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.