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 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).
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:
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.
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.
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!
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:
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...
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...
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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