I got set up for VoIP yesterday. It was surprisingly painless. I ordered a little box and a month’s subscription from Blueface, which costs me 69.99 + 9.99 per month. I plugged one side of the little box (the Linksys PAP2 into a network socket (I use eircom broadband, the low-end package), and plugged a regular phone into the other end. Everything was ready-configured and it works great. I get 5 hours of free calls a month to landlines for my money. What I really like is that this extra ‘line’ gives me an extra phone number to use for business purposes. Also, I can see the cost of the calls, as I make them.
The support at Blueface is good too. Kate from support actually came around to my house with the VoIP box. They’re also seeing if they can sort out a dialling plan for me, so that I can do Enum dialling. Technologically-speaking, Blueface appears to be based on Asterisk, which is no bad thing.
(Enum is basically about being able to make VoIP to VoIP calls using regular phone numbers. This means that you can use the phone as usual, but without incurring any charges whatsoever. You can make this sort of call at the moment, but you have to dial all sorts of weird prefixes. Very confusing.)
The other neat feature is that Blueface has a web interface that lets me see details of the calls I make and what they cost, as I make them. It gives me a real sense of comfort and control.