What Phone Service Do Home Office Users Use?

31 replies
Hi,

I'm new to the forum and just starting out in offline working from home.

I need to get a business phone number so I have a number for customers to call.

Question:

What do you use? Why? And what does it cost?


I'm aware of magic jack, kall8, skype, and others but not sure how to go.

Thanks,

Craig
#home #office #phone #service #users
  • Profile picture of the author gottahave
    What country are you in?

    This is an international forum so more info would be appreciated.

    Neil
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    • Profile picture of the author Craig Sway
      Originally Posted by gottahave View Post

      What country are you in?

      This is an international forum so more info would be appreciated.

      Neil
      Midwest, USA
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Personally I like kall8 because of its many business features. For example, whenever anyone calls my main number, it will get immediately routed to my cell phone or voice mail. The tracking feature allows you to capture all incoming call IDs online.
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  • Profile picture of the author mouseffects
    I use my1voice.com. Makes a small company look big and 30 days free never hurts either.
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    Larry Perry
    innovedia
    www.innovedia.net

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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Cell phone for local clients. Recorded message for them to listen to if it is in a niche.

      Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author Craig Sway
        Originally Posted by TimCastleman View Post

        Cell phone for local clients. Recorded message for them to listen to if it is in a niche.

        Tim
        I thought about using my cell phone but decided not to for a few reasons:

        - I want to separate business and personal use
        - I want to be able to control when I answer (I'm a one man show and time management matters)
        - I want to present a professional feel to businesses that contact me

        But I do appreciate your input Tim. I have been reading many of your posts and find them educational.

        Thanks!

        Craig

        ps - Keep the ideas coming guys.
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        • Profile picture of the author zapp1com
          Vodafone UK have a new contract out that allows your mobile phone to have up to 5 local area No's going to it as well as your mobile No..
          IE you get 6 No's in total from them. They set up the 5 landline No's for you & you can choice where in the country you want them to be based. It comes with unlimited calls (mobile & landline), unlimited internet, and unlimited texts & for £55 a month + tax for business users only.
          Now I don't know if it's available in the US but as most things happen there 1st and come to us after I'm guessing it is...
          Hope it helps
          Rob
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          • Profile picture of the author Craig Sway
            Thanks everyone for your input.

            Since I already had a Skype account and I have an Android phone, I figured out that I could get a Skype number and also the Skype app on my Android phone. Lots of flexibility and features plus one less account to manage.

            So, that said... I went ahead and got the Skype number for 12 months at $5/mo. Not too bad cost wise!

            Thanks again for all of your help.

            Craig
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            • Profile picture of the author etidd
              hello,

              i'm a telecom professional. i work with phone and internet systems. it is my recommendation that magicjack is the cheapest (i think it's $19/year), but kall8 is the next choice because it has a lot of nifty features (specifically caller i.d. and conference calling). don't know how much that one is. you may choose kall8 because it may have a call forwarding feature, meaning if you are away from your office, you could set the kall8 line to forward all calls to your cell phone. but i don't know if kall8 features call forwarding. just a tidbit from me.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kirrybows
              Originally Posted by Craig Sway View Post

              Thanks everyone for your input.

              Since I already had a Skype account and I have an Android phone, I figured out that I could get a Skype number and also the Skype app on my Android phone. Lots of flexibility and features plus one less account to manage.

              So, that said... I went ahead and got the Skype number for 12 months at $5/mo. Not too bad cost wise!

              Thanks again for all of your help.

              Craig
              I read somewhere that skype isn't actually unlimited as they claim and that their cap is 80 phone #'s a day before they cut you off or suspend you altogether. Might want to check the terms of service. Same story with the magicjack.
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              • Profile picture of the author lewiswharf
                Originally Posted by Kirrybows View Post

                I read somewhere that skype isn't actually unlimited as they claim and that their cap is 80 phone #'s a day before they cut you off or suspend you altogether. Might want to check the terms of service. Same story with the magicjack.
                Correct. Got to read the fine print.
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                -Lewis

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        • Profile picture of the author Morgan Westerman
          Originally Posted by Craig Sway View Post

          I thought about using my cell phone but decided not to for a few reasons:

          - I want to separate business and personal use
          - I want to be able to control when I answer (I'm a one man show and time management matters)
          - I want to present a professional feel to businesses that contact me
          I've used a few and have settled on phone.com (and I use callfire and openvbx/twilio for clients.)

          With phone.com you can easily create a schedule that will ring live to your cell or any phone during business hours or any hours you choose, and go straight to voicemail during off hours. You can also of course use a local phone number or toll free, or use more than 1 number for marketing purposes.

