Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems are better alternatives to landlines. Businesses have long accepted that. But VoIP for home use has countless benefits as well. A permanent switch from traditional landlines can have lasting value in residences.

VoIP uses the internet and the cloud to connect callers. This allows for broader capabilities and cost savings compared to landlines. VoIP offers more sophisticated features than landlines. And even landline users can connect with residences using VoIP. The additional value, compatibility and cost savings make the best VoIP phone service for home ideal.

VoIP Communication Adoption Is on the Rise

The general VoIP phone market is booming. Residential and business VoIP lines have doubled in the last five years. Technology analysts anticipate continued growth from 2020-2025. This coincides with growth in mobile phone adoption, where VoIP has become the most desired home solution. VoIP features pair easily with mobile devices, also indicating that their adoption will grow in parallel.

Unlike landlines, you are not locked into a single VoIP provider based on location. There are dozens of residential VoIP services available to you. With the right knowledge, you can find the right service at the right cost. A deeper understanding of the available features will help.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best residential VoIP service features available. We’ll provide tips on researching and taking advantage of your residential VoIP service. This way, you can be confident you’re investing in the best VoIP for home users like you.

How Residential VoIP Service Works

VoIP works differently from other types of phone services. Landline phones use older, legacy phone network systems. They rely on copper wire lines and other types of traditional phone infrastructure. Meanwhile, VoIP employs the best aspects of the internet to connect users.

VoIP uses the internet to transmit phone communications and can reach domestic and international phone users. VoIP is also called IP telephony, broadband telephony or internet telephony by some providers. Its encoded digital signals transmit audio, video and other data.

Recipients using VoIP, mobile devices and even landlines can connect to home VoIP users. That’s because VoIP enables calls on public phone networks. This applies when both sending and receiving calls. When sending, VoIP transmits data in a way that traditional systems understand. This process is called session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking. It makes VoIP calling universal to any phone system. You can continue making traditional phone calls to anyone you normally call. Recipients of your call need not know the difference.

But VoIP does more than connect voice callers. Internet connectivity supports video and internet controls as well. Your internet connectivity allows for more types of services that can be updated via the cloud. This saves you on costly new hardware investments, just as it does small businesses.

Why Smart Customers Choose VoIP Over Landlines

Companies invest thousands in their telephony systems. VoIP is a natural alternative to landlines, in this case. It provides advanced capabilities without buying expensive hardware. You can take advantage of these benefits at home. If you pay for high-speed internet, VoIP is a natural extension of that investment.

Simply put, home VoIP users pay less. VoIP providers can offer you higher quality, more affordable phone service that can adapt to your needs. VoIP users enjoy more features and greater service customization as well. VoIP makes it easier to get more phone numbers, use more devices and use the best internet-supported tools available today.

Consequently, VoIP is transforming how we work and live. VoIP naturally supports the growing telecommuting trend. 70% of professionals already work remotely once a week. They need not miss out on the benefits of enterprise phone systems when at home. Call forwarding, voicemail and even transcription are all available with home VoIP.

Imagine the time and money you would save without a commute. That’s why VoIP has far-reaching implications for users. It does more than replace landlines. It transforms the ways we connect in our personal and professional lives.

Features to Look for in a Residential VoIP Service

VoIP offers household benefits that other phone services cannot provide. The best VoIP service for home use offers affordable features, flexible plans and multiple price points. These systems are more likely to offer customization to suit your unique needs. VoIP users often receive more free calling features as well.

But residential VoIP service providers still differ. We’ve identified some features that home-based VoIP subscribers often appreciate. Determine the features you want for your home before you begin your provider search.

Portable Number Systems

Perhaps you want to keep the phone number you already have. Most systems allow you to port over existing numbers. This is especially useful if you have a network of contacts and do not want to change numbers. You need not reach out to them as their experience remains the same.

Area Code Selection

Unlike landlines, home VoIP enables you to choose your area code. This can be helpful if you telecommute. You can choose the same area code as your home office. That way, call recipients associate you with that location. You may want an area code that matches family members’ as well.

Multiple Numbers and Extensions

Additional landlines cost extra. They require costly installations as well. It’s difficult to get more than two lines installed in a standard home. VoIP doesn’t have this problem. Everyone in your family can have his or her own number. You can set up a work and a personal line for yourself. And since all lines use the internet, no new wiring is required.

Online Control Panels

Users can manage their VoIP accounts online. They need not call their service providers about service. They can easily activate and deactivate services, as well as access many VoIP features. These include voicemail, transcriptions and call records for certain services.

