Continued from page 1
There are some other cool features available for extra $ like softphone which lets you use your computer as a phone w/o modem - this means you can take your laptop w/ you wherever and you have your phone w/ same phone number everywhere too (you can do this w/o softphone, but you have to take your VOIP modem around w/ you - not bad if you're going somewhere for a longer trip).
Another really cool thing is virtual phone numbers. You can get extra numbers that ring same phone, but they are local numbers to any area code you want. So if I live in Dallas and have family in New York, I can get a local phone number here and there. That way my family in New York can call a local number (free) and talk to me! Vonage charges $4.99/month for that. I'm not sure about others.
And biggest benefit - IT'S CHEAP! I pay $14.99 plus some tax and such, but not ump-teen taxes, charges, fees, etc. like phone company charges.
Also, if you do a little research/reading, you can set it up to where every phone jack in your house is wired for VOIP. It's little more than plugging output of your VOIP modem into wall jack you already have. Very little more.
You get lots of good, free features and options for doing/managing a lot more including a lot over web and it's SO much cheaper (at least it is for me!). Being 'average guy' I am, I don't really use all features. Fortunately, it's pretty much a 'set it up and forget about it' type thing except that I save $40+/month w/ it!
I use Vonage b/c that's what I was told about first and it was one of first. There are others and I'm sure they have their strengths, but Vonage has cheapest base option at time I did my research.
Bear Cahill runs: The Armchair Geek (www.thearmchairgeek.com), Webpage Hosting Info (www.webpagehostinginfo.com), Go To College Online (www.gotocollegeonline.com) and The Video Exchange Community (www.videoexchange.org)