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Phone Over Internet - Meet the Two Giants of Phone Over Internet – Skype and Vonage - Skype: Fuzzy, Friendly, and (Mostly) Free!

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A few years ago, some overly-intelligent engineers discovered a way to easily transmit voice audio over the internet. Since then, VoIP (voice over IP) services have exploded into hundreds of different options. Internet phone lines provide a great opportunity for consumers who want to cut down or even completely eliminate their phone bills! Who wouldn’t like that?

This guide will compare the top two options out there for internet phone services and what to expect from each of them.

Skype: Fuzzy, Friendly, and (Mostly) Free!

Skype is an amazing service, when you really think about it. Skype’s basic service is totally free, and it enables you to speak with any of the millions of Skype users for free. Have friends in far countries that you never talk to because of outrageous international calling fees? Have them get Skype. Boom, problem solved. For free.

All you need to do is sign up for a Skype account and install their program on your computer. It’s super-simple, and it has a cute, friendly interface to guide you through the process. If you have a webcam, you can even video chat with people, also for free. Remember when we used to fantasize about the future having video phones? Well, check that one off the list.

Skype also has a gallery of paid services, which are still very reasonably priced. Depending on your needs, you can enable Skype to call actual landlines. You can buy a Skype phone number so that people can call you from a landline. And you can even set up a voicemail account on your Skype number in case they don’t catch you at your computer.

Skype provides some amazing tools that can literally change the face of telecommunications, most of which cost nothing. For that, they deserve some serious respect.

Vonage: We Mean Business

Vonage is usually thought of as the business solution of voice over IP. With Vonage, you can set up your existing home/business phone to make and receive calls using your high-speed internet connection. All you need is a special Vonage adapter to make the change. So if you want to switch your existing system to VoIP without a lot of hassle, Vonage is the way to go. Their residential plans start from $9.99 per month, and for a little more money you can get unlimited minutes and the ability to call 60 countries! (That particular plan costs $25.99, which is about how much it could cost you to make a 10 minute call to a foreign country on some phone plans!)

Vonage is perhaps best appreciated by business customers, who especially like the idea of saving crazy money on phone usage without buying loads of new equipment. Many times you can even keep your old phone number, which makes switching over that much easier. Business plans start from $39.99 per month.

Vonage has all of your favorite office phone system goodies, like 3-way calling, call transfer, call waiting, etc. And they also have some amazing new tricks, like their Visual Voicemail system. Visual Voicemail will actually transcribe your voicemails into text and send them to your phone’s text messages or to email.

Whatever your calling needs, Skype or Vonage have got you covered. These two powerhouses are rapidly making landline phones a thing of the past.

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