The 5 Best VoIP Service Providers
In this post, we'll evaluate some of the best VoIP systems.
First, let's define some terms:
According to AT&T, "VoIP technology enables traditional telephony services to operate over computer networks."
VoIP is a technology that transforms your voice into a digital signal, enabling you to make a call straight from a computer, a VoIP phone, or other data-driven devices.
Plainly put, it’s phone service that’s delivered over the internet.
It’s frequently referred to as IP telephony, internet telephony, broadband telephony, or broadband phone service (Source).
What VoIP Do You Need?
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Landline phones are no longer at their peak. While they do still exist in homes that have had them for years and for businesses, landlines are no longer the best option for everyone to communicate. You can often get more services at a better price by simply changing your phone to a VoIP phone.
Comparing The Options
- Virtual Receptionist: Powerful, easy-to-configure virtual receptionist automatically greets and directs incoming calls. Allows different options during business and non-business hours
- LIVE USA-BASED TECH SUPPORT We will assist you with complete setup of your new system as well as custom system configuration. Easy, plug-n-play do it yourself installation.
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box. Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- With its flexibility and expandability, VoIP and multi-site calling capability, remote user support, follow-me calling and auto attendants, the Allworx 6x is the perfect modern phone system
VoIP phones are likely the phones we’ll be using more and more in the coming decades.
Internet access is becoming more widespread around the world and people are demanding more from their phone providers. It’s a lethal combination for landlines, but the choice still isn’t clear cut in every case.
Should you make the switch? Would it be better for you right now, or is a landline still the superior option?
Comparing VoIP & Landlines for Home Use
If you’re looking at replacing your home phone, VoIP or landline is a good first choice to make. Here are a few points to look at:
- 911 Access
VoIP services use what’s called E911. It gives 911 operators the same information as a landline would, but it’s not always as reliable. However, it is a great substitute that does basically the same thing as a landline would when you call 911. This is a standard inclusion with nearly every VoIP home calling plan.
Comparing residential landline plans to VoIP calling plans is shocking. For essentially the same services and functions, landlines can more than $20 more per month for a basic plan. VoIP is not only affordable, but you get a lot more options of where to spend your money.
With VoIP, you’re not limited to where you sign up for service. While you can stick to one of the big, well-known telecom services that also offers phone service, you don’t have to do that. Choose any of the hundreds of VoIP providers in operation today. Search around for the best prices and the plan that suits your needs best. If anything changes, just switch plans.
As far as how the phone works, you’re not likely to notice any important differences between a VoIP system and a traditional phone in terms of the core functions. Both can call reliably without dropping, receive calls from all numbers, and act as a voicemail system. But, VoIP goes above and beyond by offering a lot more functionality than traditional phones. The only downside is that VoIP is dependent on having an internet connection and power, unlike a traditional phone.
- Call Features
You’re not limited to just voice calls with VoIP. If you have a device with video capabilities, you can make video calls to other VoIP numbers or users. Because the data is sent via the internet, VoIP numbers can also participate in conference call or video conferencing with a large number of participants from around the world simultaneously.
Video chats aren’t possible with regular phone numbers. You are also limited in how many people can participate in a conference call, or who can participate.
It’s so easy to set up a VoIP system and start using it at home. You don’t need a lot of technical ability to make it work. You can even buy adaptors that help you turn your existing landline phone set into a VoIP compatible phone. Or, use your mobile phone, computer, or a dedicated VoIP phone set. The setup is so easy, and once it’s done you won’t have to do it again, even if you change providers.
Even when you move, you don’t have to contact your provider or do anything extra to set up your VoIP phone system. Moving with an analog phone takes more work and generally requires more setup than a VoIP phone would.
VoIP vs Landlines for Small Businesses
Here are a few comparison points to look at for landline phone versus VoIP in a business context:
Third-party apps can often be integrated with your VoIP software for better connectivity and communication for your business, especially if you want to improve your remote work. It’s useful to be able to create a centralized system that works to do a lot of different things for you at once. By integrating your VoIP with other systems, you’re simplifying your whole operation. Instead of having to interact with every separately and treating every app as its own island, you can use them all together in a more efficient way.
If you don’t have the ability to keep a secretary on staff at all times, let VoIP do it for you. These phones go way beyond simple voicemail systems. You can set up call routing that will direct people to the right employee or place at different times, or you can set up automated answering services to provide information when you’re not available.
All the while, your VoIP can be providing you data about when people are calling, how they’re interacting with your call system, etc. Use this to improve your service.
Basic business phone plans are similar in cost to top small business VoIP phone plans. However, the VoIP plans give a lot more bang for your buck. You’ll get more features and flexibility for the same price or a lower price in many cases. This is especially true when it comes to making international calls or adding multiple phone lines.
Speaking of multiple phone lines, VoIP makes it so much easier to incorporate more lines into your business. There’s no need to get more analog phone cords pulled to your building and no hassle with setting up a PBX system. All you have to do is talk with your VoIP provider and have them add a few more lines for you.
Even if your business grows, VoIP is easier to scale up than analog phones. You may need some extra equipment when you get to an enterprise level, but not as much as you would need for traditional phones.
If you’ve got a cell phone or laptop, you can have your work phone with you anywhere there’s mobile data or wi-fi access. Whereas business landlines are confined to the location of the phone, VoIP phones are completely mobile with the only limitation being a compatible device and internet access. This is especially helpful if you’re moving around a lot during the day or if you have to shift offices.
- Call Features
Video conference calling is a great way to stay connected with your team, clients, and associates. It gives you more communication options and doesn’t limit you to voice calling alone.
What Should You Choose?
