We would all like to lower our monthly bills and one way to do it is by getting an “internet phone”. More than half of internet users now have a high speed connection. Using this connection, you can very easily have an internet phone that uses VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology. Your older providers like Qwest, Comcast, Verizon, Centel etc have charged you so much per month, $60 or more, and you are up against the wall and they keep raising their prices! Some are now even offering you “digital phone service” themselves. If you currently have a land phone line that services both your phone and your internet, check to see if you can have just data line just for your internet service and drop the “phone service” part of the bill. I did and cut mt bill from $54/month! So check out the available services below to see what is an alternative for you. I have helped my clients as well as myself save monthly on the phone bill.
1. Magicjack. It is CHEAP yep that is the word. Mostly good it has some glitches but you can’t beat the price. $40 the first year and $20 every year after that for all your local and long distance calling in the US.
Pros are you can send this to relatives outside the country and they can call you using their Magicjack for that $20 per year. If you place a call outside the US to a land line, their rates are super low and for $10, I’ve been calling my friend now for two years when they are in France. BTW the calls overseas are super quick and amazingly clearer than a land line with a calling card. Go figure.
Cons… You don’t get to pick your phone number, you can’t port a number (at least not yet) to magicjack and your computer has to be on to make and receive calls. Occasionally it has glitches and is best used plugged into a USB port directly on your computer. There seems to be more problems if you are plugged into a powered hub and that hub can’t have any other power hogs on it like an external drive.
2. VOIPO.com This is what I recommend to my business clients. You can even port your old telephone number over to it including your old 800 (toll free) number! It is a great solution for a business. The cost is $18 monthly or if you pay a year at a time $99/year ($136 with taxes and fees) which breaks down to about $8 a month. You do have to have an additional port available on your modem or you have to buy a router to use with your high speed internet modem as this service comes directly off your modem and not your computer. The plus is you don’t have to have your computer on to use your phone. You will be sent a linksys telephone adapter to use with your phone. Most businesses like this as they already have a phone number established and therefore don’t have to change their number much less their stationary or business cards with phone numbers. Now an additional feature with VOIPO.com is that if you have a business hosting account with hostgator.com ($14.95/month to host multiple domains with free SSL license) you also get a free 800 (toll free number) with Voipo.com. Great phone setup for your business! See www.voipo.com
3. There are several others… Vonnage with their world coverage now for $24.95/ month. Skype has stepped up to the plate to add similar features like voipo.com. So I would also check both of these out as well.
Like all internet phones though faxing is a hit or miss event. Most if not all internet phones do not provide faxing or are not equipped to fax. You can try it with your internet phone by lowering the baud rate on your fax machine and a few other tweeks but internet phones were not built to fax as it is a different technology. Though in this day and age that is what scanning and emailing is for. Some things you can still fax by using electronic faxing services.
So if you want to cut those monthly phone bills at least by half if not more read up on these solutions and give it a shot! Keep more of your money and spend it on something you really need it for.