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Bogen
join:2011-04-05

1 edit

Bogen

Member

[General] Independent VoIP providers ranked for reliability

From my perception of reading this forum and elsewhere, if I had to break the popular independent VoIP providers into three categories based on reliability, I would list the as

Tier 1:

CallCentric
LocalPhone
CallWithUs

Tier 2:

Anveo
VOIPo
voip.ms
PhonePower

Tier 3:

CircleNet
Future-Nine

The largest criteria I'm using is how close each one can come to being setup once and forgetting about the service and it simply continues working (in a quality manner) in the background without requiring user intervention. And has little-to-no downtime (or as close to that as possible.) A secondary criteria is the responsiveness and effectiveness of customer service and technical support.

Does anyone agree or disagree or have anyone I missed that they would add in here?

Edit: Added Anveo and CWU
PX Gershom
join:2017-01-15
Whitehouse Station, NJ
70.6 16.5

3 recommendations

PX Gershom

Member

It's no secret that I have very high regard for all aspects of CallCentric.

-----

I think that your chart is pretty good.

This is a difficult task, though, as some providers are BYOD and some others are not.

Also there are differences in features.

If a provider does not offer a certain feature, there is no chance for the customer to complain about problems with that feature.

-----

Despite having good feelings towards the individuals involved, both CircleNet and Future-Nine seem to be somewhat flighty these days.

CircleNet seems to be getting towards MIA status, and various people have commented that they cannot get responses from F9 except through this forum.

-----

FlowRoute, Anveo, and CWU are others to consider.

cb14
join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL

cb14 to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
You should definitely add Callwithus and Anveo. CWU likely tier one, I have no experience with Anveo
engineerdan
join:2006-12-07
Washington, DC

5 recommendations

engineerdan to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
said by Bogen:

From my perception of reading this forum and elsewhere, if I had to break the popular independent VoIP providers into three categories based on reliability, I would... (Snipped for brevity.)

And I was just thinking that this forum was getting quiet lately...
Bogen
join:2011-04-05

Bogen to PX Gershom

Member

to PX Gershom
said by PX Gershom:

FlowRoute, Anveo, and CWU are others to consider.

I should have remembered Anveo. Will add them. CWU seems to be quiet and is a toss up between 1 and 2, I'd say (despite being less feature-rich than others, if I recall.) Flowroute I seem to have heard precious little about. How would you rank them?
starblazer
join:2017-05-27
Appleton, WI

1 recommendation

starblazer to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
Anveo retail is different than Anveo direct. You can have two totally different experiences with Anveo depending on which version you go with.

Flowroute... I've only used them for origination and they've been awesome, a bit pricey but with they live up to the price.
PX Gershom
join:2017-01-15
Whitehouse Station, NJ
70.6 16.5

3 recommendations

PX Gershom to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
I've tried out Flowroute but was never a steady customer. I think they are very solid but AFAICT have become more oriented towards business and towards SIP trunking.

CWU is (as you say) quiet. Very good for their business model (outbound calling at good rates, PBX friendly, no fuss) but weaker on DID's, no porting, no 911, etc. So again, it all depends on how you want to look at it.

Again, it can be apples and oranges, or maybe hot dogs and Cochinita Pibil.

One company has a well-known physical and legal presence in a big city and runs all of their own advanced equipment with their own local staff.

Another has 3rd party servers in a large number of locations, and uses much support from outside the US/Canada.

Some of the others are one-person operations....

Should that be taken into account, or just the end result?

If we are comparing NFL teams to each other, or baseball teams to each other, it's much easier because there it's more of a peer-equivalence situation in those cases.

Bogen
join:2011-04-05

1 recommendation

Bogen

Member

Those are good points. I think the size of the provider is something that should be made publicly known and taken into account, to an extent, as imo a larger operation is a safer bet than a mom and pop provider that directly operates little of their own physical infrastructure and has fewer options for a succession plan for key operational personnel in case of an emergency contingency.

mackey
Premium Member
join:2007-08-20

mackey

Premium Member

Then Flowroute should definitely be on your list. They claim they are "the first pure SIP telecommunications provider to qualify as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) across the United States." »flowroute.com/press- ··· -states/ We use them at work and like mentioned, they're a bit pricey but worth every penny. We went from Anveo (had issues) to Voip.ms (lacked features we needed) before ending at Flowroute and we couldn't be happier with them. (Ok that's a lie, I wish they supported wideband [G.722] audio, but almost no one has that.)

ArgMeMatey
join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI

ArgMeMatey to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
said by Bogen:

largest criteria I'm using is how close each one can come to being setup once and forgetting about the service and it simply continues working (in a quality manner) in the background without requiring user intervention. And has little-to-no downtime (or as close to that as possible.) A secondary criteria is the responsiveness and effectiveness of customer service and technical support.

