Some Skype Products a Better Deal than Others

By Sharla Sikes

VoIP’s greatest lure to business and personal customers alike is its price. Most VoIP providers offer low prices on local and international calling, some with unlimited long distance. The peer-to-peer service Skype provides functions a little bit differently, however, and may be losing the battle for dominance in the VoIP market.

Skype users may call each other for free, but dialing a non-Skype number using SkypeOut can rack up per-minute costs. Continue reading Some Skype Products a Better Deal than Others

VoIP a Business Solution, Not Personal?

By Sharla Sikes

The United Kingdom’s Office of Communications reports that VoIP is slow to gain popularity with the public and is being used mainly by a “niche following.”

Ofcom says only 17 percent of users with broadband access have tried VoIP service, and 14 percent still use it. Most users stick with a combination of tried-and-true mobile and landline phones. Continue reading VoIP a Business Solution, Not Personal?

VoIP Management Software Debuts

By Sharla Sikes

Infrastructure systems giant EMC recently released VOIP management software designed to optimize system management and performance.

For businesses that depend on a fully functional, capable communications system, EMC offers two packages: The VoIP Performance Manager and Smarts VoIP Performance Reporter. Continue reading VoIP Management Software Debuts

If You Build It, They Will Hack

By Sharla Sikes

The Apple iPhone was the marketing phenomenon of 2007. At least, until the holiday season when people will be camped out for the first, overpriced chance at whatever the trendy new toy or game.

Anyway, it was only a matter of time before the iPhone got hacked. It wasn’t too hard, reportedly; Apple left a “back door,” inviting developers to create web-based applications for the iPhone browser. Continue reading If You Build It, They Will Hack

Consumer Ratings, Reviews on VoIP

By Sharla Sikes

Thinking of going Voice over IP for your telephone needs? I’m sure you’ve noticed the myriad of companies currently offering the services you seek. There’s more than one online source to compare the offerings of VoIP service providers, as well, once it’s time to narrow your choices.

Top 10 VoIP Providers lists the “top 10” VoIP providers, but who has rated these services I’ve been unable to find out. The home page claims that this site is “one 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.”

Advertising-driven? Probably. But the site still provides a nifty table listing the “top 10” providers for residential services with business service “coming soon.” 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 service’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 it’s just what the doctor ordered. WhichVoIP.Com’s “plan search” 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 individual’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 “consists 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,” 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.

Top 15 VoIP Providers – According to CRN

CRN Tech has recently put together a list of the top 15 vendors in the VoIP space and the list includes several big players. It’s no surprise that companies like Cisco or Avaya made the cut but other smaller providers like 8×8 Inc, Digium and even Vontage (the struggling company Cisco aquired) also squeezed themselves onto the list.

I personally use Skype for my home business and personal calls. With my previous employers, most of the phones we used were Cisco VoIP which worked pretty darn well. The Cisco package even included what’s called a “soft phone” where I installed software on my laptop which simulated my desk phone.

So when I was on business in Japan and someone called my work line, my laptop rang. It was just like I was sitting at my desk. Talk about cool technology. Next time maybe I’ll take the call from the Caribbean and pretend I’m working from my cube.

Skype vs Gizmo – Free VoIP Software

Skype is the best-known VoIP but Gizmo Project is equally (if not better) than Skype. I use both services and each has it’s strengths and weaknesses. I prefer Gizmo because it’s more fun (build in sound effects) less expensive than Skype. But, Skype seems to have a better connection and less dropped calls than Gizmo.

Gizmo Project 3.0, located at http://gizmoproject.com. Gizmo Project 3.0 introduces meta-voice capabilities, which enable free calling to Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live users. Gizmo Project 3.0 is the first VoIP software to link together multiple popular VoIP networks.

Built by the inventors of Kazaa, Skype lets you make free VoIP calls via your broadband connection. The service uses a peer-to-peer networking scheme, but rather than sharing files, connected PCs help route one another’s calls. Skype also uses that routing technology to get around the need for (and cost of) central servers and directories, so call delivery can be free.

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VoIP Phone Reviews

VoIP is the fastest growing internet communication service. With features and services not normally found in traditional landlines, it is fast becoming the number one choice of people.

At first, people have been skeptical to use VoIP but soon found out the effectiveness and convenience of VoIP.

VoIP phones are now changing people’s perspective on the use of telephone. If you want a phone, it can be a good choice. Continue reading VoIP Phone Reviews

Voip Providers Review

Making phone calls applying a broadband Internet connection,known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), is becoming so popular with corporations of each size. The prospect of paying a flat fee for unlimited long-distance phone calls is attractive to each company that has struggled to balance the want to conduct business phone calls with the cost of those calls. Continue reading Voip Providers Review