911).  I'm not planning on porting my GoogleVoice number for a while because I do have some stability concerns about Vestalink.
-- The big unknown: I haven't done testing with GV incoming calls (GV forwarded to one of my DIDs) yet; if the rest isn't acceptable, I may have to re-think my plans.


ceg3

Quote from: evrk on March 24, 2014, 01:18:52 PM
Actually, just got an email from Vestalink saying that the rates you start in are the rates that you'll stick with, which is good to know.

If you don't mind me asking - where are you located and what kind of internet connection do you have? Any dropped calls or delayed voice or rings? Thanks for your input!

I'm in N.C. and I'm on a cable connection.  I didn't mention the locked in rate, which I have, because I thought that was a one time thing that ended a while back.  My numbers up and down are very good and consistent, which I think is a must with VoIP, Netflix, and similar usage.  I was using GV and I have experience with Magic Jack and netTALK, both of which sucked for me.  I also used Lingo for two years and they were pretty much perfect the whole time, but their fees and taxes saw a cheap rate creeping upward with time.

I talk with my brother on my Vestalink setup and he has Vonage.  We have had the best call quality I've experienced since leaving Lingo.  A premium service such as Lingo is great, but I have an unlimited account now and am paying a fraction of what I was paying Lingo for 250 minutes.

There are lots of solutions, but I think Vestalink is good and working to improve.

Taoman

I would only suggest if you're considering buying Vestalink try it before you buy it.

I currently have Vestalink and I can only use it for outgoing calls. I'm still using Google Voice and trying to use my Vestalink DID as a forwarded number in GV is an exercise in frustration. The delay is so bad that when trying to have a conversation we end up talking over each other. Vestalink is also unable to port my GV number.

Vestalink seems to work great for a lot of people but I would certainly try them out before committing to a 1 or 2 year plan..............like I did. :'(

sailing

Just a comment on bandwidth. Until recently, I had DSL with a speed around 2.6M. I've always had one or two voip lines over the years. Over the past two years I've had Ooma and another voip provider along with streaming video and a few computers operating at the same time. I did put the wifi after the Ooma so I could use the QOS feature. With this setup, I never had an issue with call quality. Unless your DSL speeds are low, you shouldn't have an issue with quality.

BTW, I switched to cable because Verizon kept pushing  the price up until it was not worth the money. Otherwise I was happy with DSL.

bsdaiwa

I am thinking of using Vestalink but I don't want to port my GV number to Vestalink. I want to forward my GV number to my Vestalink number but I am concerned about the time it will take for the call to be transferred to Vestalink, the latency and the overall call quality.
Is anyone forwarding a GV number to Vestalink? If you are how is the quality and would you recommend Vestalink for this?
Thanks

evrk

Thanks for all the input everyone.  Sounds like GV forwarding to Vestalink is causing at least a few people problems.  I honestly might just bite the bullet and port my number to them, but only after I try them out with their test number and make sure the service works well for incoming and outgoing. I've set them up as SP2 on my obi (did a manual input of their server info) but I need to figure out how to actually prompt my obi to let me use SP2 so I can test it. I previously had it set up to be using e911 from Anveo.. any ideas how to switch this in the config?

If it doesn't work well, I guess I can give PhonePower or Anveo a try as well, depending on other people's input.

TonyTib

I hope to do some testing of GV forwarding to Anveo, Localphone, and Vestalink DIDs soon (optimistically, later this week).

To test outgoing, simply pre-pend **2 (for example, I have Localphone on SP3, so I'm testing it by dialing **3 first, then the number).

To test GV on my Localphone DID (SP3), I will set SP3 to ring a phone, and then set my GV forwarding to my Localphone number.

BTW, since I had been paying AT&T ~$23/month (including ~$8 in taxes & fees) for the cheapest possible local phone service (metered!), I consider the rates for Vestalink, PhonePower/Obi, and Localphone to be very reasonable.

riptcity00

Quote from: bsdaiwa on March 25, 2014, 11:14:35 AM
I am thinking of using Vestalink but I don't want to port my GV number to Vestalink. I want to forward my GV number to my Vestalink number but I am concerned about the time it will take for the call to be transferred to Vestalink, the latency and the overall call quality.
Is anyone forwarding a GV number to Vestalink? If you are how is the quality and would you recommend Vestalink for this?
Thanks

I have the same set-up and have been using Vestalink for a couple of months after doing the trial period.  So far the call quality has been as good or better than previous Comcast service, and I don't notice any latency problems as others have reported.  I'm on the lite plan, since we don't use the service that often.  I'd recommend Vestalink, but would suggest you try the free trial period first to see how it works for you, as others have had issues.

bsdaiwa

I just signed up for the free trial on Vestalink but when I used there web setup it messed up my other settings on my Obi 100. I would prefer to do a manual install but can't find the instructions to do it, has anyone done a manual setup for Vestalink? If so can you provide the settings?
Thanks

cluckercreek

Quote from: bsdaiwa on March 25, 2014, 03:23:35 PM
I just signed up for the free trial on Vestalink but when I used there web setup it messed up my other settings on my Obi 100. I would prefer to do a manual install but can't find the instructions to do it, has anyone done a manual setup for Vestalink? If so can you provide the settings?
Thanks

