Residential Voip (Voice over Internet protocol) enables you to make phone calls over the Internet from your home. This has made it possible for people to have several advanced calling features installed in their home phones at little or no extra cost. Their cost of calling too has come down by one-third to half.
Among the special features that come with a VoIP phone are caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding. The most important facility is number retention. This is especially useful for those who don’t want to lose their numbers when they move from one city to another. Besides this, VoIP phones can be configured to receive all facilities that come with web-based administration.
A VoIP phone, however, needs to be connected to a broadband line. This is important because broadband lines provide the necessary bandwidth to route voice traffic. Low bandwidth pipes not only suffer from traffic congestion, but also affect voice quality.
Today there are hundreds of companies that are providing home-based VoIP phones. You need to consider your needs before selecting a package. Fortunately, most service providers offer a variety of packages. You can select from a basic package with limited usage to an unlimited USA and Canada calls package or an unlimited business package. This will help you keep your phone bills in line with your needs.
Some of the leading VoIP companies are Verizon, Vonage, AT&T CallVantage, Lingo and Packet8. Almost all these services are rated high, and you don’t stand to loose if you move to them. However, there are several smaller VoIP companies too who may not provide a great service but charge much lower rates.
There are some disadvantages too in going for a VoIP phone. You may have to register your address for location identification to be able to make 911 calls. The service may stop working during power outages. Further, Voip services may not always offer white page listings.
However, these are minor inconveniences. The advantages are many more. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that the balance is tilted in favor of VoIP phones. It is only a question of time before VoIP home phones will replace landline phones altogether.