Choosing a VOIP Service

By: Kelly Liyakasa

Cell phones and landlines aside, many are making the transition into VOIP or Voice Over IP usage. A recent industry study predicted the number of VOIP users in the United States would come in at around 24 million. That is no small accomplishment for this telecommunications trailblazer. These features should be taken into consideration before choosing a VOIP service.

&bullInstallation/Hardware-Most services only require high-speed-Internet and a telephone adaptor, but some companies provide special phones or custom Internet connection.

&bullCall Plans-Look for a company that offers both business and personal call plans. For example, Vonage offers residential and business plans (including fax lines).

&bullBasic Service Minutes-Your average Voice Over IP provider will give you 500 basic minutes with free calls between same-service users.

&bullFeatures-Most services, including Vonage and Joi Phone, provide features such as call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, and 911 dialing. Some companies charge extra for specific add-on's, so reading the fine print is a must.

&bullRetaining a Phone Number-If you want to transfer a pre-existing number, be sure to see how long it will take and if there's a conversion fee. Vonage will transfer your number in 10 days, as opposed to some which take 20 or more.

As always, it's wise to choose a that you can afford. While it may be beneficial for some to subscribe by the month or year, for others, they may wish to 'pay as they go,' which is offered by some companies. It all depends on how much talk time you average in what time span to determine which plan and service is right for you.

VOIP
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