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VOIP Plan Comparisons

You've probably heard everyone talking about VOIP, but maybe you've been afraid to ask your geeky friends what a VOIP is. Never fear. VOIP (or Voice Over IP) is simply a way to get telephone service over your broadband Internet connection.

If you set up your cable or DSL modem, then you'll be able to set up VOIP in a matter of minutes. Basically, you just plug in the VOIP hardware (usually a little box) between your cable or DSL modem and your computer (or home network). You then plug your phone into the box and you've got inexpensive service with tons of great features.

To help you choose the best VOIP plan for your needs, here's a comparison table of popular VOIP plans, compiled and maintained by geekbooks.com (used with permission).

Provider Plan Monthly Activation Equipment Voice Mail Call Waiting Call Fwd Caller ID 3 Way Calls Long
Distance
Features of Note
AOL Local
(Existing AOL Customers)
$18.99
($13.99 for the first three months)

$30 deposit on calls

$5.00 router fee retunded after first month. $9.99 shipping & handling X X X X X Unlimited local and regional calls, long distance .04 per minute Send call to voicemail, call logs, click-to-dial, AOL Call Alert, AOLbyPhone, AOL Voicemail, AOL Dashboard, online presence awareness, call blocking, parental controls, 911
Unlimited Calling
(Existing AOL Customers)
$29.99
($24.99 for the first three months)
$30 deposit on calls $5.00 router fee retunded after first month. $9.99 shipping & handling X X X X X Unlimited within US & Canada.
Global Calling
(Existing AOL Customers)
$34.99
($29.99 for the first three months)
$30 deposit on calls $5.00 router fee retunded after first month. $9.99 shipping & handling X X X X X Unlimited within US & Canada, overseas calls charged varying rates per minute - approximately half the price of the Unlimited plan
New AOL Customer Plan $39.99
($29.99 for the first six months)
$30 deposit on calls $5.00 router fee retunded after first month. $9.99 shipping & handling X X X X X Unlimited within US and Canada
AT&T CallVantage Local Plan $19.99 $29.99   X X X X X .04 per minute Call Log, Phone Book, Locate Me, Speed Dial, Do Not Disturb, Safe Forward Number, Fax and Modem Support, Directory Assistance, Personal Conferencing, E-911
CallVantage Service Plan $24.99 (first month free for online orders - expires 12/31/06) $29.99   X X X X X Free - US & Canada
CallVantage 2-Line Plan $49.99 $29.99   X X X X X Free - US & Canada
BroadVoice Unlimited In-State $9.95

$39.95
(Save $30 if you BYOD.)

$14.95 X X X X X Unlimited within primary number state, 3.9 per minute to other states Anon Call Rejection,
Call Forward (Always, Busy, No Answer, Selective),
Call Hold,
Call Notify,
*69 Call Return
Call Transfer
Call Waiting, Distinctive Ring, Do Not Disturb, Last Number Redial, Speed Dial,
Voice Mail (Aliases & Dist Lists), Priority Alert, Simultaneous Ring
Unlimited World $19.95 $39.95
(Save $30 if you BYOD.)
$14.95 X X X X X Unlimited within US & 21 countries #
Unlimited World Plus $24.95 $39.95
(Save $30 if you BYOD.)
$14.95 X X X X X Unlimited within US & 35 countries ##
Small Business $29.95 $39.95
(Save $30 if you BYOD.)
$14.95 X X X X X Unlimited within US and Canada
EarthLink trueVoice trueVoice Unlimited $29.95 ? ? X X X X X Unlimited within US Call Log, Phone Book, Locate Me, Speed Dial, Do Not Disturb, Safe Forward Number, Fax and Modem Support, Directory Assistance, Personal Conferencing, E-911
trueVoice Basic $29.95 ? ? X X X X X 500 minutes included, $.04/minute after
Lingo Lingo Link $7.95 $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X     Free to Lingo Subscribers, .03 per minute US & Canada  
Basic $14.95 $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X X X 500 minutes US, Canada, & W. Europe Anon. Call Rejection, Caller ID Block, Do Not Disturb, Redial, Speed Dial, 411, Simultaneous Ring, Universal Number, Simultaneous Ring, Local Number Portability
Unlimited W. Europe $21.95 (first month free) $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X X X Free - US, Canada, & W. Europe *
Asia $34.95 (first month free) $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X X X Free - US, Canada, & Asia ***
International $34.95 (first month free) $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X X X Free - See List of Countries **
Business Unlimited $49.95 (first month free) $29.95 $9.95 shipping X X X X X Free - US, Canada As above, plus free fax line with 500 minutes
SunRocket Limited Edition $9.95 - - X X X X X 200 minutes US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and 41 SunSpots### Anon. Call Rejection, *69 Call Return, Speed Dial, Call Logs, Click to Call, Enhanced Voicemail, Distinctive Rings, Do Not Disturb, Find Me
Monthly Edition $24.95 - - X X X X X Unlimited calling US, Puerto Rico, and Canada, 2 free directory assistance calls and $3 International credit each month
Annual Edition $199 per year - - X X X X X Unlimited calling US, Puerto Rico, and Canada, 2 free directory assistance calls and $3 International credit each month
India Edition $199 per year - - X X X X X Unlimited calling US, Puerto Rico, and Canada,$.10 per min calls to India, inc. mobiles. Earn 20% credit back at end of year for calls made to India.
Sunspots Edition $299 per year - - X X X X X Unlimited calling US, Puerto Rico, and Canada, 41 SunSpots###
Global Edition $349 per year - - X X X X X Unlimited calling US, Puerto Rico, and Canada, $20 monthly International credit
Verizon VoiceWing 500 $19.95

