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VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John HamlettAn unofficial guide to setting up Vonage/VoIP on B4RNand notes on integrating with a home phone circuit!!!!!!!!!!!!Introduction! !!!!!!!-1- Vonage - Easy step by step! !!!!-2- Optional setup with DECT phones or Homeplugs! !-3- Optional home phone circuit integration!!!-4- Useful hardware notes!!!!!!-5- Using your smartphone with Vonage ╩╗Extensions╩╝! !p1p1-3p4p5p7p8IntroductionSo you╩╝ve got your shiny new B4RN (Fibre To The Home) connection and you want to startusing it for cheaper phonecalls without any traditional line rental costs! Well, read on andyou╩╝ll find it╩╝s all pretty straightforward.VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol which is just a fancy way of saying ╩╗phonecallsover broadband╩╝. The quality and ease of use is much the same as a normal phonelinethough do be aware it won╩╝t work during a powercut because both B4RN and VoIP requiremains power, so keep your mobile charged for emergencies during powercuts (or if yourphoneline is absolutely critical then you could buy a UPS battery backup).Vonage is one of the most established companies in the world for VoIP services and theyhave a good reputation so although there are other VoIP service providers, Vonage are themost popular option. Parts of this document will be more widely relevant but it has beenwritten specifically with Vonage in mind. Other VoIP services providers can be found bysearching online. Of particular interest might be pay-as-you-go VoIP services which canwork out much cheaper if you only make occasional calls.1. Vonage - Easy step by stepI suggest you read through all these steps before you place your order:-1.1- Choose a Call Plan: First have a look at the current packages available onwww.vonage.co.uk/call-plans - the standard is 8 per month (at time of this update) andincludes unlimited free UK landline calls, but for a small extra premium you can get freecalls to 60 countries and/or free calls to mobiles. In most cases you can keep yourexisting number or you could choose to get a completely new phone number with a dialingcode of your choice-1.2- Call Vonage and Order: When you╩╝ve decided on a package call Vonage on0800 008 6000. They╩╝re really helpful and friendly and will talk you through everything andcheck you╩╝re happy.If you want to keep your existing landline phone number and have it transferred toVonage, then ask if Vonage have ever had any problems transferring numbers fromyour current telephone service provider. Most telcos including BT will release yourexisting phone number to Vonage on request, but some other telcos can be a bittricky so it╩╝s worth asking the question!1

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John HamlettTell Vonage your ISP is B4RN and that you╩╝re due free activation (saving you 10)!You won╩╝t get this discount if you order online.Then tell them you╩╝ve been referred by a friend (give friend╩╝s name and Vonagephone number) and both you and your friend will get two months free service! Youcan use a friend, neighbour or local B4RN champion who╩╝s already signed up toVonage and share the benefit with them, or if you don╩╝t know anyone on Vonage youcan use my details as referrer (John Hamlett, #01524222335).The only additional cost is 5 delivery for your Vonage Box (more info below).By the time your call to Vonage is over your account will have been set up and aVonage Box will be shipping out to you. Well done!IMPORTANT: DON╩╝T TERMINATE YOUR LANDLINE YET!-1.3- Plug It In: A courier will deliver your Vonage Box a couple of days later. It╩╝s verystraightforward with colour coded connections (see Useful hardware notes on p6). Followthe included instructions in order, making sure you connect the blue cable to one of thefour ports on the bottom of your B4RN box. Once the Vonage Box has completed it╩╝s setupsimply plug in one of your existing phones and you will be able to make and receiveVonage calls. Now you can try different setup options around the house (see p3-4).B4RN boxstandard phoneVonage box1.3 Basic Vonage setup2

