2006-02-23 19:49 - General
So, as I have pointed out, Verizon stinks and I don't want to do business with them. And I actually don't care about having a phone much at all. But, my mom and grandmother call me, and I shouldn't neglect them. So I dug and dug to find am alternate solution to a land line.
For a short while, I thought I'd end up with a cell phone. Cost about the same as the cheapest possible land line did, and of course it's portable. But I don't want to lug it around, and rather like not having a cell phone. So I searched.
I have known about VoIP a long time, and it seems like a good idea for me. But I only knew about traditional vendors like Vonage, whose deals seem to always be unlimited calls, for much more than I want to pay. Not a viable option.
First, I found Skype. They have "SkypeIn" and "SkypeOut" for incoming and outgoing calls and they charge per minute, which means no hefty monthly fee. Getting an incoming number, though, works out to about $3/mo, and Skype is scuzzy. I'd rather not be giving them my bandwidth (it's peer to peer based after all) plus my money. Sound quality, in my experience, is pretty bad too. But there's one serious upside. They offer, completely free no charges, no set up charges, no nothing, calls to toll free numbers. Useful, but not quite good enough.
A short while later, I found voip-info.org which is a wonderful site. They clued me in to two other inexpensive providers, Exgn and TelePacket.
Exgn was the first I saw. $1.49/mo, and 1.39 cents per minute. Cheap, hurrah. I actually signed up with them, but got a PHP error when I tried to log in. That put me off, and I asked them to cancel and refund, and they did.
Then I found TelePacket. Only $0.95 per month for an incoming line, and they even include 100 free incoming and outgoing minutes, each. Incoming calls are only 1 cent, catch is outgoing calls are 2.9 cents. Could work out more expensive for someone who makes a lot of calls, but 100 outgoing per month will mostly cover me, and then incoming which I expect more of is cheaper! I had some issues getting the line set up, but I got it just the other day, and all seems well.
(I bought an unlocked Linksys PAP2 adapter, so I use my standard phone with the new service. And I get caller ID now since it was always built into the phone, nifty!)