Telephone Call Management When Online


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Founding Member
Jul 30, 1997
Leawood, Kansas USA
I've asked this before--I think--but will again. Before I commit either suicide or the perfect crime, how do you all handle phone calls when online? If you have a dedicated phone line for your computer, you don't have the problem. But if you don't, you must have some kind of device or software which goes to voicemail or similar in order for your customers/friends to avoid receiving either a busy or just no answer. So far, I have tried Pagoo, Callwave, Internet Call Manager, and BuzMe. Each has strengths, but mostly problems.

Ideally, you want a service with a pop-up box to tell you you're being phoned. ID on it is nice. Would be great to be able to disconnect and take the call; but in lieu of that, just take a message in your normal answering machine mode, then allow you to get it right away so you can get offline and call them back.

I've even looked into SWB CallNotes, but you don't know a call is coming in when you're online.

Any help for me from any of you? I don't want two phone lines, don't want RoadRunner or DSL, and don't want to quit surfing!
We've got our computer on our fax line. But I mostly use it to fax out something, or I know when I'm expecting a fax.

I just gave up and got a second line. Specified to Sprint that it was for computer ONLY. So, it has only touchtone, no additional features, and NO long distance. $13~14/month.

I've seen a little device advertised on TV that you supposedly plug in your computer, phone and fax. Your phone rings normally with an incoming call, and you can actually answer it while on line. I was dubious at first, but then I noticed that you can also continue to download files while you talk.

Being an old Fone man, I figure it splits the line when it detects an incoming call. My Gateway has a fancy-schmancy modem that is supposed to enable me to answer calls, we have call waiting on the regular line, but it doesn't work. Everytime we'd get a notification that there was an incoming call, it'd still kick us offline. So..I got another line. Works good.. Every time.

Now, I am trying to remember who actually makes the little box I'm talking about. I DO know it begans with an 'E'. I will keep watching TV until I see it again, and let you know.

If you are dead set against a second line, then I would reccomend this thingie. But, IMHO, the $13~14/monthh has cleared up our line nicely. Janet or I can be on as much as we want, and not miss a single call on our regular line. We haven't given the computer # to anyone, because there's no phone on it. Just the computer.

OK. Here's one I found, but it's not the one 'As seen on TV' I'll keep watching. This thing is probably better than the TV one, but it costs more. This one claims that your modem speed WILL NOT decrease with an incoming call. Check it out:


It is the FAX J300
Went from dial up to dsl - still just 1 phone line - phones work while online - just a microfilter to plug between each phone and the wall - price went from 19.95 to 29.95 - speed up by 150+ times - now have 3 email addresses for the family - have external modem which cost 69.95 after rebate and router so both computers in home can be online together - took a few hours and a few calls to computer brother to get set up but not too painfull - life is good and easy!!
Wow! DSL for $30.00/month, that's phenomenal.

They were going to charge us $80.00/month for DSL IF they could get it installed here in my area. ...................They couldn't.

We are situated between anything that depends on any type of tower for transmission!

Cell phones work intermittently, no fiber optics anything here yet, the only TV that works here is satellite hookup (mine got zapped by lightening last April), dial up modem is, on a good night, about 30k rate on a USRobotics 56k modem.

Ah! The Heartland of America.

Thanx, guys. DSL here--if available--runs $40.00, for one computer: I have two. RoadRunner is $45.00, and it's legal to link them, and a computer guru can do it cheap. Charles, a second line here costs way more than that. It's about $40. by the time you're through. But I'll look into the least thing I can do. SWBell isn't very encouraging.

I hate to come off as a chintz, but our phone bills now look like a small mortgage payment. And frankly, I truly resent the taxes they cheerfully add to everything in the name of Excise (read that "emergency" tax from the old war!)

Anyway, it may be back to the old Callwave deal. I looked at that splitter and almost cried. There are so many things that have gone wrong with my computer hook-ups, phones, software programs, VCR programming, that I plain have become allergic to technology. (Must work on changing that: for a gadgeteer to make that admission spells out a cry for help.

Thanx, again, all.

Same here, we had a second phone line which was awesome but it cost $60/ month for another business line. If it were just a residential line, it'd be more on the line of what Charles was talking about but we business owners get the privilege of paying more here.

I'll make another pass because nothing has worked right since that second line went down - fax, security system, modem, messages, other extensions.
I had it working once..... :mad: