Those that really know me, know that I’m really a geek. In case you had any doubt, I’ll tell you about my latest geek activity. If you have no interest in my geekness, stop reading and just go ahead and skip this post.
I’ve had Vonage for quite some time and grew tired of having to pay the $25 a month for simple Voip (voice over internet protocol) phone service. There HAD to be an easier way. I did a little googling and I found many answers, here is the one I chose.
These guys offer a simple or complex solution for the issue that I had. For starters, I wanted to KEEP my Vonage # and stop paying $25 a month for something I hardly use. Here is how it all went down.
Signed up for VOIP.MS and I paid $25 to port my number over from Vonage (or any phone service you currently have) to Voip.ms. This took a few weeks but went off without a hitch. Once it was complete and Vonage canceled my account I was free to hack away at my Vonage router. (DO NOT hack the Vonage router prior to them canceling the service or run the risk of paying a breech of contract penalty.)
The big catch here is that when Vonage or another Voip service gives you or sells you a router, it’s got their version of the Firmware installed. In order to use another Voip service you have to “unlock” the router and trick it into thinking it’s getting a standard upgrade while in reality flashing the firmware to the basic retail version for that manufacturer, in my case Linksys.
I won’t go into all of the details, but I had to download the earliest version of Firmware I could find FROM Vonage, setup a TFTP server and use a Ping hack to re-image my router and essentially Down Grade my router. Once it was in that state I ran a custom program that then “Unlocks” the password for the router which allows me to then “upgrade” my router to a retail Linksys Version of the firmware without the Vonage locks in place. In order to do that I had to hack the Linksys Firmware with a Hex Editor to make the router think it was a Vonage version. Once I did that I just performed a simple upgrade of the Firmware and bam, I had a standard, off the shelf Linksys Router with Voip capability.
Now all I had to do was configure the router to point to my new Voip.ms service and wha-la, it was done.
My monthly charge is now $1.49 a month plus around $0.01 per minute calls…..to most countries. WAY better! The tutorial I used to somewhat guide me through is found here. If you are searching for a tutorial on YOUR router, search for “Unlock voip” and your routers make and model #.
Hey, I warned you that I was a geek. If you want guidance or clarification on the above, just shoot me a note and I see if I can help!