The widespread use of broadband and the low prices for VoIP calls, mostly cheaper than conventional phone service, have attracted huge customer base for VOIP phones in recent past. There are still many people in USA who are using other phone providers and international calling cards.
For the people with a existing phone service (landline) the question is "Should I switch to Vonage leaving regular Phone Service?". In this post I am trying to do a comparison between VoIP & Regular phone service and bring several points to consider over one or the other.
When you are thinking about keeping a home phone these are two option which you may need to consider.
1. The Regular Home phone (e.g. ATNT,Comcast)
- Voice quality is good.
- Availability is 99.9%, which makes it most reliable for 911 calling in case of emergency.
- Not cheap anymore, when compared to the VOIP phones.
- International calling is too costly therefore you may need to go for an additional calling card service. (e.g. Airtel,Rebtel,Union telecard)
- Not as easily portable as VoIP phones.
2. The VOIP phones (eg. Vonage)
- Are much cheaper for local and international calling with unlimited calling options. (e.g. Vonage World Plan comes at $24.99 a month and lets you make unlimited calls inside USA and many other countries including India.).
- VoIP is portable. Its just matter of reconnecting your VoIP adapter to internet in your new home. Some people have tried doing it outside USA as well and it works.
- VoIP services offer useful features you just can't get with a regular phone. (e.g. adding a secondary virtual number, manage your account online, receive voicemail messages via e-mail)
- Most of the providers have unlimited minutes plan.
- Will not be available if your internet is down. This may be a big downside when you think about calling 911 in case of an emergency and phone is down due to some problem in internet.
If you have a cell phone then you may consider using it always instead of this phone.
- Voice quality may be poor as compared to regular phone service. though, this may not be always distinguishable you may suffer during high internet usage.
- Audio delays are higher then regular phone service.
- The type of broadband service used with VoIP affects your service. DSL is proven to be the most VoIP reliable method. Cable modem scored highest in call quality.
Its clear from above comparison that there are certain trade offs in choosing one or other service. Now that we have this comparison it makes it much easier to decide. Here are few suggestions based on the above comparisons.
- If you already have a Regular phone service and want to add an extra line then you must take Vonage World plan as this is going to be much cheaper and flexible as compared to regular phone service.
- If you want most reliable service to be always able to make 911 calls then go ahead with Regular phone service.
- If you want to make cheaper international calls then you should consider Vonage World Plan first.
- If you stay in a rented apartment and keep moving to different addresses in a few months/years then you should consider Vonage due to its extreme flexibility.
- IF you are using calling cards for making international calls and your expenses are going above $25/month then you should consider Vonage as it will fix your expenses to $24.99 with unlimited international calling plan.
Recommendation for existing customers
Existing Customers who are paying $24.99/mo or more should definitely try Vonage World Plan. If you previously had unlimited USA calling plan then it will be smarter to move to World Plan at the same rate. Checkout my other post about how to switch to "Vonage World Plan"
Please share your experience and comment if this review helped you.
If you are thinking of buy Vonage plan, I recommend using my referral link(Vonage World Plan) this way we both can enjoy 2 months of free service.