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John Hamlett-1.4- Try It Out: You now have a 30 day money back guarantee period. Try your Vonagephone and tell them if you╩╝re unhappy with anything. I found everything worked really welland there are many special features like free ╩╗call waiting╩╝, ╩╗caller display╩╝, ╩╗answerphone╩╝etc that can be setup via your account on the Vonage website.I had one problem that was resolved; I found voices were too loud so I emailed Vonageand they adjusted the volume remotely to a better level.My only criticism now is that I have to dial the area code first when dialing local numbers.Unfortunately this will always be the case (except when using speed-dial for numbers inthe phone╩╝s memory). Oh well - I can live with that.-1.5- Transfer Your Old Phone Number: When you sign up with Vonage they will giveyou a new non-geographic phone number (beginning ╩╝03.╩╝), but in mostcases you can keep your old landline number if you wish. Simply go towww.vonage.co.uk and log into your account╩╝s control panel. In the main╩╗summary╩╝ panel click on the blue ╩╗add-ons╩╝ icon (as shown on the left) andthen select ╩╗move my number to Vonage╩╝. There you can request thetransfer of your existing landline phone number to your new Vonage line.It usually takes a few weeks until the day of the transfer. You should receive an emailconfirming the day that the transfer will take place. You must leave your Vonage lineplugged in during this period and you must have made at least one phonecall on it. Keeppaying for your normal landline until the transfer is complete.On the day of the transfer there may be a few hours disruption on incoming calls whileyour old number is in ╩╗no mans land╩╝ mid switchover from your old telco to Vonage.You╩╝ll know when the transfer is complete because your landline will go dead, and yourVonage connected phone will now ring when people call your old number! Your existingtelco (e.g. BT) should now send you your final bill, but if you don╩╝t get confirmation fromthem ask them to send you your ╩╗FINAL BILL╩╝. Do not ask for your line to be ╩╗disconnected╩╝as this is unnecessary and will usually incur a charge of around 150.If you ever decide to leave Vonage they will allow you to transfer your number away againto a new telco/VoIP provider.If Vonage seem to be having problems or delays transfering your phone number from yourold telco, ask to speak to a supervisor and pressure them. If Vonage fail to transfer yournumber because your old telco won╩╝t release it then let us know and we can warn others.-1.6- Cancelled Your Broadband Yet?: If you haven╩╝t already cancelled it, then gettingyour final bill for your landline will obviously disconnect your old ADSL broadband(presuming it╩╝s on the same old landline). You will be asked to pay a 30 fee to have yourbroadband service switched off - this is normal and largely unavoidable.You╩╝re all done! Read on only if you want to play around with howyou set up your phones around the house.3

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John Hamlett2. Optional setup with DECT phones or HomeplugsIt╩╝s a no-brainer to connect a wired phone to your Vonage Box, beside your B4RN box,but what do you do if you don╩╝t want to sit next to your B4RN box when you╩╝re on thephone? You could of course use a long ethernet cable, or a long telephone extensioncable; but if you want to avoid long leads you have two easy options:-2.1- Vonage with DECT phones: These are digital cordless phones and so can havetheir base next to your B4RN and Vonage box but then the handsets taken anywhereyou like around the house. Multi handset packs are available and extra handset basescan be put in other rooms.-2.2- Vonage with Homeplugs: Homeplugs share B4RN╩╝s local area network (includingInternet) through your mains electric wiring. If you have a pair of Homeplugs you canplug one into your B4RN box and then plug in the other at your preferred location for awired phone. The Vonage Box then plugs into the second Homeplug and gets theInternet connection it needs from there (see photo below). For this type of use I╩╝drecommend a basic pair of 200av Homeplugs costing about 25. Solwise sell a range ofexcellent quality Homeplugs and offer proper UK based support.B4RN boxHomeplug #2standard phoneVonage boxHomeplug #12.2 Vonage setup with Homeplugs3.4

