AxVoice has one of the most aggressive pricing structures on the residential VoIP market today. Their residential unlimited plans start at only $8.25 per month – do the math, and that’s $99 per year. That $99 is a very small price tag for such a big feature set. Plus, if you want to cut your bill even further, you can get the 200 minute plan for only $5.99 per month. Like CallCentric, they also have barebones plans as well, with minutes costing only 1.5 cents each.
AxVoice is going after both the home and small business/home office (SOHO) market as well. They have a 1500 minute plan for $29.99 per month, or a smaller, 200 minute plan for $14.99 per month. In both plans, the price of additional minutes is 1.5 cents. International minutes are also quite low.
With prices being as low as they are, it would be natural to expect either no calling features, or only the basics. Not so. AxVoice offers thirty call features, including music on hold, find me follow me, failsafe forwarding, and call filters. For residential customers, the only extra features you can expect to pay for is a virtual second line with distinctive ring, and a toll free number option, each for only $3.99 each. Equipment leases are free, but you do have to pay shipping. There is a 15 day no risk trial.
The web site was easy to use. There was a chat box, but it wasn’t very intrusive (it did pop up after a little while, but at least it didn’t beep). You can set up an account online in about five minutes. I also liked their blog, which covers the benefits of VoIP. Their chart comparing their own service to Vonage and major phone companies lays out their business plan: pay a little more upfront, get low ongoing costs. They don’t lock you into a contract, but you do only get the best rate if you’re willing to pay for a year.
One thing that sets AxVoice apart is the attention to technical details they give. For example, they actually ask what router I have. They mention specifically in the blog the possibility of overtaxing your internet capacity. They even have the option of having a different codec standard that is better suited for lower bandwidth. Why would they do this? My guess is that they don’t want people shrugging their shoulders and saying “well, it’s cheap–you get what you pay for.” AxVoice puts in that extra effort to make sure that your service works well, so you know you’re getting a good deal on a good service.
There are few other companies that can match AxVoice on price, and the feature set is solid. The only downside I see is that you have to be a techie, or at least learn to be like one. You don’t have to know the difference between GSM and G.711u, but you have to know what kind of router you have, put the time into what ATA or IP phone is right for you. The AxVoice website lays out some very dense examples of how to optimize it for SIP, or how to set up AxVoice for mobile VoIP—there’s no AxVoice app, but you can set your AxVoice account to work with mobile SIP platforms.
Miss any of that? It’s ok if you’re confused. The money you save will be well worth the investment of time. If you want a basic configuration, that’s easy to set up, too. AxVoice is likely to be the techie community’s best kept secret – but not for too long!
Are you a current AxVoice customer? If so, please share your user experience with others by submitting a review.