Frequently Asked Questions about VoIP

    What is VoIP?

    VoIP (which stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol") is a very simple but extremely valuable service that allows you to make phone calls much more cheaply than through your old phone company. All of our recommended VoIP services replace both your local and long distance services and work with your existing telephone. All the providers that we recommend allow you to make calls exactly as you would with your old phone service. You use the same phone, pick it up and dial just like you always have, whether you are calling your friend next door, around the world, or need to call 911 for an emergency. It sounds the same to both you and the person on the other end. You can also keep your existing phone number.

    The biggest difference you'll notice is the price. VoIP companies can provide this service so cheaply because calls are sent through the Internet rather than phone lines. VoIP providers have all the features you would expect, such as call waiting, caller ID and voicemail. The difference is that the providers we work with include all of these features in the cost of your service. VoIP providers also have additional free services that you can't get from the phone company, such as checking your voicemail from your computer anywhere in the world, email notifications when you have a new call or message, or phone numbers with non-local area codes. Click here to view our recommended providers.

    Return to VoIP FAQs

If you have a question or concern we haven't answered on our site, please let us know. Your question will be added to the NextAdvisor Forums so that we and other experts in our community can answer it. Due to volume, we aren't able to respond to every question, but we answer as many as we can.

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Top VoIP


Bottom line: Lowest price ($6.21/month) if you pay for 2 years upfront, great sound quality, $0 setup costs, and U.S.-based customer support

Bottom line: Included calling to 60+ countries w/ Vonage World, great quality, no set-up fees, money-back guarantee

Bottom line: International calling as cheap as $24.95/month, no long-term commitment required and every plan includes a variety of free features

Bottom line: Limited international calling plan, but excellent customer service and a great range of features

Bottom line: Nice call quality and relatively cheap plan, yet some cancellation problems

Bottom line: Competitive prices and excellent international plan, but high initial cost and porting fee are off-putting

Bottom line: Well-priced, varied plans, but very limited customer service: a mixed bag

Bottom line: Solid plans from reliable company, unlimited calling to 45+ countries, disappointing call quality

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