VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. Basically, this means you get your phone signal through the internet instead of copper wire and switchboards. It’s sometimes called IP telephony, internet telephony, or broadband telephony.
There are a bunch of technical differences between how VoIP works and how a landline works, but they aren’t really necessary to get into. If you so choose, you could get a [home phone], buy a VoIP package from a phone company, and have a very similar experience to owning a landline. But VoIP actually offers a few options and has a few advantages over landlines, so let’s get into those.
You Can Use VoIP on Multiple Devices
And we don’t just mean multiple phones. By installing the right app on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can take calls from that device. For example, you can have a normal phone in your living room that you take calls from, but if you’re in your home office and get a call, you can take that call from your computer.
You Can Lower Your Costs
On average, VoIP is cheaper than a landline. A big part of that is because of lower carriage costs and the falling price of data. Also, a lot of VoIP plans have features like voice mail, call forwarding, and virtual call waiting at no extra cost.
You Can Get a Lot of Features
Speaking of features, VoIP plans come with a lot of them. You can get stuff like call display, voicemail, caller ID blocking, call waiting, visual call waiting, speed dialling, three way calling, call forwarding, and service codes.
You Get Competitive Rates
Not only do many VoIP services offer things like free local calling and a bunch of long-distance minutes, but most VoIP services offer free calling to other customers within their network.
You Can Take Your Number With You
If you so choose, you can route your calls to your smartphone. For example, say you’re on vacation. Instead of just letting messages build up in your voicemail, you can route calls to your smartphone and take them from anywhere with a good internet connection.
The Big Takeaway
As we’ve said, if all you want is a new home phone, you can switch over to VoIP and have basically the same experience as owning a landline (although you’ll probably spend less money). However, if you want more functionality and a bunch of advantages over a landline, you can get them with VoIP.