My first Virtual Phone Number (VPN) call

I finally got my first call from my Washington, USA number. VPN is one of the many powerful features of VoIP. It’s called virtual because there’s no actual telephone set connected to that number. Instead, when somebody calls that number, it’s my VoIP phone here in the Philippines that rings. My VoIP setup is stand-alone, it no PCs needed and it only consumes 5W. I can leave it running for 24/7! So the setup is just like an ordinary phone.

But it didn’t work at first. I found out later that I made a mistake in entering my SIP account details. Then, I made a test call, using my VoIP gateway where I only pay less than 2 U.S. cents per minute. Thanks, my IP phone rang. I know it works but I want another person calling me. So, I posted to our (frat) chapter’s email group. I said “… say hello to me.”. In less than 15 minutes, my IP phone rang. “Hello, brod. This is Brod Ompong. How are you brod? … “. It’s a big surprise because I have no contact with him since my junior years. He was interested because they’re frequently call their relatives here in the Philippines. With my setup, they only spend less than $0.02/minute instead of $0.16. In his case, it was even free!

We had a long talk. He’s residing in Connecticut and there’s no Filipino community there. So I understand why he lost his Filipino accent – which you cannot sense in emails. Inspite of that I’m still happy because he’s the same person – the familiar accent might be lost but not the heart.

Now I include my Washington number in all my email signatures. Email or chatting is great. I have no problem with them. But conversing over the phone is more personal, more enjoyable and easy for my dinosaur friends/relatives!

The power of VoIP is still unkown to many. Thru VPN, my sisters abroad are calling me for free instead of spending $0.16 per minute. It’s much cheaper than getting a $20 call card for 60 minutes. VPN is very useful for business. A Philippine-based company can post USA/UK/HK/etc. numbers for their clients. The difficult part is setting up an IP phone here. For those who would like to install one, you visit my guide on Setting up a stand-alone IP phone.

I got my free virtual number from IPkall.com but ony for Washington state. If you like numbers in other places or commercial purposes you can buy them from many providers like Callcentric (with assistance support in the Philippines).

About hellocamiguin

Pioneer of the Camiguin Telephone Network
This entry was posted in Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to My first Virtual Phone Number (VPN) call

  1. Pingback: My first Virtual Phone Number (VPN) call « IP Solutions

  2. Geoff says:

    I find the vpn call very interesting, I have been trying to get a good internet connection in camiguin for the last 4 months to no avail, smart was a disaster, Globe no better and we are only in Agoho. We are relocating to mambajao in the near futureCamteco can offer me DSL at 128/32 that will barley support voip, I am wondering if there are any plans for Camteco to increase the speed of it’s DSL, or what are people doing in Camiguin to get decent internet speeds?? Maybe someone can advise me on this please.
    Cheers
    Geoff

  3. hellocamiguin says:

    geoff,

    i learn that Smart’s Agoho site has 3G capability. i have an info that SmartBro’s Prepaid USB device is using 3G technology. you should try it.

    for those who have existing Wi-Fi connections, they key to good connection is to keep on complaining to your provider’s tech support number. Smart or Globe won’t do something unless somebody is making A LOT of NOISE. That’s what I did here in Cebu. I gave this advise to my brod’s cafe … and his connection improved a lot. Remember this Jewish motto: “The squeaky door gets oiled”!!! if still no improvement, it’s time to switch provider.

    re camteco’s internet service, i really don’t know what are their plans. i even doubt if the current system is well-configured or not. they don’t have a top-caliber networking specialist. raw speed is nothing if the system is not optimized.

  4. florita says:

    check this kababayan. if you are in united states and canada and some other countries that we have local access you can call to your love ones in the philippines for just 4.95 dollars a month unlimited after you buy the unit.the costumer in united states and canada or some other countries that they have local access can use their cellphone or landline to call to your voip in the philippines. the costumer in the philippines just need internet connection no need computer to make and receive call. i been using this products for a year and i had no complain paying 4.95 dollars a month.

  5. i visited your website. the monthly fee is cheap but i hv to buy the phone units ($139 or $99 each), right?

    in my recommended setup, it’s BYOP (bring your own phone) which is cheaper. registration is free. with this freebie, i already have these: free, unlimited IP phone-to-IP phone worldwide, voicemail, caller ID and call forwarding, too. ordering pre-configured phone is just an option.

    for incoming calls, you can get free number from http://www.ipkall.com.

    the only time i pay is – when i call regular phones (incl. mobiles). the lowest plan is pay-as-you-call (no monthly fee).

    finally, the company must have peering agreement with other networks. otherwise, IP-to-IP phone call is limited only to their own network (e.g. skype, vonage). pls find the Network Directory at http://www.sipbroker.com. you will see the extent of your calling coverage if your company is included here.

