There are some issues to consider before switching to VoIP for phone service
Internet-based telephone service — also known as VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol — is usually cheaper than using traditional phone lines. If you're thinking about trying VoIP, here are some things to consider:
• Internet connection. Your calls will be going over the Internet, not over the local phone company's copper wires, so make sure you have reliable broadband service.
• Software-based services. The cheapest VoIP offerings — sometimes free — involve downloading software and then making calls from your computer to another computer. Video chat may be included. For a little more money, you can make computer-to-phone calls. Skype, Yahoo Voice and Google Voice are among your choices.
• Device-based services. With VoIP services such as Vonage, Ooma and Phone Power, you connect an adapter to your Internet router, and then connect your phone to the adapter. You then can use your phone as usual, and your computer doesn't have to be on to make calls. Cable companies that offer VoIP will typically send a technician to hook up the adapter.
• Other features. Most providers offer a range of packages and prices, depending on how much you use your phone and whether you want features such as voicemail and caller ID. Some offer automated transcription of voice messages to your email. Be sure to check on 911 service — it typically is available with device-based services, but not with software-based ones.
• Power outages. Unlike copper phone lines, which still work even when the electricity dies, VoIP relies on using the Internet — so if the power goes off, you may have no phone service. Some Internet providers and VoIP companies offer back-up batteries to provide temporary service.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.