From TelCo to VOIP
At present, I pay the telephone company each month:
The Targa DIP Phone 450
Early May 2007, the Lidl grocery store had a VoIP system for sale. It was the Targa DIP Phone 450. This is an
OEM version of the Siemens Gigaset C450 IP. The Targa has slightly older software but you need to be an expert
to notice that.
The picture shows (from left to right) the handset, the charger and the server/base station.
The Targa was priced at € 50 whereas the Siemens costs about € 120. So the choice was easy... The Targa/Siemens system offers:
Using the Targa DIP Phone 450
In the table below I list the most important test calls made during the first few weeks of use of the VoIP
system. The quality system is easy to comprehend by means of the three coloured symbols (V, O and X): -->
|New Zealand||6:00||0.20||The line was very bad. It could have been caused by the distance, combined with the state of the intercontinetal cables that were damaged in a recent earthquake.|
|Local||7:00||0.00||Several calls to another 12connect VoIP client, so it was free. Excellent quality.|
|United States||34:02||0.80||A long conversation with a friend I never spoke. Very good quality, as if it was a local call via the old landline.|
|Local||0:09||0.25||After off hook, there was a very soft dialtone. When the receiver picked up, the sound was very low. Some crackling. Might have been caused by a flaky telco office.|
|Local||3:00||1:10||Ran several tests with the handset. It works over a 100 meter, line of sight. After passing 8 brick walls and a slab of concrete it still sees the server.|
|Local||3:00||0.25||Two calls with the company that failed so bitterly last week. This time the contact was excellent. Good sound, ringing tones, etc.|
Choose a service provider
I can take a subscription at many internet service providers (Essent, Tele2, KPN, etc) where I can get a
combined subscription for internet access plus IP telephony, but the rates are so high that it doesn't pay off
significantly. For some reasons, these companies still have different rates for local and long distance calls,
whereas the internet is global. No matter if you want to call the girl nextdoor or your aunt in New Zealand,
the call is routed via some IPX switch in a remote place.
So I decided to join http://www.12connect.com which is an international company so you might be able to take a subscription as well. For the rates, check their website. People with a 12connect number (which starts with '999') can call eachother for free, no matter where they are on the globe.
You can take a 12connect account for free. It's comparable to a pre-paid cell phone account. Just deposit some lump sum in your balance account there and forget about all. You can upgrade your account by means of cheap internet banking services (iDeal) so you don't even pay for the PayPal or credit card charges.
If you don't like it (anymore) you just clear out your prepaid amount and that's it. No contracts to sign for several years. No special (closed source) equipment. Below are some overviews of the costs.
Setting up the Targa system
One picture says more than a thousand words. So I will show two pictures and save my fingers from wearing out
on the keybored. Just make sure the VoIP server is connected to your router in some way and consult the DHCP
client table of your router to find the IP address of the Targa. I set the Targa to a fixed IP address. You do
what you want.
One way to check the assigned IP address is to do as follows:
Should I stay or should I go? It's definitely cheaper to start using VoIP instead of the fixed land line
system, invented by Bell. Still, the traditional phone system has a very good track record. Even if the power
company cuts out, the phones still work since they have their own power.
Unlike a VoIP phone. This will refuse to work when either of the reasons below happen:
The complicated equipment
To the right you see a working picture of my the router I bought in error. It had a million ports and
connections so I first wanted to read the manual on disk. The included manual is just a Quick Install Guide,
although the size of it gives another impression. The reason: the QIG is printed in 12 languages.... Still, it
paid off to print the QIG which is on the accompanying CD-ROM. There are two big PDF files on that disk. Print
them BOTH. These are the most recent manuals and guides.
Don't be pennywise. Just spend the cost of 40 pages of paper. You will need all the information you can get to get this piece of equipment working in a sound way.
This D-link router offers, among others:
The D-Link internals
If you like electronics or are just curious of what's inside the box, go visit my public photo album covering
the D-link DVG-G1402S.
On http://www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=37KX4YQJ you will find some high resolution pictures, taken with a 7 Mp camera without the flash on. If you click on the medium sized pictures in the album, a new window opens to reveal the original 3072 x 2304 pixel image.
Page created on 18 januray 2007 and