Save Money by Installing Your Own Voice Over Internet Phone Service!
VOIP saves me lots of money! I can send faxes and I don’t have to give up call quality or convenience.
Note * Prices have gone down drastically since I first wrote this article.
Note ** AT&T started doing strange some things so we have now switched from AT&T to Vonage.
I am a relief pharmacist. I don't work at any one pharmacy location on a regular basis. As a result of that I can be called just about any time to go to work in one of several different pharmacy locations. I always felt that I needed the security of a regular landline type of telephone service.
I am a very cautious person. I had been hearing about Voice Over Internet Phone service for quite a while - how inexpensive it was. But, I also had heard that it was not dependable and that you couldn't send faxes without having some sort of special software or other device attached to your computer.
I have to fax a timesheet in to my headquarters at the end of every week. This is very important because I can work several different places and the hours can vary considerably. Also, some of my travel is reimbursable so I have to add that to my time sheet as well.
I passed on the VOIP and started using a discount provider - basically a reseller of landline phone service -because the cost of my regular phone service had gotten completely out of hand. Even with that the bill kept creeping up until it was over $50.00 a month, even before any long distance charges or taxes were figured in. I am old enough to remember when any phone bill over $20.00 was considered to be exorbitant.
I finally couldn't take it anymore. I had to take a chance. I signed up for AT&T's VOIP service. I figured that AT&T might be a little more expensive, but they should be a quality player in their field.
First I had to disconnect the landline from the phone service box on the outside of the house. That was easy. It was just a matter of taking off the cover and using a screwdriver to disconnect the wires that went into the house.
I took the VOIP modem out of the box that the phone company sent me. It was called an AT&T CallVantage Service VoIP Telephone Adapter. It actually was a Centillium CT-BX-MTA1-AA. I played the installation CD and followed the directions. I hooked the phone modem to the cable modem on my computer. That was easy enough. When I got done, which was probably an hour after I began, everything worked, as it should. I called the phone company and they did something on the other end and, voila, a dial tone. I was up and running.
I also installed a wirless router that I bought from Office Depot at a pretty good price, to include all of the other phones in the house. We have four or five phones, not counting cell phones.
I was pleasantly surprised when I sent a sample fax. It went through without any problem - so much for the rumor that you couldn't send a fax using VOIP.
After a short period of time AT&T refunded the cost of my modem, so I got that money back.
Now I have a plan with unlimited local and long distance calling that costs me less than $31.00 a month after taxes.
There is only one inconvenience that occurs fairly regularly. Sometimes when there is a sharp line voltage change, it triggers something and I have to let them know that I haven't changed the location of the phone or my address for 911 purposes. That just takes a minute or so to by selecting the proper response to a voice message.
In Charlotte, North Carolina you can figure that this is going to happen two or three times a week, especially in the summertime. It doesn't even have to be caused by thunderstorms or other problems with the power grid. It seems to be a fact of life around here.
I installed an APC Battery Backup ES series system and we hardly every have any problems with line voltage any more.
I have been using the VOIP for over three years now. I can only remember not having service three or four times. Twice it was a problem with the VOIP modem. I learned how to reset it. A couple of times it was a problem with Time Warner. In that case you just have to wait until they get their cable repaired. My wife and I both have cell phones now, so that really isn't much of a problem anymore.
We haven't had to give up anything in quality or service. In the end, switching over to VOIP has been painless and a whole lot less expensive.
We are saving at least $50.00 a month. Go ahead. Give it a try to see how much money you can save!
Click on the link below If you are like me and like to save money:
The links listed below should be very helpful. Most of what you need to know in order to install it yourself, or with the aid of a how-to-friend, should be here.
Video How to Install A VOIP System
More by this Author
The Tornado - A few years ago, on a hot Sunday afternoon in August, I came as close to death as I ever care to.
You could miss seeing a mountain lion a broad-shouldered Brown Trout or one of the most beautiful homes in the world, if you drive too fast through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
My new swing produces longer straigther golf shots and is similar to Steve Stricker's 'quiet hands' swing.