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VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol - Top 7 Providers

Voice Over IP (VoIP) is the new phone system technology. It's valued for cheap prices and cost effectiveness. It offers many of the same calling features as regular landline services at typically no extra cost. VoIP allows users the freedom to use their high-speed Internet connection to integrate their phone, audio, video, and web browsing capabilities into one application. Because of these new trends, VoIP providers are adding new products and services daily.

Here is a list and details of the top 7 VoIP providers with costs (as of Sept-06):

1. Skype (Ebay - New Owner)
Skype is a famous VoIP provider with the slogan, “The Whole World can Talk for Free”. Skype is a free download and users can make free calls via Skype to Skype. For a fee, you can advance your Skype to Skype 'Out' and make calls to landline phones. Skype 'In' will let your choose your area code and phone number...

This way, friends and relatives can call you locally, if you select the same area code. Skype is compatible with the leading operations systems - Windows, Linux, Macs and Pocket PCs.

2. Broadvox Direct
Broadvox Direct VoIP providers offers small business and residential services. Their residential services include the Residential Choice Plus plan for $10.00 per month. The Residential Choice Plus plan includes 100 outbound minutes and unlimited incoming minutes. Their Residential Unlimited Plan costs $30.00 a month and includes unlimited calling anywhere in the US and Canada. The Small Business (SOHO) Regional Plan costs $35.00 per month and includes 1500 monthly minutes in the US and in Canada. The SoHo Small Business Unlimited Plan costs $45 per month and includes unlimited calls in the US and Canada and also includes a free fax line and Yellow Page listing.

3. Vonage
Probably the most well known VoIP providers, you may be surprised to discover that Vonage is also one of the more expensive providers. Vonage offers two plans, residential and small business. Residential users may choose between the Basic 500 plan and Unlimited. The Basic 500 plan offers 500 minutes of talk time for $15.00 a month. The Premium Unlimited residential plan costs $25.00 per month.

The SOHO Basic plan costs $40.00 per month and allows 1500 minutes. The Small Business Unlimited plan costs $50.00 a month and provides unlimited calls throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

4. Dialpad
Yahoo and Dialpad have merged services. There is trend amongst VoIP providers to consolidate their services. Currently, Dialpad offers 3 service plans: Dialpad Monthly 300, Dialpad Monthly 500, and Dialpad USA. The cost for Dialpad Monthly 300 is $7.50, Dialpad Monthly 500 costs $10 and Dialpad USA costs about $12.00/month.

5. Galaxy Voice
Galaxy Voice offers two plans, Residential and Business. Their residential plan costs about $20.00 a month and includes unlimited calling, Voicemail, Caller Id, Call Waiting, Call Return, Three Way Calling, and Call Forwarding. Their business plan costs $40.00 per month and includes unlimited calling, Free Voice Mail, Free Call Transfer, Free Call Forwarding, Free Repeat Dialing, and Free Caller ID block.

6. Packet 8
Packet 8 offers phone and videophone plans. One of the few VoIP providers to offer both services. Their residential plans are the Freedom International and Freedom Unlimited. Both of these plans cost $19/month. Their business plans consists of three different plans. These are the Virtual Office service plans, the Virtual Attendant Service plans, and the Business Phone Service plans. The Virtual office phone plan costs $19 per month, the Virtual Attendant service plan costs $14 per month, and the Business plan costs $35.00 per month.

7. VoIP American
VoIP American one of the biggest VoIP providers and has 3 different plans. These are the VoIP American PBX plan, the VoIP Voice and bVoice plans. The VoIP American PBX plan cost $19.00 a month for a private line and $44.00 a month for unlimited calling. The VoIP Voice Residential Basic plan costs $14.00/month and Residential Unlimited plan costs $29.00/month.

VoIP providers are increasing in number with growing competition amongst the various VoIP providers prices will start to come down even further. The quality of the voice calls is getting better and now video calls are becoming the standard offering by the VoIP Providers. Talk will be cheap!

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