You’ve seen the advertisements. You probably know at least one person who has tried it, but is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a.k.a. Internet phone or digital phone, for you? Let’s face it. Your traditional phone service works pretty well, so why switch? The answer is best planar magnetic headphones.
Let’s start with the basic monthly plan. The average monthly residential Internet phone plan is approximately $25/month. Business plans are roughly double the residential rate. Usually included within this price are loads of free features like voice mail, call waiting, three way calling, caller id, and call forwarding. Traditional phone service ranges from approximately $15/month to $60/month depending upon add-ons, long distance, taxes, and surcharges. Internet phone service may be for you if you are on the higher end of this scale. Moreover, many cable companies offer Internet phone service as part of a bundled package- Internet, television, and home phone service on one bill. This combination may prove to be very cost effective.International calls are extremely cheap with Internet phone. Rates can start from around $.02/min., depending upon the destination country. Also, some calls may even be free. For example, if you subscribe to XYZ Internet phone service, and you call a friend overseas who also subscribes to XYZ, the call should be free. You can even take your Internet phone service with you when you travel.
If you have a wi-fi Internet phone, you should have service wherever there is a wi-fi hotspot worldwide. Or if you take your hardware with you (i.e. telephone adapter, router, IP phone), you should be able to use your service wherever there is a broadband Internet connection available. Thus, frequent travelers or people with overseas relatives and friends would greatly benefit from Internet phone service.Business owners stand to benefit the most from switching to Internet phone service. High long distance volume, systems integration, phone number mobility, and local market presence are the main reasons why. First, businesses have inherently high call volumes, especially domestic and international long distance. VoIP should lower these expenses, lowering monthly overhead. Second, VoIP is highly flexible and meshes well with other business applications. Third, businesses spend thousands of dollars annually on advertising, and those dollars are wasted if a phone number has to be changed. VoIP allows a business to keep the same number regardless of location.
Closely related is the issue of local market presence. With VoIP, businesses can have a local phone number but be located in a different city, state, or country. The cost to you is just a local phone call. Despite the many benefits of VoIP for businesses, there is one major concern – security. Since voice conversations travel via the Internet, VoIP systems are susceptible to the same perils as your computer (i.e. hackers, viruses, etc.). Small to medium sized business are less of a target than larger businesses. However, all businesses utilizing VoIP should have up-to-date security software and contingency plans in place to minimize the threat.