Communication Tools of Choice - Shane Merem
I just arrived to warm sunny Florida from cold snowy Michigan for my family vacation. I have always resisted vacations because I feel I should be available to my customers and associates. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years attempting to keep in touch via email and phone every where I go. I have owned the Nokia Communicator, every Blackberry, Windows and Palm PDA's, and various other pagers and gadgets. I have also used every cellular phone company out there. All have had their good and bad points. Overall the Blackberry was my favorite e-mail device but until recently the phone aspect of the blackberry was difficult to use and did not feel comfortable. The e-mail only blackberry was my favorite because it was easy to use and small. Currently I use a Treo phone/PDA combination and feel it is the best overall product out there.
Here is my current choice in communication products:
Vonage provides regular wired phone service over your Broadband connection. If you already have cable Internet or a good DSL connection, you should consider this service. It is VERY low cost and full of great benefits.
- Very low cost. I have 7 lines total. Some lines are as low as $9.99 per month and others $24.99 with unlimited calling to US and Canada. Even international calls are super cheap!
- You can take it anywhere, plug it into a broadband Internet connection and your phone rings where you are.
- EVERY phone feature is included and more. One feature I find interesting is the phone blasting feature. You can have a special phone number ring ALL your vonage lines at the same time with a distinctive ring EVEN if the phones are in different physical locations. You gotta check it out.
- Soft Phones. Soft Phone is a software program that you load on your computer to turn it into a phone. This means you can take your laptop into a coffee shop and use a headset to make phone calls. GOOD quality phone calls. One of our team members traveled to Arizona and used his soft phone to call back customers without any long distance phone charges.
- I personally don't have any "cons". If I had to choose.. I'd say that you can have an occasional problem with your Internet that will reduce the phone quality. This doesn't happen enough to cause any great concern to me. But some people do find that as a negative.
Celluar Service and wireless e-mail - Verizon - www.verizonwireless.com - If interested call my Verizon Rep Connie Lenhard at (517) 290-7766 (she is an awesome representative)
I have tried them all and I think Verizon has the best overall package. Their phone service covers the most areas, the quality is great, my customer service rep (Connie Lenhard) is amazing and best of all... They have an all-in-one phone that allows me to have a comfortable phone with high quality wireless e-mail. I use the Treo 600 for my phone. It has wireless email, a very good web browser that will display most web site without a special WAP format, and it sounds great. The battery will last a couple days with moderate use. Its a great overall phone.
- Good size
- Great keyboard (a little tougher than blackberry but very usable)
- Easy to use
- Great battery time
- Pen not required (uses Palm OS). Though you may use the pen for a few things.. The majority if it's every day use can be done with the buttons and touch screen easily.
- Wireless email with true POP email client.. Your email will send and receive as-if it's from your PC.
- Connects your laptop to the Internet at 144K (maybe feels like 60-70K when browsing)
- Works everywhere (only once did it roam on the way to Florida from Michigan)
- Speakerphone (some people love this feature)
- Expensive to replace
- No good carrying cases
- Memory card can pop out if you bump it
I arrived here in Florida. Plugged my Vonage line into the provided wireless Internet port. Turned on my laptop and I have my entire office operational and no high costs of communication while I'm on vacation. Also when I'm at Sea World I will get all my e-mail and calls on my Verizon phone without any additional cost. I am loving it!
Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments
Shane Merem - Web site design and Internet consultant
(888) 558-2446 Ext 205