VOIP Voice over IP is another kind of phone service. I like my VOIP phone service. Instead of plugging my phone into the local phone company’s line, it plugs into my cable internet. I didn’t even have to buy a new phone to be able to use the service.
You need a quality high speed internet for this to work well. DSL or cable. Satellite does not work as well for voice. Your computer does not have to be turned on for VOIP to work. You can talk on the VOIP phone and surf the net at the same time, if you so wish.
If you disconnect your local service, your regular in house phone lines will be dead unless you hook them up to something else such as a VOIP line. It is possible to tie VOIP into your home’s phone lines, but you must disconnect your connection outside your home to the local phone service. You shouldn’t have to, but if they decide to run some random tests through your lines, it could mess things up. So you should disconnect to be safe. I recommend that you only do this if you know what you are doing.
Another option so that you can have several phones in your house tied to your VOIP service is to get one of those phones which comes in sets. One main phone you connect to your VOIP device, with one or more phone wirelessly tied in.
If your internet goes down, so does your VOIP phone. How dependable is your internet? If you go VOIP only, I advise trying the service for a month before cancelling your local phone service, then if your are pleased, but want only one, cancel your local service and see about porting your phone number over.
If your power goes out, your land line phone (local phone company) will also go out if your phones are the cordless ones requiring power. Tip to everyone, keep an old phone around that doesn’t need power if you don’t have a cell phone around. Several years back we had a massive ice storm Christmas day, many were without power for weeks, others were without phone service. Many who were without power only, still couldn’t make phone calls until they found an old fashioned phone that didn’t need power to work.
VOIP lines need power too, but because my cable modem and VOIP phone are both plugged into a UPS, they run on battery power during a power outage.
2 years ago I had 2 phone lines, dial up internet, 3 computers in the home along with 5 of my 7 kids. Our local service runs about $35 for basic service each line. I had a good dialup for $10 a month, total $80 a month plus long distance fees. My 2 oldest live out of town as do my brothers, sisters, parents.
I switched to cable internet and traded one land line phone for VOIP. I use the VOIP line for my business phone along with an 800 number. Faster internet throughout the house, unlimited long distance for about the same as I was paying before, works for me. I have a wireless router so all the computers in my home can now be online at the same time, and at a much faster speed. College kids are in and their laptops pick up the internet too.
I use Packet 8. Sometimes better than my regular phone line, other times I pick up faint echoes. My Packet 8 phone has some great features along with voice mail, and I’ve chosen to have my VOIP calls also ring to my cell. Both ring when someone calls my business line. If home I usually pick up my VOIP phone, but running errands, pick up my cell, when I don’t answer, it gets routed to voice mail.
My oldest son uses VOIP and cable, no land line phone. He had Packet 8 until he moved, Sunrocket was availble there, more features less money. He tried both for one month, Sunrocket service was much better for him. He also has a Cingular Go phone.
Lots of options, but which is right for you? Unlike cell phones, most VOIP providers don’t require a long drawn out contract with cancellation fees. Try VOIP out and see if it works for you.