Folks, lately with the bad economy I’ve been looking over my bills and see what I can save. Something I have been very scared to explore in the previous years were VoIP (Voice over IP - essentially using your internet bandwidth to handle phone calls). Well times have changed and my bandwidth is much greater than 768Kbps download/256Kbps upload. Its time to explore that area again and try to save some $$$ by utilizing VoIP. Its kind of stupid to pay high a premium on your home phone which is under utilized, when you use your cellphone most of the time. Lets get down to business!
Therefore, if you already have VoIP service please share with us
- What ISP (Internet Service Provider) you use
- What your download and upload speed is
- What Voice over IP service/technology you use to save money
For starters lets look at some services that offer VoIP (that is not a scam). The caveat of course is price, voice quality, and customer service. Oh yea- one last thing, how do you handle incoming fax when you need it, without landline?
One work-around is E-fax which is as low as $10 a month.
ooma - Just pay for their equipment and they provide service with NO monthly charge. Besides the fee that you pay for your internet bandwidth, these guys don’t change any phone calls made within USA (as mentioned no monthly fee). They make money through selling their equipment and their premium service cost $99 per year. I personally don’t need premium service - that’s why I want to convert my landline into VoIP phone. http://www.ooma.com/
Magicjack - You put a USB converter on your PC and insert your phone into the adapter. The magicjack adapter cost $20 and comes with a phone number. When you fully want to subscribe I think it cost $40 per year. Of course, USA is free (again, you bring your own internet service in order for this to work.) My co-worker says the quality is on par with land line. If you are single, and need a separate phone number besides your cell-phone and also have your computer on most of the time, this one is for you! (Although I think ooma is the smarter investment in the long run.) http://www.magicjack.com/7/index.asp
Vonage - YES! you heard of it and the most expensive option in this category.
Free USA calling (meaning there’s no long distance changes), with montly fee of $25.00 - promotion I think. More expensive than the two options mentioned above. http://www.vonage.com/
SRKers’ let me hear your VoIP stories and how you save your phone bill!
Of course, you got some home PBX setup using ASTERICK or FreeSWITCH, let me hear those stories too and hows it workin’ out for you guys!