When you log in to Vestalink, open the Softphone setting and copy the info listed.

ceg3

#13
Quote from: bsdaiwa on March 25, 2014, 03:23:35 PM
I just signed up for the free trial on Vestalink but when I used there web setup it messed up my other settings on my Obi 100. I would prefer to do a manual install but can't find the instructions to do it, has anyone done a manual setup for Vestalink? If so can you provide the settings?
Thanks
I would suggest running ***81 to reset your OBi and you will need first delete your OBi from OBiTALK and reinstall it before you will be able to again manually config it.

When you run the Vestalink easy setup you are dedicating it to the service.  I'm not even sure you can run the tool and have it on SP1 and then manually add other services on SP2 and so on.

AlanB

I've been very happy with Anveo quality so far.   Anveo has been around for eight years.  Of course that is no survival guarantee.

Taoman

Quote from: bsdaiwa on March 25, 2014, 03:23:35 PM
I just signed up for the free trial on Vestalink but when I used there web setup it messed up my other settings on my Obi 100. I would prefer to do a manual install but can't find the instructions to do it, has anyone done a manual setup for Vestalink? If so can you provide the settings?
Thanks
This is what I did. Not saying it's the best way, right way, or the only way........just the way I did it.

I ran the Vestalink easy setup tool which installed Vestalink on SP1. I then logged on to my Obi and went through the different screens and found all the changes made by the config file and made screen shots. There aren't that many changes from the default settings so it was pretty easy to do. The config tool does use different port numbers (8891), however, than what is listed on the Vestalink web site.....which I found interesting.
I then did a reset of my Obi to factory defaults.
I then manually configured SP1 with the service provider that I wanted there.
I then manually configured SP2 with Vestalink using the screen shots I had made earlier.
This method worked great for me.......although Vestalink is still useless for me as forwarded number in GV.
I had problems manually configuring my Obi with Vestalink using the settings listed on the Vestalink web site. However, the easy setup tool got things working for me. But it does pretty much "lock" your Obi into using that provider which was unacceptable to me. That is why I went through the procedure listed above.
Good luck.

bsdaiwa

Quote from: Taoman on March 26, 2014, 09:47:08 AM
I then manually configured SP2 with Vestalink using the screen shots I had made earlier.
This method worked great for me.......although Vestalink is still useless for me as forwarded number in GV.
I had problems manually configuring my Obi with Vestalink using the settings listed on the Vestalink web site. However, the easy setup tool got things working for me. But it does pretty much "lock" your Obi into using that provider which was unacceptable to me. That is why I went through the procedure listed above.
Good luck.


I used the manual setup and it seems to be working fine, but can you post the  screen shots so I can modify my settings if necessary.
I am forwarding my GV number to the Vestalink number and it works fine, so far.
Thanks

TonyTib

My first test of GV to Vestalink DID was successful, but I need to do more testing before I'm ready to switch my wife over.  So far, so good with Vestalink for me, but the results do seem to vary -- and I still plan on testing GV to Anveo and Localphone DIDs.


CLTGreg

I'm using a hybrid method that goes from GV to a free NY Callcentric number and for outbound I use Vestalink. At first this is because I had a storm of incoming calls that didn't connect properly and basically all fingers pointed to my Obi. I don't have the problem with Callcentric or Anveo. Other people seem to be very satisfied where you could say I am simply "satisfied". I have not seen similar reports for incoming problems but I thought "what the heck" and spread minutes between providers even though I'm not a heavy user. At least one other person has reported getting 404 errors on some outbound. The price is too good and the quality is too most of the time. I have not had a voice quality problem with VL and their outbound fax service works compared to Anveo which I've had stuff go in to black holes.

Anveo quality is good too but the outbound minutes on their regular plans are an ouch. I've got too much invested to drop all my numbers and switch to the limited plan which isn't great either.

I don't know about VL but Anveo reports that they use the same number provider as GV. I don't see this as a good thing because I have two numbers stuck elsewhere because there's never availability in areas I want to port from. This includes an 844 number.

MikeHObi

Quote from: CLTGreg on March 27, 2014, 11:40:14 AM
I don't know about VL but Anveo reports that they use the same number provider as GV. I don't see this as a good thing because I have two numbers stuck elsewhere because there's never availability in areas I want to port from. This includes an 844 number.

Number portability is less an issue of the specific provider and more an issue of the CLEC the number is assigned to.

I just deleted the google voice SP from my Obi and use Anveo for incoming and am using Callcentric for outgoing as I have a big balance over there to use up.  I'll probably always keep at least 2 providers simply for a secondary route if one of them has problems.
Obi202 user & Obi100 using Anveo and Callcentric.