Landline Options: Vonage, Skype, MJ
Please understand that this website does not receive anything for making suggestions to switch to other providers. There is NO conflict of interest as you will often find with many websites.
Before it was discovered that voice data could be carried through anything but copper wire, Verizon had a complete monopoly on service (hence, the reason for this website). With various innovations in technology, there are currently other options.
If you have a high-speed connection (DSL/cable) you can have phone service through these mediums. In fact, if you have either cable or DSL along with a separate landline and you are not taking advantage of this technology, then you need to make the switch ASAP. It’s as if you are driving a car that gets about 10 miles to the gallon and all you need to do is to flick a switch and it will suddenly get about 50.
The industry leader in this technology is a company called Vonage. Vonage allows you call anywhere in the US, Canada and other locations through your high-speed connection for a flat rate of either $24.99 (unlimited calling) or the $14.99 plan (500 minutes). This is just the beginning. ALL of the ancillary services that Verizon charges you for (voicemail, call forwarding, call transfer, etc.) are INCLUDED. You can even set your voicemail up so that an email is sent to you if someone leaves you a message.
Both cable and Verizon offer their own services now that Vonage has proven how successful it can be, however neither offer the range of services. The recommendation would be to have your internet service through cable and then order phone service through Vonage. If you are worried about losing your number, don’t. Vonage will even take care of porting the number away from Verizon.
Another possibility is a service called Skype. With Skype, all incoming phone calls are free and both incoming/outgoing calls to other Skype users are free as well. If you are calling a number outside of Skype, the rates are just pennies. Skype does not offer the range of services that Vonage does, however the price is certainly right.
Lastly, there is a service which is continuing to receive more and more attention even though it seems to good to be true. Magic Jack is a self-contained device which was as simple as plugging into your computer’s USB port. The quality is excellent and now it has become even easier by plugging it into a wall outlet. You can also port your current number to their service. If you absolutely must have a landline, for the price ($20/year) you can’t go wrong.
There are other options as well and if you are not sure which one is right for you, you many want to try Time Dial where you can set various filters to see which is better for your situation.
It is worth noting that using a VOIP service can cause problems in situations that require a great deal of bandwidth, but most of us do not fit into this category.
There are a number of choices in this department and depending on your requirements, one company may be a better match for you than another. There is a website called Myrateplan.com which helps to narrow down the best plan for you based on what you are looking for. Verizonwireless is included as one of the providers, but we would strongly recommend that you stay away from them for obvious reasons!