How to Choose the Best VoIP Service Provider Hi, if you are like me, you’re probably saying to yourself why do I even have a landline when my entire family has cell phones? I thought to my self what the heck I’ll just go ahead and keep the line. I downgraded my service to the minimum to which was for local calls only. Although it was around $8 or so for the service after they add all the tax and fees it ended up at around $15 for the bare minimum service. So, I thought I would look at the VoIP providers and their services. The main thing I was looking for was the reliability of service and its rate. You should also look for features that you will want to use. Here are some nice features to look for: Free Second Line, Free International Minutes, VoiceMail, VoiceMail Viewer, VoiceMail-to-Email, Web Based Call Logs, Online Account Management, Remote VoiceMail, Access, Do Not Disturb, Incoming Call Routing, Outbound Caller ID Block, Anonymous Caller Rejection, Block List, Incoming Caller ID with Name, Outgoing Caller ID with Name, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Simultaneous Ring, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Speed Dial, Contact List, Call Hold, Directory Assistance Block, Operator Block, Softphone, 7, 10 & 11 Digit Dialing, *69 Call, Return 3-Way, Conference Calling, Local & Long Distance Dialing, Bring Your Own Device, Enhanced 911, Free In-Network Calling, Refer A Friend, 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, Keep Your Number, 7-Day Customer Support, Bandwidth Saver, 211 Community Service, 311 City Service, 711 TTY Text Phone Service, 811 Call-Before-You-Dig Service, Click2Call, Remote Click2Call, International Call Block, Fax Catcher, Failsafe As you can see, you will have your work cut out for you when looking for a service provider. Some service providers will let you do a month-to-month contract. If you decide you do like their service, then go ahead and get a contract for a year or two. The longer you sign up for, the greater your savings. I don’t use all the features listed above, but it is there if I ever need to do so. The feature I like is getting email notices and accessing my account. I can review and save or delete the messages right on my computer. The other feature I like is the Free Second Line (Cloned). This feature allows you to receive or make calls while another person is busy talking on the other line. How cool is that? It’s a very cool feature when you have a daughter on the phone for long periods of time. Your service reliability will vary. Variables such as your ISP, the wiring to the house and in the house, the area you live in and so on. But, the VoIP service provider you choose and their equipment should be extremely dependable and reliable. As you may have already known, any disruption of power to the modem, such as a power outage, will result in not being able to make any calls out including 911. But, I have just confirmed with AT&T they do not physically disconnect your line from the side of the house. They just disconnect you from billing. Which means the lines are still “warm” and connected. This means that if you connect any phone to any outlet that was working before, you will not get a dial tone, but you will be able to dial 911 out and receive emergency service to your address. How awesome is that?! Now you can have your cake and eat it too. Good luck with your search.