VOIPo Review

I finally pulled the trigger and dumped my AT&T land line for the VOIPo VOIP internet phone service. My AT&T bill has got out of hand and in these tough times I’ve been cutting back expenses everywhere I can. My phone bill has been running $45+ a month and I barely use it. That is over $540 a year!!! That is just for one line with caller ID and a few dollars of local toll calls. I’ve been using Google Voice for making long distance calls but the phone company charges $8.47 just to be able to dial long distance calls. The latest news is that AT&T will be charging an extra $2 fee if you don’t use long distance! Enough is enough it is time to change.

Here is my review after one week with the VOIPo service. I signed up for the discount 2 year plan. The cost is $149 for 2 years of service plus there are $36 taxes/fees that bring the total to $185. If you click my banner and use the promo code: 6503220803 you will get an extra month free. $185 for 25 months service works out to $7.40 a month. For me that is a savings of almost $40 a month or $480 a year! I don’t know about you but I can do a lot with $480.

The VOIPo service includes FREE calling anywhere in the US and Canada. You also get an hour of free international calling every month included. Additional international calls are really cheap, typically 2 cents a minute.
AT&T charged me about that much to call numbers only 30 miles away.

OK, so the service is waaay cheaper and I can now make calls to all my old friends all over the country without being charged but what about features. VOIPo comes with a ton of features, more than I can list so I am just going to talk about my favorites. Unless I say differently all of these features are included free in the service.

Cloned Second Line: You get one phone number but 2 phone lines. When a call comes in both lines ring, if a second call comes in the second line will ring and you can have two separate conversations at one time. If someone in your house hogs the phone you can still make and receive calls on the second line! You can also connect the two calls for a conference call.

Voicemail: No need for an answering machine with the built in voicemail system. It works like voice mail on your cell phone but is more powerful. You can have a recording of the message emailed to you. You can also choose to get a text message when a voicemail is left. You can also access your voicemail online. If your phone has a voicemail indicator the MWI (message waiting indicator) will light on the phone. I can finally get rid of my old crappy answering machine.

Call Blocking/Call Routing/Call Forwarding/Telemarketer Block: Using the online portal you can set up tons of features. Don’t want to talk to your mom, have her number go to voicemail. Going out of town, have all your calls forwarded to your cell phone. Telemarketer keeps calling, have them get a busy signal or disconnected message.

Distinctive Ringing: Give custom rings to special phone numbers. Give your girlfriend a custom ring and you will know to go to the phone, or not, when she calls.

Caller ID: In coming and outgoing. You can even change the outgoing Caller ID to show your cell phone or another number you have.

Here is the list of included features:

  • 7, 10, and 11 Digit Dialing
  • Caller ID w/ Name
  • Call Waiting
  • Call Waiting ID
  • Three Way Calling
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Blocking
  • Do Not Disturb
  • *67 Outbound Caller ID Blocking
  • *69 Call Return
  • Transfer In Your Current Number
  • Choose Your Own Area Code
  • Keep Your Number If You Move
  • Texas-Based Tech Support
  • Portable VoIP Device
  • Softphone Access
  • E911 Service
  • 711 Service
  • 411 Directory Assistance
  • Click on a feature for more information.
  • Custom Incoming Caller ID
  • Contacts List
  • Online Call Logs
  • Unlimited Speed Dial
  • Advanced Voicemail
  • View Voicemail Online
  • Voicemails E-Mailed
  • Voicemail SMS Notifications
  • Distinctive Ringtones
  • Virtual Numbers
  • Virtual Number Voicemail Boxes
  • Network Failover Forwarding
  • Custom Inbound Call Routing
  • Custom Outbound Call Routing
  • Inbound SIP Address
  • Outbound SIP Address Routing
  • Simultaneous Ring
  • Control Features by SMS

If you don’t know what all these features are, don’t worry you’re not alone. I don’t know what a lot of them are either, and I use the service. Just know that all the features that your Phone Company offered you for a fee are included here for free. Features like: Caller ID, Call Waiting, 3 Way Calling and Voice Mail are all here.

Grandstream HT502 ATA VOIP AdapterI signed up with VOIPo online Thursday night. Friday I received an email that my VOIP adapter had shipped. The postman delivered it on Monday. The adaptor is a small box that you attach to your broadband Internet connection. You just plug your telephone into it and make calls just like you normally would. And no, you don’t need to leave your computer on. It’s not even connected to your computer. The hardware is included in the price of the service but you don’t own it and have to send it back if you ever cancel the service.

