Cheap Home Phone Service
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I have been pretty apalled at how costly my monthly cell phone bill has become. I have two of the most basic phones and yet I pay over $80 per month for our minute and text plan. Remembering how cheap home phone plas yused to be, I've began considering getting a landline for the house.
Was I ever in for a surprise! Some of the phone companies wanted as much as $30 per month for a basic, local-calling phone plan. Ouch.
So I started researching. And I found some real cost-effective home phone plans. Some of them as low as $4 per month!
Whether you have a small home business, have kids at home that you need to reach, or are just looking for that additional line, here are the 3 best cheap home phone service providers.
Lokking for a cheap business phone service? Check out my Voip For Small Business Squidoo lens!
image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net
You'll Need An Existing Internet Connection
All of these plans that we review use the amazing new technology called VoIP that enables you to easily conduct phone calls over your internet connection.
You'll get your very own phone number (or transfer an existing number) and you will make and receive phone calls using a standard phone -- You don't need a computer and no funky headsets required!
It is recommended that you have an internet connection of at least 256 kb/s
#1 - Voipo
$185 for 2 years
It took me awhile to find Voipo. They are one of the newer players in the world of cheap home phone service and they do not spend as much on advertising as a lot of their competition does. Hence, their cheaper rate.
The thing I like about Voipo is that they are a true, all-inclusive package. They don't make you buy your own home-telephone equipment (other than a phone), and they have California-based support to talk you through any setup issues.
Plus, they maintain their own forums, so if you really want to rant about something, you can -- and their CEO will contact you personally to get it straightened out.
Your phone service from Voipo comes with all of the trappings: voicemail, call waiting, 3-way calling... so you aren't limiting yourself by switching to their service.
Plus they let you transport in your old number, or they can set you up with a local number.
image courtesy voipo.com
#2 - Ooma
$150 Equipment Costs + about $5 per month
Ooma was one of the first home phone service providers to offer a quality product at an affordable rate. Initially, the plan was that you would buy the box and then the phone service was free for life. Unfortunately, federal rules changes, so now they are required to charge certain taxes to their clients.
The taxes vary by state, but for me it was about $4.30 per month. Not shabby for a home phone service.
Ooma is generally considered to be the #1 home service provider. They are cheaper than Vonage, they have no contracts, and their sound quality is way better than MagicJack and Nettalk combined.
As with Voipo, Ooma comes with all of the basic features such as Voicemail, Caller Id and Call waiting. One of my favorite features is that you can program it to text your cell phone if the home phone dials 911. That way you can immediately know about an emergency at home as soon as 911 does.
For an extra $10 per month you can add premier features such as free calling to Canada.
Really, Ooma offers such a solid package, that it is hard to beat. Especially if you want to use their instant second line feature or are looking for a long-term phone provider.
For the most cost-effective setup I would recommend buying a new Ooma box from Amazon since you typically get the best value, and then just call Ooma to activate it. (stay away from used Ooma boxes, since Ooma charges a stiff re-activation fee)
image courtesy ooma.com
#3 - Nettalk
About $50 for device and 1st year!
Nettalk was another one of the front-runners in the world of Voice-over-internet systems. Designed to compete with the MagicJack that plugged into your computer and allowed you to make calls over the internet, the Nettalk was designed to work with -- or without -- a computer.
The added flexibility quickly made Nettalk a favorite, and MagicJack has been playing catch up for sometime.
Nettalk is significantly cheaper than the other options we present here, and you typically get your first year with them free for the cost of the Nettalk device.
The downside with Nettalk, is all of the complaints. Sometimes it just disconnects for no apparent reason and you will have to restart the device. Other times it connects, but it's quite crackly. (On Amazon, 40% + of the Nettalk reviews are 1- and 2-star reviews compared to less than 12% on the Ooma)
But, if you need a cheap way to make out-going calls, the Nettalk is where it is at.
Cheap Home Phone Devices On Amazon
The Best Home Phones
If you are using an internet phone, it's important to either use a corded home phone, or one that is DECT 6.0. The DECT 6.0 is designed to work without interfering with your local wi-fi network. This is doubly important if your phone relies on your wi-fi network to carry your call!