Caller ID and Directory Services

Caller ID is standard in modern mobile devices. But landlines require specific hardware or add-ons for this feature. Meanwhile, this is standard for home VoIP services. Directory services make it easy to track who’s calling. Users can see records for inbound and outbound calls, including names and numbers. Systems offer different degrees of detail, so choose a service that provides the right amount for your needs.

Smart Voicemail and Document Integration

Advanced voicemail is common in VoIP systems. This differs from landlines, which require additional hardware. VoIP can integrate with other digital services as well. Google Voice can make your work easier by transcribing your voice mails and forwarding them to you via text or email. VoIP systems can also match conversations with specific contacts via audio alone. As your provider updates features, you need not buy new hardware to take advantage.

Call Recording

You can set up automated call recording with home VoIP. If recordings are stored in the cloud, you have near-limitless storage potential. You can activate call recording for most or all of your calls. This is especially useful if you need records of important medical, legal or business conversations.

Call Transcribing

In addition to recordings, VoIP services can automatically transcribe calls. This applies to voicemail as well. Easily read voice messages instead of listening to recordings. This also benefits workers who rely on their phones when working from home.

Intelligent Call Distribution, Routing and Forwarding

Much like office phones, you can easily forward calls or voicemails to another device. This allows you to receive home calls on your mobile phone when out. It may be helpful if you work from home as well. You need not wait by your landline phone to receive important calls. Leading solutions help you route calls to other or multiple users as well.

Conference Calling

Conference calls were once unique to office phone systems. With home VoIP, this is no longer the case. Easily “dial in” other callers to broaden a conversation. You need no additional tools or software to make this possible.

Spam Filters

Telemarketers are a common nuisance for landline users. VoIP has built-in features to filter these calls. Online control panels help you manage these features. Your provider can update spam filters remotely as well. You always have the latest spam filter software at your disposal.

Hunt Group

This oddly named feature provides unique advantages. A single line routes calls based on the caller’s information. This enables the right caller to reach you at the correct line. This is especially helpful for users who work from home. It adds a business-class capability to home environments.

Do Not Disturb (DND)

Your calls are important, but often they can wait. This is especially true for professionals who work from home. You spend time with family in the same space where you work. Fortunately, the best VoIP services for homes offer “do not disturb” features. Callers are deflected to a friendly and relevant voicemail. Landlines, on the other hand, you simply must ignore. It’s often easy to activate and deactivate this feature with a residential VoIP service.

Free International Calls

This is perhaps one of the best VoIP for home features. It is especially advantageous if you make a lot of international calls. These calls are expensive via landlines. With VoIP, international calls are like any other calls. High-speed internet makes this possible. Much as you can visit international websites instantly at no cost, you can make international calls. But some limitations may apply per provider. Be sure you understand all the details before you subscribe.

Features will vary between VoIP providers. There may be more attractive features that are not listed here. But consider the list above when researching services. Your unique needs and each plan’s flexibility should guide your buying decision.

How to Find the Best Residential VoIP Provider for You

There are countless home VoIP providers on the market. Selecting the right one depends on the features you need. But features alone cannot lead you to the best provider.

Creating a personalized checklist is the best first step. Costs, usability and ease of adoption should all be factors. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

  • Create a comprehensive checklist: Start by identifying your own unique needs. You may only need some of the VoIP features available. You may find a low-cost plan to support these needs. But imagine as many use cases as possible. If you might have different needs in the future, factor those into your decision. A plan with more features might be right from the start
  • Consider a hosted VoIP: You can limit the cost and effort of maintaining your system with a hosted VoIP. Leading hosted VoIP solution providers share in the cost of maintenance. It’s in the provider’s interest that your system performs well. Hosted solution providers manage equipment installation and routine updates at no extra cost to you. But be sure the hosted VoIP solution provides the features you need
  • Check customer service reviews: Even the best solutions disappoint when their customer service is bad. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, look up customer service reviews. Interact with their customer service team yourself as well. Ensure that in case a problem arises in the future, you can reach someone who will help
  • Inquire about uptime: Your system is useless if it routinely stops working. Ask about uptime when you call potential providers. They should share uptime records from previous years. Providers who exceed customer expectations are ideal
  • Be sure you meet bandwidth requirements: Your VoIP solution will use your existing internet for service. So be sure your home bandwidth supports the system you want. However, bandwidth calculations can be difficult. Tell your potential providers about your and your family’s internet habits. The right provider should be able to help you decide what’s right for you

Get Started With the Best Residential VoIP Service Available Today

Once you’ve found your solution, inquire about setup requirements. Setup is usually straightforward and requires little time. With the best VoIP phone for home use, you’ll soon be free of landline fees and charges. You’ll be enjoying advanced features at more affordable rates than ever.

When it comes to VoIP, 8x8 provides a reliable and compliant cloud solution at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-877-478-0576 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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