I know a lot of people who gave up their landline because they didn’t want to pay a monthly bill for a phone they were rarely using. Now, they solely rely on their cell phones. By contacting your internet service provider like Verizon or Megapath, you can increase your internet for minimal cost while improving the quality of your online calls; an added benefit to cutting your landline.
If you’re looking to save money by giving up your land line, consider Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers like Vonage, Skype and magicJack. To use these services, you must have access to a computer with Internet and contrary to popular belief, some allow you to make emergency 911 calls. Below is a price comparison of their services and a description of how they work.
A phone, high speed Internet and Vonage adapter is needed to use this service. Before purchasing the equipment, log onto their site to test whether the speed of your Internet connection is ideal. I have DSL and my Internet did not pass their Internet speed test. To receive or make incoming calls, your computer doesn’t have to be on. You can make local and long distance calls, and make emergency calls. Some plans cover international calls. Vonage World includes calls to Italy, France, Spain, United Kingdom and Ireland. Vonage Pro includes calls to 60 countries including Mexico, China, Russia and more.
The magicJack is a USB adapter you connect to your computer whenever you want to make calls. After plugging in the magicJack you’ll be able to make and receive calls only when your computer is on. Voice mail and call forwarding will work when your computer is off and your magicJack is plugged in. Voice mail will receive an incoming call if your computer is off and your magicJack is plugged. You can call 911 with magicJack, but you won’t be able to make a the call in case of a power outage.
To use Skype, you must download the free software to your computer and create an account. Like Vonage, Skype has several plans. For a full list of prices, visit their website. Below I’ve compared Skype’s most popular plans. I’ve used Skype for free before to make video calls and send instant messages. I’ve used it from my laptop and cell phone (the Skype iPhone app lets you check voicemail remotely). You cannot use Skype to make emergency calls.
Google Voice – We’ve got the skinny on how Google Voice works, too.
At $40 for the first year and $20 per year after that, the cheapest route is magicJack. This option precludes international calls, instant messaging, and video calls, however. Vonage has the highest cost, but does not involve computer downloads and you can make good use of your existing touch tone phone. Skype carries a moderate price, but you’ll be tethered to your computer for calls and will need to buy a headset if you don’t already have a compatible one.
Which plan suits you? These companies usually have specials so check their sites often for free trials.