Mar 06

Use VOIP to Save Money on your home phone service (Introduction)

Yesterday I posted an article on how to update the firmware on the¬†Linksys/Cisco PAP2T Phone Adapter. Some might have said, what in the world is he posting that for? How about saving money? Is that a good enough reason? It is for me! ūüėé Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of articles on how to save money with your phone service by switching to a VOIP provider.

I stopped using my land line from Verizon long ago. I switched to Vonage (a VOIP provider). Vonage works fine and all but the price keeps going up. My last monthly bill from Vonage was $29.81. Much better then the $45 or so I was paying for my Verizon land line.

The good news is that right now I am testing two different VOIP solutions.

For company one, I am paying $0.99 (yes 99 cents) a month to have a DID (Direct Inward Dialing) phone number. Each incoming call cost only $.0100 (yes 1 cent) per minute Рbilled in 6 second increments. For outgoing calls the rate is $.0125 for Canada and US 48. There are very inexpensive international rates available. I do pay an additional .08 cents for each Caller ID lookup on incoming calls. So, for this company, if I go on vacation and do not use the phone my monthly bill is $0.99 (99 cents). I do not have e911 on this account. Voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, and numerous other options are included free.

For company two I am paying $1.95 a month for my DID number. I am paying $0.015 per minute for incoming calls and $0.0198 per minute for outgoing calls with caller ID included. I do have e911 active on this account ($1.50 per month). The only other fees for this account is NY State Sales Tax. No other fees! If I went on vacation and did not receive or make any calls the monthly bill would be $3.45. It has all the bells and whistles free as company one. You can receive up to three incoming calls at the same time with company two.

Company two has a very nice and easy to use website. I had everything up and running in minutes. The voice mail system of company two is superior. Company two has an online phone book feature that I really like. Company one¬†has some awesome “power user” settings. I like both companies at this point.

With Vonage you receive a phone adapter for free (this connects the internet to your analog phone) but it is locked to Vonage. The two companies I am testing out have a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. You buy ($49.00) the phone adapter (like the Linksys/Cisco PAP2T) and configure it to use their system. The nice thing about this is you can always switch providers easily, if you need to.

In January, here at home, we used 155 minutes incoming and outgoing time total and we paid Vonage $29.81. With company two my bill would have only been $6.52 plus sales tax (8.875%) which is $7.08 total for the month – I like that.

I will report back when I have completed my tests. I will pick a winner and show how to make the switch and save money…