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When you choose a VoIP phone service provider, you will be sent a converter to allow a regular phone to use VoIP phone service. Your phone number is programmed into converter. This means that you can take your phone converter and phone number and use them wherever you travel in world, just as long as you have access to a high-speed Internet connection. Because your telephone number is based in your converter (and not your home/office), you have option of choosing any area code for your phone number. Some carriers will allow you to have more than 1 phone number in different area codes for a small additional fee (called a virtual phone number). For example, you can have one number in your local area code and another phone number with an area code from another city. By having a virtual phone number in another city where you have a lot of friends and family, you will be saving them money because they can call you on a local number instead of paying for long distance charges to contact you. Both phone numbers will ring your VoIP phone wherever you have your converter and regular phone hooked up to a high speed internet connection.
Connectivity issues with 911 service is still a concern with some providers. Although much progress is being made rapidly in this area across board......it's best to find a provider already enabling E911 service.
Despite what urban legends you may "hear" about using a VoIP phone with dial-up internet access....this is still a myth. If you want a quality credible VoIP experience you will need to have high speed internet access (DSL, cable, or satellite).
Your VoIP phone is portable & can be taken with you anywhere in world. However, it's not quite as unassuming & convenient as many of newer small cell phones. But then.....cell phone calls home from Europe would be a lot more expensive too.
Hopefully above info gives you a little knowledge to go on if you are considering a VoIP phone. Just remember to shop & compare and you'll do fine.
Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications http://ld.net/mscprez and http://DS3-Bandwidth.com .......delivering choices to both residential and business consumers for voice and data broadband services. Michael also authors BroadBand Nation http://BroadBand-Nation.blogspot.com where you're always welcome to to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, and ramblings for the masses.