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Review: Verizon VoiceWing BroadBand Phone Service

Setup & Features

The Linksys PAP2 phone adapter that Verizon supplies is a very simple piece of hardware, sporting an Ethernet port, two phone ports, and a power port. The adapter can be set flat or placed upright using an included base. But the base isn't very thick, so it is a little more stable when laid down flat.

There are four indicator LEDs on the front of the device to display the status of various functions. The rightmost light, when the adapter is not upright, is for power. It shines red when the power is first plugged in and flashes blue while the phone connection is being set up. The next light is the Ethernet light, which indicates Internet activity. It flashes when the adapter is setting up and when you're using the phone and steady when the phone is on-hook and ready for use.

The two remaining lights are for each phone connected to the adapter. They're steady when the phone is on-hook and flash when each phone is in use. While the lights are useful for checking your phone activity and troubleshooting when hooking the phone up, they are extremely bright and can be distracting if the adapter is in view (Figure 2).

Under normal conditions, setting up your phone with the PAP2 adapter is very easy by following the instructions included with your VoiceWing package. Set up involves logging into your account on the VoiceWing website and entering the MAC address of your adapter, which is labeled clearly on the bottom of the adapter.

After the MAC address has been verified all you have to do is plug your phone into the adapter, the adapter into your router, and power up the adapter. The lights on the adapter will blink for about five minutes while the adapter talks to the Verizon mother ship to get set up when you first plug it in. Once the lights have stopped flashing you should get a dial tone when you pick up the phone and you can use it just like a normal phone.

Though the setup is easy under normal circumstances, I did run into some trouble. I originally used a NETGEAR router that also had phone ports and was already set up for VoIP through a different service and could not get the VoiceWing service to work. I was finally able to get the adapter working with a normal router just fine and when I plugged it back into the NETGEAR router it worked.

I'm still not sure exactly what the problem was, but a Verizon support person told me the problem could have been the adapter trying to access ports that were reserved for the router's built in phone adapter or perhaps conflicts with the router's NAT or DHCP settings. But when I reviewed the router's configuration pages after I got VoiceWing working, I could not find anything different or suspicious. No port forwarding had been set and the built in VoIP settings were still at their defaults. At any rate, aside from that one incident, I did not have any other problems with the VoiceWing adapter.

VoIP providers love to point out all of the features they include with their service and Verizon is no different. Features include forwarding calls to another number, caller ID with enabled phones, fax capability, voicemail, and an address book that can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook. Many of these features can be found with other VoIP providers, but Verizon still has more total features than many other providers I've seen.