Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, is a system that allows users to make calls over the Internet. While VOIP systems are used frequently by businesses, it’s also possible to use these services to replace a home landline.
These are just a few of the VOIP options to use as your home phone, to save you money each month.
Skype is one of the most well known and widely used VOIP services. Founded in 2003, Skype makes it easy to complete one on one and group conversations via mobile, PC, Xbox, and Alexa. It’s free to use Skype for messages, audio, and video calls. Upgrading to a paid account will give you access to more features. Prices start at $2.99/month in the US, $6.99/month for North America, and $7.99 for India.
Skype features include HD video calling, live subtitles, screen sharing, call recording, and the ability to use Skype to call phones. Skype also makes it possible to get a local phone number in another country or region so you can answer calls on Skype.
Skype does not have access to emergency calls.
Ooma lets you make free calls within the US and offers a low rate for international calls. To use Ooma, you’ll need to purchase the hardware for about $100 and connect it to a modem. Connect a phone and you’re ready to make calls. If you want to keep your old landline number, you’ll need to pay a one time fee of $39.95.
When you sign up for Ooma, you can choose the Basic or Premium service. The Basic service will only cost $4.09 in taxes and fees/month.
With a basic Ooma account, you’ll get the following:
- Free US calling
- Free Ooma mobile HD app
- Ooma Pure Voice technology for crisp and clear calls
- Compatibility with Amazon Echo
- Emergency calls enabled
- International calling for 1.4 cents/minute
- Answering machine feature
- Caller ID and call waiting
- Online call log
Upgrading to the Premium service will cost an additional $9.99/month. With this level, you’ll get everything from the Basic plan, plus the following features:
- Call blocking
- A second phone number
- Integration with Nest, Amazon Echo, Dropbox, and other home technology
- Free calls to Canada and Mexico
- Three way conference calls
- A send directly to voicemail option for calls
- Call forwarding
With Viber, you can make free and secure calls and send messages to anyone, anywhere. Viber was founded in 2010 and now says they connect over one billion users, with a high quality, affordable, and simple service.
Viber offers features including one-on-one chats, video calls, group messaging and Viber Communities, which lets you connect with other members based on your mutual interests. You can also use GIFs and stickers to add to your conversation.
This is a cross-platform app, so you can use it on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Make unlimited worldwide calls to 50 countries for $8.99/month.
Viber does not have access to emergency calls.
Google Voice allows users to use their smart phone number on smartphones and on the web to place and receive calls from anywhere. Calling rates vary by region. You can see all of the Google Voice rates here.
When used with an OBi Phone Adapter, you can use your Internet connection to make Google Voice your home phone. Google Voice offers voicemail transcription and adding an OBi adapter also gives users caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, 3 way calls, faxing, and the ability to block anonymous calls.
Google Voice does not have access to emergency calls.
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