Everything is going digital these days… cell phones, cable, radio, and now TV. So, if anyone thinks that traditional landline phone service is here to stay, then they are kidding themselves. VoIP phones service is slowly taking the place of traditional phone service and soon traditional phone service will become obsolete; the question is not if, but when.
Not all VoIP phone service providers are created equal and it is important to know what to look for when choosing a VoIP phone service provider.
Consider how many and what type of calls you make.
Most VoIP services cost between $25 and $40 per month for unlimited local and long-distance calls in the U.S., and many include Canada, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. Most cable companies that offer VoIP service cost $5 to $10 more per month than VoIP specialized companies like 5 linx (Globalinx) and Vonage.
Some VoIP phone service providers have lower international rates than others, so make sure that you check out the company’s international fees for the countries that you will be calling. Also, be sure to determine the costs you will pay for international cell phone calls, which are not included even in all-inclusive international calling plans.
Consider if the VoIP phone service provider sells VoIP phones. Having a VoIP phone is very beneficial because you can take your phone wherever you go (even outside of your country), hook it up to a high-speed internet connection and instantly make and receive phone calls. Your phone number goes with the phone so you do not have to worry about forwarding a number.
Find out if the VoIP service provider offers E911
VoIP service providers are compatible with what is known as E911.
The major difference between E911 and 911 is that with 911 the dispatcher automatically knows where you are calling from, but with E911 they have to go by the location that is on file with your VoIP provider.
Make sure that when you move, you update your new address with your service provider. Also make sure that you activate E911 with your service provider when you receive your VoIP phone. verizon voip
Keep in mind that E911 availability depends on your location, so you’ll have to verify availability with your service provider. Unfortunately not all VoIP phone services are compatible with E911, but most cable companies that offer VoIP phone service and independent companies such as Vontage, and 5 Linx (Globalinx) are compatible with E911
Most VoIP phone services include an adapter, but not all do, so be sure to check when comparing plans. Many services charge fees up-front for setup and/or shipping equipment.
Local number portability
Most companies allow customers to keep their original phone number, although sometimes it is not possible depending on the local service. Some services do not allow this at all.
Compatibility with other equipment and services
For now, not all home security systems, TiVo boxes and satellite TV receivers work with VoIP. That is why you may want to consider a VoIP service provider that has teemed up with other wireless and digital service providers to give you the option of having digital services that work along with their VoIP service.
5 linx (Globalinx) is the only VoIP service provider that offers a security system through Protect America (a leader in wireless security systems) that is completely compatible with their VoIP service. 5 linx has also partnered with Dish Network and Direct TV to give you more options to use with their service.
Multiple-line options are limited, since most services only allow one line per converter box, but some services have multi-line offers that are excellent for businesses that want to switch over to VoIP phone service.
Not all services support adding a fax machine. AT&T CallVantage, for example, does support fax machines. Vonage and 5 linx however, charge an extra $10 a month for a separate fax line. Check first if this is important to you.