Phone service is a catch-all term for making and receiving telephone calls. In the past, phone service providers offered customers around the country use of their telephone networks. Phone calls were routed over those networks by an operator for a monthly subscription fee or a certain fee per minute – sometimes both. Phone service still works the same way – you pay for the ability to make and receive calls. So what's changed?
In the 1960s, analog phone networks were upgraded to digital networks. This means that the phone networks send data instead of the actual sounds themselves, which made the phone network much more efficient. As digital technology and modern computer technology improved, phone companies altered their service to take advantage of those improvements. But the most recent, significant breakthrough in phone service technology is the increased availability of Internet phone service, also known as VoIP. (VoIP stands for Voice of IP. IP stands for the Internet, in general. Got it? Good.) Pretty much, VoIP allows you to make a telephone call over the Internet.
Although the technology for Internet telephone has been around since 1995, Internet phone service wasn't useful or widely used until 2004. There were two contributing factors to VoIP's massive growth: increased availability of broadband Internet and a VoIP service provider named Vonage.
By 2004, broadband Internet was widely available. Because of its speed and high connection quality, broadband Internet made Internet phone calls a viable alternative. Vonage (Read Vonage Reviews), now one of the largest VoIP service providers, partnered with Circuit City and garnered massive exposure with an accompanying national advertising campaign.
In the wake of Vonage's success, the VoIP boom was born. Hundreds of VoIP companies and Internet phone services launched every day, it seemed. Each offered great rates, excellent connectivity, and superb customer service. Sadly, most VoIP companies folded a few months later: Internet speeds weren't fast enough; calls, when they were intelligible, were dropped; and customer service was lousy. Sometimes, VoIP services went out of business without notifying their customers, who didn't find out until picked up the phone. It was not a good time to be a VoIP user.
VoipReview.org was founded to help disillusioned VoIP customers find the right phone service to meet their needs. It also helped those upset customers vent about their problems with their VoIP services. Fortunately, technology and VoIP products improved, along with the quality of the VoIP experience. Calls connected and were crystal clear.
Nowadays, VoIP phone service is serious business. The chaff has been separated from the wheat, indeed. Reputable providers, such as Jive or ITP, will compete for your business with a variety of customized plans. All of those listed below will go the extra mile to help you get the right phone service.
Comparing VoIP services is one of the best ways to find the best VoIP phone service for your needs. Use the table below, or our residential or business comparison tables, to compare VoIP services and find the best service to meet your needs.