Remember what choosing utilities used to be like? You would decide between cable, satellite, or just basic TV. Internet was dial-up and your choice of phone services was deciding which type of long-distance plan you wanted to use. It’s amazing how things have changed in the past few decades. Now the choices for how you view your favorite television show are endless, the Internet is on our phones, and having a phone line running to your house is a thing of the past. VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is one phone option that has grown in popularity. If you are wondering if VoIP is right for you, take a look at the pros and cons.
Pros for VoIP
VoIP is when your computer is used to provide you with a phone line. Instead of running through a phone line, your connection is run through the Internet.
You can take it with you
You can’t bring your home phone line with you. If you are going to be on vacation your home phone stays at home. If you move you have to pay to have a new line connected at your new residence, and you may have to change your number. However, with VoIP you can take your phone with you as long as you are going to be with your computer and Internet access.
VoIP is utilizing your Internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. That means you aren’t being charged additional fees that traditional phone companies need to charge. However, that’s not the only reason it’s a cheaper option. Many providers have a variety of plans to let you choose what you need. There are even plans that allow you to pay when you need to use it. Therefore, you don’t have to commit to a monthly plan. If you only need a home phone for a short time this is a great option.
Cons of VoIP
Not great in emergencies
When you call 9-1-1 from a traditional phone line they automatically know where you are calling. This can be important if you are unable to communicate when you call in. However, the system that 9-1-1 was designed around the way traditional lines work. That means the only address they are going to access is the one that you set up in the phone. So, if you have moved or you are in a different area it could delay you getting the help that you need.
Dependent on power and Internet
A landline is nice to have when the power goes out because it continues to work and you don’t have to worry about the battery running out. However, when you use VoIP you need to have both an Internet connection and a power source. If you don’t have one or the other than you are not going to be able to make a call.
Depending on bandwidth you could experience low call quality. There are complaints about slight delays in the conversation making it a challenge to hold a conversation at times. This is largely due to the fact that the system is trying to determine your bandwidth in order to see what the quality of your call would be. If your bandwidth is low the quality will be lower in order to allow the call to still happen.
VoIP is a great alternative to a landline. Many homes no longer have phone lines connected making it an expensive option to add to your house. However, it is not without fault, so weigh the pros and cons before making your decision.