Technically, a free Internet Phone (IP) network service provider (NSP) isn't always free because these Internet Phone services require a high-speed Internet connection and, in many cases, additional handphone converter equipment. However, when compared to traditional landline phone services, an Internet protocol phone may save your business costs, especially if you make a significant number of international calls.
Usually what makes certain VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone companies classify their services as "free" is proprietary software marketed as freeware. To be classified as "freeware," the VoIP software must be fully functional for an unlimited period of time with no cost to the user.
Before selecting "free" or low cost VoIP network service providers, your criteria may include:
- Besides freeware, do certain VoIP NSPs offer enhanced services at no extra cost, including voicemail and caller ID?
- Are there hidden fees for additional network telephony services?
- Is the sound quality of free IP phone calls equivalent or better than landline phone calls?
- How easy is it to install the freeware, and is the software's user graphic interface intuitive?
- Does the free IP network provider offer a connectivity option to hardphones as well as via headphones and microphone?
Visit review websites for better selection of free or low cost VoIP network service providersYou can find IP network providers on product review websites and at reliable product comparison websites.
Consider Instant Messenger services with free or low-cost network telephony solutionsContenders in this IM-with-VoIP free or low-cost IP NSP arena include major online players like Google, Yahoo, MySpace, and MSN.
Consider IP network service providers offering free or low cost services to mobile phones and PDAsSome free IP network providers also offer their own mobile phones
- Various government legal issues are brewing in governmental courts with the intent of resolving conflicts between VoIP services and traditional telecommunication and cable companies.
- Certain cities are now offering municipal VoIP services as lower cost alternatives to lower income residents. Find out if your city is included.
- Make sure your VoIP network service provider doesn't include hidden fees for additional features
- Be aware that the voice quality of some free phone systems may not stack up to the voice quality of a traditional landline or even a cell phone connection.