Whenever the topic of Internet phone service comes up, I’m surprised to find that most people don’t know that they already have everything they need to save money on their phone bill using an Internet phone.
Fact is, you really only need two things:
- A regular telephone
- Broadband Internet access.
If you have these two things (and most people do), then you can take advantage of Internet phone service to save money on local and long-distance calling.
And another thing: sooner or later all telephone service will use some form of Internet telephony, which is another name for Internet phone service or VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). The only question is when are you going to jump in and get started?
These days, Internet phone service is rapidly becoming more and more reliable. It is gaining a wider audience all the time. Many cable companies are already taking advantage of this technology to capture a wider audience for their services. But make no mistake: like any newer technology there are some wrinkles that need to be ironed out.
So, to help you make an informed decision, let’s look at some of the pros and cons to Internet phone service.
Most Internet phone companies will charge you a monthly fee and in return you can get (and make) unlimited calls within the continental United States. You also have the ability to make international calls for a tiny amount of the cost that your making those calls for now.
Again, if you’re already paying for broadband Internet than you already have most of the system in place to make telephone calls from PC-to-PC anywhere in the world — pretty much for free. Of course there are other more convenient ways of making Internet phone calls. For example, you can make a phone call from your PC to any standard landline phone. It does cost a little more, but the savings are still substantial.
Pretty much anywhere you go now you are within the easy access of a broadband Internet connection. So if you have a cell phone that is VoIP-compatible then you can logon to your account and make a phone call. If you’re a frequent traveler you probably already have the proper headset and cables for your phone.
In other words, Internet phone service of this sort is just as convenient as checking your e-mail while you’re on the road.
When you get an Internet phone service account, the phone that you use is going to be assigned a unique phone number. This number will remain good, whether you’re making phone calls in New York or Los Angeles or Miami or Chicago or St. Louis or even in London, England.
Internet phones have all the familiar features like call waiting, voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, and three-way calling. All of this is available to you with pretty much any standard Internet phone package at no extra cost to you. And if you need to, you can …