The Comparison Of Voip and Landline
It’s not so much the case that humans are resistant to change – just think back twenty years ago and take account of how different things are now than then (and if you’re too young for that, even ten years will do). However, what we are sometimes guilty of is assuming that the way things have always worked is the only way, or even the perfect way. A lot of people are currently skeptical about changing from their standard landline to VoIP calling, for a range of reasons. Those who have made the leap show no sign of turning back, so clearly both sides think they are right. In the final analysis, what are the reasons why you should consider changing the way you phone?
There are certain things that you need from a phone service provider, and other things that you would merely like. While the latter may persuade a few people to make a change, it is fair to say that a service will not gain traction in the wider market without having a little more to it. Does VoIP live up to requirements on both fronts? The following categories and comparisons will hopefully help people who are still making up their minds.
Voice Service: As far as any phone system is concerned, the quality of voice service is an essential; that goes without saying, as it is the very reason we use a phone at all. Something about the stability of old-fashioned telephone systems makes people feel quite certain that the level and clarity of voice calling is as good as it gets. This, however, is not necessarily the case. Not so long ago, it would have been fair to say that VoIP calling lacked in this area, but as the technology has developed that has ceased to be the case. Many people feel that the point has been reached where VoIP calls are actually clearer than the older way.
Why is this? It has to do with the way that VoIP voice signals are sent; they are converted into digital signals and sent as “packets” from one end of the call to the other. In a sense, they are condensed. At the other end they are re-converted into what the other person hears. As part of this process, the system actually “cleans” the sound somewhat; so if for example you are speaking while someone is using a vacuum cleaner in the next room that noise is less likely to be picked up by a VoIP phone call than by a standard, traditional one. On this front – presuming you use a decent supplier – VoIP has the upper hand.
Cost: There is no getting around the fact that cost is an issue in most things, for most people, these days. With fewer jobs to go round, and lower salaries in many of those jobs, belt-tightening is something that comes to almost all of us – even those in steady employment have to face the fact that profits will suffer when there is less disposable income around. Getting rid of luxuries is a start, but one also has to look at cutting the cost of necessities; this includes home amenities such as your telephone bill. Will VoIP do a better job of this than your landline phone?
A typical VoIP package will include unlimited calling at least on a local basis, and depending on how much you are prepared to pay on line rental (make no mistake, a bit more spent up front will mean less spent overall), can include unlimited calling over long distances and across borders. Depending on your needs, you can subscribe to a cheaper service too. While landline phone companies are also offering packages that allow cheaper calling, they cannot practically match the prices offered by VoIP providers. Why? Because it costs more for them to connect calls between destinations; it’s not a profit motive but a technical reality. VoIP is cheaper than landline calling.
Convenience: Having a landline phone is certainly beneficial. The thing about a landline is that it is always there; something people who gave up their landline when they got a cell phone came to realise when their cell phone charger got lost, or they couldn’t get a signal. It is clear that a cell phone is not a replacement for a landline, although it is a very nice option to have available to you. A cell phone is a worthwhile augmentation of what your landline offers. VoIP, for its part, can actually serve as a replacement for both at once; if not as a total replacement, then as the service that takes the workload while you keep the others for specific needs.
You can’t take your landline with you when you go on holiday, or are away on business, or anywhere outside of your home. Meanwhile, your cell phone can’t be your “go to” phone for important, potentially long-distance and time-intensive calls unless you want to see your bill spiral into the hundreds over the course of a month. You can take VoIP anywhere, it will cost the same wherever you are and it will still be cheaper than the landline that is attached to your home. From a point of view of convenience, and allowing for the fact that you need to be able to get an internet connection, VoIP is more convenient than any other type of calling.
Feature Set: Many people will tell you straight that the only feature they want with their phone provider is that they can make calls, and receive them. And this is all that you need, to be honest. But not everything is about what you need; if you can get a little more without having to pay over the odds for it, then it makes sense to take it where you can get it. Landline providers are steadily offering more features, such as call waiting and caller ID features. There is however the problem that a landline phone will always be limited by what it is and how it operates.
A VoIP calling service will have all the features that a landline offers and then some more on top. Indeed, the features are often a major selling point on the provider’s website. Most features are included as standard in the calling plan when you subscribe to it. There are then others that you can add on top of these, which will make your service more convenient, more dynamic, often cheaper and more useful. Because of the way that it operates, VoIP is a lot easier to add to and take away from, as its switchboard is largely virtual, and as a result, VoIP has better features than landlines.
Conclusion: Make no mistake, no-one is saying it is time to kill off landline telephony; it has its benefits and will continue to be a useful system for many years to come. However, it is time for many of us to take a look at what VoIP offers and see that going forward there are fewer and fewer reasons not to sign up, with more and more reasons to go for it. Don’t throw your cell phone in the bin and pull the phone out of its wall socket. You should, however, be looking to benefit from the financial, convenience and service advantages that you will get from turning to VoIP.