Michael writes: "I have been thinking about going VoIP at home, but we have a DSL connection. So, my question is this: Would I save any money doing going VoIP? Would I not still have to pay for a LAN line on top of my DSL connection and the VONAGE or whatever service fees? I mean VoIP seems to be more tailored to those who have broadband Cable, or am I just mis-informed?"
The short answer to this question is yes, VoIP works with DSL. Many of the phone companies currently providing DSL and landline phone services are in the process of unbundling DSL and phone services. Depending on who your DSL provider is, you may now choose to get only DSL service instead of needing to pay for phone services to get DSL service. The rate for DSL service unbundled from phone service is fairly competitive with cable Internet rates. There is no special LAN connection required for VoIP. The VoIP phone adapter I use connects into my router just like another PC would. The key is to compare costs of local service to costs of VoIP service before making the connection. You also need to look at what other services you need to connect over your phone lines, like satellite television, for instance. Read on for a more indepth look at VoIP vs. tranditional phone service.
As a DSL customer, you need to look at the features you get from the phone company now compared to the features you get for subscribing to a VoIP provider. Qwest currently offers a package including features like voicemail, call waiting and caller ID for $35 (plus various taxes and access fees) or their most basic service for $30 (plus taxes and access fees). If you spend money on long distance, that's an additional cost on top of the base service. Compare that to Vonage, for instance, which includes all the same premium features found in Qwest's more expensive plan at a cost of just over $27 (including tax). In the Vonage plan, you get long distance at no extra charge. If the cost of the VoIP service is more than the combined cost of your current local phone service and long distance service, it probably doesn't make sense to switch to a VoIP plan.
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