VoIP providers come in all sizes. For this review, we have selected traditional VoIP providers and cloud-based providers like Skype. Before digging into the top 10 providers, let’s throw some light on VoIP itself.
Introduction to VoIP
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and it’s a method of making calls via the IP on your internet. It is also known as IP Telephony PBX PBA Doha Qatar, broadband telephony or internet telephony. At the most basic level, a VOIP involves encoding the voice signals into digital signals which are then transmitted over the internet.
Over the course of time, the way in which voice signals are transmitted has evolved. It all started with a simple point-to-point connection between devices. Then, the concept of switching was introduced that enabled routing of calls to multiple devices by using an operator to switch to a user’s phone and connect the call to an incoming line. Later on, digital circuits were introduced to automate the switching function, hence making it simple for the user to make or receive calls. When VoIP was introduced, it simply changed the way voice was transmitted over long distances. Voice was encoded into digital signals and transmitted via the internet. The encoded signal was decoded at the receiving end to let the recipient hear the voice of the sender.
Residential VoIP vs. Landline connection
VoIP for home is less expensive than having a landline. It does not matter if you are living in a 3-story house or a small apartment, you can save money on a VoIP. Landline services haven’t yet been able to compete with residential VoIP providers in terms of price and features. The landline companies charge you tax, service charges, and hidden fee. Residential VoIP plans can reduce your phone home bill by 50 percent each month. You can save even more with coupons, sign-up bonuses, and monthly specials. It is like a dream come true for bargain hunters. Also, landline phone systems are stuck with copper wire and exchange infrastructure. This is a legacy system that most phone companies are not willing to upgrade. Digital communications, on the other hand, are committed to adopting new standards as they come.
Features of Residential VoIP
Features offered by Residential VoIP service providers differ from one provider to another. But all of them offer a common set of features which homeowners are looking for in the service. Given below is the list of these features:
Voicemail: Voicemail comes with a bunch of important components that also differ from one service to another. Voicemail-to-email feature sends an email notification to your email account with or without the attachment of the original voicemail message. Some providers also offer a voicemail-to-text feature that lets you send a text version of the voicemail via email.
Call forwarding: The call forwarding feature lets you forward a call or voicemail to another phone or cell phone. Most providers offer forward options like always forward, call forward busy, call forward no answer, and call forward selective.
Hunt Group: This feature is also known as follow me/find me or sequential ring. It allows you to have a number of phone numbers, each ringing a preset amount of time until the next one rings.
Three-way calling: This feature allows you to talk to two different people at the same time by adding the second caller into the first call. It’s also known as conference calling.
Blacklist: This feature allows you to place a number in ‘Always Reject List.’
Anonymous call rejection: All incoming calls without Caller ID will be automatically rejected.
Do not disturb: This feature sends all calls to voicemail automatically without making the phone ring.
Caller ID: Caller ID can be divided into different types like inbound, outbound, name or number.
Music on hold: Whenever a call is placed on hold, this feature plays re-recorded music.
Virtual Phone number: It is an additional number that rings on your existing primary number. You can choose this number in the location where you would like the callers to be able to benefit from local dialing.
Online control panel: You can manage your VoIP account through your web browser. This control panel allows you to order additional services, set calls, listen to voicemails, check call records and more.
How to choose a residential VoIP service provider?
Getting a VoIP provider is way different from subscribing to iTunes or Netflix. Picking the right one can be hard since there are so many to choose from. Below are a few things you must consider before choosing a residential VoIP provider:
The right VoIP provider will present you a plan that fits your needs. It’s great to get additional services but if you have to pay a higher price for the features that you won’t even use, then it’s not worth it. Look for such a residential VoIP that will save you money and give you the features that fit your needs.
The whole idea of switching to VoIP is that you are getting features that your traditional landline is not offering. So, make sure you are getting all the right features such as call forwarding, conference calling, call recording, voicemail, and Music on Hold, etc.
Voice quality is important because it impacts your communication. Go for such a VoIP service that gives the opportunity to use their personal network instead of the internet or features such as prioritization of voice packets.
Look for a service provider that offers the best dependability. Make sure they have a zero downtime. Test their customer service yourself before subscribing. Try to get in touch with their representative and ask questions about their services or packages. This will help you verify their client support availability.