You may have a circumstance that makes a traditional landline the best option for you, like having little access to high speed internet. However, in most cases a VoIP phone is a great choice when put in a direct comparison against a landline. It beats out traditional phones in many categories of service.
The difference between landline and VoIP is getting blurrier every year. Maybe it’s time to embrace the new era of the phone for your home or business: Voice over IP.
Difference between Fixed VoIP and Non-Fixed VoIP
Although you may not have realized it, you have used VoIP at one point in your life. This could have happened when you joined in on a digital conference call at work or made a call via Skype. VoIP calls are an affordable and more flexible call service compared to the traditional system. It relies on powerful technology that allows you to make calls over the internet. Are you interested in incorporating VoIP technology in your business or company? Then it is essential for you to know what the difference between fixed VoIP and Non-fixed VoIP is.
For you to fully understand the difference between the two, you must know how VoIP works first. The term VoIP is an initial for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Compared to the traditional system that transmits calls via an audio network, VoIP does so via the internet. For VoIP calls to work, there must be an availability of networks, transmission centers, and fiber optic networks.
If you have made calls on Whatsapp, Facebook, and Skype, then you have already used VoIP. These apps incorporate similar technology used by VoIP in the business and corporate world.
What is Fixed VoIP?
Fixed VoIP resembles traditional phone lines because it requires the availability of internet cables that securely transmit data. It is fixed to a particular location. For instance, if your business is using fixed VoIP, the number used will match the physical address.
The benefit of fixed VoIP is that it ensures security and improves authenticity. As you may know, voice over internet protocol uses the same delivery systems shared by other internet users. As a result, these call systems can be vulnerable to hacks. But with fixed VoIP, your business features secure data transmission through its internet lines.
As beneficial as Fixed VoIP is, it is very costly. And it is mostly ideal for big enterprises and companies. The installation is quite expensive because the business will have to acquire its cables as well as internal infrastructure. Not to mention, because the VoIP number will be associated with your physical location, international calls will be more costly.
What is Non-Fixed VoIP?
With non-fixed VoIP service, it can be set for a business from any location, and it is also applicable for businesses that have no physical location. There is no installation process associated with Non-fixed VoIP. To get this service, you will only need an email address and payment method to get started. It is a simple, efficient, and cost-effective option that can help a business make regular communication both locally and internationally.
Does your business make a lot of international calls? Are you worried about the significant charges? Then you can benefit immensely from non-fixed VoIP. The downsides of Non-fixed VoIP is that security isn't 100% guaranteed. The number can be stolen and used for fraudulent activities. Additionally, being a simple service, it has limited features.
Which is Ideal for Your Business?
Now that you are familiar with the differences between Fixed VoIP and Non-Fixed VoIP, you are probably wondering – which is ideal for my business? Well, the answer to this depends on your communication needs and budget.
If you have the funds to cater for installation and require a robust and secure VoIP system in place, then the fixed VoIP can be a suitable option. On the other hand, for businesses that make a lot of international calls and are looking for a simple VoIP service to facilitate communication, the non-fixed VoIP is the best option. The choice is entirely up to you. Nonetheless, working with a reputable VoIP service provider, you can get a solution tailored to suit your business.
The Best Residential VoIP Providers
Are you looking to reduce your telephone bills? Switch to a residential VoIP line. The technology was initially designed for businesses, but the growing availability of internet providers and the proliferation of mobile systems make residential VoIP a choice communication system even I residences.
What is Residential VoIP?
VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is similar to the traditional landline service only that it uses the internet to allow users to make phone calls. As such, users can make and receive calls from other VoIP subscribers as well as calls from different types of phones.
The main advantage of residential VoIP lines is that it is cheaper than regular landline services. Most residential VoIP providers charge incredibly low rates to local and international calls, not to mention the long-distance perks in their packages. Here are five residential providers you should consider subscribing to:
The company is a product of a popular web hosting platform, HostGator and its services are available to residents living in the United States only. New subscribers get a free phone adapter compatible with most mobile devices. What’s more, you don’t need to buy or install additional software to use the company’s VoIP services.
Once you subscribe, you get to enjoy unlimited calls to citizens in the USA and 60 free minutes for making international calls. VOIPo also offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee to users who are not satisfied with its service. Subscribers enjoy incredibly low rates for international calls and 40 extra service features.
Its VoIP service not only offers phone services, its plans include a speed dial feature, a fax catcher, call forwarding, and remote access to voicemail. PhonePower VoIP plans allow users to make unlimited calls to cell phone numbers and landlines in the USA and Canada.
Additionally, users can make phone calls from PCs via a softphone app and no extra cost. Also, you don’t have to change your existing number; the provider offers the option to retain the older number or subscribe to a new one.
Apart from making unlimited calls, subscribers get to enjoy more than 20 features, free activation, and free equipment lease. And if you are not happy with the PhonePower service, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you are looking for an affordable and more flexible VoIP package, AXvoice is the company to subscribe to. It offers users unlimited VoIP call plans to users residing in Canada and the USA. All its plans come with an additional 30 features, and the company allows users to pay extra for a toll-free number.
Apart from offering VoIP services, the company sells Telo devices. Users are required to pay a one-time fee for the device and connect it to the broadband internet, after which they get to make unlimited calls.
Ooma Telo also offers users the option to subscribe to a new number or retain the existing one. The company’s number is enhanced with HD features for improved sound quality. Also, since it does not have a softphone desktop app, it has developed an app (OomaMobileapp) for Android and iOS devices.
The provider provides an affordable VoIP service to USA residents. Its residential VoIP calling plan has more than 25 features and subscribers get to enjoy additional services like call recording, call forwarding and call hunting. Users are required to make payment for a security deposit if they want to use the company’s device but if using their devices, this expense is saved.