By far the biggest reason people use broadband telephone service is to save money on phone calls. Mainly long distance or international. If you’re looking into the possibilities of broadband phone service, but are still unsure of exactly what it is, how to use it, or what you’ll need to use it, this article will explain step by step what you need to know about using broadband phone service, how to use it, its benefits, and its limitations.
What Broadband Phone Service is
Broadband telephone uses VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to convert voice signals to a digital format that can be transferred over the Internet. You make phone calls the same way you would make a phone call from a traditional landline phone, and you answer phone calls the same way as well. You just pick up the phone and dial to place a call, or pick it up when it is ringing to answer a call.
How Broadband Phone is Different from Skype, Yahoo, or MSN Messenger
While services like Skype, or other instant messengers use the same VoIP technology, you need a computer, and you need to download software to use them. You cannot call or receive calls from a telephone or cell phone for free with those, and you need speakers, and microphone, or a headset. For all intents and purposes, broadband phone service is different because it works like a normal telephone.
What You’ll Need for Broadband Phone
You must have broadband Internet service like cable, or DSL. You’ll need either a regular touch tone telephone (most likely the one you already have), and a VOIP router. You plug your phone into the router instead of the normal wall jack. Another option is to get a special VoIP phone with the router built in. If you get an expandable base VoIP phone, you can have multiple wireless handsets throughout your house.
What You Don’t Need for Broadband Phone
You do not need permission from your Internet provider to use broadband phone service. You also don’t need permission from your cable or phone company, but you might want to make sure your phone company offers naked DSL (Internet without landline phone), before switching. How you use your Internet service, and who you use for phone service is your business. Your computer does not need to be on, and technically you don’t even need a computer for it to work.
Limitations of Broadband Phone
If your power goes out, or you lose your Internet connection, you’ll lose your phone service until your power, or Internet service are restored. Most broadband phone companies offer enhanced 911, but you need to make sure to always have your 911 address on file and updated with the broadband phone provider so emergency services don’t go to the wrong address. Also, if you’ve moved your phone to another location, emergency services will still go to the address you have on file.
Benefits of Broadband Phone Service
Cheap phone service is the number one benefit. Unlimited local and long distance plans rage from eighteen to twenty five dollars per month, or around two hundred dollars for the whole year. Most times you’ll get all your extra calling features like call waiting, forwarding, caller ID etc. for free. Landline companies charge or only give you a few of these. Virtual phone numbers are another feature of broadband phone. This allows you to have more than one phone number that dial to you phone, even a number in a different area code so those people call you for free. You can take your router or phone with you and connect it anywhere there is a broadband Internet connection.
Unlike with traditional landline phone, broadband phone is available anywhere you have cable or DSL Internet. If you check availability for a provider, and your town or area code are not listed (such as rural towns) you can still get a phone number from a surrounding town that would normally be a local call. If you do this, make sure your town, and the other town use the same emergency services. You could aslo just try another provider all together. There may be start up costs associated, so look for providers who offer free activation, and equipment. Also look for providers that allow you to keep your existing phone number.