What to Look For
Your first concern should be to know what to look for in a provider. This is especially if you plan to manually research on VoIP providers yourself. Here are some factors to consider when assessing a provider:
- One of the top considerations is the price. VoIP in general is far cheaper than a regular telephone line. As with everything else however, the rates may differ from one provider to another. This may be because of differences in features offered. Well known communications giants may also charge slightly higher than smaller companies.
- Features should be a major concern in your search for the best VoIP provider. Your preference for certain features however will also depend on what you need VoIP for. You may need it for personal local calls, international calls or corporate communications. Depending on your use in mind, certain features to choose from include video conferencing, call waiting, caller ID, call transfer, vice mail, auto redial and speed dial.
- Voice quality is another important concern. Not all companies provide the same quality when it comes to transmissions. You may have to consider such details as the availability of soft switches.
- The reputation of a provider should be considered. You don't have to go with the biggest name on the list. You just need to make sure that you are with a company that has been around in the communications business for some time. They also need to have some experience in the field of VoIP.
Where to Look for Providers
The internet is a good first stop to look for a provider. In fact, the internet may be all you need to locate a good provider. You may manually search and compare providers yourself. You can however also consult online comparison sites. These sites have lists of providers with their corresponding prices and feature offers. They may also carry consumer reviews of these providers.
Comparison sites can also offer a couple of other services. They may have information pages to help you understand VoIP technology better. Others also provide e-mail and newsletter updates regarding VoIP technology developments. These updates include the current availability of providers in different localities.
Aside from review sites, you can also head off to forums. This will help you get an idea of what actual individual VoIP users have to say about their providers. This is the best first hand information that you will ever get. Forum rules also give you a higher assurance that you are communicating with people who are truthful about their provider experiences.
It may be hard to look for the best VoIP provider at first. Finding one isn't impossible though. You just have to take your time with making your choices. Make sure that you thoroughly compare the different aspects of providers before settling on one.