Advantages of VoIP Over Traditional Telephone Services

Before the technology improved with the Internet that allowed faster data speeds with broadband services, the idea of voice over the Internet was only a dream. Our only option was the regular Plain Old Phone Service (POTS) provided over expensive copper wire.

Regular phone service usually doesn’t include many features. Even long distance requires a separate account with a long distance carrier at additional expense.

If you have Internet service from a cable company then you may be able to get phone service from them too. This is known as VoIP. It stands for Voice over Internet Protocol.

The VoIP phone service comes through your cable rather than the old copper wires. The cable company will supply you with a special telephony modem.

A telephony modem includes an Analog Telephony Adapter (ATA) built into it. This Internet modem has one or two phone jacks in addition to the usual Ethernet jack for your computer.

Features Included with VoIP

VoIP services usually include most of the technologically available features at no extra cost. Features such as the following are free with most VoIP services.

  • Call-Waiting
  • Caller-ID
  • Three-Way-Calling
  • Call Blocking
  • Call Forwarding
  • Distinctive Ring for VIP Callers
  • Long Distance (Usually to all 50 States in the USA, plus Puerto Rico)

One Important Disadvantage

If you have a power failure, your modem will not work and therefore your phone service will be knocked out.

You could connect your modem to an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) that provides power for an hour or two if you are in an area that is prone to losing electricity. In addition, your cable provider might even include a feature to forward calls to your cell phone in case of a power outage.

This can be enabled and controlled by you via a web login portal. The features listed above can also be controlled from your web portal.

Additional Line at Low Cost

If you only have one phone line, you use only one jack. However, you can have two numbers. The monthly cost for the additional line is very small compared to two-line service over copper lines.

There are two reasons why the cost is low. There is no need to run additional cables, and the central office support for an additional line does not take up any additional resources.

Internal Wiring

Connecting the phones throughout your home still requires copper wire. However, you probably already have this from your existing phone service. All you need to do is have the wires terminate at the location where your Internet Telephony Modem will reside.

You simply connect this wire to the telephony modem. The connection is made with the standard RJ-11 jack that you use with your phones.

If you have two lines running through one wire, it uses the same looking jack at the end, but this is known as an RJ-14. The inner two pins carry line 1 and the outset two pins carry line 2. In this case one of the jacks in the modem is used. You’ll notice that one of the jacks is labeled L1/L2 and the other is labeled just L2.

Final Remarks

The technology has been improved in recent years with the advent of better data compression techniques. It even provides better quality sound due to the use of digital transmission.

Long Distance can be included free, and overseas at low-cost, because the service takes advantage of the Internet satellite infrastructure that’s already in place around the world.

VoIP definitely is the wave of the future that is here now.

Phone, Internet, TV, Wireless…Comparing Bundled Services

This article will allow consumers to educate themselves on the best deals possible for bundled services. In the ever changing and ultra competitive world of telecom many consumers can be confused with the many different bundled plans and services most phone companies now offer. With the implementation of bundled services consumers can now have most all telecom products (phone, tv, internet, wireless) and services provided by the same company at a lower rate than having multiple service providers. This article will categorically break down plans provided by most major telecom service providers available in th US. Each provider will be rated based on blanket availability, services offered, and cost effectiveness. These are comprehensive reviews based on research and not personal experience. Phone Companies Beware this article is designed to educate consumers and provide the best possible options for telecom services.

First up AT&T The monopolizing entity of the Big 3 phone companies few can compete with the blanket availability of AT&T’s products and services worldwide. Being one of only three telecom companies that also offer wireless phone service as a part of its residential bundle which also includes its unlimited calling plan phone service, satellite TV Through Dish Network and of course the world famous ATT Yahoo DSL. Few companies can compete, but there are cheaper bundled service plans out there especially for the consumer that is not interested in cellular phone service. Here is an example of the services offered and billing for the AT&T Residential bundled services plan.

Phone Service- Order AT&T All Distance Online Select(SM) online and get unlimited local and domestic direct-dialed long distance plus great calling features.

TV Service- AT&T | DISH Network entertainment package with over 60 of America’s favorite channels. Includes local channels Plus Free DVR.

