Web Phones

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Web phone technology is based on a process called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). With this feature, your calls can be routed through your broadband connection, in other words, through your cable data line. In order to use this service, you will have to purchase a device similar to a modem to use with your regular phone, or buy a microphone and speakers.

Who Should Use Web Phones?

The general thinking is that web phones are a good alternative for people who make a significant number of long-distance phone calls. Web calling is less expensive than most other methods of calling long distance. It is relatively easy to get connected to a VoIP service either through your phone company or your cable provider.

Some of the advantages of web phones, in addition to the cost, are that you will have access to several advanced calling services. You can, in fact, save and redirect your incoming calls, block calls, filter calls, and pick on-hold music. One other advantage some companies offer is the option to select your own area code. Someone who lives in Florida but has numerous relatives in Rhode Island can select the 401 area code so that all calls to and from Rhode Island will be local calls.

Most VoIP calling plans are about 30-35 percent cheaper than those of traditional phone companies. For home-based businesses, especially when they require several hours of calling a day, this can mean significant savings. One concern is that a power outage will knock out your web phone service. A 911 call may be more difficult, especially if you have chosen a different area code. Finally, there are still some issues with call quality; however, there has been a concerted (and ongoing) effort to improve that factor.

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