If you find that the only calls you're getting on your landline are from telemarketers (and your weekly check-in with Aunt Mildred), it might be time to consider ditching it altogether.
More Americans Giving Up Landlines
The U.S. Census Bureau found that between 1998 and 2005, the percentage of households with cell phones increased from 35 percent to 71 percent. At the same time, the number of households with landlines went from 96 percent to 91 percent.
While the decrease in the number of landlines might seem insignificant, consider the fact that landline usage for households 29 or younger dropped from 93 percent in 1998 to 71 percent in 2005.
And the younger generation might be on to something. These days, between cell phones and VoIP phone service, paying a bloated telephone company to provide you with a high-priced phone service seems a little silly -- especially considering you can get all the benefits of a landline for a lot less money.
Switching to VoIP a Smart Move
If you'd prefer not to rely solely on your cell phone, take a look at replacing the landline with VoIP phone service.
"The transition from a conventional home phone line to a VoIP account using the same number went without a hitch. Considering the money we'll save each month, the only question is why we waited so long," writes CNET blogger Dennis O'Reilly.
If you're still on the fence, here are six reasons to switch to VoIP:
1. You'll Save Money: If you're already paying for high-speed internet, the savings you'll find switching from a landline to VoIP can be significant. Popular providers charge anywhere from $9.99 to $24.99 a month for unlimited local and long-distance calls in the U.S. and Canada, plus low-cost international calls. The cost of a landline varies widely depending on where you live -- but can be upwards of $20-$50 or more a month plus $0.10 per minute for long-distance. If you make or receive long-distance calls frequently, switching to VoIP is almost a no-brainer cost-wise.
2. Improved Call Quality: At it's inception, there were many complaints about call quality with VoIP. Customers experienced dropped calls, jitter or latency. But with the proliferation of high-speed internet and the focus of providers on improving call quality, those initial VoIP hiccups are becoming a thing of the past.
3. You Can Keep Your Phone Number: Don't assume that giving up your landline means you also have to give up your telephone number. Many VoIP providers offer you the opportunity to port your number for a small fee, making the transition that much easier.
4. You can Still Fax: There's no need to keep a landline dedicated to sending and receiving faxes. Depending on the provider, your fax machine (even an older model) can be hooked up to your VoIP line just like your telephone. Or, you can choose to receive computer-based faxes, in which faxes are converted to PDFs and sent to your e-mail.
5. Easy Set-up: For most VoIP services, connecting your current phone requires little more than an adapter that your provider should send to you with easy instructions for how to set it up in minutes.
6. Amazing Features: A big reason to switch to VoIP is the array of useful features that come along with the service. In addition to being able to make and receive calls at a low price, depending on the provider, VoIP offers all the services you've come to expect from traditional landlines (caller ID, call waiting, voicemail) as well as plenty of extras like video calls and conferencing, call transfer and forwarding, instant messaging and file transferring.
Learn more about what VoIP can do for your at Business.com.
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