High Speed Internet- Yahoo DSL ATT,Plus, order Express online and receive 1 month FREE! (New residential DSL customers only. Bill credit applied after three months paid service. See offer details.)

Wireless Cell Phone- Cingular Nation 450 anytime minutes Cingular Wireless® plan with Rollover® Minutes, unlimited Mobile to Mobile minutes, and more. Plus get a $5/mo. discount

with qualifying AT&T services.

Bundled Plan Total Cost $130.94/mo or less!

Well Old Ma Bell Does Have A Cost Effective Money Saving Bundle With The Most Availability!

4.5/5 Stars

Next we have Qwest Communications One of the Big 3 Telecom service providers its coverage area is limited to the Western half of the states mainly the Pacific Northwest but as far as price and overall services this company by far has the best bundled package including wireless cell phone service on the market. One Negative though No free DVR here but more channels with Direct TV as opposed to ATT Dish Network, Here are the details.

Phone Service- Digital Voice: Unlimited local and long-distance calls from your home phone to anywhere in the U.S. and now Canada, anytime. PLUS, choose up to three of your favorite calling features.

TV Service- The DIRECTV® package offers 185+ channels in 100% digital quality.

High Speed Internet- Qwest Choice DSL Deluxe with MSN. Unlimited Internet access that’s up to 25 times faster than 56Kbps dial-up.

Wireless Cell Phone- 500-minute plan, free UT Starcom 7025 phone (after $10 credit on 2nd or 3rd bill, with a two-year agreement), free headset and charger, free shipping, free activation and free Unlimited Nights and Weekends Starting at 9 p.m. WHOO HOOO a FREE PHONE!

Bundled Plan Total Cost 125.96/mo

Unbeatable 5/5 stars if its available in your are choose Qwest!

Well here it is last of the Big 3 Phone companies Verizon. I’m wondering which of these companies will be around for the next 20 years with AT&T having a strangle hold on our national market. Verizon Phone company does provide some pretty stiff competition for Old Ma Bell though, Here are the details.

Phone- Verizon’s Freedom Essentials provides unlimited calls to the US and Canada as well as the main basic calling features with voicemail being FREE 1 up on AT&T.

TV Service- Same Plan as Qwest with Direct TV more channels for the money as opposed to AT&T.

High Speed Internet- DSL the cable companies sure have 1 up on DSL consumers with faster speed available but in a bundle Verizon has a pretty good plan, Connection speeds up to 3.0 Mbps, More than 80 times faster than dial-up, Three installation steps

here is the one negative with their DSL service in the bundle One-year commitment required.

Wireless- Well We’ve all heard of the network on TV and the such and Verizon Phone Company does offer wireless services as part of its bundle with 450 anytime minutes and a standard wireless plan.

Bundled Plan Total Cost 134.99-144.99/mo depending on your area.

I would have to rate them #2 amongst the Big 3 as far as services and pricing but they do have the edge on Qwest based up blanket availability.

4.5/5.0 stars

Now we go on to the cable companies that have also submitted their bids for your telephone service as well first up we have Comcast Cable Company. Well if you are truly dedicated to cable TV and internet if available in your area Comcast Cable Company is the way to go all necessary equipment is Free after mail in rebates and services are exceptional based on consumer reviews online. Here are the details.

Phone- Unlimited local and long distance in the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada from one provider. One bill for local and long distance. Keep your current phone number (subject to some restrictions).

TV Service- Over a hundred channels, plus local channels. Digital quality picture and sound. Parental Controls and an Interactive Program Guide Movies and shows you can start on your schedule with Comcast OnDemand – many included at no cost.

High Speed Internet- Comcast Highspeed Cable Internet, Speeds up to 3Mbps and a reliable connection. Anti-virus and firewall software, spam filtering and parental controls included. Always connected, no dial-up required. Up to 10 email boxes and extra storage FREE MODEM NO LEASING FEE AFTER REBATE!

With no wireless service available as part of the bundle I still have to give the Cable edge to Comcast with So many cash back offers on signup!

Bundled Plan Total Cost 99.00/mo

Next Up Charter Communications, the reviews are in some good some bad and well some just plain indifferent. Charter Communication Cable…Cable TV’s answer to the Big 3 phone companies (AT&T, Qwest, Verizon) and satellite tv’s quest to crush cable have assembled their own bundled telecom services package as well. Though wireless cell phone services are not offered as part of the Charter Bundle. Charter does have a few advantages that may just sway a chunk of loyal wireless consumers back to the wired world. Here are the details.

