Internet telephony has become widely popular nowadays. VoIP (voice over the internet protocol) is not a new thing. This communication technology was developed in the 2000s, thanks to the invention of the audio transceiver. The audio transceiver goes even further back in time. It was invented in 1989, by the renowned Israeli entrepreneur Alon Cohen. Alon Cohen is also a co-founder of VocalTec Communications Inc., a large telecom equipment provider based in Israel.
We all have an idea on what Voice Over the Internet Protocol entails and we are using this technology in our daily lives for several years now, maybe without being aware of it. VoIP is a communication technology that lets you make/receive calls via the Internet, eliminating the need of the PSTN (public switched telephone network).
In order to make calls using the internet, the analog signal is converted into a digital signal and transmitted over the internet as a packet of digital data. That data can be more than just simple audio, it can be images, text or video.
VoIP is a versatile technology that allows you to make and take calls using a wide variety of VoIP phones (desk phones, wireless phones and more) but you can also use softphones, which are basically software you install on your computer. If you opt for VoIP softphones, you also need to subscribe to a VoIP service, which is basically your only cost.
There are a lot of apps out there that use VoIP and are also free. In case you didn’t realize it by now, your Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, are all VoIP service providers.
Businesses are the ones that use VoIP the most, in order to comunicate easier, more efficient and at lower costs. VoIP providers offer a range of business communication services which makes the communication – both internal and external – more redundant, comprehensive, streamlined and cheaper than the usage of classic analog technologies.
However, VoIP is also great for home use and there are a lot of providers that offer great plans to choose from. One of the best ones on the market is Vonage.
Vonage is a leading cloud communications provider based in New Jersey. Vonage was founded in 2001 and offers both Residential and Business products and services. We are going to focus on their Residential packages in this review. Vonage has aroud 2.5 million subscribers and their number keeps growing.
Vonage offers 4 plans for home users: Vonage North America, Vonage World, US & Canada 400 and Vonage 3000 to Globe Philippines.
For each of the plans you can opt for a one-year contract or to be billed without signing a contract. The advantage of signing one is the fact that you get free shipping and free activation and 3 or 6-month promotions, which means you have a big discount for the first 3 or 6 months of use.
With this plan you can choose between their one-year contract with a 6-month promotion (which is billed at $9.99/month for the first 6 months, plus taxes and fees and after the first 6 months you pay $24.99/month) and the no contract option, which is $24.99/month plus taxes and fees.
This plan includes unlimited calls for home and mobile phones all across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. It also comes with low international rates.
This plan has the same two options: a one-year agreement or no contract.
If you opt for the one-year agreement you get to benefit from their 6-month promotion and pay only $14.99/month for the first 6 months and after that, you have to pay $27.99/month.
If you don’t want to sign a contract, you will be billed $27.99/month.
The plan includes unlimited landline international calls in over 60 countries in the world, for a really low price and unlimited calling to mobile phones in 10 countries. You can use your home phone and 2 smartphones. If you want to use the smartphones, you have to download their mobile app.
US & Canada 400
This domestic plan lets you choose between a one-year agreement or the no annual contract option, both for the same price of $12.99/month. The one-year contract though throws in free shipping and free activation as bonuses.
You get 400 minutes per month to US, Canada and Puerto Rico and you can call both landlines and mobiles.
Vonage 3000 to Globe Philippines
With this plan, the one-year agreement includes a 3-month promotion in which you are billed $14.99/month for the first 3 months and after that, $29.99/month.
If you opt for no annual contract, you have to pay $29.99/month from the beginning. You get free shipping and free activation in both cases.
The plan includes 3000 minutes to Globe numbers in the Philippines and you can call landlines and mobiles.
Vonage also has Business plans. Check them out.
The most attractive features included with Vonage Residential
- The Vonage Extensions App so that you ca make and receive calls on your mobile phone
- The Boomerang feature that lets you add to boomerang your family/loved ones and get faster, automatic connections through your Vonage number, every time boomerang contacts call you. You can use this feature on landlines and smartphones and answer calls from anywhere using WiFi, 3G or 4G
- 3-way calling
- Call forwarding/call return/call waiting/call transfer
- Anonymous call block
- Caller ID/caller ID block
- Do not disturb
- Special service numbers
- In-network calling (free unlimited calls between Vonage users)
- Bandwidth saver for preserving call quality when internet connection is poor
- Simulring that allows you to forward calls to 5 additional phones (desk, smartphones, etc.) without the callers knowing their call is forwarded
- Vonage Voicemail Plus