11 Points to Consider when Choosing a VoIP Provider

By Mark Larsen
The costs of a VoIP service can vary from one provider to the next as do the number of telephony features and the level of service you will receive. Having said that, once you swap over to a VoIP Provider, you are already streets ahead in the savings department when compared to a traditional Telephone Services.

As an example, before I switched to VoIP, my average Phone bill was between $400 and $500 per month. This was mainly due to the fact we made a lot of National (STD) calls and because we required a 2 Line Service.

Now that I am using VoIP my Business Phone bill is around $40 dollars each month which include a $34.95 Line rental (the minimum) and $6 per month for the Caller ID service. My Home Phone bill is always $19.94 per month which is the lowest Line rental available… And the Cost of my VoIP calls is between $20 and $30 per month.

So I've managed to reduce my phone bill by more than 80%! (i.e. $85/mth versus $450).

Why am I telling you this?

…Well at this point I'm not going save much by selecting a VoIP Service Provider that only charges 9c per call versus one that charges 10c per call. You are far better off to consider these other points instead of just the Price:

  • What level of Support is offered?
  • How long have they been around?
  • Do they have the Telephony Features YOU NEED?
  • Will your VoIP Hardware be supported?
  • Do You have to Pre-pay and have funds available before making a call?
  • How long are the Funds available for?
  • Are there Time restrictions on your calls?
  • What methods of payments do they accept?
  • Is there a monthly fee and what do you get for it?
  • Are there any included Calls in the Monthly fee?
  • Are there any plans that suit Your particular call pattern?

The last time I looked, there was in excess of 176 VoIP Service Providers available in Australia! Unfortunately having that many choices tends to make it harder rather than easier.

With that said, if you have specific requirements it’s worth shopping around and in fact one of the advantages of VoIP is that you can use as many different VoIP Service Providers (VSP’s) as you need.

If you make a large number of overseas calls it may even be worth signing up with a VSP in the country you are calling.

The VSP I have chosen as part of our Residential $75 Plan offers FREE Untimed calls to any Land Line in Australia as part of the ongoing Monthly Fee. They also have other plans where for an extra $5 per month you can include most of Europe, Canada and the US as FREE untimed calls well.

The pricing for international calls will depend on the destination of your call. While some international calls are as low as 2 1/2 cents per minute, other destinations will be higher. In either case, this is still a significant saving when compared to the cost of using a traditional phone service.

For More details on the available plans and out Recommended VoIP Providers see our VoIP Providers page.

If you do have specific requirements with regard to telephone features or calling specific destinations then you need to invest some time in comparing features between the available providers. Or you can use our AskTheVoIPStore feature and post your question there.

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