Both VoIPo Residential service and Vonage Home work by connecting users’ calls using high-speed Internet connection as opposed to a traditional phone line. As such, both of these home phone providers utilize similar means. With VoIPo, users are given a phone adapter, which they plug their broadband Internet connection and normal phones into. That’s it. From here, when users make or receive calls, the adapter sends the signal through your Internet connection to the VoIPo network (as opposed to regular phone network). Similarly, Vonage equips users with a Vonage Box, which also connects to users’ Internet connection and phone(s). Once connected, the box allows for calls to be made and received over the Internet. While both VoIPo’s and Vonage’s methodologies and approaches seem similar enough, their offerings are ultimately quite different. Yes, both providers cater to the general needs of the residential user; however, both sets of plans diverge from one another in regards to features, options, pricing, and included amenities/services.
Plans & Pricing:
Vonage offers a variety of residential plans that cater to different needs. For example, the US & Canada Unlimited plan includes unlimited local and long distance calling in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Inversely, the US & Canada 750 and 300 plans include 750 and 300 minutes (respectively) of outbound local and long distance home phone service through the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and 3.9¢ each additional minute. In regards to pricing and contracts, users can elect to sign up with a 1 year agreement or pay month-to-month. With the unlimited plan, a yearly agreement will save some money ($9.99 first 3 months, then $24.99/month; however, with both the 750 and 300 plans pricing is the same with or without agreements ($11.99/month and $19.99/month respectively).
Separate from this, VoIPo’s residential option is not as versatile—i.e. there aren’t as many plan options; however, it’s slightly more encompassing (at least in some regards). VoIPo doesn’t offer different pricing plans. Instead, there is one flat plan. As such, users can elect a 2 year contract for lower pricing ($149/yearly. Or $6.21/monthly), or pay month-to-month ($15/monthly).
Aside from minutes and service, both providers’ plans offer extensive feature sets. With each of Vonage’s residential plans users are fit with features including SimulRing, Vonage Extensions (calling plan to mobile no charge; adding a second extension $4.99/month), Free In Network Calls, Vonage Visual Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Anonymous Call Block, 3-Way Calling, Enhanced Call Forwarding, and more. Vonage also include perks like free Number porting and free equipment leasing and shipping. Separate from these amenities, the provider also offers add-on services (at an additional monthly charge). These include: Virtual Number ($4.99-$9.99/month varied by location), Fax Line ($9.99/month 250 minutes of outgoing fax service), Add a Line ($9.99/month), Toll Free Plus ($4.99/month, includes 100 minutes, 4.9 ¢ each additional minute), and Vonage Softphone ($9.99/month, includes 500 minutes to US and Canada, 3.9 ¢ each additional minute).
All features aside, Vonage’s residential service also comes chock full of amenities and tools.
Opposite this, VoIPo includes a full stock of standard and advanced features, as well as convenience services. As such, there are NO add-on services—i.e. none render additional monthly charges.
International Calling Comparison:
Despite offering multiple plan options, all standard features are the same through all Vonage’s residential plans. However, despite the uniformity of features between plans, there is a variance with long distance calling between each of Vonage’s plans. For example, the unlimited plan offers low per-minute rates on International calls. Inversely, the 750 and 300 plans offer special low rates to both landlines and mobile phones in 10 countries including Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
While VoIPo’s International call pricing and policies bear some resemblance to that of Vonage’s, there are some very big differences–i.e. all VoIPo phone service plans include 60 free minutes of International calling each month (to destinations pre-approved). If a user were to go over these minutes, they would be privy to additional per minute charges based on low International rates. There is even the option of looking up a rate based on your own location.
Aside from International rates, both providers also offer International plans and/or add-ons. In addition to 60 free included minutes, VoIPo also offers users a 1200 minute International calling plan add-on ($7.95/month).
Additionally, Vonage offers a variety of International plans including: Vonage World Mexico Sin Limites ($14.99/month for 3 months then $39.99 with yearly agreement, or $39.99/monthly) includes unlimited calling to landline and mobile phones in Mexico, US, Canada, and Puerto Rico; and Vonage 3000 to Globe Philippines ($29.99/monthly, no annual contract) includes 3000 minutes per month calling to all Globe numbers in the Philippines (11¢ per minute over allotted minutes; 11¢ per minute for calls to other numbers in the Philippines).In addition to this, there are also more broad World Plans:
Vonage World: $9.99/month for 3 months then $25.99 with yearly agreement, or $24.99/monthly)
Vonage World Plus: $9.99/month for 3 mo, $29.99 with yearly agreement, or $29.99/monthly.
Customer Service Comparison:
In regards to customer service, both providers have their own appeal; however, Vonage’s offerings seem a bit more extensive. With Vonage, users are privy to an entire Support Portal.
Beyond this, users can also engage with representatives via email (24/7), live chat (Monday-Sunday 9am-1030pm EDT) and/or Phone Support (24/7). Additionally, there are also supplemental resources such as forums and blogs, video tutorials, and more. Opposite this, VoIPo’s support features include Installation Guides, Feature Support, and Support Knowledgebase. If users want more, they are able to contact the provider directly via email or phone (M-F 12pm-8pm ET).
The Bottom Line:
Both sets of services highlight how different residential offering can be. Despite several variances, both allow for greater cost efficiency and more expansive feature sets (when compared to traditional service); however, VoIPo ultimately seems to be the better choice.
Vonage offers a variety of different plans/packages. As such, this can allow for greater flexibility and scalability; however, it comes at a cost, literally. A lot of Vonage’s features come at additional monthly charges—i.e. everything is a la carte. Furthermore, even their base monthly price is higher (yearly agreement pricing only lasts for three months). That being said, Vonage might be better suited for users with specific calling wants—i.e. they are able to select a plan accordingly; however, for users who want the broad spectrum, VoIPo seems the way to go.
VoIPo offers one residential plan that is available under a 2-year agreement or monthly, allowing for flexibility. Sure, Vonage does this too, but here the prices are considerably lower. Additionally, with the exception of International calling, all features and services are included within the service plan—i.e. there are no add-on monthly charges. A good example of this can be seen with the softphone application. With a VoIPo plan, the softphone is included at no extra cost; however, with Vonage its $9.99/month extra and it only includes 500 minutes to the US and Canada (3.9 ¢ each additional minute). While VoIPo’s customer support may not seem as extensive and/or intuitive as Vonage’s, they do offer more than enough resources and options for users. With all this in mind, it seems as if users ultimately get more bang for their buck with VoIPo.