Wednesday, December 10, 2008

VoIP Comparison Shopping

There's no doubt that VoIP or Voice over IP telephony is the hot new thing in residential and business phone service. Like all new technologies, advancements are rapid and new companies with better offers spring up right and left. So if you are dissatisfied with your current service or want to find the best deal you can get for switching to VoIP, how do you choose? Do you just go for what's advertised on TV, see what you can find searching online, or what? How about a comparison shopping service that makes it easy to see what's available and pick the best service for your needs? Does that sound like a good idea?

Affordable VoIP comparison shopping tool. Click here to give it try.You bet it is. Fortunately just such a comparison shopping tool has become available and is free to use online. You can try it right now at Affordable VoIP. Go ahead, it will open in a new window and you can still read the rest of this guide.

The Affordable VoIP guide is aimed at residential and small to medium size businesses who need anywhere from a single line phone service to a virtual office with numerous extensions, but don't want the expense and hassle of running their own telephone system. If you have a corporate office or call center with your own PBX and a support team, you'll be interested in ISDN PRI and SIP Trunks at reduced prices. If you don't know what that means, Affordable VoIP is right for you.

Let's take a look at how the search function works. At the VoIP comparison shopping page, go ahead and select the Plan Type as "Business". If you call internationally, select the most frequent country you call. Otherwise don't touch that selection. Let's pick United Kingdom, just to see what we get. Now check any optional additional information you want considered, such as No Activation Fee, Adapter/Router included, and Digital Phone included. I'll select Adapter/Router included because I want to use my existing phone.

Click the Search button and you'll get results within a couple of seconds. I count 17 plans from 4 different vendors that meet these requirements. The cheapest is a FAX only extension for $9.99 a month. Most plans are in the $25 to $50 a month range, but with differing features. How do you choose? First thing to do is let your mouse hover over linked name of the service provider. You'll see a short description of what that particular plan includes. Click on the link or magnifying glass next to it and You'll be taken to a vendor specific page that offers complete details.

Note also that you can sort by column on this results page. I was interested in the rate to the United Kingdom, so I'll click on that column heading to sort by price from low to high. The lowest cost plan that offers calling to the U.K is Phone Power Freedom Business Unlimited package that charges just 1 cent per minute. The others offer a rate of 3 cents per minute. Wow, compared to conventional telephony these international rates sure are low!

You can also sort on the other column headings, which are Service Provider, Plan Name, Monthly Cost, Activation Fee, and Regular Minutes. If you find a plan you want, just click on the Order Now link and you'll be taken to the vendor's order page. At the bottom of the chart there is also a link to change your search criteria if you want to try other options. You can sit and play with this all night, if you want. That's a lot easier that trying to contact each company and make notes on their plans to compare prices and options.

You can choose to select residential instead of business plans. The system works the same, but there tend to me more vendors serving the residential marketplace and the monthly costs tend to be lower. You do retain the option to include a favorite overseas destination in your search. Once again, the rates you'll find seem to be eye-poppingly low with VoIP services.

That's all there is to it. This tool is available 24/7 and gives you near-instant results on a comparison chart of services, costs and features. Give the Affordable VoIP comparison shopping tool a try and see how much it can help you find the best deal on broadband phone service for your home or office.

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