The Quick Start Guide to VOIP for the Home, Home Office, and Small Business

Compare VoIP Services and Rates Before Deciding

The Voice over Internet Phone service is no longer an exclusive preserve of techies. Scores of telecom companies, cable companies and young entrepreneurs have set up VoIP services.

Each one claims to offer extra features and benefits, making it very difficult for a customer to decide. It is here that a comparison of VoIP sites come in handy.

At sites such as www.voipreview.org, you can visit and compare the VOIP phone service and prices being charged by different providers. The services that you should take a close look at are basic services, advanced services, voice mail, faxes, call blocking, web management, special calling, and customer service.

The most common services being offered by VoIP providers under the different service heads are:

  1. Basic Features: Call forwarding, international call forwarding, caller id by number, caller id by name, call-waiting, call-waiting caller id, disable call waiting, distinctive ringing, repeat dialing, return dial and three-way calling.
  2. Advanced Features: Call Transfer, conference bridging, simultaneous ringing, sequential ringing, secondary virtual phone number, additional service lines, toll-free numbers (incoming), MS Outlook integration and softphone support.
  3. Voice Mail: Retrieval of voicemail from telephone handset, phone number for external retrieval, retrieval via web interface and receiving of voice mail via e-mail
  4. Fax Functionality: Support outgoing/incoming faxes, receive faxes via voice mail, and a dedicated fax line.
  5. Call blocking/filtering: Block outgoing international calls, block outgoing 1-900 calls, block incoming anonymous calls, do not disturb notice. This also includes blocking of telemarketing calls or selective blocking and selective forwarding via e-mail of filtered calls
  6. Web Management: Modify basic/advanced features, obtain detailed call logs, activate order/cancel features/services, activate click to call facility, and provision of web interface that is compatible with non-IE browsers.
  7. Special Calling: 911 Emergency calling, 411 Information, free in-network calls, free calls to external VoIP networks, Cable box/SatTV/Tivo compatibility
  8. Customer service: Technical support via telephone, technical support via email, web-based technical support and account management by telephone.

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