Hang on don't I need a phone line to get internet access in the first place? Yes and No, some service providers do require that you subscribe to a phone line package in order to take a broadband package such as ADSL. Cable providers such as Virgin Media however do not require a working phone line with their broadband packages.
Let's assume you're a residential customer with a working PTSN line and broadband, VoIP can still be a benefit to you. Do you want a second phone line in your home office? Maybe you want your child or children to have their own phone line upstairs in their room freeing up your main home phone line? If you asked BT to provide you with a second phone line they would charge you an installation fee of around £130, perform a credit check, lock you into a new 12 month contract and bill you around £15 a month for the additional line. (That's a lot of money.)
It could be that you just want to make outbound calls at a cheaper rate than your current telephone provider is charges you. Whatever your reasons VoIP might just be the answer!
VoIP can give you that extra phone line without all those installation charges, credit checks and contracts! It can save you money on your calls too!! Oh and you get features like caller display, call divert, 1471, voicemail, call waiting and many extras that BT charge for, for free!!! YES FREE.
You will need the following hardware to setup a second phone line using VoIP:
- An analogue telephone adaptor (ATA). A small box that plugs into the mains and your router via an Ethernet cable. They look like this:
Costs around £33 on eBay delivered to your door, that's a big saving compared to installation charge BT would charge you. (Remember, there will be no monthly line rental either!)
- Any standard corded telephone or cordless DECT phone, Just plug it into the back of the analogue telephone adaptor.
The chances are you may have an old telephone laying around gathering dust somewhere in your home. If not, you can purchase one on eBay for a few pounds.
All you need now is a VoIP provider, head over to http://www.sipgate.co.uk and sign up. You get to pick a free geographical telephone number with your city or town's own area code allowing you to take incoming calls.
You only need to buy calling credit if you're making outgoing calls, no need to worry about running up high bills. It's all pay as you go! Or if you're a chatterbox you can get 1,000 Minutes per month to UK landlines for the super low price of £ 5.90p per month.