The Bottom Line: Compare VOIP Providers
There are numerous voIP providers out there, not all are created equal. They offer different pricing plans, different methods of connection and a variety of services and features that vary from carrier to carrier. While it is a buyers market, the buyer needs to be smart and compare voIP providers before buying.
There are a ton of places to compare voIP providers. The providers themselves offer a plethora of online content that goes over their benefits and features, their pricing structures and infrastructure. However, checking the providers themselves may not be the best place to start when you want to compare voIP providers.
Good technology websites will offer a great place to compare voIP providers. Whether is is a home or a business voIp provider you are looking for, these sites offer impartial reviews and comparisons that can make your shopping easier. CNet is a good place to begin as well as sites such as consumer reports. You may also want to check your local better business bureau on companies that provide the service.
Cost versus Features
The two items most important when you compare voIP providers are cost and features. Sometimes one will hold sway over the other, but the best providers will offer a balance of great features and competitive prices. Look for bundles of services as well as flat rate long distance when comparing. If you are paying by the minute you are probably paying too much.
Also, be sure that features such as call waiting, call forwarding, caller id, etc. are included in the up front price and not individually priced. These services should be all inclusive. The best companies will do just that.
Know What You Need
If you are just looking for basic phone service, it may be best to go with a phone based system You can compare voIP providers that provide this service and go with the cheapest. The quality will not vary much since all of them are basically using the same technology. There is virtually no difference in how a call sounds over a voIP line and a traditional landline so you can look more at value.
If you have a business or work from home you may consider a combination of phone based and computer based service. Services such as Skype offer both voice and video capabilities and this may be important for conferencing. However the computer based services are not a good alternative for everyday phone service because they are limited in how you can use your phone number and they do not provide 911 identification. Still a combination of services may be the best way to go.
You should take your time when you compare voIP providers. Great deals are out there, but they may take some research. With care you can be satisfied and secure knowing you have gotten the most bang for your buck.