Residential VoIP Services

This page provides some basic residential VoIP services information such as the growing trend of global subscribers, what the solution is, how it works, its requirements, average monthly home phone plans, benefits, tips and links to VoIP providers.

Already switched to VoIP? Refer to related articles or feel to comment, rate and review your provider at end of this page.

Residential VoIP services and broadband Internet access has increased rapidly esp. in the last few years. Look the trends and statistics below...

Residential VoIP Services & Broadband WorldWide Subscribers 2007-2012

What is it?

Residential VoIP services are designed by providers to end user consumers. VoIP enables you make and receive phone calls via your broadband Internet. Whereas the calls travel via public switched telephone network (PSTN) with traditional phone service. To learn about other acronyms of VoIP check VoIP definition (opens in new window).


How residential VoIP services work

As they say "pictures are worth a thousand words", I drew the following figure to show you the setup, call flow and how your local area network would look like:

How Residential VoIP services & Broadband VoIP Phone Works In Diagram

Yes, you can even send and receive fax through the IP. We will talk the benefits and how you can take advantage of the ports that comes with your VoIP box.


What your requirements are...

  • high speed Internet such as DSL or Cable Internet
  • any standard corded or cordless phone

Have already Internet? Good, all you need to do is shop around providers with the best plan and VoIP adapter. Then you will just plug the device to your router as shown on the figure above. 


Good news for your family budget

Wondering how much would residential VoIP cost you? Comparing to traditional companies VoIP is cheap and gives you more options along some free features your old phone company would charge you extra fees for.  Let's see the following typical start up and average monthly cost... 

Product/Service One-Time Setup Costs ($) Recurring Monthly Costs ($)
VoIP adapter Free - 55.00 0.00
Service Plan 4.99 - 29.95 0.00 - 29.95
Activation fee 0.00 - 19.95 0
Total 0.00 - 104.90 0.00 - 29.95

Although some offer low plans like $4.99 per month, you get about 500 minutes per month. When you exceed that limit you pay additional few cents/min.

VoIP home phone service plans vary from provider to provider. Refer to their current rates and make sure to read the fine print we know as -> terms & conditions!


Top 5 benefits of residential VoIP services

  • low cost - you already looked the pricing above - what do you think?
  • Rich features such as voice-mail, caller ID, Call waiting, Call forwarding and more at no charge 
  • Choice & Freedom - you can choose a phone number in your local area code or different city
  • Mobility / Portability - when you move or travel you can always take the device and service with you regardless of the location as long as you've broadband Internet and still make and receive calls as if you were at the same place 
  • FREE calls - when you make PC to PC (e.g Skype to Skype) and box to box calls (e.g between two Vonage users)   

 
Tips!

1. When switching to VoIP I suggest you to keep your traditional telephone line unless you have a cell phone and want to totally get rid of your old phone company. Here are the  reasons you should keep your old phone line as a back-up:

  • during power outage your VoIP line will not work
  • suppose your provider's service goes or shut down
  • in-case of emergency - better & safer to use PSTN line for 9-1-1 call

2. Do not lock yourself with one provider! Buy your own VoIP device (BYOD). When something happen you simply can cancel your subscription and switch to another one provider. Thanks to the competition - the market is populated by companies nowadays

3. Take advantage of the ports available on your VoIP box. Does it come with 2 FXS Ports? As I mentioned on VoIP devices article (see left navigation links), most VoIP ATAs have two RJ-11 ports meaning you can have two standard telephones attached to it.                                                                    

One can be used as the main line while the second for Fax. Or request your provider to assign two separate numbers to it. Then two people in your household can make simultaneous phone calls at the same time. 

4. I make a moderate amount of international calls. If you are like me, check your provider's international rates and compare it with others. If not cheaper, try a reliable prepaid calling card. That way you save more on international calls.

Last but not least...


Where to find residential companies

There are numerous directories or you can just search in your local area.  I recommend you first...

✔  which type of device suits your needs

✔  check how good is your Internet connection for VoIP. There is a free online  software that you can use on VoIP speed test link

Then simply shop around. FYI here are some of the popular VoIP companies...


Company

Pricing

More Details/Info


AXvoice Logo

From $8.25 - $16.58 / Month

Visit AXvoice link

PhonePower Logo

From $8.33 - $24.95 / Month

Visit PhonePower link

ITP Voip Logo

From $9.99 - $24.99 / Month

Visit ITP Voip link

Vonage Logo

From $19.99 - $24.99 / Month

Visit Vonage page

Voipo Logo

From $15.00 / Month

Visit Voipo link

You can find more list of companies on residential VoIP providers page.


There is always an option with VoIP, don't you agree?

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