Gone are the days of having only one telephone service provider offering only one phone service. Today, there are multiple providers offering many different ways for us to connect over the phone — traditional landline service, cellular mobile service and internet phone service, to name a few.
While you’re probably familiar with traditional landline phones and cell phones, internet phone service is still relatively new and didn’t start to take hold until the mid-2000s.
Here’s what you need to know…
What is internet telephone for home?
Internet telephone (sometimes called Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) is a phone service that connects via the internet through an internet modem instead of a traditional landline. Keep in mind, most are formatted to work only with cable or DSL modems.
To establish the connection, connect an adapter from the VoIP provider to your modem that translates your voice into data packets sent over the internet. For that reason, an internet connection is a necessity, which you can get from any available provider in your area. Most of the VoIP plans require a touchtone phone as well.
The pros and cons of internet calling
In addition to standard local and long-distance calling, some of the pros of internet calling include:
Advanced features: Internet calling can have advanced features like Call Forwarding to a mobile phone, Caller ID on your TV, telemarketing blocking, voicemail transcription and more.
Competitive international rate: Some VoIP providers offer calls to Europe for pennies per minute.
Power outages: Unlike a traditional landline which uses designated copper lines, when your power goes out, your internet phone service will go out since it’s connected through your modem.
Varying 911 support – While internet phone service providers do offer 911 support, it may not be as reliable as a traditional landline because the calls are routed differently.
Who offers internet phone service?
Several companies provide VoIP service. Take your time when choosing one because most have varying levels of service and coverage. A few providers advertise free monthly service, but you must purchase their equipment, starting around $100. Those free services also usually have taxes to pay if applicable, as well as a 911 emergency fee. Other VoIP providers give you their adapter and charge a monthly or yearly rate. Most offer international calling but with their more expensive premium or next-level plans.
Some of the top internet home phone providers include:
Other options to internet phone service
Some internet service providers also offer mobile phone plans that you can bundle with. your internet plan. The ISPs use larger phone provider’s networks like Xfinity and Spectrum use Verizon and Optimum is on the T-Mobile network. You usually need to be a customer of the ISPs in order to take advantage of their fairly inexpensive cell phone pricing.
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Written by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
Robin Layton is an editor with Allconnect. She works closely with the content team writers to ensure consumers get a fair and balanced reporting of the state of broadband services to help them understand the pro… Read more
Edited by:Camryn Smith