Home phone services that use VoIP let you make unlimited local and long distance calls within the U.S. and Canada, in addition to international calls at low rates.
There are many VoIP home phone service providers who offer a variety of call plans for residential calling needs. VoIP home phone services usually let you make unlimited local and long distance calls within the U.S. and Canada, as well as international calls for as low as 1¢ per minute.
Home Phone Features
A typical home phone system includes the following features:
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- 3-way calling
- Call forwarding
- Call blocking
- Softphone access
- Do not disturb
- E911 service
How a VoIP Home Phone System Works
You can install a VoIP home phone system fairly easily. The service provider normally ships a pre-configured adapter and/or router to connect with your high-speed Internet and your home phone. An analog telephone adapter (ATA) converts regular phone calls into data so that you can make phone calls through your Internet connection.
For the most part, you can use your phone once it’s plugged in. Some settings may need adjustments to increase call quality and bandwidth. Other home services may require software installation or registration before managing phone calls.
A home phone system lets you keep your current phone number to make calls from home over an Internet connection.
Typical Service Plans of VoIP Home Phone Service Providers
Most home phone call plans include unlimited calling in the U.S. and to Canada for a fixed monthly price. On average, fully-featured, month-to-month home phone service plans cost about $20 a month, not including fees like taxes, 911 service charges, and other regulatory charges. The cheapest home phone services can cost as little as $5 a month. But make sure that these cheap home phone systems include the features you need.
Many providers offer unlimited long-distance with their plans, which saves customers the trouble of having to purchase long-distance phone cards. Furthermore, most providers offer unlimited calling to other subscribers with the same service.
Examples of VoIP Home Phone Service Providers
Before you select a home phone service provider, make sure you examine ratings and reviews of home phone system options before making a purchase order.
Also, you can use the providers listed above and below to compare to your current phone service to make sure that you have the best service for the price.
VoIPo offers a residential phone service that costs $15 a month if you do not want a contract. A 2-year plan costs $5.38 per month.
Ooma Telo is VoIP home phone service providers that offer free Internet calls. This company requires a plug-and-play adapter that enables residential VoIP service for users with a high-speed Internet connection.
In the June 2012 issue of Consumer Reports, Ooma received the highest score for phone service for the second year in a row. To use Ooma, an initial charge of $199 (in addition to nominal fees and taxes) is required to purchase a routing and adapter device called Ooma Telo. There are no monthly fees to use the unlimited local phone services, but Ooma offers fair use limit of 5000 minutes a month.
On the other hand, Consumer Reports said MagicJack received poor ratings on reliability, call quality, and customer service. However, the cost of this service is the cheapest option for local and long distance calling. To use this service, users must purchase a routing device for $69.95. The first year of service is free with the purchase of the device, but additional years of service cost $29.95.