It can become expensive when you are trying to make long distance calls on a regular basis. Some cell phone companies will allow their consumers to call others in different areas for no cost, but when it comes to landlines, there is no such option. It is possible that you may have to pay as little as ten centers per minute for long distance calls. If you choose to call internationally, then the price goes up considerably. This is true for those who use cell phones as well. For international calls, it is common to spend up to a dollar or more per minute. However, you can eliminate or lower these costs by using voice over internet phones.
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If you and the person you are calling are using the same voice over internet phone system to talk, then your call is typically free of cost. If you choose to call to a cell phone or a landline by using these types of calling services, then the cost is still rather low. You end up paying just a piece of what you would be paying by using a standard calling service like a landline to landline or a cell phone to cell phone.
There are several benefits that voice over internet phone services offer that traditional phone systems do not offer their consumers. Internet calling services do not require any hardware to work. Since you can call from your desktop or laptop computer, it doesn't require hardware. There are certain companies that offer traditional phones that are connected to your internet line. Even still, some have mobile applications that you can install on your cell phone or tablet, giving you the freedom to make calls from anywhere. Your criteria will change depending on whether you need business VoIP or residential VoIP service.
Another interesting feature of these VoIP services is the ability to video chat with others. This type of communication is ideal for family member and friends communication, especially if you are unable to see them on a regular basis. It brings that feeling of intimacy and closeness that is not found in traditional phone calls. The best part is the video chatting is free. These services often offer instant messaging as well, giving you just another option with which to communicate.
If you are looking for a different option for international and long distance calls besides your landline or cell phone, we have seven of the best options for your needs. Here are our seven choices:
The 7 best Vonage alternatives:
RingCentral is an incredible system that operates through the cloud to provide communications. Providing services to over 350,000 people and organizations everywhere, RingCentral has tiered service options. If you pay more per month, you get more from the service, which would mean more features, minutes, and extensions.
There are many companies that still choose to use machines for faxing in the office, while some have moved away from fax machines to email. However, RingCentral offers a service that lets you to send faxes from the internet by taking documents from your computer or from your cloud and sending them as a fax to the other party. The other party receives the fax as a regular fax, but it saves you paper, ink, and time overall. Another incredible feature of this service is allowing you to set up your service to receive faxes in return, but it receives them as an electronic document. In this way, it is easier to share with your employees, and it prevents the faxes from being intercepted by the wrong employee.
If you want to take the service a step further an implement call screening, you can. You can also block callers from certain numbers while allowing other numbers to get through to your system without problems. You can connect calls from certain numbers to your voicemail with just an easy setting change. It takes just a minute to change the settings to block calls, send call, or even set up call forwarding to your cell phone when you are away from the office. Read our RingCentral review for more information.
The only downside of RingCentral is the customer service team, which seems to be lacking in areas like returning calls and other things.
Our second pick for the best Vonage alternative of the year is Grasshopper. Grasshopper is a virtual phone system for business that works great for individuals or small businesses. Grasshopper offers 3 plans:
Solo: $26 per month when paid annually. This plan comes with 1 number and 3 extensions, as well as unlimited minutes.
Partner: $44 per month when paid annually. This plan comes with 3 numbers and 6 extensions, as well as unlimited minutes.
Small Business: $80 per month when paid annually. This plan comes with 5 numbers and unlimited extensions, as well as unlimited minutes.
Grasshopper is reviewed very well by our experts, and has favorable customer reviews in most cases. Grasshopper is geared mostly towards small businesses instead of large enterprise customers.
Our third pick is a service that many have probably heard of before. Google Voice, a special service, gives users their phone number. If you are a Vonage user, you will enjoy this service since it is a wonderful alternative to the phone service giant. Google Voice is free, and this system lets you to choose your number. Under one single number, you can bulk your home, office, and mobile phone to connect them all. These numbers even ring at the same time no matter where you are, so you will never miss a call.
Another interesting feature about Google Voice is the ability to work on all your devices. If you spend more time on your cell, it works there. If you choose to spend time on your compute or tablet, just interface through Google Voice with your virtual number. Through the use speakers and microphones, you can take and make phone calls on your home computer. Sending text messages and receiving text messages on any device is possible as well.
Google Voice allows you to choose your virtual number. If you are using the service for your business, then this feature is amazing. You can choose your number by spelling out words associated with your business on the keypad of a phone. This is also advantageous for advertising. It is easy to look for those available numbers, and you may even be able to use your existing phone number with the service.
Small businesses can even take advantage of these VoIP services by using Ooma. This service has many different features that help advertise your company and elevate it in the minds of the people. There is only an all-inclusive, single price point for the service. There’s no need to worry about purchasing minutes or the perfect package for your needed features. You can even keep your current number for free to help you avoid any rebranding.
Ooma is made with an app that is simple to use. It easily gives its users the ability to access the phone system of the company from any telephone anywhere. This means cell phones, landlines, and more. This company has a smartphone application that is easy for you to remain connected to your company and your business through your mobile device. This is extremely useful for forwarding calls from your office to your mobile device.
Through a special virtual receptionist, your callers will be guided by the person or the department within your company that they need to speak with. It helps save your employees and yourself time as well since they won’t be redirecting calls for customers or making connections all day. Extension dialing comes with this service as well, allowing your customers to get to a certain person in the office at a faster pace. Holding music is also added for customers who are waiting.
Skype is our fifth choice, and it is extremely popular for their advanced video conferencing tech. Since 2003, Skype has been creating advanced technology and offer services to many different people around the world. Skype offers services that easily replace the standard phone services, and it works a lot like Google Voice. If you want a new line for your small business or you simply want to quite use your phone or cable company, then Skype is a great option for switching. It is easy to use as well.
Making calls from your computer or your phone is easy when you are using PhonePower. This VoIP service is not as popular as some of the others, but it does offer many of what the other services offer. They have a small business service that is full of amazing features to add to your traditional phone. Some of these features include call forwarding, three-way phone calls, and incoming call management services. The call quality is clear, and the plans are varied enough to give you what you need.
MagicJack is fairly popular, and it is service that uses internet to help you make and get phone calls. You can replace your home phone landline without feeling like you are using some form of strange technology. magicJack looks similar to traditional communication methods. You can keep your current phone, or if you choose, you can make calls from your computer. If you are tired of paying for your landline service or your cable company, then this is a great option. It is also a great alternative to the phone giant, Vonage.
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