Money Saving Monday Tip#5 – Use Digital Phone Service

By glblguy

Digital Phone Service

I am surprised by the number of people that still use standard phone service. Digital phone service has been around for about 5 years and in my opinion offers the best rates for residential and commercial phone service.

Digital phone service is phone service provided over your high-speed internet connection. When you sign-up with a digital phone service provider, you receive a special router that plugs into your DSL or cable modem. The router allows you to plug-in standard phones and use them just like you normally would. The router converts to analog voice signal to a digital signal and transfers it over the internet to your digital phone provider who then transfers it to the persons phone service you are talking to. The person you are talking to doesn’t require digital phone service to talk to you.

We’ve been Vonage customers for almost 2 years now and really have no complaints. We had some issues with call clarity for a while, and even today every once in a while there is a delay;however, given the dramatic price difference we can’t complain. We have the residential basic plan which offers 500 minutes of call time and unlimited long distance for 14.99 a month. They also have a premium residential plan which offers unlimited call time and unlimited long distance for $24.99.

Since we live in a small suburban town, we had a local phone provider and where paying upwards of $80 – $100 per month for phone service. This was primarily due to the local phone provider charging long distance to call into the main city we are near. Switching to Vonage resulted in a $65/month savings. Over the past 2 years that works out to be more than $1500!

Digital Phone Service also offers some unique features:

  • Call history accessible from the internet
  • Call forwarding to multiple phone numbers
  • Voicemail that is accessible from the internet (and yes you can even listen to it)
  • Call forwarding in the event your internet connection is down. We have ours sent to our cell phones
  • Standard features like conference calling, caller-id, call waiting, etc.
  • The ability to place calls from your computer AND carry your number around with you.
  • Wi-fi enabled phones
  • Virtual phone numbers and dedicated fax lines.
  • The ability for your family and friends to call a local Vonage number, and then enter your number so they won’t have to pay long distance!

Other digital phone service providers include:

One concern I frequently hear about digital phone service is regarding 911 service. While the 911 service isn’t up to par across the board with standard phone service, my experience with it has been good. We have used 911 at least 2 or 3 times since switching to Vonage. We were routed to our local 911 service the same as we were in the past with standard phone service. We were also routed with E911, which means the 911 operator had our address and phone number when he/she received the call. Where you live and the service available will determine how your 911 calls are handled.

If you haven’t tried digital phone service or have been considering it, I highly recommend it. We left our standard phone service in place and used Vonage for a few months before finally switching 100%.

If you are interested in signing up with Vonage let me know and I’ll email you a referral and we’ll both get 2 months free.

Note: This is not a paid posting. I am in no way affiliated with Vonage nor am I making any money from this posting. I am just a satisfied Vonage customer and believe you might be as well.

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Money Saving Monday Tip#5 – Use Digital Phone Service”

  1. Jake Says:

    Hi! Found your blog via MyBlogLog. Glad to hear you are so satisfied with Vonage. I just signed up with them a month ago. We did have a few clarity problems but I think they’ve been worked out.

  2. glblguy Says:

    Hi Jake, glad you found me :-) We had the same issue with clarity, but a few calls to customer service and a few tweaks on the sound quality vs. bandwidth settings and as was well. We still have the occasional problem, but given the cost I really can’t complain.

  3. justin Says:

    Talk about being bent over, $80 for phone service?

    We keep the POTS line for two reasons. Everyone knows the number and it works when the cable and/or power are out.

    I have recently started using Skype for my international calls, it is working wonderfully and I picked up a plugin stand-alone skype phone and a SkyeIn number in Australia for family to call me for local rates.

    Our US long distance is mostly on the cells.

    We pay just over $20 a month for bare-bones POTS.

  4. Pinyo Says:

    @glblguy – good post, I just changed to digital myself and saved quite a bit of money since all calls within US are included in the plan. No problem so far here.

    @justin – you can keep the same number. If all hell break loose, I can use my cell phone for emergency. However, you may not have that option if you are out of range.

  5. Justin Says:

    @Pinyo: My number for some reason isn’t portable. The power also goes out with enough frequency to make a VOIP line too unreliable.

  6. glblguy Says:

    @Justin – Mine wasn’t either. Because I was moving from a local phone company to Vonage.

    Vonage has a feature that if your power or internet connection is out, it will route your calls to a number you specify (in our case our cell phones).