Previously I described how I implemented VoIP for our home phone. It’s pretty easy. If you’re comfortable setting up a wireless router, you can set up VoIP.
We’ve been on VoIP for a month now (using voip.ms as our provider) and really love the service. Here are our favourite features:
- CHEAP – $0.99 – $1.99 per phone number per month, then a penny a minute for any call. If you want to be able to dial 911 from your phone, that’s an extra $1.50 / month. Our phone bill has dropped from $45 / month to $8 / month.
- works like a traditional home phone – if you get an ATA (analog telephone adaptor), you plug in your home phone and it works and feels just like a regular phone.
- call quality is excellent – VoIP bandwidth is about 100 Kb / sec. If you have a decent high speed internet connection, call quality won’t degrade even if you’re streaming Netflix at the same time.
- voice mail, call display are free
- emails your voice mail messages – this is probably our favourite feature. No need to ever “check your voice mail”. The system will email your voice mail as an attachment (.wav file), and you can listen to it directly from email.
- make phone calls from anywhere in the world (with an internet connection) – Very useful feature if you’re travelling. Need to call home, family, friends, school, etc while travelling? No problem. Still only a penny a minute.
- no such thing as “long distance” – all calls cost the same (a few remote areas / countries cost a bit more)
- any phone number or additional phone numbers in cities across Canada / US are just $0.99 – $1.99. This is really useful if you have cheap friends or relatives who refuse to call you because of long distance charges. Get another phone number in their city (for 99 cents / month), and it’s a local call for them. Your home phone can be connected to any number of phone numbers.
- can usually keep your number from Rogers / Telus / Shaw / Bell / etc. and move it over to your internet phone provider. This is called “porting”. It took 6 business days to move my number over from Shaw to voip.ms. Cost is a reasonable $10.
If you have any questions about VoIP or are considering it, feel free to ask.