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John HamlettOptional home phone circuit integrationIt╩╝s possible to enable your old home phone circuit with up to 5 phones for on yourVonage line. The following two setups are my experiments and are quite simple andeffective. Many B4RN users have now tried these successfully, but I╩╝m not aprofessional and it is at your own risk - I can╩╝t offer support or warrantee (so if you╩╝reunsure - hire a professional!). These setups are based on having the NTE5 linebox asyour master socket - this was introduced by BT in 1991 and is still current (see Usefulhardware notes on p6).Note: I found that older phones╩╝ bell╩╝s didn╩╝t ring unless I plugged them in through anADSL microfilter (these used to be necessary for each phone on a broadband line).-3.1- Adding Vonage at the master/primary socketFirst to disconnect from the BT line! I removed the two screws on the front of the masterlinebox, and carefully pulled the faceplate out without dislodging any wires. Thisdisconnects my home╩╝s wiring from BT╩╝s ╩╗test socket╩╝ (the fundamental connection toBT╩╝s line). This action is allowed by BT, as long as I don╩╝t go any further!!On the inside of the faceplate is a standard BT style phone plug (male) that sticks out ofthe back of the faceplate. I simply insert this phone plug into the supplied Vonage RJ11(male) to BT (female) adaptor and voila! Now all my phones on the house circuit arefunctioning on my Vonage account. Simple.B4RN boxVonage boxNTE5master socketphone circuitslave socketsuppliedVonage RJ11(male) to BT(female)adaptorstandard phone3.1 Connecting Vonage to the master socket5

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John Hamlett-3.2- Adding Vonage at a slave/secondary socketFirst to disconnect from the BT line! I removed the two screws on the front of the masterBT linebox, and carefully pulled the faceplate out without dislodging any wires. Thisdisconnects my home╩╝s wiring from BT╩╝s ╩╗test socket╩╝ (the fundamental connection toBT╩╝s line). This action is allowed by BT, as long as I don╩╝t go any further!!I now go to a different phone socket on the house circuit and set up my Vonage Boxthere; first plugging it into power and the Internet (either using Homeplugs or pluggingdirectly in to my B4RN box or ethernet extension).Now the important bit - I then used a special ╩╗2 wire BT to RJ11 modem cable╩╝ (seeUseful hardware notes on p6) to connect the Vonage Box╩╝s phone socket (RJ11 female)to the the phone circuit╩╝s wall socket. This cable is shown in green on my diagram andcosts about 1 on ebay. I found that an old modem dialup cable met the samespecification, and even an ADSL modem cable when combined with a microfilter alsodid the job. The essential criteria seems to be that the BT plug (male) should only havetwo metal contacts (one in position 2 and the other in position 5).NOTES:- An optional 2-way splitter means I can plug both your Vonage Box and atelephone into the phone circuit╩╝s wall socket.- Phones over 5-10 years old seemed to need plugging in through an ADSLmicrofilter, I don╩╝t know why but without this their bells wouldn╩╝t ring.3.2 Connecting Vonage to a slave socket6

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John Hamlett4. Useful hardware notesAbove: New HT701 Vonage box with RJ45 networkport, 12v power socket and RJ11 phone socket.Right: BT NTE5 master socket showing both new(top) and old (bottom) branding. Bottom unit showsfaceplate removed to reveal the internal ╩╗test socket╩╝which is the fundamental connection to BTs line.Below: 2 wire BT to RJ11 modem cable - available onebay etc (useful when I connected Vonage to myhome phone circuit).test socket7

VoIPing your home - v3 - 19/11/15 by John Hamlett5. Using your smartphone with Vonage ╩╗Extensions╩╝I╩╝ve been asked to include some additional information on a unique Vonage servicecalled ╩╗Extensions╩╝. Anyone with a Vonage account can set this up on their smartphone.The free Vonage ╩╗Extensions╩╝ app lets you make calls from your smartphone throughyour Vonage call-plan. You can do everything you╩╝d do from your household Vonagephone including answer incoming calls, and make calls to anywhere in the world. Butyou don╩╝t need to be at home to use it - all you need is a WiFi connection! So you canuse it anywhere from your local cafe to your office in town, or even when overseas onholiday!I╩╝m told this is really handy for people who have all their contact numbers in their mobilephones and not in their landline ones. Also for people with poor mobile reception athome.! You'll need a UK mobile number an iPhone running iOS 4.3 or above or an Android smartphone (v2.2 or above) Download the Extensions app to your smartphone from Google Play or iTunes Follow the instructions in the app to link your smartphone to your Vonage account Start making unlimited calls on your smartphone8