VoIP uses your existing high-speed internet connection to allow you to make and receive phone calls to any phone in the world. After registering for service, you will be sent a small device called an Analog Terminal Adapter (ATA, Phone Adapter, or Gizmo) that plugs into your home network. You will then plug a regular corded or cordless telephone into the ATA adapter. All VoIP calls are carried over the Internet until each call needs to be directed to a regular phone line. This allows you to save money on local, long distance, and international calls. When you sign up, you are also given a new phone number that others can use to call you on your new VoIP service. You will then be able to keep this phone number, no matter where or how often you move.
How well will VoIP work at my home or office?
The voice quality of VoIP is dependent on the speed and quality of your internet connection. We recommended testing your internet connection before deciding whether VoIP will work well for you. We also suggest running the test several times using the farthest "test city" available from your area. If you consistently receive a 3.5 or higher score, you probably will be satisfied using any Voice-over IP service.
What do I need?
A high-speed Cable Modem or DSL Internet connection (Cable Modem usually performs better) A home router to share your broadband connection (such as Netgear, Linksys, or D-Link, etc) The Analog Telephone Adaptor (ATA) which will be provided by the VoIP company A home router is a device that allows you to share your Internet connection with multiple computers or devices. Many of these home routers cost as little as $30.00 to $50.00 and allow you to have a home network in minutes. The ATA device, shipped to you once you sign up for service, turns your Internet connection into a phone network. If you are using this device with a home router, you just plug it into the network and turn it on to get started. Advantages of VoIP compared to traditional phone service Substantial savings compared to traditional phone service Regular local phone service is not needed for VoIP The ability to move anywhere in the world and keep the same U.S. number Detailed online tracking to monitor your account activity Unique phone features that are not offered by traditional phone providers Video conferencing is offered by several providers with select plans Disadvantages of VoIP Depending on your internet connection, voice calling may not be as clear as traditional phone service The loss of phone service if you experience power outages or internet service interruptions A high-speed internet connection is needed (DSL, Cable Modem, T1, etc)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you place a call with VoIP?
You make a call just as you would with any other phone, except that you always dial 1+AREA CODE+NUMBER, even for local calls.
Where can I use VoIP from?
Anywhere you have a high-speed connection, just plug in your ATA device
Can I use my computer while I talk on the phone?
Does my computer have to be turned on?
No, but your high-speed Internet connection needs to be active.
How many phones can I hook up to the ATA device?
The ATA device has two phone jacks which allow you to connect two regular corded or cordless phones.
How do I receive phone calls through VoIP service?
Pick up your phone when it rings :)
Are there any taxes and fees?
While each company may charge a federal access fee, taxes and fees are significantly lower than traditional lines. Tax information can be found in the "plan details" section of each plan.
Can I transfer my telephone number to the new service?
Some VoIP plans allow you to transfer your existing number to the new service, however we recommend accepting a new number to expedite your order.
Can I take my phone adapter with me when I travel?
Yes. You can take and use your VoIP service wherever you travel as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection available.
Can I use your service with my home alarm system?
Yes, you can. But we recommend that you keep a basic telephone line to support your home alarm system.
I thought internet based phone (VoIP) calls would be free?
In theory, calls made completely through the internet have little or no cost. But, as many people have realized, it’s not practical to call another computer. Almost everyone still uses landline or cellular phones to receive incoming calls, which means these services have to complete the call through a traditional phone network. Therefore, the VoIP company has to pay termination charges to the phone company.