The Product

VOIP Phone Systems

With the rise of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone technology and the availability of high speed broadband connections, the shift from traditional landlines to (VOIP) providers such as Vonage is becoming a popular trend. Now some of the phone manufacturers out there are joining the party, providing ‘Vonage ready’ phones and hardware.

Recommended
Vonage VOIP Phone System
Vonage VOIP Phone System
Pros
  • Includes digital voicemail and 24/7 access to call logs via the internet
  • Allows you to keep you phone number for life since everything is set-up digitally
Cons
  • If used as your primary phone, you must register your address with vonage so they know where to route a 911 call in case of emergency

Although there are several VOIP service providers out there, Vonage has established itself as the leader. I have been a Vonage subscriber for several years and have been very satisfied with their VOIP service. When the technology first came out, there was certianly the occasional dropped call, but nowadays they have become as reliable as any hardline that I've had in the past. Their pricing plan is very competitive at $24.95 a month where you can usually get the first few months reduced or free as a new sign customer. They offer all of the same services as traditional phone companies such as caller ID, 3 way phone calls, call waiting, etc, but since it ties into your internet connection, they also offer digital voicemail and 24/7 access to your call logs via the internet. Vonage (sometimes mistaken as Vontage) also allows you to keep your phone number for life since everything is setup digitally and doesn't require the same area specific settings that traditional phone lines do.

The way a Vonage or any VOIP phone connection works is pretty simple. All you need to do is plug the VOIP Linksys phone adapter, or similar device, directly into your modem and it uses your internet connection to transmit the phone call. Some current models even work off a wireless network and don't require being plugged directly into your modem. After plugging the phone router into your existing broadband modem, a wireless network is then broadcasted specifically for your phones, allowing you to place the handsets anywhere in your home. Each phone also has a small charger base.

Devil's Advocate:

If price is a real major concern, there are other VOIP providers such as Skype that work more like applications for your computer than phone services. They allow you to call other computers (known as a 'peer-to-peer' connection) for free and to call cell phones/landlines for a small rate. These programs, however, don't posses the same phone-like quality and they experience a much higher rate of dropped calls.

The other major concern with using a VOIP service is how it handles emergency 911 calls. If this is your primary phone, make sure to register your address with Vonage so that they will know where to route a 911 call in the case of an emergency.

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