Free Calls! Anytime... Anywhere!
By Will from Holland
There are a couple of different subscriptions to choose from, and they charge you for that level. But it's still so much cheaper than your regular phone. If you get their basic subscription ($14.95 per month) you get 500 free calling minutes anywhere in the US and Canada, and you call internationally for like 3-4 cents a minute.
You can make phone calls through your Vonage account wherever you are, as long as you have your adapter with you and plug it into a working Internet connection. The mover ability is great, but their rates are a little bit higher.
Doesn't this all sound too good to be true? I know, I thought the same thing...
But you know what? It's true, and in my experience with my provider there have been no loopholes.
The first week using VoIP, I expected either the police to turn up and arrest me for illegal phone practices, or to still get a huge phone bill, cause I didn't read the fine print carefully or so. But none of this happened, VOIP is legal and straightforward. After a couple of months I'm still calling the world, pretty much for nothing.
But what about people who say you get a lousy connection with Internet phones?
Well, I can tell you; I've been using Skype a lot, and the connection is almost (if not always) better than using a regular phone or cell phone. Using a high-speed Internet connection the conversation is crystal clear. And even using an old-fashioned dial-up connection gives me a normal conversation. (Although using the Internet while you make your phone call can cause a little bit of delay).
Generally the companies advise you to have a dial-up modem (33.6 kb or higher) or even higher, like cable, or DSL.
And what about computer requirements? All computer using Windows (2000 or XP), Mac and Linux operating systems should work fine. Mine does.
Are there any dangers or disadvantages using VoIP?
"There are problems, and some of them are going to take a fair amount of time and money to fix," says David Heim, editor of Consumer Reports (in a story from USA Today).
- When the power is off
most computers and/or Internet connections will not work, which pretty much means you cannot make a phone call.
- Calling 911
is in a lot of cases impossible, or the dispatcher will not know where the call is coming from, this might lead to problems.
- When your Internet is down
it's kind of hard to make a phone call. You can't.
can be a problem when using a slow Internet connection.
Most of the problems mentioned above are easy to fix simply by having a normal landline or cell phone beside your VoIP. You'll have no problems calling 911, and you can almost always make phone calls, even when the power is off. Having a little bit of patience will do a lot too, if your Internet is down you can wait with expensive international calls until it's back up.
They say VoIP is not safe to use...