I recently had someone comment on my "moving on" from Vonage. "Moving on to what, I may ask?" You may. It’sÂ a good question. I find it time consuming trying to figure out whatÂ service best suits me. For consumers, looking into VOIP is like unraveling a ball of string. Before you know it, you’ve got a rat’s nest. With the Internet at your fingertips, it’s deceptively easy. Just start with Google, then click, click…click-click, then like, "Oh man, where am I?", Back button a couple of times. Then all the VOIP sites start looking the same, heck they all start sounding the same too… Here’s what I decided:
- I want a phone number in my local area code
- I prefer a softphone (point and click dialing from my PC). AÂ handset with phone adaptorÂ setup (like I had with Vonage) is handy, but not absolutely necessary in my case. Most of the time my work calls occur while I’m at my computer so a heaset/microphone setup works great.
- I want voicemail and call forwarding (very basic, nothing fancy)
The topÂ two options I’m considering are: Virtual number call forwarded to a softphone: CallCentric.com offers BC phone numbers at $5.95 per month. I can call forward to my Gizmo softphone account and thenÂ use Gizmo to make and receive calls. Gizmo rates within Canada are pretty cheap. Of course, if Gizmo ever decides to offer Canadian area codes, THAT would be even easier. PhoneGnome: PhoneGnome is available through Voxilla.com. It is a pretty amazing, self-configuring, do-everything, product. VOIP calls are free, I keep my regular phone number, andÂ I can use the PhoneGnome softphone (SoftGnome) or call forward to my Gizmo account. PhoneGnome also works with Skype. I can alsoÂ make and receiveÂ Skype calls on a regular handset using the add-on product GnomeLink. Choices, choices… Â