VoIP is rapidly becoming the communication method of choice due to its reliability and cost effectiveness when used with a high speed broadband Internet connection. VoIP allows you to convert your computer to a phone and route your telephone calls over the Internet instead of a conventional telephone line.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are very inexpensive when you compare the charges you rack up with your traditional telephone service. This is why VoIP communications is the preferred method for making phone calls plus, with some VoIP services you can talk to the other person face to face using your web cam.
So if you are looking to use a VoIP service to cut back on costly telephone bills, here are five key ways that you can compare VoIP services to ensure you choose the one that is appropriate for your needs. It may help to make a chart so you can compare different aspects of VoIP services.
Reliability is a ‘must have’ when it comes to using VoIP. If you already have a high speed broadband connection then you have a head start on reliability. Anything slower than broadband Internet will result in a lot of headaches and a connection that is highly unstable. The VoIP service that you choose should also have a track record for delivering consistent service. This also means the software interface you must install on your PC to use the service.
As you research different VoIP services you will find that each service is slightly different and offers an array of different features which change the functionality. Make a list of all the features you are getting for the price that you pay to ensure that you are receiving the services you need. This will also help you to eliminate services you are paying for but will never use.
Some of the features that you should look for in VoIP services include call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, call blocking, local number portability and faxing capability. Some of the more advanced functions might include anonymous call block, redial, call transfer, speed dialing, repeat dialing, contact list storage, and much more.
Check to see what type of technical assistance is offered and what type of troubleshooting support is available to subscribers. Most quality VoIP services should provide online support in addition to phone support. If you are a do-it-yourselfer the VoIP service should also offer an online help section where you can look up the necessary troubleshooting steps you should take to resolve a specific problem with the service.
Also, check consumer reviews on the service to see if the technical assistance you receive is easy to follow and understand. If you are unfamiliar with VoIP technology complex tech support may not help you resolve the problem.
Although most VoIP services are quite inexpensive it does not hurt to take the time to compare costs. The cost of VoIP services can be as little as $5.99 per month and range to over $20 per month however, some services offer a specific amount of minutes for these prices where others offer unlimited access. Also, some of the VoIP services include long distance calling where others only offer local calling and charge extra for long distance and international calls.
User Friendly Interface
Although VoIP is pretty straightforward once you install the software it still helps to have an interface that is user-friendly and trouble-free. Make sure you have the assistance you need if you run into a problem and the VoIP service is willing to answer all of your questions pertaining to the installation process.
These are some of the criteria in which you can base your comparison of VoIP services to use over a residential broadband connection.
What about Mobile VoIP Services?
Mobile VoIP services are slightly different than the VoIP services we described earlier in this article. Instead of routing your phone calls over a high speed broadband connection in your home the calls are routed over the broadband connection provided on a cellular network. All you need is your cell phone or other mobile device with a high speed Internet connection.
So, does it make sense to use mobile VoIP on a cell phone if you already have a subscription for making calls? Actually, yes it does because by using your high speed Internet connection to make calls with a VoIP service you are cutting back on the number of wireless minutes you use up in your cell phone plan. The other way mobile VoIP makes sense is if you place a lot of long distance or international calls.
When you place an international call by routing the call over an Internet connection your VoIP service will place the call over the Internet to the person located in another country who has a local number. The rates are very inexpensive when the call is routed over the Internet to a local number in another country.
Just like comparing VoIP services for use with your home broadband Internet connection you can use the same criteria to compare mobile VoIP services offered by multiple providers.