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What Innovative Voice Technology Is Replacing Telephones?

If you grew up in the age of smartphones, you’ve probably never heard a busy signal or gotten your hair tangled in a phone cord. Boomers, on the other hand, get nostalgic remembering the kitchen wall-phone that matched the Formica, misdialing the operator for help, and writing phone numbers in a little black book.

Those days are all but gone. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that more than half of U.S. homeowners and renters have ditched their landlines. That was unthinkable even a decade ago, but it’s starting to make a lot of sense.

What Is VoIP?

VoIP stands for. In a traditional phone system, copper wires run from your house to a nearby concentrator that digitizes your voice. With Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), calls are routed over your home Internet system. Your voice is first converted to data and then reassembled into high-quality sound.

There are numerous advantages to making the switch.

How Easy Is VoIP to Use?

If you have no trouble using a regular phone, you’ll have no trouble using VoIP.

The most basic requirement for service is high-speed Internet. For the best access and sound quality, experts recommend an upload speed of 3Mbps or faster. Before setting up, test your broadband before switching to VoIP as an upgrade may be in order.

Do your homework on providers and services. There are plans for all lifestyles and budgets, but customer service is also an important consideration. Search VoIP companies on consumer protection websites. Read reviews written by people who have been customers for a while; rock-bottom prices aren’t necessarily a bargain in the long run.

Typically, there are four plan options:

Depending on what features you need, you could pay as little as $6 a month or as much as $50. If you don’t tack on functions that you’ll never use, you should be able to find a nice plan in the $20 to $25 range. Many providers charge a one-time fee ranging anywhere from $10 to $40 if you opt to keep your existing phone number.

As for equipment, VoIP requires one of the following:

If you’re determined to keep your landline, you’ll need an analog telephone adaptor. ATAs enable conventional phones to access the VoIP network.

Most residential systems are plug-and-play. Once you’ve received your equipment, they take just minutes to set up. Good providers usually have online tutorials or offer support by phone or chat if you have questions.

Some companies require you to purchase their equipment while others build the cost into monthly service charges.

Mobile VoIP operates through apps, and there are hundreds to choose from. The service is much cheaper than landline service, and calls are unlimited.

Where to Find the Best Deals

If you have reliable Internet service, there’s nothing to stop you from switching to VoIP.

Since the market is extremely competitive, there’s no better time to act. Most providers are willing to tailor plans and negotiate prices, so call around. Check websites for sign-up bonuses and limited-time offers. Coupon sites often have VoIP discounts as well.

Use the search box on technology sites like and to find price comparisons. and are also valuable resources for up-to-date reviews and tips on how to save.

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