By Sharla Sikes
Thinking of going Voice over IP for your telephone needs? Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve noticed the myriad of companies currently offering the services you seek. Thereâ€™s more than one online source to compare the offerings of VoIP service providers, as well, once itâ€™s time to narrow your choices.
Top 10 VoIP Providers lists the â€œtop 10â€ VoIP providers, but who has rated these services Iâ€™ve been unable to find out. The home page claims that this site is â€œone of the most reliable rating sites on the internet for residential and business VoIP services. VoIP is expected to grow exponentially in the upcoming years. This site is dedicated towards ensuring that future VoIP customers are able to make informed and accurate decisions regarding their VoIP telephone service. With so many different companies offering so many different phone plans, it’s important to find the right provider that works for you.â€
Advertising-driven? Probably. But the site still provides a nifty table listing the â€œtop 10â€ providers for residential services with business service â€œcoming soon.â€ Interestingly, the list includes only eight providers, where it used to feature nine; somewhere along the line Vonage dropped off the list. Again, the criteria for the rating system are not provided, but the chart shows each serviceâ€™s price range and features. Top10VoIPProviders.com also lists a FAQ and Features section. The Features page serves as a glossary and explanation of general phone features as well as VoIP terminology and options. Confusingly, both Features and FAQ sections are titled Frequently Asked Questions, so readers may think they are the same page even though the content is different.
Another site, WhichVoIP.Com, provides a little more in-depth information. Almost too much so, but for the savvy consumer who wants to spend a little more time on research before choosing a service itâ€™s just what the doctor ordered. WhichVoIP.Comâ€™s â€œplan searchâ€ page lets new users search for a plan by provider name, region, long distance and other options. Users can also purchase a plan through the WhichVoIP.Com site, which claims to bring even better savings through partnerships with VoIP providers.
Probably of highest interest to anyone shopping for a new phone service, the reviews page compiles customer reviews of each service, with both a star rating of one to five as well as individualâ€™s reviews of the company and its services. (Readers should probably view each comment with the proverbial grain of salt, as disgruntled customers may have written their review with a bit of a slant.)
Other interesting pages at WhichVoIP.Com include the Savings page, with a chart breaking down all of the fees and surcharges in a typical land line service. Additional fees are often what drive people to abandon traditional telephone services for VoIP.
The site also includes terminology, features, forums, hardware discussion, glossary and news links, all specific to VoIP services. The Seattle, Wash.,–based company â€œconsists of experts in the VoIP and telecommunications field, utilizing their knowledge to ensure consumers understand VoIP technology and have the information available to choose the best VoIP phone service for their needs,â€ according to a news release.
Keeping in mind that these sites are supported by their advertisers, they are still a useful tool when navigating the waters of shopping for VoIP services. The site announced that more than 1,000 customer reviews are available help buyers make choices to best fit their needs.