Choosing a VoIP provider can be a daunting task. There are several VoIP service providers from which to choose, making the decision a sometimes head-spinning adventure.
To find a provider that's right for you, think about the following:
1. Price - What do you want to pay each month for your VoIP service? Most monthly fees range from $8 to $30. The lower the monthly fee, the less likely you are to get extra features. Sometimes, less expensive plans don't allow users to call outside the service provider's network.
2. Features - Is Caller ID important to you? Do you want voicemail? These features and others are not universally offered on all VoIP service plans, so make sure you know what options you want when deciding on a provider.
3. Emergency services/E911 options - Not all VoIP service providers currently meet federal standards for E911, the system used to automatically determine the location of someone who's dialed 911. If your VoIP telephone is your primary phone, you may want to select a plan that supports 911 dialing. If you feel comfortable using your cell phone for emergencies, a VoIP provider's E911 capabilities may not be important.
4. Technical support - Some VoIP service providers charge for technical support; others don't. Most of the larger companies - Vonage and Time Warner, for instance - do not charge for technical support, some smaller companies do. Check with the VoIP service provider to find out if they charge for extra help.
5. Number portability - Do you want to keep your current landline telephone number? Some VoIP service providers will “port" your current number to your new VoIP telephone, while others will give you a new telephone number. If you like your current number, find a provider who'll help you keep it.
Howard is the owner of http://www.voip-resource.com where you can get information about finding a VoIP service provider and other VoIP related news and articles.