Internet Phone Service for home offices and small companies

by Jeff Wiener on September 7, 2009

internet phoneThis is a guest post written by Cyril Bird. Cyril’s contact info can be found below.

We are witnessing several marvels in today’s electronic world – particularly in the field of communications. High-speed broadband services and technological advancements in voice and data compression are making conversations possible without a telephone network while reducing communications costs.

It is a fact that large organizations have increasingly started using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for their phone needs. Individuals, home offices and small businesses are using a combination of landlines and cell phones for business communications. For home offices and small offices, there are today quite a few options when it comes to setting up business communications facilities.

Landline replacement services are offered by several local broadband providers. They either replace or bypass the exterior connection from the phone company. You continue to use the existing phones, and there is also no change in phone number. As a matter of fact, you are not even required to be a broadband subscriber. All that is needed is you should be within the broadband service area of your service provider.

VoIP services are indeed attractive as compared with traditional landline service as you can enjoy unlimited calling facility for a fixed monthly fee – apart from enjoying several features like voice mail, call waiting, caller ID etc. One serious limitation is broadband phone service will fail during a power outage unless you as well as your broadband provider have a working battery backup.

Vonage V-Phone offers direct landline replacement and there is no need for a computer. The device is called a V-Phone, which is a flash drive with a headset jack and plugs into a Windows XP computer. The V-Phone has limitations as it only works with wired headsets and with PCs and does not fully support Windows Vista.

MagicJack is a competitor to V-Phone. Like the V-Phone, Magic Jack plugs into the computer’s USB port but has a phone jack at the other end so a regular telephone can be used. Service plans include an incoming phone number, and unrestricted outgoing calls to the U.S., Canada and other MagicJack users. Many standard features such as caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding are included. MagicJack has the same drawbacks as V-Phone as it requires the computer switched on. MagicJack runs on Windows XP, Vista and Macs.

T-Mobile, a mobile phone service, offers two VoIP services to subscribers. T-Mobile @Home is a landline replacement service. It also requires an existing broadband Internet connection, and a special router purchased through T-Mobile. The @Home service has features like call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, three-way calling and voice mail.

T-Mobile also offers subscribers a HotSpot service for cell phones. This service allows your cell phone to place and receive calls over a Wi-Fi connection. Calls made or received through a Wi-Fi connection are free and are not subject to deduction from your monthly allotment of minutes.

Skype is universally popular. Skype enables making and receiving calls using the computer. Skype can work with a dial-up Internet connection instead of broadband. Skype requires a computer for setup and usage, although special handsets allow Skype calling over most Wi-Fi connections. You can install Skype on your computer, plug in a headset with microphone, and talk with other Skype users anywhere in the world while connected to the Internet. If you have a webcam, you can also indulge in a videochat.

The Internet Phone Service that is best suited for you depends on your specific requirements. If you want total reliability for calls and consider 911 important, traditional landlines are still best. If you want simplicity with savings, then look at landline replacement services. If you are a frequent traveler or make many international calls, consider Skype, MagicJack and Vonage V-Phone.

About the Author:
Cyril Bird is a copywriter for Internet Phone Service, Toll Free Numbers and Virtual PBX. He has written many articles in various topics like Answering Service, 800 Numbers and Internet Fax Service. For more information visit: http://www.ringcentral.com/

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