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Compare Top Rated Residential VoIP Providers

There are a number of top-tier VoIP providers in the market, and all of them have various pricing tiers, features, promos, and more to garner your business. So picking the right residential VoIP provider for you can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you are faced with VoIP technology jargon and multiple plan options. But VoipReview makes it easy to compare VoIP providers so that you can make the best decision for your residential calling needs.

What questions should I ask myself before comparing residential VoIP providers?

Use the following questions to help clarify your VoIP shopping process:

  • Do I have high-speed internet?
  • How much is my current monthly phone bill?
  • How often do I call long distance?
  • How often do I make international calls?
  • What kind of payment and/or contract type am I comfortable with?
  • Do I have the equipment required for residential VoIP?
residential home phone keypad

What is Residential VoIP?

Residential VoIP is an Internet-based voice service for your home.

Residential Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a telephone service that utilizes your home internet connection to route calls. Instead of using the traditional copper wires associated with a Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), VoIP converts your voice into data packets, sends them over the Internet, and reassembles them into high-quality audio on the other end.

With residential VoIP, you can even use your existing telephone to make and receive calls. Ask if your residential provider offers a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Then, all you need is an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) to connect your phone to the router, Ethernet hub, or switch to start making low-cost calls. Select providers will offer included equipment free of charge or allow you to rent it for a nominal fee.

A big advantage to choosing a residential VoIP system is its ease of use. Most residential providers offer plug-and-play systems that can be setup within minutes. Additionally, these residential service providers offer support in the form of phone, chat, and online knowledgebases so that you have access to all information and multiple troubleshooting options.

residential home green icon

How Do I Know If My Internet is VoIP Capable?

Run a speed test to see if your broadband connection is qualified for a residential VoIP service.

The most important factor when it comes to the quality of your residential VoIP is your Internet speed. Your broadband speed is important because it will determine whether or not you are qualified for a VoIP service. A poor broadband connection will result in a low-quality call. With a bad connection, you will be affected by things like jitter, packet loss, and bad voice quality. It is important that you test your broadband connection ahead of time. You can test your connection with our Speed Test to see whether or not your setup is VoIP-capable.

Typically, a broadband connection will show 600 kbps for the upload stream and 5000 kbps on the download stream. It is standard for your upload speed to be less than your download speed. The upload speed is also the limiting factor and determines if you are capable of making VoIP phone calls.

Test your internet speed with our innovative Speed Test. Be sure to use this test while you are hardwired, and not while using a WiFi connection, in order to get a more accurate reading.

Unfortunately, if your connection isn't strong enough, you will need to sign up for a faster internet service before you can begin shopping and comparing VoIP providers.

standard residential home phone device

Do I have the Equipment that Residential VoIP Requires?

Residential VoIP needs an existing Internet connection and a VoIP-capable phone to properly function.

In addition to making sure that you have the proper internet speed, you need to check the equipment your VoIP provider requires. Compare providers based on the equipment they provide and require: you can find these details (which change frequently) on their websites.

The common pieces of equipment that a VoIP service requires includes one of the following:

A softphone is a type of software provided by the VoIP company that is used to make calls. An ATA enables your current phone to be used with VOIP and is most commonly used when you BYOD (if your provider offers it). An IP phone is a phone that you can directly plug into the internet to make phone calls.

Additionally, some residential VoIP providers offer either free equipment or a BYOD option. Check with your provider for specifics.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Residential VoIP, browse through some of our select providers in the table above. Click on the individual logos of one of the VoIP providers listed above to be redirected to their website, or click the number of reviews in order to read specific reviews about that provider.

calling long distance with VoIP

How Often Do I Make Long Distance Calls?

The number of long distance calls you make will determine the type of residential VoIP calling plan you choose.

Residential VoIP customers can save on long distance calls due to VoIP's affordable calling rates. Using a residential VoIP service makes long distance calling cheaper because the data doesn't move through as many networks as a standard call.

In fact, most residential VoIP providers offer unlimited long distance minutes with their calling plans. If you do not have frequent calling habits that demand an unlimited plan, some providers charge a low per-minute rate for all calls for both local and long distance calls (normally with a Metered or Pay As You Go plan).

Additionally, select providers offer free on-network calling regardless of location. This helps customers save big on long distance and international calling. Check with your provider to see their long distance calling charges.

telephones overlay on world globe

How Often Do I Make International Calls?

When compared to traditional phone services, residential VoIP providers offer competitive international calling rates.

International calls work similarly to long distance calling with a 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 residential VoIP providers is how they offer international calling. Most providers offer a certain rate per area per country. You can find these international rates listed on the provider websites. Other residential VoIP providers will offer a certain number of minutes free per month to specific countries. And select residential VoIP providers will also offer residential customers a global or international plan, too, with unlimited international calling to select countries (country set depends on provider).

Softphone services are also a great way to save money on international calls.

Usually, VoIP service providers do not charge for you to use their network for internal calls (also referenced as "on-network calling"). So if you and your friends or family use the same VoIP provider/network, then you can make those calls free of charge, regardless of your location.


What Kind of Payment Am I Comfortable With?

Residential VoIP offers pay as you go, metered, month to month, and long term contract payment options.

When it comes to Residential VoIP, it can be difficult to know which payment type you are most comfortable with. Compare these options that most VoIP providers offer:

  • Pay As You Go
  • Metered
  • Month-to-month
  • Contract

Pay As You Go plans allow you to use only what you pay for. If you use your phone infrequently, this is a good option for you. Add features, extensions and more for additional charges.

Metered plans are very similar to Pay As You Go, in that you pay a per-minute charge for your calls. However, Metered Plans come with all of the call management features that business VoIP providers offer.

Month-to-month plans are more expensive but much more flexible than either Pay As You Go or Metered plans and are offered by top-rated providers like ITP and Vonage. With month-to-month, you will not be tied into a long-term contract, and can cancel anytime. Depending on the provider, cancelation fees may apply. You also receive a full feature set with your month-to-month plan.

Contract plans can be less expensive per month, but you have to pay up front for your service. Oftentimes, you can negotiate for a lower price, free hardware, or more when you sign a long-term contract with a VoIP provider. 

The VoIP providers listed in our comparison tables have different plan options, which can be viewed either through the information tool tip or on a provider's details page.  However, please make sure you check on the provider's website before you sign up. While we try and give you the most current information, VoIP providers can change their prices or fees at any time.

traditional residential phone flat icon

How Much Do I Pay for My Residential Phone Service?

By switching to VoIP from a traditional phone service, you can save on your monthly phone bill.

After finding out your current broadband connection speed, assess how much you pay each month for your current phone service. This will give you a good basis with which to compare residential VoIP pricing. And when looking at how much you pay for phone service, you should also consider how much you get for what you are paying.

What questions should I ask when comparing VoIP to my traditional residential phone service?

Ask yourself the following questions about your current phone plan:

  1. How much do I pay for residential phone service per month?
  2. Am I tied into a year contract?
  3. What is included with my residential service?
  4. What features does my phone provider offer?
  5. How many minutes do I get a month?
  6. What am I charged for long distance and international calling?

These questions will help to clarify the decision-making process and show you how VoIP can give you more for a fraction of the price of traditional phone service.

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February 14th, 2018 - nataliejeangilbert
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David did an excellent job pulling this all together. He patiently worked with me personally until everything was set up. He was absolutely awesome.

February 12th, 2018 - orbisapp

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