Most people just plug the adapter in next to their cable/DSL modem and plug in their phone. With just a little more effort most people can plug the adapter into a phone receptacle and have it work with every phone in the house. This is what I did and I will cover it in a future post as you must physically disconnect the phone company wires before you can do this.

VOIPo has a 30 money back guarantee so if you don’t link the service just return the adapter and they will refund all of your money. If you decide to cancel any time after 30 days they will refund a prorated amount based on their month-to-month rates. There is really little reason not to try the service.

My plan was to port my home phone number to my new VOIPo service and cancel AT&T. You have a choice of porting your old number to them or just getting a new phone number from them. Since porting a land line phone number can take some time you are given a temporary number to use. What is nice about this is you can test the service before giving up your land line. I held off sending the form they need to do the number port until I was sure I was happy with the service. The more I used it the happier I was. I emailed the form to port my number yesterday. I should mention here that unlike many other VOIP services there is no charge to port your number.

911 Service is included but there are some caveats. You need to enter your address on there website and if you move you are responsible to change it! Also, you need power and a working Internet connection. If either your power or Internet connection go out you can’t dial 911. I put my modem, router and adapter on a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to keep my phone working if the power goes out. They are around $50 at your local computer store.

FAX is technically not supported over VOIP however many people use it without problems. I haven’t tested it yet. VOIPo has a feature that allows you to send scanned documents to fax machines from your computer. You can also purchase a dedicated FAX number from them for $36 a year additional. Faxes received at this number will be sent to your email as .PDF files.

These days more and more people are dumping their land lines. Lots of people just have a cell phone but if your like me and you have a home phone number you don’t want to give up and/or you like having regular phone in the house than perhaps VOIP is for you. There is little reason to keep paying through the nose to the phone company. Click Here, sign up and start getting lots more for lots less. You will be glad you did. I promise.

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36 Responses to VOIPo Review

  1. Sam says:

    Based on your reviews, I have ordered Voipo service and used the referral also. Thanks for the review.

  2. FarmerBob says:

    I’ll be severely interested to see where you stand with them after 6, 9, 12 months. And I see you got the Grandstream ATA. That may make things better for you. I have the Linksys PAP2T and have had my issues that is keeping me from cutting the POTS cord.

    • Craig Harris says:

      What issues are you having FarmerBob? The only minor issues I’ve had have been immediately fixed when I contacted support. I’ve only been with the service a little over a month but am very happy that I cut the cord.

      My understanding is that VOIPo has switched to Grandstream but still has thousands of Linksys ATAs in circulation. If hardware is the problem I am sure they will be happy to swap ATAs and get you a Grandstream.

  3. London says:

    How can i cut my land line if i need it for my internet? we don’t have wireless like FIOS where we live . so we have to use a provider who is $45/month.

    • Craig Harris says:

      London: I assume that you have DSL internet service. If that is the case you can (in most cases) still drop your traditional phone service. You want “DRY LOOP” DSL service. Dry Loop service is DSL that is not connected on top of a phone service. Contact your DSL carrier to see about switching to Dry Loop service and dropping your phone service.

      Even if you are in one of the few areas where Dry Loop DSL is unavailable you can still save a ton of money by installing VOIP and cutting your traditional (pots) phone service back to the bare basics, sometimes called “Lifeline” service.

  4. Inge Houston says:

    Hi Craig,
    You mentioned in the article that you will be posting how to plug the adapter into a phone receptacle so it can work on all the phones in my home. I looked through your archive and can’t find a posting. Have you written it yet or can you tell me where to find it, pretty please?
    Sincerely,
    Inge Houston

    • Craig Harris says:

      I haven’t written it yet. It is a little complicated but I’ll give you the bullet points.

      First, make sure your phone line is physically disconnected from the phone company. You need to disconnect the line at the box on the side of your house (the NID).

      After doing that you can plug your VOIP ATA adapter into any phone outlet and it will ring all the phones in your house. That is it put simply.

      Service from VOIPo and some other allow you to use 2 lines. Cheap splitters (Google 2 line telephone splitter) will allow you to plug both lines from the ATA into a wall outlet, then by using splitters at other outlets you can plug phones into line 1, line 2 or both with a 3 way splitter.

