VoIP phone systems for your home or business can help you save money. Choose a phone system that offers reliable, user-friendly, and scalable call services.
There are a variety of different home and small VoIP business phone systems.
In a small business, you need office phone systems that enhance customer service and increase employee productivity while saving money. You need an efficient system that can handle frequent and large volumes of calls from clients or suppliers. The best VoIP phone systems are ones that provide a toll-free number, support multiple simultaneous calls, and offer unlimited long distance and local calls.
As a home phone service customer, you need a residential VoIP phone system with simple and easy to use functions.
Features of VoIP Phone Systems
A residential phone system may not offer as many features as a business phone system, because only a few functions are needed for home phone calls. For example, call routing, auto attendant, visual voicemail, and a dedicated business line per extension are probably not necessary for a home phone.
Depending on which system providers you choose, there are some providers that offer the same features for both their residential and small business packages because the same type of phone service is used for both plan types.
Residential VoIP Features
Features of typical residential VoIP phones:
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Call transfer
- Call waiting with caller ID
- Call forwarding
- 3-Way calling
- Caller ID block
- Call return
- Do not disturb
- Anonymous call block
- Repeat dialing
- Call hunt
- Ring lists
- 411 calling
Business VoIP Features
In addition to the residential phone features, business phone features include:
- Auto attendant
- Virtual assistant
- Conference calls
- Call handling
- Custom greetings
- Dedicated business line
- Search dialing
- Mobile applications
- Dial-in access
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Visual voicemail
Factors to Consider in Purchasing VoIP Phone Systems
Certain factors matter more for business-oriented VoIP customers than for residential ones. It is up to you to figure out which elements of a phone system matter to you.
Scalability matters for both business and residential VoIP phone systems. Whenever a customer needs to add or remove a phone line or extension, it is important that this process is quick and easy to carry out. Service plans—for businesses especially—need to offer the ability to add users and extensions without an additional setup charge (you should expect to pay for another extension/user).
Mobility is essential for business VoIP phone systems, which need to connect employees in different offices, out on the road, and at home. The ability to connect to the phone system from anywhere with integrated devices is crucial to staying competitive. In addition, businesses need VoIP phones that are easy to set up in case an office needs to relocate.
Reliability is important all around. If a service provider does not have a high uptime guarantee, then you will not be able to manage calls or keep your business going. Look for service providers that use redundant servers, redundant routers, redundant Internet connections, and upstream carriers to provide a dependable VoIP phone system service. Also, a reliable technical support desk should be available 24/7.
Usability is also essential for both residential and business customers. Not only does a phone itself need to be user-friendly, the control panel and online administrator portal needs to be practical and easy to use. Even more, VoIP providers need to offer an extensive online knowledgebase so that customers can troubleshoot or configure their phone system.
Costs of Phone Systems
Domestic VoIP phone system providers usually offer a flat rate pricing structure, but it depends on the provider you choose The cost of a phone service for a residence or small business is at least $5 and up per month for a one-year contract. Some service providers include the phone hardware itself, if needed, but this depends on the company and service you choose.
Phone.com offers a VoIP small business plan for $9.88 a month for a one-month contract. The plan includes one free phone number, unlimited greetings, call routing, host conference calls with up to 99 attendees, and customizable greetings.
Vonage offers both domestic and business. Their unlimited calling residential plan is $9.99 a month for local and long distance phone calls in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. The price is only for the first 3 months, so it is $24.99 per month for a one-year contract.
An small business calling plan from Vonage costs $49.99 a month for unlimited calls.