AVM Fritzbox 7270 instead of supplied modem/router - Germany

Setting up phone and internet service with Alice

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HydroSkater
ALICE just enabled my DSL connection today and I tried to configure my AVM Fritz 7270 router to use their DSL and landline. Got the DSL working no problem but the landline is a great problem. I called ALICE and they told me that my landline now uses VoIP. I then got frustrated talking to stupid technical people who were "unwilling to support 3rd-party routers" or to provide me with the necessary SIP settings.

Their customer support also told me that I MUST USE THEIR EQUIPMENT WITH THEIR DSL... I told them that I do not, and if she wishes to go down this line I will simply cancel my account and choose another provider - at which point she gave in. I just forked out a lot of money for the AVM 7270 router and don't see why I should be forced to use their crappy equipment. I also told them that if they don't make it easier for me to use the landline, that *THEY* will lose money because I will simply use another VoIP provider..!!

I have struggled for hours trying to get this damn thing working and eventually got it going doing the following:

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1) Connected their crappy router just so that I could enter the PIN via my telephone to activate it (unsure if this is necessary but it's what I did).

2) In the web interface I added a new VoIP account under "Einstellungen / Erweiterte Einstellungen / Telefonie / Internettelefonie" with the following settings:

Internettelefonie-Anbieter: andere Anbieter
Internetrufnummer: Telephone number without dialing code
Benutzername, Kennwort: Telephone number with dialing code
Registrar: registrar01.sip.alice-voip.de
( ) Internetrufnummer für die Anmeldung verwenden (unchecked)

3) Then on the "Erweiterte Einstellungen" tab, entered the following information:

(X) weitere Verbindung für die Internettelefonie über DSL nutzen (PVC)
(X) Ich habe Zugangsdaten erhalten (PPP)
Benutzername: serial-MAC@alice-voip.de
(where serial = 10-digit serial on bottom of Alice router, and
MAC = first 6 characters of MAC number on bottom of Alice router)
Kennwort: PIN number sent by Alice
VPI = 1
VCI = 32
Kapselung: (X) PPPoE

4) Reboot router

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This creates a second PPPoE connection for the ALICE Landline VoIP which is effectively a "tunnel". This connection ONLY allows VoIP connections for ALICE and if you have other VoIP accounts, you will be unable to connect!!!

Does anyone know how I can get all VoIP accounts working together?

I was also informed that ALICE provide either a VoIP landline or an actual physical landline... is there any way I can persuade ALICE to give me a *real* landline?

As far as I was aware, VoIP is not good for sending faxes, but their technical support says this is bollocks and depends on the equipment... is this true?
As far as I was aware, VoIP is not reliable for emergency numbers etc... is this not a good enough reason for them to provide a real landline?

If I cannot find a bloody solution, is there anywhere where I can get a cheap local German VoIP number that I can configure in my router alongside my other connections and use for faxes too?

Would be great if any of you fellow techies/geeks could help me :-D
HydroSkater
I guess another possibility would be to use their crappy router to establish the landline and DSL connection, then connect a network cable from that router to my AVM 7270 and let that handle the other VoIP accounts... maybe that would work, but I really don't want more devices than is absolutely necessary :-}

PS: It seems that there is a bug in the web interface when you enable the second PPPoE for VoIP... once enabled, you cannot disable it! The only way of me setting that back was to TELNET to the router and edit the "ar7.cfg" file in /var/flash to disable it... also took some working out! GRR!
YorkshireLad6
Your current configuration will not allow VoIP services from other providers due to the NGN (Next Generation Networking) configuration that Alice uses to replace legacy ISDN/POTS. You may also find that internet speeds are somewhat restricted as the tunnelling imposes heavy overheads on traffic throughput. Your best approach is to set up and use the Alice hardware as supplied, but to connect the Fritz downstream from the Alice box in router-only mode (modem disabled), whereupon you can use all the Fritz features including up to 10 non-Alice VoIP channels in a straightforward manner. This will also maximise your Internet throughput. Fax is often problematic over VoIP by definition, but should not be an big issue so long as your VoIP provider supports the G.711 codec and you disable silence suppression (VAD - Voice Activity Detection) on the Fritz
bal00
I was also informed that ALICE provide either a VoIP landline or an actual physical landline... is there any way I can persuade ALICE to give me a *real* landline?
You don't get to choose. Real landline vs. VOIP is decided based on which carrier serves your area.

As far as I was aware, VoIP is not good for sending faxes, but their technical support says this is bollocks and depends on the equipment... is this true?
No experience with Alice in particular, but I use a Fritzbox (7170) to send and recieve faxes over VOIP and it works just fine.

If I cannot find a bloody solution, is there anywhere where I can get a cheap local German VoIP number that I can configure in my router alongside my other connections and use for faxes too?
Sipgate offers accounts with a local number and no monthly fees. Dus.net offers accounts with 01801 numbers and no monthly fees.
HydroSkater
Here is an interesting question: you are normally allowed to take your number with you when changing provider... Since ALICE has my number connected via VoIP, do I have any possibility of transferring the number to another VoIP provider such as Sipgate?