      This is fairly easy if you have Cable Internet. If you have DSL Internet it gets more complicated as you need to wire your DSL to “Line 2” in your house and use your VOIP ATA on “Line 1”.

      That is it in a nutshell. I’m working on a full article with pictures.

      • Raj says:

        First of all, thanks Craig, for posting the picture of the adapter. I did not find that information on the Voipo site also. That did clarify that it was a separate router based service rather than something like MJ.
        ===============================
        I wanted to use my current phone receptacles too initially but now a days you have phones that need connection only to one base unit and other ‘slave’ phones just need an electric outlet, and that too for charging only.

        I got a good phone set with 4 phones last Black Friday and now am wire-free. :-)

  5. Craig Harris says:

    FREE MONTH OF VOIPo

    You can get an addtional month of service free if you use this link VOIPo and enter the promo code: 6503220803 when you sign up. When you use my code I get a free month added on to my service too :) So far enough people have signed up from this blog post that I won’t have to pay for phone service until 2018. Keep it going! Thank you!

    • Craig Harris says:

      You guys are great. My phone service is now paid up until 2029!!! When you divide the $185 I paid for my phone service over all those years I’m paying less than 85 cents a month for my phone service. The only problem is that I imagine that VOIP will be replaced by some other technology before those 17 years are up.

      • Barbara says:

        Well I guess you got too many free months of service the promo code did not work for me

        • Craig Harris says:

          Barbara P., I just looked and your referral shows as being processed. Nothing happens when you sign up. You just quietly get and extra month added. It may even be done manually by them when your account is set up. If you go to the vPanel and check your account under the services tab you should see that your next renewal in in 25 months (assuming you signed up for the 2 year plan).

  6. Alan says:

    About two lines, my home was wired for 2 lines from AT&T long back when one line was primarily used for modem. Several years ago we got a cable company to provide internet and the phone service. Evidently, to simplify their initial installation, the cable company spliced a few wired to make all phones go on the same line because the 2nd line didn’t seem necessary. I don’t remember exactly where and how they made the modification. I am curious that under the current wiring condition how will 2-line arrangement will work. Do I need new phones with capability for 2 lines?
    Free till 2018… that sounds great. You may be getting another month soon! :)

    • Craig Harris says:

      @Alan: There are lots of ways to set up the phone wiring, enough to fill a book. I’ll give you a typical scenario. Most people have there Internet modem on their desk next to their computer. In this case you simply install the VOIPo ATA (analog telephone adapter) they send between your modem and computer. The ATA has two phone jacks on it. You can plug the phone on your desk into “line 1” then plug “line 2” into your wall jack, making sure all phone service has been disconnected from your home wiring! In this case the phone on your desk has one line and the rest of the house shares the other.

      You don’t need a 2 line phone as you have call waiting.

  7. Lyn says:

    Hi Craig
    I am interested to hear since you have had the service from VOIPo for about 6 months if you are still happy with it? When I pull up your review page the first banner I see is MagicJack Plus….. lol.
    When you decided to port you old land line # over how long did it take, and was that # unavailable during the time it took to port?

    • Craig Harris says:

      @Lyn: I was a little nervous about switching to a VOIP service but six months later I’m saying, “Why didn’t I do it sooner!” I am very happy with the service. The voice mail is so much better than my crappy answering machine. I can call my buddies who moved away without paying for toll calls. I can block spam callers and route annoying people to my voicemail. Tons of great stuff for a fraction of what I was paying Ma Bell.

      Good ole Google showing MagicJack ads :)

      As for porting my old number, I sent my porting permission docs on the 5th. On the 6th I was notified by VOIPo that my port date would be the 13th. My ATT line worked until the 13th then the calls just started coming through VOIPo. If my number was every unavailable I sure didn’t know it. If it was it couldn’t have been for more than a few minutes.

  8. Phil says:

    Signed up with the special $129/2 year deal. With your promo code I got 25 months at $165 which amounts to $6.60 a month! I signed up for the phone transfer…however I am curious if I can try it out and send in my transfer for porting after I have checked things out and see if I like the service. Do you have a limited amount of time where you have to put in your paperwork?

