How many of us remember and/or miss the rotary phone? Well, it's still available, but it's not making a grand comeback. Rotary Phones were replaced by the touch-tone phone, which was replaced by the cordless touch-tone phone, which was then replaced by 2.4 Ghz wireless phone and digital answering system with several handsets. Yes, I do realize that we've skipped a few models, but we're not writing a period piece.
Alas, the home phone has been replaced by Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) devices, wireless home phones that utilize cell phone towers, Skype, Magic Jack, and that gizmo we carry around in our pockets or purses...the cell phone.
Vonage is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service, which uses your home broadband internet to route your calls. For it to work all you need is high speed internet connection, a standard home phone, and the Vonage Box. This service offers plans with International calling to sixty different countries and you can add an extension (Your Cell Phone) and use it to call Internationally at no additional cost.
Pros: Easy setup, Stable and reliable connection. Competitive pricing on International calling, An Android app that lets you use your Vonage account to make international calls. Easily control your features (Call Forwarding, Voicemail, etc.) via the Vonage website. Several options available at competitive pricing.
Cons: For Vonage to work you must have high speed internet (at least 7 Mbps). Also, if your power goes out you'll be without phone service since it relies on your internet connection. However, a battery backup can be purchased separately at a local retailer. 911 - Your address must be accurate/current when activating any VoIP connection to ensure that emergency services can locate your home/office if necessary.
Comcast's phone service is also VoIP, which can be bundled with their internet service. You can expect excellent call quality and nationwide calling included in the reasonable price.
Pros: Call Quality. Stable and reliable connection. Most Comcast modems have a battery backup built-in, just in case you have a power outage.
Cons: International calling options are extra on their Unlimited Nationwide plan. 911 - Your address must be accurate/current when activating any VOIP connection to ensure that emergency services can locate your home/office if necessary.
CenturyLink offers traditional phone service that requires a standard home phone wall jack. When bundled with their DSL Internet service + Unlimited Nationwide Calling, you get a great five-year price ($65 + taxes/fees) without a contract. However, data speeds are important, so we suggest a minimum of 7 Mbps to maximize both phone and Internet services.
Pros: Reliabilty, Easy to setup, No need to worry about power outages effecting phone service. Nice bundled Internet/Home Phone pricing. Local calling packages are also available at a reduced cost. 911 - No need to worry. Current address is automatically listed with Emergency Services.
Cons: No International Calling package included with Unlimited Nationwide Calling.