Voice over IP (VoIP) has become ever more popular for both business and home use. Until recently this technology was still very expensive to implement making it less viable for home users. But VoIP adapters have become pretty inexpensive and there are many providers that offer very reasonable services to home users. There are a few things to consider before you just sign up to the first service you find, that can ultimately really save you some money.
Cheap Is Not Always Best
These days there are new VoIP providers popping up almost every week. There is huge competition and some of the packages are often too good to be true. The first thing to make usre is that you do not tie yourself into a contract. While there are some really cheap services, they can often show signs of reliability issues and also provide low quality of connection. There really is no point spending any amount of money if the service provided is below par or not usable at all.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider the cheapest providers, but you should certainly check out customer reviews and also see how long the company has been in operation. If they have a long history and good customer reviews then a cheap service may work out really well. Bu also be careful to look out for hidden costs like minimum monthly usage which can catch out a lot of people.
You could sign up for the cheapest call charges but then be landed with a bill that is topped up to get you to a minimum spend. This can also happen with prepay services, where you top up an account on a regular basis. Some providers have time limits on the account top up, so you can end up losing some of your credit.
A great way to make big savings is to sign up to service packages. These generally include certain amounts of minutes to local, national and international destinations, as well as to cell phones. If you tend to use the phone a lot then this can be a great way to really bring down costs. Just make sure you work out what your previous couple of months’ average usage has been. There is no point in signing up for a package that provides more minutes than you need and also costs more. Unless of course you plan to make more calls.
A really simple way to compare providers is to list out all the rates for the type of calls you make. If you make a lot of international calls then check the rates for the countries you call most. These are most likely going to be the most expensive calls you make and often are where you can save the most amount of money.
If you like using spreadsheets then you can create a table with your most commonly called locations, along with your average monthly minutes to those locations and then add in your current rate, along with the rate for different providers. With some simple cell calculations you can then work out how much of a difference there is in the various providers.