Just wondering if you could share the algorithm & data you used to arrive at this ordinal list, or how it differs from anecdotal evidence. I'm not questioning your rankings, just curious exactly how you got there. Thanks.

Trev
AcroVoice Rep
Premium Member
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC

2 recommendations

Trev

Premium Member

said by ArgMeMatey:

Just wondering if you could share the algorithm & data you used to arrive at this ordinal list, or how it differs from anecdotal evidence. I'm not questioning your rankings, just curious exactly how you got there. Thanks.

said by Bogen:

From my perception of reading this forum

Pretty sure that was the first thing mentioned
carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

carlm

Member

said by Trev:

said by ArgMeMatey:

Just wondering if you could share the algorithm & data you used to arrive at this ordinal list, or how it differs from anecdotal evidence. I'm not questioning your rankings, just curious exactly how you got there. Thanks.

said by Bogen:

From my perception of reading this forum

Pretty sure that was the first thing mentioned

I think what ArgMeMatey See Profile was pointing out is that Bogen See Profile's rankings are in fact based on anecdotal evidence, not on, say, a customer satisfaction survey by the likes of The ACSI or J. D. Power, based on a random sample, with a margin of error, etc. Anecdotal evidence is not worthless, but it is less reliable than a properly conducted survey.

In fairness to Bogen See Profile he doesn't go so far as to give individual rankings but rather divides the companies into three broad tiers.
PX Gershom
join:2017-01-15
Whitehouse Station, NJ
70.6 16.5

1 recommendation

PX Gershom

Member

Bogen was (as he said) reporting on his individual impressions, and inviting others to do the same.

It wasn't a Harris Poll.

Oldtimers may remember what Jotti (of the Jotti Malware Scanner) used to say:

This is a simple online scan service, not the University of Wichita.

carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

carlm

Member

said by PX Gershom:

Bogen was (as he said) reporting on his individual impressions, and inviting others to do the same.

It wasn't a Harris Poll.

Oldtimers may remember what Jotti (of the Jotti Malware Scanner) used to say:

This is a simple online scan service, not the University of Wichita.

If one wanted to be picky (not that I ever do ), Bogen See Profile was reporting on (his "perception" of) the impressions of others rather than on his own impressions. Other than that you and I are not in disagreement here.
PX Gershom
join:2017-01-15
Whitehouse Station, NJ

PX Gershom

Member

Point taken.
gbh2o
join:2000-12-18
Longs, SC
·CircleNet
·callwithus
·Vestalink
·Anveo
·Vestalink
·Localphone
·Future Nine Corp..
·VOIPO

gbh2o to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
I would guess that Anveo Direct belongs in your Tier 1 category by your criteria. Any errors have generally been mine, with the exceptiom of one route that I had to banish.

Then again, I have nothing to complain about with CheapVoipInc either... it was/is easy to setup, and _stays up_ with little interaction; but it's pretty much a one-Nitzan operation too. I just can't remember the last time it had any problem. Maybe the European data-center is just more reliable.

mackey
Premium Member
join:2007-08-20

4 recommendations

mackey

Premium Member

said by gbh2o:

I would guess that Anveo Direct belongs in your Tier 1 category by your criteria. Any errors have generally been mine, with the exceptiom of one route that I had to banish.

As this is a reliability ranking and not a "absolute cheapest above all else" ranking, any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top. Not once has my current provider required me to adjust or troubleshoot anything, phone calls Just Work.
carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

1 recommendation

carlm to gbh2o

Member

to gbh2o
said by Bogen:

The largest criteria I'm using is how close each one can come to being setup once and forgetting about the service and it simply continues working (in a quality manner) in the background without requiring user intervention.

said by gbh2o:

I would guess that Anveo Direct belongs in your Tier 1 category by your criteria. Any errors have generally been mine, with the exceptiom of one route that I had to banish.

By the OP's most important ("largest") criterion Anveo Direct does not belong in the OP's Tier 1. That's not to say that it couldn't be in the Tier 1 of someone else with different priorities.
druber
join:2000-04-11
Stow, MA

3 recommendations

druber to starblazer

Member

to starblazer
I had flowroute for 3 years or so. Very reliable. I switched to CC only because Flowroute has a barebones interface (which is fine - they aren't catering to retail.) CC has been rock solid for me as well.
druber

1 recommendation

druber to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
Sunrocket would definitely have been in Tier 1 (lol).
carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

2 recommendations

carlm to mackey

Member

to mackey
said by mackey:

said by gbh2o:

I would guess that Anveo Direct belongs in your Tier 1 category by your criteria. Any errors have generally been mine, with the exceptiom of one route that I had to banish.

