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Save money with an internet phone (VOIP) at home
If you are looking to save money at home, consider switching to an internet phone service rather than a traditional landline phone. If you haven't paid very close attention to your home phone bill you may be shocked at the price of it. This is especially true if you have your phone bill set to pay automatically. The good thing is, you actually do have options. You can get rid of your home phone altogether and use a cell phone, or you can go with a voice over internet phone (VOIP). I will focus on using an internet phone for all your traditional home phone needs, and more.
The very basics of how it works
With a VOIP home setup, typically an internet phone adapter is used with your home internet connection. In most cases, this adapter is provided by the VOIP company. The adapter connects to your internet line along with your router. The adapter does not interfere with your network and data can be transmitted to and from computers while you use the phone. Setting up the phone adapter is relatively simple. If you are not overly technically-savvy, make sure you have assistance with this, or that the company you use provides good technical support. With the adapter set up on your network, you simply plug your normal telephone into the adapter.
Many companies offer very competitive rates that may be significantly less than you are paying for your home phone service. Keep in mind that you will still need high-speed internet. So if you currently have a bundled phone/internet package, verify that you are still saving a lot of money by dropping your existing phone and switching to an internet phone solution. In my case, I was paying $90 a month for the lowest level of DSL offered by my provider, and a long-distance phone plan. I dropped both my DSL and home phone service with this provider and switched to another provider and bundled TV and internet with them.
I purchased my service form VOIPO.com and bought a two-year contract for $129 plus tax and fees. I estimate that I'm saving about $45-50 a month on my home phone service. Not bad at all. There is no sacrifice in quality and features, and saving $500 or $600 a year is fairly substantial.
One of the more important things for me was the fact that I was able to retain my previous home phone number. That way I didn't have to worry about sending out a new number to all my contacts. My home phone now features unlimited calling within the United Sates. Additionally, international calls are free as well. This isn't a big deal to me because I don't make international calls. But for some people, this alone, is a huge benefit.
The phone has caller ID, call-waiting, three-way calling, call forwarding, and call-blocking. Settings can be changed by logging into the VOIPO website and making adjustments. One of my favorite features is a voicemail service that emails recordings of my voicemails to me. This can be set up to go to multiple email addresses. That way, my wife and I both receive our home phone messages to our email and never miss anything. Another cool feature is that I can use my home phone number on my iPhone with an app called "Acrobits Softphone". This is a pretty neat feature. I can open the app up and make phone calls from anywhere as if I was using my home phone. I can also answer my home phone calls with it as well. This could be useful for a person that has a device like an iPod Touch that does not have phone service. Wifi, rather than cellular service, can be used with this app to make phone calls.
Overall, I have been very happy with my phone service. I have never used any others, so I can't speak about the quality of the others. Before locking into a long commitment with VOIPO, I decided to try it out for a month. I was very pleased, so I went ahead and signed up for the longer period of time. I haven't had any problems with my service yet. The calls are very clear and the features make it well worth the money. The best part is knowing how much money I am saving a month. I would recommend shopping around and doing a bit of research before buying a new service. Different companies offer different levels of service, and prices - and not all are highly recommended. In my case, I am very happy I made the switch.