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VoIP Options

You have a lot of options available to you when it comes to choosing the best VoIP service provider. There are so many VoIP service providers out there, it can be confusing for someone who’s new to the technology to figure out exactly what they need when they start comparing VoIP options. At VoipReview, we want to make is easy for you to pick out the right VoIP service provider for your needs.

Factors to Consider in VoIP Options

When you are weighing your different Internet phone options, there are a number of different aspects and features that you will want to consider:

  • Type: Do you want business VoIP? Residential? Wholesale?
  • Scale: How many users do you need to support? How many devices will you need?
  • Cost: How much will it cost to implement your VoIP solution?
  • Feasibility: Is your selection a good fit for your home or office?
  • Extra expenses: Don’t forget about phones, accessories, and other potentially overlooked expenses!

If you are looking for a VoIP phone option for your office, you will want to check out business VoIP solutions. There are all kinds of business VoIP solutions out there. Most service providers who serve businesses will carry a small business VoIP solution. This will be a plan for a small number of users, anywhere from 1 to 100 users. Check out all of our business providers to compare providers by price and features.

voip savings

Business VoIP Costs

Business VoIP solutions are priced by the month and by the user. However, the more users you have, the cheaper the individual per user cost will be. For example, RingCentral charges $39.99/month per user for businesses with 1 user, while they charge $19.99/month per user for offices of 100 or more users.

Business VoIP plans generally cover unlimited calling within the US, US territories, and Canada under the basic plan. With most providers, there is no extra charge for long distance or per minute fees. However, it really depends on which plan you choose. Some business providers, like OnSIP, do charge per minute fees ($0.03/minute for long distance calls with OnSIP).

Check with your individual provider to find out how they charge for international calls. Some service providers include a certain number of international calling minutes for no extra charge, and some provide free calling to a certain selection of countries for no extra charge at all times.

If you do have to pay for any international calling, most VoIP providers have very low rates for calls to lots of international destinations. For example, a call from the US to China with Nextiva costs $0.02.

Calling between two subscribers with the same VoIP service is always free.

Residential VoIP solutions were designed specifically to suit the telephoning needs of a home or home office. This means that a home VoIP solution won’t be as robust as a business VoIP solution, but it will be perfectly suitable for the telephone usage for any average home.

Wholesale VoIP is an appropriate choice for anyone who is interested in breaking into the telecommunications industry. VoIP wholesalers basically redistribute VoIP service from major VoIP service providers to customers, businesses, call centers, resellers, etc.

With a wholesale VoIP service, you will basically be able to process and handle VoIP telephone calls as your own telecommunications business. However, you will still be dependent on the data center and infrastructure of a larger VoIP provider’s network.

VoIP Resellers

Often times, you can partner with a major VoIP provider (like VOIPo) through a partners program to become a VoIP reseller. VoIP resellers act as their own service providers, but they depend on the data centers and services of the larger VoIP provider. Basically, you get a certain share of the data center to use to provide service to your own set of customers. You act like a local telephone company, but you use the highly reliable resources of the larger company.

voip phone network

VoIP Options: Scale of your VoIP System

Before you choose a VoIP solution, you may want to consider the size and scale of the VoIP solution that you will need. In some cases, you may be right on the border between one VoIP solution and another. For example, maybe you own a very small business that operates out of the home. Should you choose a residential plan or a small business plan? Sometimes it can be difficult to know until you have actually tried on a few different services for size.

Or maybe you are interested in getting a new VoIP system for your large business, but you are also interested in getting a call center for your business. How should you best implement both of these solutions at the same time?

You should also be sure to compare costs between service providers. For example, your office size may fall right in between prices depending on different providers. For example, if you have an office size of 10, you may find some providers with services for 5-9 users and a cheaper service for 10-15 users. Another provider might have a service for 5-10 users, and a cheaper service for 11-15 users. You should be sure to do a thorough check for price differences and discrepancies in features and services between plans with these providers.

For example, Jive offers plans for 5-9 users at $25.95/month per user and plans for 10-24 users at $23.95/month per user. Nextiva, on the other hand, offers plans for $19.95/month per user regardless of the number of users.

Price is often the biggest differentiator between any two service providers. However, you should be careful before you immediately go for the cheapest service. When it comes to VoIP service, you definitely get what you pay for.

If you read through our customer reviews, you’ll notice pretty quickly that customers are often very happy with more expensive service providers. Many customers note that the quality of service is well worth the cost.

monthly calendar event

VoIP Options: Feasibility

If you are finding yourself a bit overwhelmed by a lot of new information, you may want to take a step back and think critically about your ideal VoIP solution. While you may like the idea of lots of features and extra options, you may in truth be better suited to a simpler system.

Conversely, don’t deprive yourself of a system with lots of great features that may really improve your phone system just because you feel overwhelmed by new information.

However, getting a new VoIP system does require a little bit of technical know-how. If you don’t feel comfortable with setting up your own service, or you don’t have a thorough understanding of your Internet service, you may want to ask someone for help before you settle on a particular VoIP provider.

Finally, you will absolutely need a high-speed Internet service before you get a VoIP service. Without a high-speed connection, your VoIP service won’t be able to work at its best, and you may find yourself very unsatisfied with a brand new, perfectly good service.

VoIP Options: Extra Expenses

Before you set the ball rolling on your new VoIP system, be sure you have an accurate picture of all of the expenses of your new VoIP system. If you don’t account for all of the possible sources of extra expense, you may not get an accurate picture of the real cost of getting a new VoIP system.

If you have never used a VoIP system before, then you may need to invest in some new equipment. For example, IP systems don’t work with old analog phones because old phones aren’t built to handle digital calls. You will either need to invest in some new digital phones, or you will need to get an ATA (analog telephone adapter) for the phones you already have.

If you are buying phones for your home, there are lots of cheap options available in simple 1-line IP phones. These phones start around $30.

voip settings

VoIP Options: Support Systems

If you haven’t recently updated your computers or Internet system, now may be the time to do so. Your VoIP system is only as good as your Internet connection, so it is worth your time and effort to get a really good Internet system. Use our Internet speed tester to see if your current system can stand up to the task of VoIP service.

High-speed Internet services are available from lots of companies and in lots of forms. For example, as of November 2012, you could get a high-speed Internet service with AT&T for around $40/month (with the AT&T U-verse). However, this is one of AT&T’s most basic high-speed Internet plans, so it wouldn’t be suitable for a business.

You will also want to be sure that you have a pretty good computer. A bad computer will hurt your VoIP service as much as a bad Internet connection. You can get a new Dell laptop for under $500, which will be perfectly suitable for a home VoIP system. The reason you need a good computer is because your VoIP service provider will give you a control panel by which you can manage your VoIP system. You will need either a computer, tablet, or other Internet-enabled device in to use your control panel.

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