    • Craig Harris says:

      Phil, I don’t believe there is any time limit on submitting your porting paperwork. You will get a daily email reminder from VOIPo to submit your paperwork until you do. There is a 30 day limit to get 100% of your money back if you decide you don’t want VOIPo. After 30 days you get a prorated refund. So in that sense there is a 30 day limit.

      When I signed up I received a temporary number that I used for a week or so until I decided I was happy enough to go ahead and pull the plug on AT&T. 6 months later that temporary number is still in my vPanel. I’m pretty sure it still works.

      I am sooo glad I switched!

      • Phil says:

        They are getting cheap with their equipment. My unit only has one Ethernet and one Phone port. I am not sure how you are supposed to use 2 lines with one phone port and it looks like you are SOL if you do not have a router with multiple ports on it. The phone quality seems good with my first few calls…however I am very disappointed they touted a 2 line setup and the box only has one line.

        • Craig Harris says:

          @Phil: I know that VOIPo recycles equipment as it gets turned in. I know they used to have an ATA with only one ethernet port but I wasn’t aware they ever had an ATA with only one phone port. If you submit a support ticked I know they will send you a new ATA. Ask for a Grandstream HT-502. That is what I have and it works great. It has two ethernet ports and two phone ports and is a very versatile ATA.

          One of the things I really like about VOIPo is that support has been very good to me. If they don’t an email to the CEO gets things fixed fast.

          • Phil says:

            What is the email for the CEO? They said to me sorry but that is an old promotion…you only get ONE line with our service…wtf?

            • Craig Harris says:

              @Phil: Hit the CONTACT link at the top of this page and send me your email address. I’ll forward you Timothy Dick’s direct email address. I don’t want to post it for all the spammers to grab.

  9. Kelly says:

    Have had Phone Power for about two years and it has never worked correctly. Tried for months to get the service department to make simple features, like receiving calls, to work, and it worked for about 3 days and then stopped. Can use it for out going calls OK most of the time, but it sends half of incoming calls to voice mail and then shuts service down for 5 minutes with no dial tone. And the price is more than voipo.

    Reluctant to go to another provider and go through hassle of changing over our number and find the same problem. Ever heard of this type of issue with this service here?

    • Craig Harris says:

      @Kelly: I don’t have any first hand experience with Phone Power but I have heard good things about them.

      I’d suggest you do a test of your Internet connection to rule that out as being the problem. Broadband Quality Test
      Choose a YELLOW pin location and select the VOIP quality test.

      If your connection tests bad you need to yell at your ISP. If it tests in the green you may want to give VOIPo a try.

  10. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the reply. Not the DSL provider. Phone Power first said it was the router, so I bought a new router that they said worked with their system. Didn’t fix the issue, so then they said it was the DSL service provider. So I canceled my provider and made the efforts and went with one they recommended. Still didn’t work. So they said it was my Panasonic phones that there system didn’t work with. Of course, it was not the problem. There system just does not work properly.

    So, on to Voipo, which I was really tempted to change to, but after looking at the reviews on one of the major review sites, it appears that 15% of the users would not recommend Voipo based on their negative experiences. This is a pretty high negative percentage, at least to me. But I am happy that you and others here have had a good experience with them. Guess I’ll just keep looking, thanks.

    • Phil says:

      @Kelly So far I am happy with VOIPO…they respond to customer concerns quickly and if you are still not satisfied and email the CEO that for sure gets them into gear. The only caveat I would keep in mind with Voipo is they no longer offer a second cloned line with their service…they only have the one line adapter. To be fair it does not say on their site that they offer this anymore…however every review site you read touts this cloned line. Phone quality is great and people are surprised when I tell them I am talking on the internet. So far I have not had any of my calls dropped…I even had a nice hour long conversation with my folks and they couldn’t tell. I would say give it a try…you have 30 days to cancel without any further obligation.

      • Craig Harris says:

        According to the CEO the latest promotion they are trying is a very cheap $129.00 for two years plan. With this super low price point they have to go with cheaper hardware that doesn’t have the second port for the cloned second line.

        I don’t know of any service that offers a similar service for anything even close to $129 for two years, however, I think that the lack of setup flexibility in the current hardware may cause more problems than it is worth. Personally prefer the previous $149.00/2 year plan that included the better hardware and I hope that VOIPo goes back to it.

