The time has come for me to establish a phone number for Blazing Things. I don’t anticipate doing that much business over the phone, however. Not right now, at least. So, in line with spending as little money as possible, I decided to go the VOIP route.
Most people going with VOIP today are using Vonage. But, note that I said that I won’t be doing that much business over the phone. Plans like Vonage include unlimited calling within the US. You better believe that you’re paying for that privilege, even if $25 per month sounds cheap. (On that count, Packet8 is cheaper.) For me, for now as part of this experiment, I’m going as cheap as possible. Here’s what I’m doing:
- Get a SIP number from Free World Dialup. I also got one from SIPPhone. I couldn’t find a way to personalize my voice mail message at all on SIPPhone, so I’ve opted to use FWD for now.
- Get a real-life (PSTN) phone number from LibreTel. This is a service that SIPPhone.com provides directly. In some ways, the LibreTel service is more flexible, because you can point your phone number at different places. LibreTel does not have phone numbers in my area, so I opted to get one in Atlanta. That makes it a local call for some of my family. Cost for this: $6 per month.
- Finally, though I can and will use a softphone from time to time, I wanted a standalone phone device. I picked the SIPPhone.com Call-In-One, which allows me to conveniently use one phone for both our home number and the new VOIP line. This was $80.
Really, the only recurring cost here is the phone number plus any phone calls I make. There are multiple ways to make cheap calls over IP, but I may just use my cell phone for outgoing calls for now. If you do plan to make a lot of outgoing calls, then something like Packet8 may very well be the ticket for you.