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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some people call it VoIP, or voice over internet, or digital voice, or a broadband phone service. They're all different ways of describing the latest technology that allows you to save on your phone bill. You make and receive phone calls just like you did before, using a regular touch tone phone but instead of your calls being delivered over a regular phone line they travel over your high speed internet connection.

How Does VoIP Work?

Engin connects directly to your broadband internet connection. Simply plug an Engin VoIP phone into your broadband modem-router. Or plug in an Engin voice box that is connected to your existing home phone. Then, when you pick up your phone, we route your calls over the internet using SIP technology (session initiation protocol).

Unlike some VoIP services, with Engin your computer doesn't need to be switched on to make a call, so it doesn't matter whether you use Mac or a PC. So long as your broadband connection is operating, you should be able to call with Engin.

You Can Call Anywhere With Engin

Some VoIP services are only for calling between broadband connected computers. That's not the case with Engin. We pass your calls from the internet to the regular phone networks, so you can call people on mobiles, or at home on a standard phone line. The cost of carrying these calls on other people's networks is passed on to you in your Engin call costs, or is included in the monthly plan charge. If you make a call to another Engin phone number the call is always free.

Switching to Yabba.net.au Is Quick and Easy

If you have ever tried to switch phone companies you'll know how hard it can be. With Yabba.net.au, you can switch in next to no time. If you use ADSL for your broadband you will need to keep paying for line rental with your existing company, just stop using them for phone calls. Cable or Wireless customers can stop paying line rental and save even more. Either way, you just plug in your Engin device, activate your service and start making internet calls.

Keeping Your Phone Number

Most phones and voice boxes can connect you to our VoIP service, whilst staying connected to your old phone connection. That way people can still call you on your old number, and you can still make outgoing calls with your old provider if there's a powercut or you temporarily lose your broadband connection.

Engin Phone Numbers

Engin has phone numbers available in most parts of Australia. When you sign-up we allocate a phone number for your area. Our numbers cover wider geographic areas than standard phone services, so when you move house you might be able to keep your Engin phone number. Check our coverage map to see if you're in an Engin area.

Extra Lines

With Engin, it's easy to add extra phone lines. As long as you've got a fast enough internet connection, two or more members of the household can be making calls at the same time. That could mean a phone number for each of the kids, without calling out a technician to run extra lines into the house. Check our Engin's rates for more details.

Digital Call Quality

When you make a VoIP call with Engin, the Engin Voice Box converts your voice into data and sends it via the internet. That means, provided you have a fast enough internet connection, the person receiving your call will enjoy high quality digital sound.

Sometimes, other factors might influence call quality, including:

  • The speed and quality of your broadband service.
  • The quality of your equipment.

Quality can also vary because your voice call is travelling as data packets over the public internet. To ensure as smooth a ride as possible Engin ensures that calls are sent using the smallest data packet size possible. This minimises data loss caused by internet congestion.

Broadband Quality

We recommend that you use a broadband service with a speed of 512kbps or above. Even then, the quality of the call can be impacted is someone is transferring large files while you are on a call. When it comes to broadband speed some providers offer a more consistent service than others. Research has shown that Engin customers who use Optus have a better experience than Bigpond customers. To see how your broadband service compares, test your speed in the evening, when net usage is highest, at sites like Speedtest.net www.speedtest.net

Equipment Quality

Engin uses a globally accepted standard for the delivery of voice over the internet. This standard is called Session Initiated Protocol (SIP). Whilst most handsets work with Engin (we've tested lots of them!) the quality can vary. Some modem/routers may not be SIP compliant and this can also impact the quality of your call.

Improving Your Quality

Engin has established two separate sampling speeds to combat VoIP call quality. If you find you are having quality issues on the 8kbps default speed, we can increase your sampling speed to 64kbps. This should resolve most problems. Just be aware that this can impact the cost of downloads and uploads from your Internet Service Provider. Contact Engin Customer Service on 1300 305 000 to change the sample rate of your calls.

VoIP myths

VoIP is one the world's fastest growing industries and with this comes talk and speculation. So what's true and what's not?

Myth 1: You cannot receive phone calls using VoIP:

Engin works in a very similar way to the regular telephone service that you are using today. When you sign-up with Engin we allocate a phone number which you use to make and receive telephone calls, just like a regular phone service.

Myth 2: You can only call other VoIP users when using VoIP:

This is only true for peer-to-peer type services.
Engin is more than a peer-to-peer service. With Engin you can make and receive phone calls to practically any number worldwide. This includes landlines, mobiles, international numbers and selected special service numbers.

Myth 3: VoIP has poor call quality:

Call quality depends on a number of factors such as which VoIP provider you choose, type of broadband service and speed of your broadband.
Some VoIP providers have networks that are based overseas. That means every time you make a call it heads overseas, then back into Australia, even if you're calling someone who lives just round the corner. Our network is built, located and maintained in Australia. Through extensive R&D we have developed a voice service that is practically indistinguishable to your existing landline service.

Myth 4: You need to have your PC or laptop on to make and receive calls:

Many VoIP services only work when you connect a microphone or handset to your computer. Engin has a softphone that works like those services, but most customers connect to Engin using their regular home telephone handset. That means, when making a call, your computer doesn't need to be switched on. You just need an active broadband connection.

Myth 5: You cannot make phone calls when there is a power cut:

Most Engin products have the ability to cut over to your regular phone line when there's a power cut, or when you lose your broadband connection. So you should always be able to make a call.

Myth 6: You cannot call emergency services using VoIP:

Unlike most VoIP providers Engin offers full emergency services. So, as long as your broadband is active, you can call 000 from your Engin phone line.

Myth 7: You cannot keep your existing telephone number when using VoIP:

You can connect your Engin phone or Voice Box to your existing phone line, as well as your internet connection. That means you can have two telephone numbers connected to the one telephone handset.
However, we recommend having two separate handsets. One for engin and one for the traditional line.
In fact it gives you a second physical line which you can use for incoming or outgoing calls while the other line is engaged.

Myth 8: VoIP is only for the tech-savvy

VoIP is for anyone who wants to save money on their phone bills.
Previously VoIP was only for the technically minded because it was difficult to set-up and only real enthusiasts would put up with the call quality. That's not the case any more, with Engin offering digital quality calls and a service that is easy to set-up. Many of our customers are over 60, enjoying the great call savings from Engin.

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