          I like to use a toll free number leading to a 2 minute voicemail greeting with my marketing postcards, business cards, etc. After the greeting it can ring through to me live or v.m. depending on schedule.

          phone.com for me was the best bang for the buck with all of the other options i was looking for. this comparison chart was very helpful. (not my site)
          Compare Virtual PBX Services | Virtual PBX, RingCentral, GotVmail | PBXCompare.com
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  • Profile picture of the author George Phillip
    Grasshopper is one of the best services.

    You can get $100 off by using Mac Month: Bundle 1 of 4: Supercharge OS X for $14 ($60 value)
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  • Profile picture of the author Steelpoint
    I use Vonage (since 2004) for the phone lines and Google Voice because I have multiple businesses and can get the forwarding Google voice numbers for free. That saves on getting a line for every phone number. Between the two, there are some powerful features and its as reliable as your Internet connection. If you only need one incoming phone number, you can just get a Google voice number and forward it to your cell.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisbiz
    Try to take a look at Ringcentral I worked for them few years back and they are getting better and better.

    Chris
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  • I use PBNext for the phone tree and 1-800 number. I also use Google voice to get a different local number because I'm running 3 businesses in completely separate industries and I am using different phone numbers for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author 7dbear
    I have a magic jack and it's awesome. Your computer has to be on. But you can forward the phone to your cell. If your computer is off it will still go to your voice mail for magic jack which you can check from your cell. I love it and it's crazy cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author vinnieg
    I would not recommend MagicJack. I have been having reception problems with them for months and their customer service sucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirrybows
      Reception problems are only due to internet connection. If your connection is slow, the magicjack will be scratchy. Otherwise, the sound quality is clearer than cell service I find.
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  • Profile picture of the author InHwan Park
    i use Line2. its an iphone app 9.99 per month unlimited. has a voice box set up and it gives you a completely new number.

    this is perfect for me cause i'm not always at a desk or computer. and i hate carrying loads of stuff. so i have my iphone. and my iphone has two numbers. one with at&t(personal) and one for the line2 app(business). you should look into it there is a free trial if you want to check try it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Hoogasian
    If you're looking for an inbound number, Kall8 is good, very professional, and cheap. Lots of features, and you can add and subtract numbers as you need. (For example, maybe you want to set up a demo marketing campaign for a client, to track forwarded call results without giving the client's main phone number, and have proof that your ad worked.)

    I'm not keen on Skype inbound.

    Depending on your budget, in the US there are more and more offers now from mobile carriers for extremely cheap monthly "unlimited minutes" plans. I'm planning to have a friendly little chat with my current contract carrier in a couple months about that very topic... :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author moneymax
      You mentioned you wanted to have control over your calls. I use magic Jack in my business. Actually, I don't even use the phone, just the voice mail. When a customer calls, they get my voice mail. It then sends a voice mail to my email and I retrieve it on my iphone and listen to the email attachment and then either call them on my unlimited iphone or call them on Skype if I need my number cloaked. I know you already decided on Skype, but a incoming voice mail coming to your smart phone would be a great ad on. Al
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    I just signed up with VOIPo last night. They were started by the guys from HostGator. If you use promo code GATORVIP you can get one year for $8.25 a month. The year must be prepaid in advance. Taxes were $36. So, for a grand total of $135, I am getting a year of unlimited calling US and Canada, the voip adapter box, and 2 lines, one for phone and one dedicated to fax. I thought it was a pretty good deal. Regular price is $15 a month.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scot01
      There are lots of office phone systems produced by internationally renowned brands. If anyone has started a business recently, it would be suggested to install phone systems; the manufactures are providing phone systems that are sufficient for small firms. Having a phone system is worthy decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
    I use google voice - free and gives me lots of options. Granted, you have to have a home line or mobile phone to really use it, but who doesn't have a cell phone these days?
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  • Profile picture of the author SamyE
    I use Skype

    Love it

    Especially the Skype Video and my clients and prospects love the video aspect of it. They can see and hear at the same time, and I can share my screen as well.
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    Samy Elashmawy Simple Sales Training
    Personal One on One Coaching, Training, and Consulting. Phone 201-467-4929 or Cell 201-926-9412. And Yes, I answer my own phone. If I am on a call, please leave a message and I will personally get back to you!

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  • Profile picture of the author davechan
    I tried Magicjack, Google Voice and now have been using Ringcentral for over 2 years. there are plenty of tricks to make you look like a big company. In addition, plenty of ways to save money on international calls as well. We just made a several calls to Singapore for example for 5 cents per minute. But, the key is to use the service and its extension capabilities to create say: sales, customer support, shipping. Nobody needs to know that you're a one man/woman shop
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  • Profile picture of the author dgridley
    Skype for me.. the only drawback is if the Net is down, so is your phone service.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I will never use skype to depend on getting calls... same with magic jack, same with ANY VOIP.

    I have an internet bundle phone, cable, internet. The phone is through the cable line, not through the modem, much higher quality calls, never drops calls.
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  • Profile picture of the author bankcardguru
    Kall8.com works great, used it for years.
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