  6. Geoff says:

    Further to my previous post, I have firther information for those interested. My wife now has a SIP phone in Mambajao and calls between her and me here in Australia are good quality now, and best of all free !! We use an Australian Company called Mynetfone.
    I was in the fortunate position recently of doing a direct comparison between Camteco ADSL at 1200p a month and Smart Bro at 999p a month in Mambajao.
    On average the download speed of Smart Bro was 4 times faster than the Camteco ADSL, even though we paid 8000p to have the telephone line re run completely.
    Needless to say we use Smart Bro, the cost of the SIP phone was $A90 or 3600p off e-bay in AU.
    I our case the 999p a month pays for itself as previously my telephone bill in AU was around 4,000p + a month.
    The system has been running now for around 2 months faultlessly, all we need to fix now is Comelco, to stop the frequent blackouts and brownouts LOL

  7. hellocamiguin says:

    geoff,

    good that your setup is running well – except the electric power provider CAMELCO. that, we can’t fix. if your IP phone and wi-fi modem has 12V supply, a 12V backup supply will solve your problem.

    re mynetfone. the rates and services are good. but there’s only one important criteria i’m looking for in a provider – peering agreement with SIP Broker (w/ over 2,000 SIP providers) http://www.sipbroker.com. without this connectivity, you’re just limited to mynetfone’s network.

    at any rate, if there are interested wifi users in camiguin who likes to try VoIP, i can supply unlocked SIP phones/adapters. i left an IP phone w/ Drahcir owner – mr ricky daguplo.

    i hope to see you when i go to camiguin.

    rgds,
    nandy

  8. sean says:

    hi,

    it’s really great to know that you are updating all these information about camiguin telephone system. would you know how much are their rates for the dsl? i am currently here and cebu for 5 years already but i am planning to move back to camiguin for good next year and i have a small business that would really require me to have a decent internet connection at home.

  9. hi sean,

    i think camteco is charging P1,500 per month for ADSL. i don’t know the speed for that plan. the P1,500 will be on top of your monthly voice service. btw, camteco has local metering P1.00 per minute (the last rate i know).

    you have the option to subscribe to smartbro wifi. it’s cheaper at P990 per month.

    which part of camiguin you’re gonna settle? camteco or smartbro may not be available in your area!

    i’m residing in lapulapu city, just nearby cebu city. i’ll send you a private mail for further discussion.

    rgds.

  10. Geoff says:

    Hi Sean,

    3 months ago Camteco were charging 1,200 per month for 56/128kb/s I understand you can get faster, but at what cost I dont know.
    See my previous comments about where you can and cannot get service, has been a nightmare to me, but since we relocated to Mambajao all is good!
    Cheers
    Geoff

  11. sean says:

    @geoff

    what do u mean by 56/128kb? is it like 128 download ang 56 upload? i’d rather get smart bro if that’s the case but i am not sure if it’s available in yumbing where i will be residing.

    here in cebu i am using smart bro and it’s very stable. i used to have globe broadband and it sucks big time. my connection drops 5 times in just 30 mins..

  12. hellocamiguin says:

    56/128kb upload/download speed is possible. camteco can’t give you high speed cuz they’re limited to their uplink bandwidth. in contrast, smart, being a tier-3 network, has very high bandwidth capacity.

    sean, i see cafes in rocky village using smart canopy terminals. actually, it’s beamed towards yumbing (from agoho cellsite). too bad for agoho residents. i don’t know if they have added sector antenna towards bug-ong direction. perhaps they have already expanded it. watch for some updates.

  13. sean says:

    @nandy

    so u mean even if the cellsite is in agoho, yumbing can get higher bandwidth (not sure of the term) because it’s been towards that place? i dont really know that much about those stuff.. hehe…

  14. no. the direction of the antenna determines the availability of service. the speed depends on the plan you subscribe. i think smartbro can give you 2mbps. of course, very much expensive. however, the received signal affects the reliability of packets – thus the apparent speed is higher.

    the signal is lower if your location is farther or it’s located on the side lobes of the signal pattern. it’s the same priciple w/ a car headlight. the only difference – you can see the latter.

  15. gash says:

    hellocamiguin how will i know my virtual phone number so that people can call me. I’m using x-lite.

  16. hellocamiguin says:

    gash, you have to subscribe for this services for a small monthly fee (around $6). you can get a free VPN at http://www.ipkall.com but it’s limited to Washington state only. if you want other countries for a small monthly fee, you can try my provider http://www.callcentric.com?aid=33824.

  17. Im glad I found your site. Please post up more pictures!

  18. Hello man, I’m browsing on yahoo and on the lookout with an article to observe and stumbled for your website. I am really glad Used to do, you wrote some great information. Did a fast bookmark for this page and will be checking back once in a while to check out when you submit any more stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s