Compare Residential VoIP Providers
There are hundreds of great VoIP providers out there, and they all want your business. Picking the right residential VoIP provider can be a bit overwhelming when faced with VoIP technology jargon and several residential plan options, but that's why we're here: to help you compare VoIP providers (like those VoIP provider's listed below) and make the best decision between residential VoIP providers for your needs.
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Use this list of questions about VoIP providers to learn what you need to know about VoIP:
- Do I have high speed internet?
- Right now, how much do I pay for phone service?
- How often do I call long distance?
- How often do I make international calls?
- What kind of payment am I comfortable with?
- Do I have the equipment that residential VoIP requires?
1. Do I Have High Speed Internet?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The most important factor when it comes to the quality of your residential VoIP is your Internet speed.
Test your internet speed here.
If your connection isn't good enough, it's not worth it for you to continue to compare VoIP providers listed below. You won't be able to make a satisfying call.
2. Right Now, How Much Do I Pay for Phone Service?
After finding out your connection speed, find out how much you pay each month for your current phone service. This will give you a good basis with which to compare voip provider's prices.
When looking at how much you pay for phone service, you should also consider what you get for what you are paying for.
Compare the number of minutes you get a month and how much you pay for those minutes.
Other questions to ask:
- How much do I pay for phone service?
- How much do I get?
3. How Often Do I Call Long Distance?
Residential VoIP customers can save a lot on long distance calls. VoIP makes long distance cheaper because the data for the call doesn't have to move through as many networks as a standard call.
Most VoIP providers offer a flat long distance rate for the continental US. Others offer unlimited long distance minutes.
You shouldn't pay more than 10 cents a minute for long distance. 5 cents a minute is an okay price. 2 cents a minute is very good.
4. Do I Make International Calls?
International calls work similarly to long distance calls with VoIP service. Instead of calling local to local within one country, you call local-to-local between countries. Residential VoIP can save you a lot of money on your international calling bill.
One thing to compare between VoIP providers (listed below) is how they offer international calls: most offer a certain rate per area per country; others, like ViaTalk or PhonePower, offer a certain number of minutes free per month to specific countries.
Softphone services, like CallCentric's IP Freedom, are also a great way to save money on international calls. VoIP providers don't usually charge you for using their network internally, so if you and your friends or family are on the same VoIP network, you won't pay for your call.
5. What Kind of Payment Am I Comfortable With?
Payment plans when it comes to Residential VoIP are difficult to decide between. Compare these options that VoIP providers may offer:
Month-to-month VoIP is more expensive, but is much more flexible. You probably won't have to pay a cancellation fee.
Contract VoIP is less expensive per month, but you have to pay up front for your service and you may be subject to a cancellation fee. VoIP providers listed below have disclosed their fee structure; make sure you check their website before you sign up. VoIP providers can change their prices or fees at any time.
6. Do I have the equipment that residential VoIP requires?
In addition to making sure that you have the proper internet speed, you need to check the equipment your VoIP provider requries. Compare providers based on the equipment they provide and require: you can find these details (which change frequently) on their websites.M
The common pieces of equipment a VoIP provider may provide or require are:
- An ATA (analog telephone adapter)
- IP Phone
A softphone is software provided by the VoIP company and used to make calls. An ATA adapts your current phone for use with VOIP. An IP phone is phone that you can directly plug into the internet to make phone calls.
You can compare voip equipment prices on our voip equipment page. If you have more questions, check out our FAQ.
If you're done shopping, click on the banner of one of the VoIP providers listed above. It will take you to their website.