You always hear the benefits of VoIP phone service touted: the lower prices, easy installation options, and so on. But, before you switch to a VoIP plan, it is important to consider any drawbacks as well. One of the possible drawbacks is the inability to use VoIP phone to phone – that is, to pick up your own phone and call someone else’s number (regardless of whether or not they are using it). After all, the unlimited minutes and cheap long distance sound nice – but you do not want to be tied to a computer or unable to call other people who still use more standard methods of communication. Imagine being unable to call back an important business client or your old-fashioned, technophobic grandparents. Still, this is only a potential drawback and it does not have to be an actualized one. There are ways to ensure that you have the ability to call anyone from your phone to theirs, regardless of whether or not you have a special VoIP phone or an adapter.
Before you choose a provider, ask a couple of important questions. First, address the issue head-on. Inquire what they can do to ensure you VoIP phone to phone capabilities. Do not feel at all uncomfortable broaching the subject; they have likely had dozens of customers (at the least) as about the same thing. Can you call out and can others call in? It is an important issue, as not all VoIP providers work via phone (there are some that are strictly computer-bound).
Once it has been established that they do support the feature, you should next ascertain what equipment or hardware is required. The company should be as specific as possible, to avoid unnecessary expense. Some VoIP providers work only with certain hardware.
Also remember to ask if they allow you to keep a local number. This will make it easier for other people in your area to call you from him, particularly if they are using a landline or cell phone provider that charges an extra fee to call out of the local area.