Are you ready to drop your home phone bill once and for all? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve already ditched your landline altogether. A recent survey showed that less than 30% of U.S. households still use landlines exclusively.
However, if you’ve been holding onto your landline because you think cell phone service is your only alternative, think again. VoIP technology offers you the convenience of a landline phone without the cable handcuff. Seriously.
Let’s dive in and learn more about home phone alternatives without the landline costs.
Do you still need a landline?
Landlines aren’t as necessary as they once were. So whether or not you need a landline may depend on your circumstances and preferences.
There are several reasons you may feel that keeping your landline is important. Let’s review a few frequently asked questions about switching to a cable-free alternative.
Emergency preparedness: What happens if there’s a power outage or natural disaster? I thought landlines still work when other communication methods fail.
Fact check: Landlines may still work if the phone line is intact and the telephone company has backup power. However, landlines aren’t foolproof – if there is damage to the phone line or central office, landline service may also be disrupted.
Sound quality: Don’t landlines have the best sound quality?
Fact check: While it’s true that landline connections can offer slightly better sound quality than other communication connections, the difference is often minimal.
Cost savings: Will canceling my landline be more expensive? I’m worried I’ll have to pay more.
Fact check: Making calls via the internet allows you to make mobile calls without relying on your cellular plan. It’s a great way to take advantage of the internet you’re already paying for each month and eliminate your phone bill for good.
Phone number retention: I’ve had my home phone number for over 20 years and don’t want to change it. Won’t I lose my number if I cut my cable service?
Fact check: No! You don’t have to change the home number that all your friends and family know by heart. Instead, you can “port” your existing phone number over to a VoIP provider and no one will ever know the difference.
Wait, what? What is VoIP?
What should you use instead of a landline?
While many people think relying on their cell phones is the only way to escape their phone company, there is another home phone alternative: VoIP.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology that allows you to make phone calls over the internet instead of using traditional phone lines. As a result, VoIP allows for lower costs, greater flexibility, and more features than conventional phone calls. Examples of apps using VoIP technology include Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber.
VoIP is a versatile and convenient communication solution for people and businesses requiring various communication tools to stay connected with their friends, family, clients and colleagues.
Landline vs. VoIP
Overall, VoIP is a powerful technology that has revolutionized communication and offers many benefits over traditional phone services.
Let’s take a look at how VoIP compares to traditional landline phones.
|Landlines are tied to a physical location and can’t be easily moved or transported.||VoIP is much more mobile than traditional landlines. You can make and receive VoIP calls worldwide if you have an internet connection.|
|Landline phones are designed solely for voice communication and cannot be integrated with other communication tools.||You can integrate VoIP services with other communication tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, voicemail-to-email, and call forwarding.|
|Landline installation can be time-consuming and costly, requiring running physical phone lines to your home or business.||You can set up VoIP quickly and easily with an internet connection and a compatible device.|
|Landline providers may charge extra fees for long-distance calls.||Because VoIP uses the internet, it can be much cheaper than traditional phone services, especially for long-distance or international calls.|
|Because landlines have a dedicated physical connection, call quality is often better.||Many VoIP services use advanced technology to improve sound quality and reduce delay, making the difference between landline and VoIP sound quality less noticeable.|
What are the best landline alternatives?
So what VoIP provider should you choose if you live in the Bay Area? While many services are available, you might need help figuring out where to start. Here are a few worth considering.
Ooma – best in the Bay Area
Ooma is a VoIP phone service that’s accessible with any standard touch-tone phone. You can also use the Ooma mobile app to make and receive calls from your smartphone.
- Cost-effective: Ooma has no monthly fees; you only pay for the equipment upfront.
Transfer your existing phone number for a one-time $39.99 fee.
- Features: Ooma offers a range of features typically offered by landline phone services, such as voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and 911 service. Ooma’s advanced features include call blocking, multi-ring, and Alexa dialing assistance. In addition, Ooma uses advanced voice compression technology to ensure high-quality sound on all calls.
Ooma Office is an excellent choice for business use, with three available service plans to choose from.
Google Voice – the cheapest landline alternative
Google Voice is a popular VoIP option that enables you to make and receive calls from smartphones, desk phones and the web using a dedicated phone number provided by Google.
- Cost-effective: Google Voice is free to anyone with a Google account, making it the most affordable personal option for phone service. Google Voice charges a one-time $20 fee to transfer your existing phone number to their service.
- Features: Google Voice offers a range of features, including searchable voicemail transcripts, call screening, call blocking and spam protection.
Google Voice business plans start at $10 per person, per month.
Vonage offers a range of residential phone services, including home phone service plans that allow unlimited calls to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico and international calling plans that allow calls to other countries at competitive rates.
- Cost: Vonage has a $9.99 per user monthly fee with no annual contract, which includes their Vonage Box™ to connect you to the internet.
- Features: Vonage offers a range of advanced features, including voicemail, call filtering, and call forwarding. In addition, Vonage boomerang™ connects select callers automatically to your Vonage number at no charge. Vonage SimulRing® rings up to five other phones simultaneously, so you’ll never miss a call.
Voiply allows you to transfer your existing number and get a Voiply adapter free. Voiply also features a mobile calling app that enables you to answer calls from your cell or home number.
- Cost: Voiply has an $8.95 per user monthly fee but gives you two months free when you pay annually, with no contracts.
- Features: Voiply offers a range of advanced features, including call waiting, voicemail to email, caller ID, 24/7 support and enhanced 911 service.
RingCentral – the most comprehensive VoIP for business
RingCentral offers a VoIP phone system with a wide range of features, making it an ideal solution for companies of all sizes. They also offer integrations with popular business tools like Salesforce, G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365, allowing businesses to streamline their communications and workflow.
- Cost: RingCentral has four business plans starting from $19.99 per user, per month.
- Features: RingCentral includes features like voicemail, call forwarding, and call recording, and advanced features like video conferencing, team messaging, and screen sharing.
Nextiva – the most value for business
Nextiva offers a software solution that combines a VoIP phone system with customer experience and productivity tools.
- Cost: Nextiva has three business plans starting from $21.95 per user, per month.
- Features: Nextiva features include unlimited calling within the US, team collaboration tools, video and audio meetings, and a top-rated mobile app.
Getting rid of your landline is easy with Sail
Selecting the right internet service provider (ISP) is the first step in achieving reliable, high-quality VoIP performance. The ISP you choose will directly impact the speed and stability of your home internet connection, which are vital factors for clear voice calls and smooth communication.
Sail ends your internet headaches once and for all by providing lightning-fast connections. So whether you’re a gamer, a streamer, or just need reliable high-speed internet for work or leisure, Sail Internet’s got you covered. With 99.99% reliability, Sail also meets your VoIP needs, minimizing disruptions and call drops to deliver seamless conversations.
Our commitment to customer service and satisfaction, combined with our affordable pricing without any binding contracts for homes or businesses, makes Sail Internet an excellent option for anyone looking to upgrade their internet service in the Bay Area.