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Ten Tips For Choosing A VoIP Provider

Jan 27, 2008
What should you consider when choosing a VoIP provider? Read our simple tips before you make your decision.

VoIP phone service is a fast growing business. There are many VoIP companies in the market these days, but professional VoIP reviews are very few. Here are some simple tips to help you compare individual VoIP providers before making your decision.

1) Price - Many people look for the lowest price when choosing a VoIP provider. However, price should never be your first priority. With keen competition in the market today, price difference among individual VoIP providers is very small. You should consider other factors such as service quality, customer support, service plan options etc. After all, what is the point to get the cheapest service if you cannot receive a quality phone call?

2) Service - Look for quality and reliable service. The quality of VoIP service also depends on broadband connection speed. If you want to use some standalone VoIP providers, such as Vonage and Packet8, make sure you also have high quality broadband connection.

3) Customer support - The VoIP provider should provide good customer support including 24 hours phone support 7 days a week. If you encounter any problems while installing or using the VoIP service, you could have someone to help you.

4) Satisfaction guarantee - Most VoIP companies require you to sign a one year contract. It is better to choose a company that provides satisfaction guarantee or free trial. If you don't like their service, you can terminate it within 30 days without paying a penalty fee.

5) Company size - Large companies are often better run and have more sophisticated equipments and facilities than small companies.

6) Service plans - Some plans provide unlimited local and long distance calls; some even provide unlimited global calls to international cities. If you use the VoIP phone as a secondary phone line, you can sign up for some basic plans which give you limited calling minutes at a lower monthly fee. Choose a plan that is most suitable for your need.

7) Local area codes - Find a VoIP provider which can offer a local area code. Otherwise, your friends living in your area will be charged for long distance calls when they call you using an analog phone. However, if most of your friends and relatives are living in another area, you can also choose an area code for that area, so they will only be charged for local calls when they call you.

8) Additional features - Call forwarding, voicemail, call waiting, conference call, caller ID, call filtering are all very useful bonuses. Many VoIP providers provide these services for free.

9) E911 - Make sure the VoIP provider offers E911 service (enhanced 911), which allows personal information such as your name and address to be given to local dispatch center automatically during an emergency.

10) User reviews - Read some online customer reviews as a reference. However, bear in mind that these reviews can be tainted and the quality of VoIP service is affected by other factors such as broadband connection. If in doubt, call the VoIP companies to express your concern and ask for clarification.
About the Author
Kwan H Lo owns a review site providing information on the best ISP / VoIP providers and VoIP comparisons . Visit our site to read more about the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP service.
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