VoIP Feature Comparison Chart
Compare the features offered by these top VoIP services
Here, you can compare features offered by each provider in one handy table. Don't understand what a feature is? Scroll down! Below the table you will find a complete description for each feature. Don't make an uneducated decision!
When you dial 911, your call is routed from your VoIP provider's network to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for your area. Consequently, 911 will know your precise location and will be able to respond to your emergency much more quickly. If you choose a VoIP provider that doesn't offer E911, you will be responsible for telling the 911 operator your precise location. And if you do have E911, and you move your telephone adapter to a location different than the one you registered E911 with, it is crucial that you update your information with your VoIP provider so that emergency services will always know where you are.
Caller ID allows you to see who's calling you before you answer the phone. It's compatible with any Caller ID-enabled touch-tone device. It's an excellent way to manage your incoming calls. Depending on the VoIP provider, CallerID also works with Call Waiting, displaying the new caller's identity when you hear the Call Waiting tones. Some VoIP providers offer caller ID with name, others just provide the caller's phone number.
Sometimes it's necessary to block your caller ID information when you place a call. Most VoIP providers allow you to block this information anytime on a per-call basis, simply by dialing *67 before each call. When the call is complete and you hang up, caller ID blocking is deactivated. Simply dial *67 before your next call to block caller ID again.
Call Transfer allows you to direct calls to anywhere you want in the United States and Canada. After you answer a call, you may have your call transferred to a phone number of your choosing. For example, your cell phone, your office phone or to any phone number in the United States and Canada. Your calls are transferred immediately.
*69 Last Caller Info allows you to dial *69 after any incoming call to hear the last caller's phone number, as long as it was not blocked. You can then return the call very easily.
In our experience, fax and Tivo service seems to work just fine with VoIP. Most VoIP providers claim that they don't "officially" support this type of use, although it works with their service. Most providers are working diligently on this issue and expect to offer official support in early 2005. There are reports of thousands of VoIP subscribers who are using their faxes and Tivos with their connection every day.
Most VoIP providers offer online account management so you can check your account at any time of day. You'll have access to billing information, call logs, and account features and functionality. Enable or disable features, listen to your voicemail, or even change your calling plan - any time of day or night.
Every provider listed on ordervoip.com offers a comprehensive voicemail solution. Gone are the days of paying your local phone company extra every month for voicemail service - it's included at no additional charge with VoIP. Most VoIP providers offer the ability to listen to your voicemail messages online, or even direct the messages to be sent to your email as sound file attachments. Now you can really get your messages from anywhere in the world - all you need is an internet connection.
Most VoIP providers offer customers the ability to keep their existing phone numbers and transfer them to the new VoIP service. You'll no longer have to change your phone number and alert your friends and family to the change. You can keep your existing phone number even if you don't live in the same area code anymore. Finally, it truly is possible to keep the same number forever! Some numbers, however, still are not transferable. Please check with the VoIP provider you choose to be sure you can keep your number.
Most VoIP providers offer customers the ability to choose their area code if they need a new phone number. Each provider has different availability, though most offer every major area code.
Most VoIP providers offer 'virtual' phone numbers which ring the customer's primary phone number. Now you can live in Los Angeles, and have a local New York City number for your friends to call. Best of all, this feature usually only costs about $5/month.
Most VoIP providers offer toll free numbers which will ring the main number. Now it's easy for your friends and family all over the country to dial a toll-free number to reach you. Best of all this feature usually only costs about $5/month.
Don Not Disturb allows you to type a code on your phone's keypad and have all calls go immediately to voicemail. Your phone won't ring during designated quite times, like dinner or bedtime.
Anonymous Call Block allows you to type a code on your phone's keypad and have all anonymous calls (those without caller ID information) be blocked -- no more telemarketing calls!
Don't miss any calls even if your Internet connection goes down. Depending on the provider, your calls will be automatically forwarded to the phone number of your choice in the event your Internet connection is disrupted or your telephone adapter is disconnected.
Currently, this is a feature available only with Vonage®. If you have multiple Vonage® phone numbers on the same account Vonage® Call Hunt rings your other line(s) when you're talking on the phone. Call Hunt immediately rings the caller to another phone number in your account. Whether you have 2 lines or 10, you can pick the ring sequence in any order you would like.
Features updated from providers' websites on June 14, 2005. They change frequently so please verify with providers' sites.