  11. Randy says:

    I got VOIPO a few months ago and am very unhappy. When I talk to people, they say I am constantly breaking up. I called support and they had me run a network test, which I sent to them. They said it was my ISP, which is comcast. I had a comcast supervisor out here and he found no problems with the internet connection, but I still get complaints, from people I talk to, that it breaks up. I don’t know what to do…

  12. Phil says:

    Just finished a week of hell after porting my number over from AT&T. Anyone who has DSL and phone from AT&T will want to read this tale. I bought VOIPO back in April and gave it a month to see how smoothly things went. After a month long test drive I submitted the paperwork to port my number over. Mind you that VOIPO cautions you to not contact your phone company while the porting is going on. Well after a few short days I notice my regular phone is no longer working and my VOIPO box is now receiving calls from my old ported number. Later that evening I noticed my internet was not working so I called AT&T to ask what the problem is. Apparently when the number was ported over they shut off my internet because you cannot have DSL without a local number through AT&T. They said there was no way they could turn on my internet unless I paid $150 for new equipment…setup…and a new account number since my old account number was my telephone number. I told them to go fly a kite and got comcast to install internet at my house a few days later and everything is back up and running.

    All in all this was a huge PITA and I was without internet and telephone for 3 full days since the only phone I had was through VOIPO which is through the internet. So I caution anyone porting an AT&T number if you use their DSL…I would suggest switching internet providers ahead of time or giving AT&T a call telling them your intentions. Despite the VOIPO disclaimers to not contact your phone company if you go this route you could end up with no phone or internet for several days.

  13. Robin says:

    What is the phone quality like with Voipo? I have heard other services are ‘tin-ny” or “Sounds like your speaking in a tunnel” or have static and other issues.
    Im still researching pulling the plug and which voip service is the best quality and most economical…

    • Craig Harris says:

      @Robin: 99.8% of the time the quality of my calls with VOIP is better than my old AT&T landline service. Crystal clear CD quality sound. Every once in a while (perhaps during one call a month) I get a very brief break up like going into a bad cell zone.

      I have the slowest speed Internet service that Comcast offers and I share it with my wife, run a web server, and a game server, and Bittorrent on it all while talking on the phone. I attribute the occasional drop in call quality to my connection just getting overwhelmed.

      As I’ve said before I am sooo happy I changed. Many times I’ve been talking to my friends on the phone and telling them about my new cheap Internet phone service and they ask me how good it is. When I tell them that I am using it to talk to them right now without fail they are all puzzled and amazed.

  14. Chris says:

    Darn, looks like I missed out on the $129/month for 2 years deal! I was almost going to sign up yesterday but I didn’t get a chance. I’m curious though, on your remarks on 05/09 you mention that they went with the lower cost $129 plan and sent out the lower cost ATA unit. I’m just wondering with the price going back to $149, does this mean they are once again shipping out the HT502 unit?

    Oh well, I’ll probably sign up this weekend anyway, as even $149 for 2 years is a lot cheaper than the $39.99 a month that I am paying now.

    I’ll be sure to use your promo code if I do sign up. :) It sounds like a good service.

    Chris

    • Randy says:

      Don’t go with VoipO! I’ve switched over to Ooma after months of problems with lousy quality. They blamed it on my ISP, but as soon as I hooked up the Ooma, the quality was excellent. I will give them credit for good customer service though.

      • Craig Harris says:

        Hey Randy, one of the problems with any VOIP service is the way the Internet works. Everything that travels on the Internet makes many hops from router to router before reaching it’s destination. There can be delays at any point along the way. Most of what you do on the ‘Net isn’t affected but voice can’t tolerate any delays.

        VOIPo does operate multiple centers to receive your calls. It is possible that your location doesn’t have a good connection to any of them. I believe their system learns over time how where to route your connection. When I first started using the service I had intermittent quality issues that went away as I used it more.

        As you noted their customer service is excellent. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee for anyone who runs into a problem like you did. I recommend that people hold off on submitting their number porting paperwork until they are happy with the service.

  15. Joe says:

    Hi Craig, nice review you have there and also the support and help you giving out to your reader. I also write an review on the voipo service. They are having promotion for $6.21 every month deal. Just want to share out with you guys.
    Do drop by my site and get the discount.

    Cheers :)

  16. Norris Dale says:

    Great blog, Craig, and thanks very much for your VOIPo review. Is there any continuation of the blog that extends your experiences beyond 2013 into, say, 2016. If there is, I’d be no end pleased to see it.

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