Voip Provider Review Followup

So after a few months I’ve narrowed down the voip providers I use to the following:

Voip.ms

I’m using voip.ms for all my US based DID’s. So far it works really well. It also supports SMS which is a great added plus.

FlowRoute

I’m using flowroute for outgoing domestic calls.

LocalPhone.com

While localphone.com has great rates as well as DID’s from all over the world (and lax verification on if you’re actually a resident of such places) it doesn’t scale well. I use it for one dutch number, but when trying to add multiple numbers, I haven way within Asterisk to differentiate between the DID’s coming in over the same trunk.

LocalPhone.com has good outgoing call quality and prices, so I’m using it for all my international call routings.

Search for VoiP Provider…

Communicating while traveling can be difficult and expensive. In order to alleviate some of the headaches, I setup an Asterisk PBX at home to route calls using hard and soft VoiP phones. Recently I migrated from having a dedicated machine at home for this to using the DIgium Asterisk package on a Synology NAS unit.

The first task is to figure out which VoiP provider is going to work.

What’s needed:

  • Ability to receive and place up to 3 calls simultaneously.
  • Easy, high quality international calling (both incoming and outgoing).
  • Support numbers forwarding to multiple support ‘agents’ so that someone can always answer.
  • Ability to forward a primary numbers to multiple extensions or outside lines. (i.e. from one US number to a variety of international prepaid sims without any additional configuration – i.e. handle no longer functioning phones automatically).
  • Incoming US and Dutch phone numbers.

FlowRoute

I have been using FlowRoute for some time no as my outgoing provider. They provide good quality calls and I’ve never had an issue with them. However their trunks for incoming lines are priced at $17/month, which I find to be preventative from considering them as a serious solution. I would like the ability to handle 2-3 calls at a time once in a blue moon, but am not going to pay for that capacity all the time at such a high rate. I still do recumbent them for outgoing calls, where a incoming trunk is not necessary.

CallCentric

CallCentric is one of the main reasons this search has even begun – they discontinued their free incoming DID service which I was previously using. I’m not so interested in CallCentric at this time because when I was using their free DID service, the calls were often poor quality and network often lagged. I also do not find their pricing model to be very attractive.

VoiP.ms

In my search for VoiP providers I started by trying one that I had tried to use about a year ago, VoiP.ms but am still unable to add credit even after having a hold put on my registration when I registered way back when (I was trying to top up using paypal, for their minimum amount, $25). So now to just wait for them to contact me and verify me again (last time this process took days).

DIDLogic

I cannot get my asterisk server to tie into DIDLogic correctly.

IPKall

IPKall has been giving away free incoming DID’s for a long time now. This is a very simple and easy to use service with decent quality (considering its free). Its not a good business solution, but figured I would mention it as I have used it for a while and never had any issues with it. It is also great for testing things out, or if you need a ‘burn’ number (i.e. a number just for a few days).

LocalPhone

LocalPhone seemed very promising at first, however I have run into problems with them. They don’t transmit the DID number, but rather your account number to the asterisk server. As such asterisk cannot differentiate between different DID numbers on a single account. To alleviate this I created a second account and added a DID to it. However upon adding that second trunk to asterisk things started to get messed up. When a call comes in on LocalPhone2 it is still picked up by inbound call rules of LocalPhone1. I believe this is because of the insecure=very option that LocalPhone requires in order to function.

In addition to the above problem, for some reason one of the phone numbers on my local phone account is forwarding to someone who I have no idea is – and i didn’t set it up that way.

iCloud + Mail + Mountain Lion 10.8 + Mail Rule Syncing

Okay so it now appears that a new feature of Mountain Lion 10.8’s ability to Sync Documents & Data over iCloud also will sync your mail rules.

This could be a great thing because now instead of having to put in all my mail rules to iCloud.com (which is a laggy interface, and only allows for very simple rules (i.e. You cannot make an item as read when moving it to another folder).

The problem I predict with this is that since my laptop doesn’t run mail all the time, i’m going to have to keep mail running somewhere (not an issue, I have a Mountain Lion Server at home I can run a mail client 24/7 on), but what’s going to happen with my iPhone?

Is the mail going to come to the inbox and notify me prior to being moved to the other folders? Is the mail going to be moved instantly or is it only going to be moved once per minute when the mail app on my server polls (since as far as I can tell mail app on mountain lion doesn’t actually do real push email (or even true IMAP idle).

So I’m going to give it a try. Will update here when I’ve seen if it works out for me or not.

Apple iPhone4S w/iOS5 Push email still not working

So its been a few months now since I switched over from my own exchange hosted email to using Apple’s iCloud in combination with an @me.com email address. The calendar, contact and note syncing all seem to be working great, but my push for email rarely works as promised.

Most of the time, when my phone is locked and in my pocket, emails will not be received until I manually check by opening the mail.app.

Not sure why Apple still hasn’t gotten this right, blackberry has been doing push email for 10 years now!

I have heard reports that push works fine with gmail, and I can verify personally that it works fine with exchange hosted email accounts, but apples own iCloud email doesnt properly push.

Not my only gripe with Apple at the moment, but having to keep my phone on a timer schedule to check my mail is ridiculous.

No 3G in Kiev?

Been in Kiev for a couple days now, and have tried all the carriers that sprint has an agreement with (there’s 3 or 4).

None appear to have 3G, at least one doesn’t even provide data service at all (could be because sprint has a voice only agreement with them).

All are very slow, but do seem to have good coverage.