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

Comparing VOIP to Conventional Long Distance Calling Plans

By: Leanne Tremblay

After trying several long distance calling plans over the years, we recently switched over to a VOIP system which provides us with tons of calling features and unlimited long distance throughout North America for one very reasonable monthly fee. We chose Vonage as our VOIP broadband phone provider.

Before signing on with Vonage, we subscribed to our local phone company for their $20.00 per month plan. This allowed us to make unlimited telephone calls, evenings (between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and all day on the weekends. This long distance calling plan worked out well for a while, until I ended up on sick leave from work, and found myself at home during the day with nothing to do.

Another option we've availed ourselves of is using a long distance calling code to get reduced rates, such as Yak. We simply dial a code and then the area code and phone number and our calls are rerouted through a discount long distance provider. The good thing with this option is that it doesn't interfere with any long distance calling plans already arranged for your phone line. It simply operates around the existing calling plan.

To avoid long distance charges when we've been between long distance calling plans, we tried setting up our web cams and enabled the voice options so that we could talk to my parents who live 24 hours away. Unfortunately, this system has it's glitches and even the kids grew tired of this pretty quickly.

VOIP broadband seems like one of the best long distance calling plans to come along in a long time. To be able to make long distance calls at any time of day or night and to not have to limit our calls to a certain number of minutes seems like the perfect solution, seeing as we are large users of long distance services. Even better, there is just one monthly charge with no hidden fees and you get all of the calling features rather than having to pick and choose among packages. I believe our monthly bill comes to $40.00 per month and that includes all applicable fees and taxes.

The next step is VOIP for cell phones (also called Wi-Fi cell phones), in which all the cost advantages of voice over broadband extends to the mobile user.

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