With most of the featured VoIP services, you can check your voicemail from any web browser in the world? Or, messages can automatically be sent right to your email account. Imagine being able to check your voicemail at the same time as you check your email. That's cool!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. While this may sound confusing, it simply means using your internet connection to carry your phone service. The quality is as good as or better than traditional phone providers, and much more advanced due to all the new features and technology. But, best of all, it's much less expensive than old-fashioned phone providers!
You simply connect your broadband Internet connection to the phone adapter that is provided to you by the VoIP provider you choose, and then connect your telephone to the phone adapter. When you make calls, your voice is routed through the adapter to the internet. You can't tell that you're talking over the internet, and the person you're talking to can't tell, either. The only things you notice are the clarity of the call and all the great features that come with the service. Oh, and the reduced phone bill is hard to miss, too!
Will VoIP save me money?
Yes! You'll save a lot of money over your traditional phone service. As a rule, VoIP is much cheaper than traditional phone services. This is not just because of the cost-effectiveness of using the Internet to route phone calls, but also because of current government legislation that favors Internet phone companies. Recent changes by the FCC mean that individual states won't be able to restrict VoIP companies since they are not classified as phone companies, and this saves everyone money. And as the technology becomes more mature, prices are expected to continue to fall.
What do I need in order to use an internet phone/VoIP system?
All you need is a broadband internet connection (DSL or Cable) and the appropriate hardware as determined by the VoIP provider you choose, usually a phone adapter box provided by them and a standard network router supplied by you (contact your provider for assistance in selecting a compatible router, and visit our router page to buy one at a great online price). Once you receive the hardware from your provider, you’ll simply follow simple instructions to hook it all up. Once everything is connected properly, you’ll be up and running.
Can I give up my normal phone line if I sign up for VoIP?
That depends. Most VoIP customers do indeed give up their normal phone lines once they have their new Internet phones active, for lots of reasons. First, the savings most people enjoy by replacing their normal phone lines with an Internet phone are considerable, and increase even more when the savings from long distance and international call rates are considered. Second, the features most Internet phones offer are remarkable – most of which normal phone providers can’t even come close to offering. There is a downside to an Internet phone, however. Because the system relies completely on your broadband connection (and therefore, electricity) in order to function, the system won’t function in the event of a power failure. The standard telephone line, by contrast, doesn’t require electricity to run, so it will always work in the event of a power failure. These days, however, most people own mobile phones, so there’s usually a backup phone to use if the Internet phone is down.
Can I keep my current phone number?
Yes. Virtually all the VoIP providers allow you to keep your existing phone number. After subscribing to your new service, you’ll have to complete and sign an authorization form and fax it back to your provider. They’ll take it from there and initiate the number transfer process. This process can take several weeks, and you’ll be notified when it’s complete. In the meantime, while the number is in limbo, your provider will assign you a temporary “virtual” number that will ring your new phone line until your existing number is transferred.
Will the Internet phone line sound the same as my normal phone?
Yes. Internet phone providers have spent millions of dollars on research and development and have fine-tuned their hardware and services so that their sound quality is indistinguishable from that of a regular phone. Consequently, most Internet phone customers can’t tell the difference between their new Internet phone line and their old standard phone line. Because the Internet phone relies on your Internet connection, it can occasionally experience some quality degradation if there are network problems from your Internet provider. This situation is rare, however, and most Internet phone services experience an extremely small amount of downtime and interference.
How do I make calls with my Internet phone? Is it different than my normal phone?
Depending on your provider, making calls isn’t any different than what you’re already used to. Some providers require that you dial a ‘1’ and the area code for every call, even if the call is local. Other providers permit standard 7-digit dialing for local calls within the same area code. International calls are made using the same dialing pattern as your normal phone. Whatever the requirements, you’ll quickly become accustomed to the dialing requirements and love the savings and features.
What features does my Internet phone include?
All of them. Seriously. Most Internet phone services include just about every feature you can think of. Aside from the standard stuff, such as caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, and voicemail, there are lots of advanced features that you probably didn’t even know you could get! Imagine having your voicemail messages forwarded to you as attachments in email messages - you can listen to your messages no matter where in the world you are. Imagine forwarding your calls to your mobile phone (or any number in the world) and paying virtually nothing for it. Imagine having a number with any area code you desire, no matter where in the country you live – you can now have local numbers for friends and family in other cities, and have the calls forwarded to your home phone in any city. Imagine having access to accurate logs of all calls placed and received, anytime you need them just by logging into your provider’s website.