There are a few things you should be aware of before making the transition to a residential VoIP service from your traditional home phone service provider. Read some of our tips below and ensure that you are ready for the switch.
Most providers offering unlimited calling have restrictions and some rates shown are promotional rates based on term contracts or promotional periods. Be sure to read individual providers terms and conditions before you buy. Rates and features displayed for each provider have been sourced from provider's site and other online sources. While we strive to display current information, be sure to check directly with each provider as their plans, pricing, and features are subject to change.
What Type of Internet Works Best for VoIP?
Your existing internet connection determines the quality of your calls.
The biggest necessity for a quality VoIP connection is to have a high-speed Internet connection. It is of the utmost importance that you first test the strength and speed of your broadband connection. You can do so by using our innovative Speed Test. Be sure you are hardwired into your Internet and do not use your WiFi with this test; it will deliver you a less favorable outcome. You'll be using your VoIP connection while wired into the network, anyways, so running a speed test while wired into your router is a good idea.
As far as the Internet speed requirements are concerned, here are the minimum internet speed prerequisites for VoIP:
Number of Concurrent Calls Minimum Required Bandwidth Recommended speed
1 100 Kbps Up and Down 3 MBps Up and Down
3 300 Kbps Up and Down 3 MBps Up and Down
5 500 Kbps Up and Down 5 MBps Up and Down
10 1 MBps Up and Down 5-10MBps Up and Down
home VoIP setup
What Type of Hardware Does VoIP Require?
VoIP hardware consists of a router, modem, and either an ATA or IP phone.
When it comes to VoIP, there is a minimal amount of hardware required to get you connected to your new phone system. First and foremost, you need to have an internet connection (and, therefore, a router and a modem). Additionally, you will need an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) to convert your current home phone into a VoIP-optimized phone if you do not wish to purchase an IP phone . These adapters are normally provided for free by your residential VoIP provider and are easy to set up. As an example, residential VoIP provider ITP includes a free router/adapter when you sign up with their service. The adapter connects your existing telephone to your home Internet connection. Most residential VoIP systems are plug and play, meaning that you can have your new telephone system set up in a matter of minutes.
If you already possess an IP phone or an ATA, you will want to check and see if your provider allows you to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Oftentimes, a provider will be able to list you the devices that are compatible with their service. By bringing your own device, you will save money on equipment costs!
Which VoIP Provider is Right for Me?
The right VoIP provider will fit your budget, have unlimited calling, and possess the most necessary features.
Choosing a provider can be a difficult decision, but VoipReview is here to help you narrow down your choice by providing compare tables, user-submitted provider reviews, a savings tool, Speed Test, and more in order to provide you with a well-rounded view of all VoIP providers. But once you settle on a provider, you'll be able to reap plenty of benefits. Oftentimes, you can negotiate with your provider for a longer money back guarantee or for cheaper service by signing up with a long term contract. You might even be able to get discounted or free equipment! With your new provider, you'll also be able to take advantage of the multitude of calling and management features that they offer. Be sure to check with your provider to see what features are included and which are available for additional fees (either a monthly fee or one-time fee).
Additionally, before signing up with a provider, you should check to see if they offer number porting . To most individuals, keeping the same number is important when switching phone services. Your phone number is your identity to fellow callers and businesses, and it is important to retain this contact information! Some providers offer a number porting service for free while others charge a nominal one-time fee. But if you would like a new phone number, VoIP providers give you the option to choose a new telephone number, and often within any area code.