Right now, Ames and I are living in an apartment where basic BellSouth phone service is included in the rent. In June though, I’ll be starting a remote job, which is sure to include quite a bit of long distance calling. Then, at the end of July, Ames and I will be packing up and moving to South Carolina. I could take all incoming calls on our landline and place all long-distance from my cell phone, but I don’t have enough minutes in my cell plan for that. As a result, I’m thinking it might be a good time to jump on the broadband phone bandwagon. This would allow me to go ahead and get my Carolina phone number now to give out to friends before the move. It would also allow me to have phone service as soon as the internet is hooked up at the new place…which we all know is priority number one for moving.
I know a couple people who have switched over to IP phone service, one uses Vonage, and the other has BroadVoice. Both are happy with their service, but the problem is that there are a whole lot more reputable IP telephony companies out there. They all seem to be around the same price, include a boatload of features, and promise the moon. Here are the biggest contenders:
- BroadVoice – $19.95 and my friend gives them a thumbs up for value and for being a “neat little company”.
- Vonage – $24.99 makes them a pricey option…and to me, they seem like the AOL of VoIP right now. That just doesn’t appeal to me so much.
- AT&T CallVantage – $29.99!?! OK, now that I’m over the price, I’ve seen a lot of positive comments about their customer service and QOS.
- Packet8 – $19.95 sounds about right, and although they seem to have mixed reviews, I’ve read a lot of positive news about them.
- SunRocket – $199…yea, right. Like I’m going to prepay for a year of VoIP service? That’s only about $17/mo, and in my book, they stack up to the $19.95 companies, but I don’t think I’ll pay them by the month at $24.95.
- Lingo – $19.95, but check out the negative reviews. I think that a lot of the content at voipreview.org is grassroots marketing (AKA – mostly BS), but it seems that most of the Lingo reviews are authentic. I’ve seen good reviews elsewhere though, so they stay on the list – perhaps because I like repeating their name: Lingo, leeengo, Lin Gho!
Ok, I think it’s time for bed, but if you have any experience with these or other residential VoIP providers, please let me know:
- How long you’ve been with them?
- How long have you been doing the VoIP thing overall?
- What is the best and worst thing about the companies service?
- If regular phone service ranks 98% for clarity and cellphone service ranks 72%, How clear is your VoIP serivce?
- Are you strangely delighted by saying the word “Lingo”?