All VoIP service is cheap, but how do you find the cheapest VoIP service? This a how-to for finding that cheapest VoIP service.
This question has no simple answer because the cheapest VoIP phone service is subjective to the customer's call needs. The cheapest VoIP phone service for a residential customer is also going to be different than the cheapest VoIP service for a business customer.
Promotional offers that lower the monthly cost of a service plan can change which VoIP service is the cheapest VoIP phone services as well.
The best way to find the cheapest VoIP service for you is to identify your specific call needs:
- Are you using VoIP for a home phone or business phone?
- What kind of features do you want or need?
- Do you make a lot of long distance or international calls?
The first place to start, and the easiest choice to make, is distinguishing whether you need business or residential VoIP service. From there you can compare the particulars of the plans offered under that service type and find plans that will suit you.
Lastly, research the providers and read VoIP service provider reviews to gauge their customers' satisfaction with the quality and service.
Residential VoIP service providers offer competitive pricing and most are under $30 a month.
Residential VoIP service providers usually offer similar plans:
- One unlimited calling plan with unlimited minutes
- One or two limited (or metered) plans with a certain number of minutes per month
- An international calling plan (with lots of international minutes)
With all of these plans (no matter how many minutes are available), US long distance is almost always free. Sometimes, countries like Canada are included in the service plan.
If you can estimate the amount of minutes you use a month, you will be able to determine the most appropriate plan for your needs. The cheapest VoIP phone service plan will be one where you don't pay extra for overage minutes or minutes you aren't using.
The cheapest VoIP services can also come from promotional offers like the ones offered by Voipo, Phone Power, and ViaTalk. They offer a second year for free if you prepay for the first year. These offers make the monthly rate average between $5 and $8 for the two years, which are some of the cheapest VoIP service monthly rates out there.
Business VoIP service works differently than residential VoIP service. Monthly rates are charged per user and the total price of the plan depends on how many users will be using the entire system. The cheapest VoIP service for businesses is a hosted private branch exchange (PBX) system. A hosted PBX has a few functions in the business VoIP phone system.The cheapest VoIP phone service with a hosted PBX starts at $22 a user. A hosted PBX provides:
- An extension for each user
- Robust call features for each user
Check out our VoIP Call Features article to learn more about the basic and advanced features and how they work. You will need to have a good idea of which features are necessary for you, especially for business applications.
Residential VoIP services usually come with similar basic feature sets, but not all providers are equal. Compare the features so you know what you are and are not getting for the monthly rate. Ideally the cheapest VoIP phone service plan for the home will come with all the basic residential features at no extra cost.
Some of the basic residential features include:
- 411 directory assistance
- 3-way calling
- Auto forwarding
- Call block
- Call forward
- Call hold
- Caller ID
- Call return
- Call waiting (w/caller ID)
- Enhanced 911 service
- Speed dialing
The cheapest VoIP phone service for a business will likely depend on how many features are available for the lowest or best rate. Available business features include:
- Auto attendant
- Call logs
- Call recording
- Call queues
- Enhanced voicemail
- Faxing capabilities
- Find me/Follow me
- Music on hold
- Toll-free and virtual numbers
- Unlimited local calling
For some people, the cheapest VoIP service is a free VoIP service. This Free VoIP Services blog has compiled various VoIP services that make different types of free calls.