What is VoIP?

VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is a non-traditional method for making telephone calls. Among its differences is a host of exciting benefits, useful features, and undeniable advantages over the traditional, analog method for making calls. Let’s take a quick look at each of these.

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What are VoIP for Home services and how do they work?

Residential VoIP phone service offers a cost-effective way to make and take telephone calls at home — over the internet — without the need for a traditional telephone line.

With VoIP, you can do just about anything you can do with a traditional telephone line. Want to make calls to — and take calls from — voice callers with landline numbers, cell-phone numbers, VoIP numbers, or even non-fixed VoIP numbers? You can!

Some questions:

What's a voice caller? That's a person who uses a telephone to call another person.

What's a VoIP number? That's the number assigned to a VoIP user when they sign up for a VoIP service.

What's a non-fixed VoIP number? That's a number that doesn't need a physical address, i.e., a number that can be tied to any location across the globe.

Here’s how VoIP works:

  • A VoIP caller uses an internet-connected PC, smartphone, or VoIP phone to place a call.
  • The caller's VoIP service provider calls the other party.
  • The provider sends the caller's digital voice signal to a server.
  • The server routes the digital voice signal to the phone of the other party, who hears it as audio.

What Is the difference between VoIP and landline?

Differences between VoIP and landline? There are a few. And they’re significant.

VoIP relies on the internet. Fiber optics. Got an internet connection? You can call anywhere.

Landline relies on copper wires. Got a copper wire connection that hasn’t corroded yet? You can make a geographically restricted call, or make an unrestricted one by paying more.

Does that make landline less efficient than VoIP? It does!

But the inefficiencies don’t stop there. Copper wires are limited in how much data they can transmit — and how fast they can transmit it! — before they need to be reset. Ask too much of a landline phone and your call just might get dropped.

The fiber cables that VoIP uses don’t have any limits like that.

Then, of course, there’s the costs. With all that copper, it probably comes as no shock that maintaining landlines is expensive and that maintaining VoIP isn’t. Whose staggering long-distance bills pay for that maintenance? The landline user.

Know what else VoIP isn’t? Inflexible. Call from your PC, your smartphone, a tablet. You name it. That’s not possible with a traditional phone service.

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Why Vonage for Home?
Considering home VoIP service? Learn why Vonage is right for you.

What are the key residential VoIP service benefits?

  • Low price: VoIP home phone service is far less costly than traditional phone service. The reason? Carrier fees — those extra costs traditional phone service providers have to pay to lay phone lines and send sound signals over them. VoIP’s lack of phone lines means dramatically reduced long-distance charges, too.
  • Installation and portability: Installing, updating, or moving a traditional phone system includes contacting a provider and scheduling a technician. Not so with VoIP. To install it, just plug it into the internet. To update it, do nothing — the VoIP provider will do it. And to move it, just unplug it from one internet connection, plug it in at another, and watch it reconnect while your number stays the same. 
  • Advanced features: Why give your users value-added features when they're already sold on your product? "You don't," say traditional phone service providers. But VoIP providers know they can't afford that attitude, so their standard practice is to include advanced features like simultaneous ring, voicemail to email, and more.
  • Call quality: It's not hard to see why the copper wires traditional phone services rely on to transmit analog sound are no sound-quality match to the fiber lines VoIP services leverage to convey digital, high-definition voice. Copper uses electricity to transmit its data, fiber uses light, and electricity is slower than light. So that means fiber can deliver more data faster, i.e., better sound quality.

What are the notable residential VoIP features?

Here are some key features of the Vonage for Home service:

  • Smartphone app: A VoIP account’s included smartphone app allows them to use their cell phone’s data plan to access their home number anywhere, make and take calls with that number, and enjoy the same low rates on U.S. and international calls that they enjoy from their VoIP home phone.
  • Low-cost international calling: By adding up to 10 numbers — via the smartphone app — to an “intercept” list, a VoIP user can enable friends and family abroad, at no cost to themselves, to call the VoIP user by having the charges for those calls applied to the VoIP user's account.
  • Selective call block: The VoIP user can easily block selected calls to their VoIP number via an app or online account, and they can do it for any phone linked to that number, too.
  • Voicemail: The VoIP user doesn't have to settle for their father's late-20th-century voicemail service. They can get their voicemail delivered to their email inbox, reviewable on any phone, and more.
  • Enhanced call forwarding: Answering the home phone from anywhere is easy with VoIP. The user sets it up through their online account or smartphone, and voilà  — their inbound calls ring whatever phone they choose, and all without the caller knowing.
  • Simultaneous ring: No smartphone? Many smartphones? Got multiple differnt phones that need to ring? The VoIP user can forward calls to up to five additional phones, including desk phones and mobile phones.

Ready to make the switch to a home VoIP service?

You should be! You know what VoIP is. You got a taste of all its benefits, features, advantages, and differences. So now it’s time to expect more from your home phone service. Sign up online here or call 1-855-359-6547 to get started. You can keep your exisiting number for free!