PS: @YL6: cheers mate for your help.
Dotty
Not that this helps but we had problems connecting our Wi-Fi up with Alice as we wanted more than 1 computer on the network at a time (which you can do but they said you couldn't). Anyway, I was told the only way I could do it was to go and buy another router from a different supplier. So if I was advised to do so by Alice then why can't you? The tech guys don't seem to know what they are doing/saying! Hope you get it working.
YorkshireLad6
Here is an interesting question: you are normally allowed to take your number with you when changing provider... Since ALICE has my number connected via VoIP, do I have any possibility of transferring the number to another VoIP provider such as Sipgate?
You can't (currently) port a number into or out of a pure VoIP provider, but I'm not sure you even need to. Using the approach I suggested you can still use your allocated number from Alice and add up to 9 other numbers from other VoIP providers into your Fritzbox. These numbers don't even to be in your area, or even in the same country! (I have numbers in my Munich home from Berlin, UK, Italy, USA, Austria and France so people in these locations can reach me by a local or national call)
HydroSkater
Not that this helps but we had problems connecting our Wi-Fi up with Alice as we wanted more than 1 computer on the network at a time (which you can do but they said you couldn't). Anyway, I was told the only way I could do it was to go and buy another router from a different supplier. So if I was advised to do so by Alice then why can't you? The tech guys don't seem to know what they are doing/saying! Hope you get it working.
See my post above... I already bought a good router some time ago, IMO one of the best on the market, which is why I don't want to resort to their crap. I know that I can probably chain the routers to get it working but I prefer minimalism - less cables, less electricity, less that can go wrong. If I have to, I may use another VoIP provider for my landline and shove two fingers up to ALICE! Chaining them would be my last resort...

It seems you *can* use WLAN on the ALICE router but they force you to pay a one-off fee of EUR 29,90 for their Web-to-Go option... I guess they then provide you with the necessary WLAN connection information... Rip-off merchants!

Is it possible to flash the Sphairon router with a custom firmware? Does the router belong to ALICE or me now?
HydroSkater
You can't (currently) port a number into or out of a pure VoIP provider, but I'm not sure you even need to. Using the approach I suggested you can still use your allocated number from Alice and add up to 9 other numbers from other VoIP providers into your Fritzbox. These numbers don't even to be in your area, or even in the same country! (I have numbers in my Munich home from Berlin, UK, Italy, USA, Austria and France so people in these locations can reach me by a local or national call)
I understood that, but I really would prefer not to over-complicate the setup... It's just as easy to pay for another German VoIP number I guess... I already have two other VoIP numbers from different countries.
Dotty
It seems you *can* use WLAN on the ALICE router but they force you to pay a one-off fee of EUR 29,90 for their Web-to-Go option... I guess they then provide you with the necessary WLAN connection information... Rip-off merchants!
We paid the 29,90 to have the option - they send a router with no instructions at all. I had to call them (never set one up before). I was told though we can only have 1 computer on the WLAN at a time and if we wanted more than 1 computer online then we had to go and buy another router. He prattled on something about the routers being part of an old deal with AOL or someone and that sometime next year they were getting new type routers to send out to customers. They supply as little information as possible so that you have to call their premium number and then get duff information. I completely agree RIP-OFF MERCHANTS
HydroSkater
God, they are total rip-off merchants! Only one computer allowed to connect via WLAN?!?!?
Did you try connecting a second one with the same connection info as the first one but another IP address?

Yeah, I am also fed up of paying wads of cash to wait ages in a queue and then speak to unhelpful uneducated idiots who tell me everything is not possible or that they cannot or will not assist me...
YorkshireLad6
If you are all (violently) agreeing that Alice are so bad, why did you go to them for service in the first place?
HydroSkater
Because it wasn't immediately apparent when applying for ALICE DSL that they:

  • were going to connect my landline via VoIP and over-complicate the setup of none-ALICE routers;
  • would be unwilling to provide necessary technical information when calling for support;
  • would have to pay extra to use WLAN functionality of the router and be told you may only (unreasonably) connect only one computer and would have to add another router to connect further computers... you think this is fair?? :-)
  • would have no access to configuration via a web interface for the router
I think "violently" is a bit too strong, but they are definitely taking the piss...
HydroSkater
Is it possible to flash the Sphairon router with a custom firmware? Does the router belong to ALICE or me now?
maekelborger
According to the AGBs then the router belongs to Alice, but so long as you're confident you can flash it back if they ever ask for it then I don't see why you couldn't flash it. I've not seen anything about flashing that router though. IP Phone Forum would be the best place to look.

One way to get a proper landline out of Alice may be to pay the extra €2 a month to get ISDN - if you've got the 7270 then you've already got an ISDN-capable device anyway to plug your analogue telephones into.

Fax works ok over VOIP usually, although sometimes is a little temperamental.
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