Everywhere you turn these days, you are bombarded with some company claiming how superior their VOIP solution is for home use. You go into Best Buy and they are promoting one VOIP service, you go into Circuit City, they are promoting another one, then you get VOIP offers with your cable TV bill, your credit card statements, and even with your bank statement! How do you wade through all this marketing hype to find the truth about which VOIP service is best for you? |
Although to the tech-savvy consumer it is obvious, it is not obvious to all as to one of the very first things you need to have a good VOIP phone service at home, and that is a solid and reliable high-speed Internet connection. The VOIP carriers don't even mention that but rather they assume that you already have that and that the high-speed Internet service you have is solid and reliable. There is your first problem, which may disqualify you from having anything more than total frustration if you try to switch to VOIP.
VOIP actually stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, which means that you are making and receiving telephone calls from your high-speed Internet connection. This cannot be done using a dial-up connection, which makes almost no sense at all anyway. If your best option for high-speed Internet is satellite, you should also hang up thoughts of using VOIP since satellite can barely accommodate high-speed data, let alone voice communications. If you currently have satellite for your high-speed connection, you already know what I mean – don't even think about it for VOIP.
So let's say you don't use dial-up or satellite. Take a hard look at your high-speed Internet connection and evaluate it. Is it rock solid? Is it reliable? Keep in mind that this is going to be the core and foundation of your VOIP service, and if your high-speed connection is flaky or just barely marginal in terms of "high speed", your VOIP experience is going to be poor in best case. And this is NOT the fault of the VOIP provider you choose, since they have less than zero control over the quality of your Internet connection.
Beyond that, look at price and features. Don't pay a higher price because there are a load of features available that you will never use. The basic features of VOIP are unlimited calling within the continental US, voice mail, and call waiting. Do you really NEED more features than that? If so, you should take a long hard look at your requirements and determine how much extra you will be paying for those extra services, especially comparing against how often you will use them. More often than not, you will find that those additional services are not worth the extra that you will pay for them.
Like anything else, evaluate what you are spending your money on. Are you implementing VOIP to save money, or are you implementing technology for the sake of technology? When you consider that your traditional telephone line from the phone company is costing you about $25 per month just for dial tone, and that a good VOIP service can be obtained for under $17 per month for dial tone and all the long distance calls you care to make, your decision about VOIP starts to become quite clear. Try it, and you may discover that this is something you should have implemented a long time ago! For more insights and additional information about Home VOIP Solutions as well as reading our Editor's Choice picks for VOIP systems, please visit our web site at http://www.voipinsideinfo.com
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