As this is a reliability ranking and not a "absolute cheapest above all else" ranking, any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top. Not once has my current provider required me to adjust or troubleshoot anything, phone calls Just Work.

While Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1, you're being too harsh on them (and by extension on ThinQ and on VoIP Innovations). The model for all three companies is to give the customer full control over which carrier(s) to use on which routes. With this model the ITSP can't be faulted if the customer chooses the "wrong" carrier for a route.

Personally I want all of my calls to just go through without my having to first stumble on bad routes and then fix it so that I don't hit them again. I prefer an ITSP who has already fixed things so that I seldom if ever get a bad route.

Other people, for whatever reasons, want the full control over routes and carriers that Anveo Direct et al offer. To each his own.

Also, keep in mind that it's common, and advisable, to have more than one carrier for each route, so that if one carrier fails to complete the call you've just got some extra post dial delay while the other carriers are tried. If someone wants to put up with the extra post dial delay in exchange for lower average per-minute cost, that's his choice. Note that you may find yourself in this boat with CallWithUs and Voip.ms as well, if you choose their value (read: cut-rate) routing.

mackey
Premium Member
join:2007-08-20

3 recommendations

mackey

Premium Member

said by carlm:

you're being too harsh on them (and by extension on ThinQ and on VoIP Innovations). The model for all three companies is to give the customer full control over which carrier(s) to use on which routes. With this model the ITSP can't be faulted if the customer chooses the "wrong" carrier for a route.

No, I'm not. I'm simply refusing to ignore the question that was asked in favor of a question that lets me put a provider at #1 just because I like them.

If the question was "which providers give users the most fine grain control over their routing" then Anveo Direct would be #1 hands down. However that was not the question that was asked.

Which button in Anveo direct says "I don't care what route it uses, I just want the call to go through every time without needing to play route roulette" ? I don't care about a penny per minute, if I need to spend 5 minutes looking at it because calls are not going through then I've spent more then I'd save in a couple months.

I don't know about CWU as I've never used them, but I specifically did *not* select the value route when I used Voip.ms because I wanted it to Just Work and not have to dick around with routes.
Ragar
join:2009-10-04
The Colony, TX

1 recommendation

Ragar to Bogen

Member

to Bogen
I've used VOIPo since 2009 and had one issue, the free box they give you died in 2015 and they sent me a new one.

I am pretty no frills but do use their nomorobo feature. They also give you 60 free minutes each month for outside North America which I have used a few times.
druber
join:2000-04-11
Stow, MA

1 recommendation

druber to mackey

Member

to mackey
Agree. My wife telecommutes and makes a LOT of phone calls (teleconferencing), and it has to 'just work'. Otherwise the WAF (wife acceptance factor) rears its ugly head...
carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

carlm to mackey

Member

to mackey
said by carlm:

While Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1, you're being too harsh on them...

When you quoted me you deleted the part where I stated that Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1. We are in agreement on that.
said by mackey:

As this is a reliability ranking and not a "absolute cheapest above all else" ranking, any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top.

Whether or not Anveo Direct functions as "absolute cheapest above all else" depends entirely upon how the customer sets up his LCR. Most if not all of the carriers used by Callcentric/Flowroute are available through Anveo Direct. If the customer confines his routes to those carriers he should have an experience almost as good as a Callcentric/Flowroute customer. It will never be quite as good because even Callcentric/Flowroute are regularly tinkering with routes to solve routing problems before most customers see them. The Anveo Direct customer will see the occasional problem and have to do his own tinkering, but if using only premium CLEC carriers the tinkering should be minimal.

And BTW, the community consensus here (again, anecdotal evidence) RE the reliability of Anveo Direct's own infrastructure is that it is excellent.

For the record, I have never used Anveo or Anveo Direct and I have no affiliation with the company.

TIP: If you don't want to shift gears for yourself you shouldn't buy a car with a manual transmission.
gbh2o
join:2000-12-18
Longs, SC
·CircleNet
·callwithus
·Vestalink
·Anveo
·Vestalink
·Localphone
·Future Nine Corp..
·VOIPO

gbh2o to mackey

Member

to mackey
I don't believe I called either company a "absolute cheapest above all else" selection. Despite it's brand name CheapVoipInc is far from a cheapest solution. And as I pointed out, most errors with Anveo Direct were mine, as was the selected route that went bad _for me_. Of the Op's list, I have used all but PhonePower. All of those that I have used have had at least one failure/outage that I remember. Anveo Direct is _not_ always the cheapest in my stack, but it is one of my normal 'routes' in _my_ outbound fail through stack.

