The 5 Best Cheap VOIP Services
VoIP phone services are best known for their affordability compared to traditional phone lines. Calls to others using the same VoIP provider are always free, and the monthly rates for calling landlines and mobiles around the world are a fraction of the cost of traditional services. So, while you’ll be getting an affordable phone solution regardless of the company you choose, the list below highlights the VoIP companies with the lowest rates in the industry. The best option for you depends on your lifestyle and calling habits. For example, someone who rarely picks up the phone could get by on a limited or pay-as-you-go plan, whereas someone who makes a lot of calls would be better off investing in an unlimited plan. Contract length is also something to think about, as most companies give discounts to those who commit to a longer term.
Lingo offers two home phone plans for you to choose from. The Essential plan costs about $10 per month and gives you 500 minutes of calling to the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Go with this plan if you don’t spend a lot of time on the phone but still need a way to be reached. The Unlimited plan is better if you make a lot of calls or don’t want to worry about overages. Committing to a one-year contract lowers your monthly rate by $5 per month, amounting to $60 in savings. Like VOIPo, Lingo rents and ships the VoIP adapter to their customers at no extra cost, which amounts to another $90 in savings. On top of all that, they don’t charge an activation fee, and several common charges like the Admin and Federal Program fees are already included in the monthly price. No other company in the industry does this, and while it may only save you a few extra dollars, it gives you a more accurate idea of what you can expect to pay for the VoIP service.
If you plan on having VoIP service for a long time, investing in VOIPo’s two-year plan will save you the most money. At just over $6 per month, this plan saves you more than $200 over the course of the two-year contract in comparison to their month-to-month plan. Of course, that’s very reasonably priced as well, at just $15 per month. All of VOIPo’s plans include the adapter fee in the listed price, so you don’t have to pay an additional charge for that. Along with unlimited calling to the United States and Canada, you also receive 60 free minutes to use toward international calls. Anything beyond that will cost you a small per-minute fee unless you choose to upgrade to the 1,200-Minute Calling Plan Add-on for an additional monthly charge. A free second phone line is another perk of going with VOIPo, and something that’s worth thinking about if your household or small business spends a lot of time on the phone.
Phone Power’s month-to-month plan is relatively affordable at just under $20 per month, but you can get an even lower rate by signing a contract or prepaying for a year of service. Prepaying earns you the biggest savings, though the upfront costs are much higher. The price breakdown is listed right on the Calling Plans page so you understand exactly what you’re getting and how much you can expect to pay, right down to the local taxes. Aside from their affordable rates, Phone Power offers a number of bonuses with their plans to give you an even better deal. This includes a free second phone line and 60 free international calling minutes. Many companies require you to pay extra for these. Thanks to Phone Power’s mobile apps, you’re also able to use your VoIP service while traveling without using your cell phone minutes to make calls.
Skype’s pricing structure is different from the first three companies on the list. The Pay As You Go plans let you buy as many Skype credits as you want and use them toward calling landlines and mobile phones around the world. Once your account gets low, it’ll automatically refill so you never run out of minutes. If you make a lot of calls, though, the more cost-effective route is their Subscription plan. While most other VoIP companies only offer domestic and international plans, Skype lets you pay for only the country or region you want to call. This is especially useful for those with relatives or friends in other countries because you can purchase a single-country subscription rather than having to pay for a pricier plan that covers multiple locations. All of these plans are very affordable, with some as low as $1 per month. There are no contracts or activation and cancellation fees, so all you have to worry about paying is the monthly charge for your VoIP service.
Because magicJack requires you to purchase the VoIP adapter instead of leasing it, the upfront costs for their services are much higher than the other companies on this list. But, included in that initial purchase is six months to a year of free service. Once that runs out, purchase a Re-Up package for only a few dollars. Get one month of service for $5, or pay $120 to get five full years of service. There are six-month and one-year plans as well. The more time you purchase at once, the more savings you earn. International calling works in a similar manner to Skype’s Pay As You Go plans where you prepay for credits and use these credits toward international calls. How quickly you go through your credit depends on where you’re calling, as each country has its own per-minute rate. MagicJack also has mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, so you can use the VoIP service to make calls on the go.