$19.95
(may be waived)

$8.00
(shipping & handling)
X X X X X 500 minutes of local and long distance calling, US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, then 4 cents per minute Back-Up Number, Caller ID Block, Do Not Disturb, Voice Portal, Repeat Dial, Speed Dial, Address Book (w/sync), Call Logs, Enhanced Call Forward, Directory Look-up, Simultaneous Ring, Click-to-Dial, Call Back, Caller ID Block
VoiceWing Unlimited $24.95

$19.95
(may be waived)

$8.00
(shipping & handling)
X X X X X Unlimited in US, Canada, Puerto Rico
VoiceWing Multi-line $44.95

$19.95
(may be waived)

$8.00
(shipping & handling)
X X X X X Unlimited in US, Canada, Puerto Rico
VoicePulse America
Unlimited
$24.99 $29.99 $49.99 X X X X X Unlimited in US Telemarketer Block, Filters, Multi-Ring, Scheduled Do Not Disturb, *69 Call Return, # 7-Digit Dialing, Contact Lists, Distinctive Ring, Speed Dial, Do Not Disturb, Call Hunt, Find Me
Local
Unlimited
+200
$14.99 $29.99 $49.99 X X X X X 200 minutes free, then
3.9 per minute
Business
Unlimited
$45.99 $29.99 $49.99 X X X X X Unlimited in US
Vonage Basic 500 $14.99 $29.99 $9.95 (shipping) X X X X X US, Canada , Puerto Rico,
500 minutes free, then
3.9 per minute
Click-2-Call, Call Return, Caller ID Block, Repeat Dialing, International Call Block, Ring Lists, Call Hunt, Vonage V-Forcast
Premium Unlimited $24.99 $29.99 $9.95 (shipping) X X X X X Unlimited US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Italy, France, Spain, UK and Ireland
Small Business Basic $39.99 $29.99 $9.95 (shipping) X X X X X US, Canada, Puerto Rico
1500 minutes free, then
3.9 per minute
Small Business Unlimited $49.99 $29.99 $9.95 (shipping) X X X X X Unlimited US, Canada, Puerto Rico Italy, France, Spain, UK and Ireland
VoxFlow Residential Class $24.95 ? ? X X X X X Unlimited in US Speed dialing, Global Portability
Small Business Class (dedicated fax line) $48.95 ? ? X X X X X Unlimited in US
Phone System Class $49.95 ? ? Hunt groups available X X X Unlimited in US

NOTE: Some VOIP plans may charge for calls to Hawaii and Alaska. This list is not the be all, end all ... always check with each provider for the specific features and benefits of their plans. You can also expect to pay various pesky little (i.e.: $1-$3) monthly charges for things like Regulatory Recovery Fees, Universal Service Funds, and E911. The devil is the the details.

* Lingo's Western European VOIP plan includes: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg, Vatican City, Norway, Portugal, and Spain plus Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. However, this does not include calls to mobile phones, premium and special service numbers in these areas. US includes Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and calls to cellular phones.

** Lingo's International VOIP plan includes: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico (Including Mobile), the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City. However, this does not include calls to mobile phones, premium and special service numbers in these areas. US includes Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and calls to cellular phones.

*** Lingo's Asia VOIP plan includes: UK, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea and Guam.

+++ Packet 8's Freedom Unlimited Global plan includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Moscow-Central, Moscow-Suburb, St. Petersburg, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Israel.

# BroadVoice Unlimited World VOIP plan includes: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, and Vatican City. Calls to mobile numbers outside the US and Canada are not included.

## BroadVoice Unlimited World Plus VOIP plan includes: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, and Vatican City. Calls to mobile numbers outside the US and Canada are not included.

### SunRocket's SunSpots include: (Countries) Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Vatican City. (Cities) Caracas, Guadalajara, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Lima, Mexico City, Monterrey, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg, São Paulo.

Still on the fence? Read Geekbooks.com's VOIP survey results.



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