Similar to what Dan wrote about a few days ago
, I too am a fan of not overpaying for traditional landline telephone
needs. Many of us have heard of Vonage
(who can forget those goofy commercials) and other phone services that use the speed built into that broadband Internet connection instead of paying $30 or $40 a month for a dedicated landline telephone. After all, you're paying for an unlimited amount of data use with that broadband connection (in most cases). Why not use it to its full capability?
If you're in need of a single home telephone number and want the absolute lowest price for the capability of incoming phone calls (to a personal phone number, of course) and unlimited U.S. phone calls, Skype
is by far the best value running. Get a local 'SkypeIn
' telephone number for $60/year and an unlimited amount of outgoing 'SkypeOut
' calls to any U.S. number at any time for $30/year. Add those and you'll get a yearly cost of $90 for unlimited incoming and outgoing calls for and to all other numbers based in the U.S.
Dan mentioned wireless handset alternatives for use with Skype, which give the most home-roaming flexibility. I'll go one further -- I found a U.S. Robotics "Internet Mini Phone" at a local Wal-Mart a few days ago for under $20. Once plugged into one of the many PCs under my domain, Skype began using that new handset (really, just a microphone and speaker) as the device to use instead of the PC headset I normally use. The sound quality is excellent and I leave Skype running on this rarely-used PC all the time. therefore, I get all incoming calls easily and can make an outgoing call anytime I want -- again, very easily.
So, let's break the bare-bones math here: $60 for incoming, $30 for outgoing and $20 for a physical handset (tethered to your PC using an included USB cable). That' $110 per year, or just at $9.16 per month for what would cost you $24.99 with Vonage (along with buying other hardware) or at least $25 a month just for dial tone from a telephone or cable company. Saving literally hundreds of dollars a year is a good thing, right?