How much cheaper is it to get a VoIP service than a standard home phone?

You may keep hearing that you can save money by acquiring a VoIP service instead of using a standard home phone. But how much can you actually save?

A VoIP phone will generally have cheaper monthly access fees (or none at all), and VoIP call rates are almost certain to be cheaper than the rates available on a home phone line – especially if you plan on making national or international calls.

Will you need a home phone as well as VoIP?

The first thing to consider is if you get a VoIP phone, will you need to have a regular home phone line as well? Customers who can get Naked DSL (broadband without an active home phone line) are almost certainly going to save money by using a VoIP service, because they will not need to pay for home phone line rental which is usually $20-$30 per month.

However, customers in regional areas, or who are in an area where their lines do not support ADSL2+, may find that they need to keep a regular home phone line active. This means that they should really only need a VoIP service if they make a heavy amount of calls so they can take advantage of the cheap call rates with VoIP.

Is there a monthly access fee for your VoIP service?

Whether you need to pay a monthly cost for your VoIP service will depend on which Internet Service Provider (ISP) you sign up with. TPG has plans where there is no access fee for VoIP, whereas other providers such as iiNet, Internode, and iPrimus may have a small fee to use their VoIP service each month. Engin has plans where VoIP is included, as well as plans where there is a small access fee on top of your broadband cost. It's worth comparing VoIP services to find the best one for your needs.

Some examples of VoIP access fees:

iiNet – there are two VoIP plans available: netphone1 and netphone2. Netphone1 is for customers with Naked DSL, whereas netphone2 is for customers who have a home phone as well. Each is priced at $9.95 per month.

Internode – there are three VoIP plans on offer: NodePhone2-Starter, NodePhone2-Value and NodePhone2-Premium. They are $5, $10 and $20, and offer $10, $20 and $40 of included call credit respectively.

Engin – there is the option to bundle a broadband and VoIP service together with Engin, or you can just get the VoIP service, and match it with any broadband plan provided by Engin or another ISP. There are five VoIP plans, and they range from $9.95 per month up to $29.95 per month.

What is the difference in hardware costs?

With a standard home phone, generally all you will need to purchase is the actual phone. There are standard phones which are available at a very small cost, and more lavish cordless phones available.

A VoIP service will require a VoIP enabled modem and a phone. You’ll need to check with your hardware provider to find out what type of phone handset is compatible with your modem. Some modems will allow any type of home phone to be plugged in. You can also download free ‘Softphones’ from the internet which allow you to make calls with your computer.

Prices for VoIP enabled modems are slightly pricier than regular Wi-Fi modems. They start at about $159.95 up to about $300. One of the most popular devices is iiNet’s BoB™ device which is a Wi-Fi modem and VoIP phone in the one device.

Is there a big difference in call rates?

Your call rates will depend on which plan you are signed up with. Some VoIP plans have super cheap call rates, others have a high value of calls included, whereas many other VoIP plans have unlimited local and national calls. We have compared some of the VoIP call rates to regular home phone plans below.

iiNet – a regular home phone with iiNet costs $29.95 per month/Netphone1 is $9.95 per month

Local Calls: 20 cents/15 cents
National calls: $1.98 up to two hours/15 cents
Calls to the UK: 21 cents per min/5 cents per min
Calls to India: $1.08 per min/29 cents per min

Engin – a regular home phone with Engin costs $20 per month/the cheapest VoIP plan is $9.95 per month

Local Calls: 25 cents/10 cents
National calls: 15 cents per min /10 cents
Calls to the UK: 4 cents per 30 sec + 20 cent connection/3.5 cents per min
Calls to India: 58 cents per 30 sec + 20 cent call connection/9.9 cents per min

Internode – a regular home phone is $34.95 per month/the cheapest VoIP plan is $5 per month (with $10 of call value included).

Local Calls: 18 cents/18 cents
National calls: 15 cents per min /18 cents
Calls to the UK: 15 cents per min + 15 cent connection/5 cents per min
Calls to India: 37 cents per min + 20 cent call connection/5 cents per min

Contact us on 1300 106 571 if you’d like to find out more about the call rates for a VoIP plan you are interested in.