Frankly, I know of _NO_ carrier that has had _no_ outages, whether it be VoIP or PSTN/POTS... at least none of which I have used in the last 60+ years. Some U.S.A. military systems have come really close, though.

mackey
Premium Member
join:2007-08-20

mackey to carlm

Premium Member

to carlm
said by carlm:

When you quoted me you deleted the part where I stated that Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1. We are in agreement on that.

Then what exactly are you trying to say? It sounds to me like you're giving reasons as to why they're #1 while trying to avoid a disagreement. If you really agree that they don't qualify for the OP's Tier 1 list then how am I being too harsh on them for saying they don't qualify for the OP's Tier 1 list?
mackey

mackey to gbh2o

Premium Member

to gbh2o
said by gbh2o:

I don't believe I called either company a "absolute cheapest above all else" selection.

I was just using that as an example of substituting a different question for the one that was asked as with the right route selection the argument could definitely be made that they're #1. If you don't feel they're the absolute cheapest above all else then [insert your own criteria that lets you put them as #1 here].
carlm
join:2014-09-29
united state

1 recommendation

carlm to mackey

Member

to mackey
said by mackey:

said by carlm:

When you quoted me you deleted the part where I stated that Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1. We are in agreement on that.

Then what exactly are you trying to say? It sounds to me like you're giving reasons as to why they're #1 while trying to avoid a disagreement. If you really agree that they don't qualify for the OP's Tier 1 list then how am I being too harsh on them for saying they don't qualify for the OP's Tier 1 list?

First, I never said or implied that Anveo Direct is #1. There's no objective ranking of ITSPs. It's not like finishing first in a race. Some ITSP may be #1 on someone's list, but that's just his opinion.

Second, you went a lot farther than just saying that Anveo Direct doesn't qualify for the OP's Tier 1. If you had stopped there you wouldn't have been too harsh. You went on to say:
said by mackey:

As this is a reliability ranking and not a "absolute cheapest above all else" ranking, any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top.

The first thing wrong with that is that you are implying that Anveo Direct tries to be "absolute cheapest above all else". That's not true. Anveo Direct offers both bargain basement carriers and top notch carriers. It's up to each customer to choose his desired quality level.

The second thing wrong with that is your assertion that "any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top." This statement has two problems. A) You say it as if it's a fact when it's just your opinion (which you are certainly entitled to). B) The "mucking" that you refer to is not a failing but rather a feature of the model used by Anveo Direct, ThinQ and VoIP Innovations. (Remember, I already said that this model does require the customer to fix his own routing problems -- he takes full responsibility for his routing choices.)

I think it's a bad idea for an Anveo Direct customer to use nothing but the cheapest available carriers and, as a result, to have to tinker with routes frequently.

I don't think it's a bad idea for an Anveo Direct customer to use nothing but the best available carriers and to have to tinker with a route once in a while, in exchange for significant savings over Callcentric/Flowroute. Also, note that if the customer is the first one to discover the route problem, the Anveo Direct customer can fix the problem faster and easier than the Callcentric/Flowroute customer, who has to open a ticket and wait for a resolution.

I think it's a nice idea to let Callcentric/Flowroute worry about tinkering with routes if cost is no object.

As with so many other things in life, you pays your money and makes your choice.

mackey
Premium Member
join:2007-08-20

mackey

Premium Member

said by carlm:

The second thing wrong with that is your assertion that "any provider that requires you to muck with / troubleshoot routes and disable ones with issues does't belong anywhere near the top." This statement has two problems. A) You say it as if it's a fact when it's just your opinion (which you are certainly entitled to). B) The "mucking" that you refer to is not a failing but rather a feature of the model used by Anveo Direct, ThinQ and VoIP Innovations. (Remember, I already said that this model does require the customer to fix his own routing problems -- he takes full responsibility for his routing choices.)

I'm sorry but it is fact. With the other providers, if a route starts failing then the provider takes it out of service for everyone and those who have not yet run into the problem will never see it, and those who saw it but have not opened a ticket will have service restored "automagically." It would not surprise me if the big providers have automated tools that detect when routes suddenly start failing to connect and automatically take them out of service within seconds. If an Anveo Direct route starts failing then only those who log in and take it out themselves will stop having the problem, meaning you *will* see it and it will keep happening until you do something about it yourself. With most providers having 10's of thousands of customers, a lot of whom make a *lot* more calls then we do, we are unlikely to ever notice a problem before it's fixed. Furthermore, with Flowroute even if you do have a problem you can call them and speak with someone *right now*. Anveo? Open a ticket and hopefully someone will look at it in a few hours/days.
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