Here is a VoIP checklist to take into consideration when moving to a VoIP Phone System. Since VoIP or Voice-Over IP uses the Internet based on a High-Speed internet connection, also called broadband access, is then internet access is critical. Many Internet Service Providers nowadays bundle up Digital Phone services. Whether that’s a good idea to go for such a bundle is a topic for another article.
Though in short, we @gonevoip.ca like better the exclusive VoIP Phone providers. These focus on offering Phone service. The dedicated VoIP providers pack a lot more features and their users are less exposed to system-wide outages. To be fair, outages and/or service disruption(s) do happen at one point or another. If the internet service and VoIP phone are separated it will be one or the other, not both.
Check the Internet for VoIP
For what matters in terms of this VoIP checklist the internet speed; make sure your connection is reliable. If the connection or provider is not reliable then your VoIP Phone experience will be negatively impacted. A general rule of thumb is that the more bandwidth you have the better it is for VoIP. Typically needs 128Kbps for upload and downstream download for good voice quality. In short, need at least 512Kbps upload – the ideal minimum is 3Mbps to leave bandwidth for other devices, particularly smart-TV/video streaming services are on.
To check your current internet download and upload speeds you may use the Internet Speed tool GoneVoIP hosts. In a matter of seconds provides all the relevant measurement estimates.
Verify Phone Calling Features
It’s also important to consider which so-called premium features are included in the service, such as:
- Voicemail to Email
- Mobile App
- Caller ID
- Call Block
- Call Forwarding
- 3-Way calling
- Fax Support
It’s important that you chose those features that are really important to you. Some providers will offer all you can choose the menu of features, but at a premium price while others offer them all-inclusive.
The VoIP Switch, at what cost?
How much it comes to be per month? Remember you are doing this for the abundance of features but also, the switch is to mainly realize the cost savings. Also that, you need to be sure to include the type of Long Distance that is already included? Is it local calling only? All of Canada? or perhaps all of Canada AND the USA?
Check VoIP Phone uptime
One of the important things to consider is the system availability record of the VoIP provider. System availability, indicates how much time the systems had been down in the past? Ideally, the uptime needs to be 99.9% available. Most reputable providers are or are supported in the back-end by CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) – who must adhere to strict uptime of service. A CLEC is an organization offering local telephone service that is not one of the traditional telephone companies; in Canada, CRTC grants CLEC designations.
Ask, question everything
It is difficult to venture all the questions a person may have but in this VoIP checklist we list some of the most typical ones to consider:
- Does customer Service have a 1-800 number available?
- Can they be reached via email?
- Do they provide sufficient online help access?
- Is there web access to your account?
Steer away from offers that claim once in a lifetime payment – usually, these do not support Number Portability, there’s no customer support nor web interface to manage your account and you don’t know for sure if there is any support for 911.
Lastly is e911 compliance, as described in VoIP and 911 – Emergency Calls there are some important differences that you need to be aware of.
Last but not least is to check customer reviews, such as those found in GoneVoIP’s category listings for Home Phone, Business Phone, and Cheap Long Distance Calls.
VoIP Checklist Summary
All these can give you a pretty good idea as to what to expect. So in summary what you need to consider:
- High-Speed Internet Connection:
- The more the merrier & we recommend trying to get your VoIP service and internet from different providers (very Canadian to bundle – but sometimes it pays to unbundle)
- Phone Included Features:
- As before the more premium features are included the merrier, for as long doesn’t drive the monthly cost up.
- Number Portability:
- Essential, it’s included or there is an extra? Be aware of Porting out Fees.
- Monthly Rate:
- Essential, when all is set and done it has to meet your budget.
- Long Distance Calls Included:
- This is a standard nowadays, nonetheless, check what is included. We @gonevoip.ca like the packages that include Canada/US-wide calling as their standard plans.
- System Availability Record:
- You’ll get a sense of this by looking at Customers Reviews. As we said before outages always happen at one point or another but how the provider responds to them makes the difference.
- Customer Care Access:
- We may have grown used to miss-treatment by the big telecom companies but as consumers, we need to look for better choices. We have found that typically those providers that offer online chat, email, and phone support, not strangely, have the happiest customers.
- E911 Compliance:
- For Home Phone, this is a must, for businesses depending on the expected utilization it may as well be.
- Customer Reviews:
- There are hundreds of providers and seems a new one pop-up every week. By going over and considering users’ experiences you gain an insight into what the chatter says about a provider. GoneVoIP has thousands of reviews. This is a very valuable insight. Mileage may vary but if a provider has consistently negative reviews, over the past few years, then that is a clear warning sign and something to consider.
Now the question is, are you ready to switch your phone provider and use a modern VoIP Phone today?