VoIP versus Landline Investments? What Route Should You Take?
Table of Contents
3 Great Virtual Phone Services That Offer Affordable & Reliable Packages
To Compare To Your Landline Plans
I added a quick cliff notes section here, so if you’re in a hurry and just want to know which virtual phone number services are good replacements for landline telephone companies, here’s a short synopsis for each of the no contract phone providers I use for myself and for clients:
- Grasshopper – 50% less than local landline companies cheapest plans, #1 rated alternative phone forwarding service
- Pros: backed by Cisco, excellent reliability and easy to use custom greetings
- Cons: doesn’t have unlimited minutes
- Phone.com – also cheaper than landline services, allows you to add phone hardware as needed
- Pros: more advanced features for call tracking, higher end phone system
- Cons: hardly any, this is my #1 recommendation for most business owners for it’s ultimate flexibility
- RingCentral – a complete business voip phone system infrastructure with video conference calling ability
- Pros: lets you support multiple locations, with office desk phone
- Cons: pricing starts at $25/mo
The New Kid on the Block: VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP for short is often referred to the new age way to host much of your personal matters in conjunction with your business matters. The first great thing that comes with most VoIP services is that just about every one of them operate through the use of Cloud Technology. Simply put, this technology keeps your phone lines open even when natural disasters hit, or when your internet connection takes a tumble from time to time. VoIP technology is also relatively cheaper than making a commitment to purchase separate land lines, or toll free numbers from traditional sources like your phone company. There is also the risk that you might be paying expensive setup fees if you choose to do things in the traditional manner, and when we can save money we can pass that savings along to our customers. Sometimes in situations like these two comparisons we have to look at multiple angles of a single situation to really get a grasp on what counts. That means looking at things like what we just did, which was looking at passing on savings to our own customers. Also, we have the question, “which service will provide the best quality as well as clarity for our customers”? In the past this was a job for traditional land line services; however, VoIP takes the cake with this one, and is regarded as the gold standard among most businesses, both large and small.
Land Lines: Pros and Cons
Well, let’s start off with the pros and cons with a company we all probably know. The company that will be involved in this comparison is Verizon. If you are a small business you can expect similar prices and services from different companies that offer land line services. Verizon will happily oblige by providing you land line telephone service for fifty nine dollars a month if you enter a two year agreement. This can put you in an undesirable situation if you aren’t willing to make the commitment to their service. Two years is quite a long time to commit to something, and it can seem like an infinitely long commitment, especially if you are unsatisfied with the service they are offering you. Some of the services included with signing up with Verizon are like most cheaper VoIP alternatives like the feature of caller id, call forwarding, call transferring, and call waiting.
However, I would like to note most of these land line services for small businesses don’t give you features like Voicemail to SMS or email text transcription, or the ability to provide free service like Google Voice. The whole contract thing is a way to keep you invested in that specific company in order to avoid their cancellation fees. It almost feels like once you sign up with traditional land line services like Verizon you are signing your soul over to the devil. There is no way you can get out of the contract without receiving some type of financial punishment, so buyers beware. However, they do offer phones that give you the ability to expand up to four different lines which is quite good for businesses that require several different lines open for communication purposes. The downside to this is that you have to pay for the phones themselves, and if we are still specifically talking about Verizon here, their phones aren’t that special and at this point I would almost recommend you to buy a phone from the dreaded Telzio company. Hell, if you are going to spend two hundred dollars on a phone you might as well have all the flash and bling that comes with it right?
Moreover, I do want to make note that with Verizon’s VoIP service you will be allowed up to five different lines if you so desire. Most VoIP services only offer this many extra lines, or extensions if you will if you upgrade to their most expensive subscription; however, when we are talking small business, more often than not, five lines is really not needed. Extensions however, are very much in demand, and in most cases VoIP services is still less expensive than traditional land line services offered by companies such as land lines.
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- The 3 Cheapest Virtual Phone Line Services (perfect for contractors, traveling entrepreneurs, and SMB’s)
However, to give land line services a fair shot against new technology I will review one more service that offers land line services. This company goes by the name of Sprint. Yes, you have probably noticed due to television and radio advertisements that both of these companies usually advertise their mobile phone plans more than their actual land line services, but they both offer these types of services if your business is in need of them. However, the question is, “are they affordable, and appropriate for a small business”? Let’s try to give Sprint a fair shot, and try to answer this question for you quickly, and precisely. Sprint claims that your first line is only fifty dollars a month, and if you decide to add an additional line the cost will only cost you ninety dollars per month total, but then you get three extra lines for the price of two. So, you can receive five additional lines for only ninety dollars a month. On their website that would come out to be just about $22.50 a month for each additional phone line. In reality, that isn’t a terrible deal. But let’s see what other features Sprint will throw our way for ninety big ones a month. To be honest other than the five lines they don’t really offer much in terms of features like extensions or much of anything else. Most of their pricing plans try to bundle these five lines into other packages that incorporate internet service, smart phones, or other unrelated products.
Getting Down to Business
When comparing most VoIP services to traditional land line services like Verizon and Sprint, VoIP wins hands down with consumers and business owners. Traditional land lines are way too expensive to own for a small business, and they lack the normal features that most VoIP services offer even in their most basic packages. I don’t really like being the bear of bad news, but I think it is time for all of us to give up these land line services, and start joining the VoIP trend, and for good reason. VoIP gives us better feature quality, better pricing options, and far more features like toll free numbers, local numbers, and too many features to list that come with the service itself compared to a land line service. Traditional services don’t offer much more than extra lines itself. As I previously mentioned, most companies that offer land line connections want to sell you with their other products as well, and play on the selling point that they will throw in their high speed internet or their cable television service into the mix if you happen to sign up with them. The winner of this article is clearly VoIP.