Discover the Big Disadvantages of VOIP Phone Service

By: Jon Arnold

You have seen the commercials on TV and everyone is talking about it - how great home VOIP service is and why it is the best thing since sliced bread or canned beer. Everyone is jumping on the VOIP bandwagon, and it has now been over a year since the first landmark date where new VOIP installations outpaced new traditional phone activations. If it is this good and everyone is on board with it, what could possibly be the disadvantage?

There is a disadvantage to home VOIP service, and in fact, there are multiple disadvantages. One of the biggest problems is that it is not yet universally available in 100% of the country yet simply because RELIABLE high-speed Internet service is not available yet in 100% of the country. How much of the country remains to be covered by reliable high-speed Internet service? That is a two-part question, simply because of the keyword "reliable".

High-speed Internet service for home is available in most metro areas across the country. For VOIP usage, note that satellite is not recommended, and wireless is also a question mark based on the state of today's VOIP technology. But even where high-speed Internet service is available, it may not be reliable enough to use VOIP. Today's residential high-speed Internet access in a surprisingly high number of residential locations is abysmal, compared to some of the very "connected" countries elsewhere, like in the UK and Finland. Some people are putzing along at speeds that rival DIALUP speeds, thinking they are getting high-speed. If your "high-speed" Internet connection is like that, don't even try VOIP.

The reason for mentioning this is because a lot of people have given VOIP a bad name because it did not work for them. What they don't realize, however, is that it was not the VOIP provider or the VOIP service that blows, it is their high-speed Internet connection that blows, and until that problem is resolved, tins can and a taut string will work better than VOIP.

But the real problem, the big disadvantage with VOIP is its availability. For several decades, we have all become accustomed to the telephone, and we pick it up, and it just works, almost every time, no question about it. If you think about it, your telephone is probably the thing that you have the least amount of problems with for anything in your home. But now with home VOIP, you are using your high-speed Internet connection to make and receive phone calls. If your Internet connection goes down or is not reliable, guess what - you have no VOIP service. You could not make a VOIP phone call if your life depended on it.

What is a good point - what if your life DID depend on it? Your house is in flames around you, or you have a burglar trying to jimmy your front door. If your Internet connection is not working, you will NOT reach the police or the fire department on your VOIP phone, regardless of how many times you dial the number!

VOIP is good stuff, definitely, but you need to be aware of what it requires to make it work correctly, which is NOT something that the VOIP provider gives you with the VOIP service in most cases - a reliable high-speed Internet connection. In the same way that when you buy tires for your car, the salesman does not provide the air that goes in them to make them work, home VOIP service without a reliable high-speed Internet connection is like a flat tire.

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