Phone- Unlimited local and long distance in the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada from one provider. One bill for local and long distance. Keep your current phone number (subject to some restrictions).

TV Service- Over a hundred channels, plus local channels. Digital quality picture and sound. Parental Controls and an Interactive Program Guide Movies and shows you can start on your schedule with Charter OnDemand – many included at no cost.

High Speed Internet- Charter Highspeed Cable Internet, Speeds up to 3Mbps and a reliable connection. Anti-virus and firewall software, spam filtering and parental controls included. Always connected, no dial-up required. Up to 10 email boxes and extra storage

Wireless Cell Phone- NA

Bundled Plan Total Cost 99.97/mo

On Demand is Pretty Nice and no matter what DSL users say cable is faster than DSL but with no wireless service it means I still have to look at another bill month to month. Limited availability Though. 4.0/5 stars

Last but not least Time Warner Cable Company Well While Competing in huge markets such as New York, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio Time Warner has a bundled services package that seems to be the best for the loyal cable consumer. Still no wireless phone service but with high speed cable internet service through Road Runner and On Demand programming as well as a free DVR included in its digital Cable package it seems to be the service to outlast Charter and Comcast in the Cable Providers rank and file in our new telecom bundled services world.

Phone- It’s time for a better residential telephone service. It’s time for unlimited calling to anywhere in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, plus popular calling features for one low “monthly” price.

TV Service- Time Warner Cable Over 250 Channels

With features like Digital Video Recorder (DVR), you can now record anything you like and watch it later, with all the control of a VCR or a DVD. You can even pause live TV. Plus On Demand

High Speed Internet- high speed cable via Road Runner. Hey Its Cable internet always on and faster than DSL.

Wireless Cell Phone- NA

Bundled Plan Total Cost 99.97/mo

Hey I had AT&T but DSL was too unreliable I now have Charter but wish I could have Time Warner

4.0/5 stars

In closing with the market as competitive as it has become for your telecom dollars finding the best bundled services package for your home or business is just a matter of educating yourself.

The Disadvantages of Satellite Internet Services

When the area that you are staying does not have any broadband, cables or DSL connections, a satellite Internet service is far a better option than the 56k dial up services. The main priority is to get the faster connection with a higher speed access. Even so, there are a lot of bad reviews out there for those who have subscribed the satellite Internet services.

One of the major problems faced by the subscribers according to the satellite Internet review would be the peak hours and the Fair Access Policies. Fair Access Policy (FAP) or also known, as Fair Use Policy is a policy that limits the bandwidth of a subscriber’s daily usage of the Internet. Do check with the provider on what is the FAP for the plans offered before signing up because the smaller the bandwidth, the less access that you can gain in that Internet service. When the connection is congested during the peak hours, the Internet goes very slow. This happens usually when there are too many people accessing the Internet at a same time and this has been the major drawback from the reviews.

According to the reviews, latency is the second most drawbacks faced by the subscribers. With satellite internet, data signals travel forward and back through the space in a long distance and this will create latency in data sourcing. Subscribers will experience lagging if they are using the voice chat applications, voice over IP service, streaming video or watching movies online or even playing online gaming. To avoid more frustrations with the latency problems, subscribers would prefer to stick just normal surfing or typical emailing when accessing with the satellite internet.

As the data signals travel in quite a distance, any more disturbances between the traveling will make the connection even worse. The weather condition and the location of the disk would be the factors that can worsen the satellite Internet services. Raining, clouds, snow and big winds can contribute to a lost of connectivity and interruptions when the data signal is lost. This could also happen if the disk is not installed in a clear view location to avoid any disturbances.

The next common problem as stated in the satellite internet review, pricing is by far most expensive in comparison with cables or DSL services. In order to enjoy a high speed Internet connection then the 56k dial up access, subscribers need to pay a huge amount of startup and monthly fees. Even so, with all the drawbacks, it has become a necessity to have the high-speed access to Internet; subscribers had to just bear with the troubles they have to face.