Comwave is one of the major VoIP providers in Canada, having first introduced their services to the Canadian public in 1999. But since then, other VoIP providers have come along looking to dethrone the perceived leaders. Fast forward to 2016 and find Comwave facing a very competitive and a somewhat crowded Canadian market, but definitely has time, advertising (who has not seen the commercials with Tie Domi?) and brand recognition on their side. With that said let’s take a look at how Phone Power compares to one of the alleged leaders in the Canadian Home Phone market.
As it typical VoIP provider leases or sells you an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) device that the subscriber shall put between the internet router and your computer, which one’s hooks any regular home phone to. Not a biggie, since you only connect the one phone to the ATA. Unlike a traditional phone provider, you can take the ATA with you when you travel and make calls from anywhere you get a wired Internet connection. Though that as some caveats on its own, since 911 information is maintained by the user in the case of VoIP services the address it will show to the 911 dispatcher will be the one registered with the account. So if you take the ATA with you when you travel or move consider updating your home address; if travelling overseas though this may not have any meaning as 911 service may not be available in the area you are going to.
Both Comwave and Phone Power give you a free equipment lease on their locked-in devices for as long as you subscribe to their service. Neither device is capable of connecting over Wi-Fi, so the adapter itself needs to be connected to the internet router. Phone Power’s ATA let you connect two phones to the device, with a capacity of two lines per account. Phone Power also allows for a second cloned phone line (of the primary home phone line) for free. In either case, when you have a second line, when a call comes in while you are on the phone, the off-hook phone gets a call waiting beep and the second phone rings. The second cloned phone option lets one person talk on the phone all day without tying up the line for everyone else. It’s a good option to have when you have several people in one house and want to make calls at the same time.
Two other options in addition to traditional landline phones are using a mobile device and using a softphone. The Comwave app ePhone is available on Blackberry, iOS and Android, and lets you call other devices that are using the app for free, also it does allow to receive calls for free. Though the ePhone is not integrated with Comwave’s Home Phone is a completely different number. In order to use the ePhone to make phone calls you need to sign-up for a plan that start at $5.00/mo. The Phone Power softphone is available for Windows and Mac for free and is fully integrated with the Home Phone; good to receive and make calls and has the ability to record calls too. Additionally Phone Power’s app for iOS & Android available continues with the full integration with the Home Phone number. It’s good to make and receive calls and works on 3G and/or Wi-Fi networks.
Phone Power offers a very tempting low price, more so when you factor Gonevoip discount and special monthly rate. Comwave offers an unlimited plan; although in the terms is limited for free 6-months, but it’s actually under the condition that you do port a number and sign for 3-years contract. After that, it costs $24.95/mo. The total price for two years, therefore, is $478.80. There is no monthly discount for a long-term contract, but Comwave will give 6-months for free if you agree to 36 months contract. Phone Power, on the other hand, offers is about $160 for two years. This works out if you prepay for one year, and the second year is included for free, you just have to pay taxes and fees. Phone Power’s Gonevoip monthly special price is $5.99/mo.
Comwave and Phone Power, like all VoIP providers, are heavy on features that many traditional telecom providers charge a premium. Here are some of the most popular features:
- Call ID
- Privacy Settings
- 3-Way Calling
- Online Portal for settings, voicemail, call logs
- In-Network Calling
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Do Not Disturb
- Failover Number
- Call Forwarding to any phone number
- Email voicemail notification
Here are some Comwave Exclusives
- Speed Dial Memory
Here are some Phone Power Exclusives
- Option to choose Codec(s) to save Bandwidth
- Softphone integrated with Home Phone
- Smartphone app integrated with Home Phone
- Record conversations
- Caller Block List
Comwave offers phone support in EST time zone, from 9AM till midnight during weekdays and on weekends from 10 to 6PM. Phone Power offers technical support From 6AM to 7PM PST Monday through Friday, and 10AM to 4PM PST on weekends.
In these head to head comparison, Comwave has consistently taken a beating from their competitor. Comwave has the brand recognition, and with that comes the assumption of reliability and long-term availability. Though they also have a backlash of consumers reviews, having 63% negative reviews compared to Phone Power 96% positive reviews. In summary, Comwave is facing fierce competition and there are many alternatives when choosing a provider, including in this case Phone Power, who is coming to the table with better features, better service and better prices.