Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Get a UK Phone Number in France or Switzerland with Vonage

Vonage

Vonage provides a simple, low-cost voice over IP (VoIP) telephony solution for private individuals and businesses. The Vonage service works via a low-cost adapter unit which allows any normal telephone to be conncted to the Vonage network via the Internet. There is no need for a landline - if your Internet connection is via cable or satellite it doesn't matter.

When you sign up to Vonage you are provided with a UK phone number with a normal geographical (i .e. beginning with 01 or 02) area code. Vonage offers various call plans, the cheapest of which costs £5.99 a month +VAT and gives unlimited calls to UK landlines. Calls to UK mobiles are 13p a minute. For £7.99 a month you can sign up for their "V-Plan 2" call plan which gives unlimited calls to ten European countries including France and Switzerland as well as the USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand.

Because the service works over the Internet, you can plug your Vonage adapter into your ADSL or cable router anywhere in the world and make calls for the same price as if you were in the UK. Additionally, people in the UK can call you without having to use an international dialling prefix - if their call plan gives them unlimited UK landlane calls (which is pretty standard these days) it won't cost them a penny to call you or your business wherever you happen to be based.

For businesses which operate in Europe and deal with a largely British clientele, Vonage can offer significant cost savings when communicating with clients prior to them traveling and especially during their trip or holiday when they will only be reachable via their UK mobiles. With Vonage all landline calls are included in the monthly call charge and calls to mobiles cost only 13p a minute irrespective of where the user is. Clients will still have to pay roaming charges if their provider still penalises them in this way, however for businesse such as ski schools in France or Switzerland which make many calls to UK clients' mobiles when they are in the ski resort, Vonage offers the potential for serious savings on phone bills.

To sign up for Vonage you will need a UK delivery address for them to send your VoIP adapter to and you will have to arrange for someone to send the box to you via post or courier. If you don't have a UK address you can arrange for delivery to Feathered Owl Technology's premises in London and we can arrange onward shipment.

Feathered Owl Technology is a Vonage afilliate and has succesfully implemened Vonage for a number of customers. To find out more about the Vonage service and how it can help you save money on call charges in France or Switzerland please contact us via our website where you can also place an order for Vonage via the affiliate link on our homepage. Or you can just click on the Vonage logo at the top of this post.

Feathered Owl Technology is an independent IT consultancy based in London, UK (and various Alpine locations during the winter). To find out how your brand can benefit from our website, search engine optimization, telecommunications & IT consultancy services, please email us or or submit a comment to this blog post.

www.featheredowl.com | info@featheredowl.com

Voice Over IP Anyone?

Well, we here at Feathered Owl have just picked up another project to implement a VoIP telephone solution for a new client. More and more people are going down this route, it seems that the technology is becoming increasingly mainstream. We'll be updating this post as the project progresses.

Feathered Owl Technology enters the Blogosphere

A few days ago we here at Feathered Owl made a commitment to start putting some of the advice we freely dispense (actually, ideally we don't dispense it entirely for free...) to our clients and anyone else who happens to be listening into practice. In fact, this blog is one of the results. And guess what, all that stuff about blogging being a great way to increase the visibility of your site out there on the Interweb seems to be true. Although our expectations as to how many people are actually reading this blog at this moment in time (please let us know if you are) remain on the low side, Google seems to know all about it already and indexes new posts within hours or even minutes of them being posted. We are keeping a close watch on some of the other search engines, which appear to be less interested in our outpourings here but have, at least, discovered the blog homepage itself.

In addition to search engines, there are a seemingly endless number of social networking and blog watching sites out there. The theory is that once your blog starts to be seen by Net surfers it will be bookmarked, tagged or otherwise linked to and so become more visible since the search engines assume that if a few people have bothered to link to something it must be interesting for some reason. Thus, we are told, a virtuous cycle (or circle, whichever you prefer) is created and over time your blog and maybe even the rest of your website which contains details about what you want to sell, or whatever, becomes more and more visible. To start the ball rolling, we've created an account for ourselves on Technorati and added this blog to our list of "claimed blogs". At the time of writing  we are ranked number 3,196,618 or  thereabouts so there's a bit of room for improvement...

We're going to keep monitoring the progress of all this and will keep you all in the loop. Maybe by the time the next update is posted "you all" may have ceased to be an abstract concept, who knows.

CSS – Coming Soon to a Website Near You

Actually, this website. We're going through all the pages and starting to bring them in line with some kind of up to date standard for HTML code. All using Wordpad, which is good for our understanding of CSS/HTML but is making us seriously consider (not for the first time, but more seriously than before) investing in a copy of Adobe Dreamweaver. And maybe a Mac...

The Importance of Backing up your Data

Now here's a salutory tale. On Sunday I reckoned that as I had done about 30 hours' work putting together the  requirements, plan and other sundry documentation for a major new project, it would be agood idea to back up my laptop. Which I did. This morning I switched it on and....blue screen of death! My heart sank, but then I remembered that I'd backed it up and was very glad that I had, indeed, practiced what I preach to all my clients - if you only do one thing right, make it some kind of backup strategy for your data.

Actually, we here at Feathered Owl became data backup and recovery experts whilst ghost writing a series of articles on all matters Storage related a couple of years ago. Much of this knowledge survives and remains relevant, so if you would like some sage advice on anything from backing up your Macbook to a Disaster Recovery solution for a datacentre, please get in touch. We may just dig some of these articles off our backup drive (!), spruce them up a bit and share them with you all over again before too much more time goes by.