Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to get rid of your home phone....kinda.

Jeff here.

So for a long time Bec and I have wanted to get rid of the home phone (which is Vonage). We barely use it and hate paying somewhere between $15 and $20 a month for it. After a little bit of research and figuring out what we are willing to live with, we came to a decision. I'll post both options, we went with Option #1 (that's for you Heritage):

Option 1: Grand Central + Gizmo

So if you haven't heard of GrandCentral ( check it out. It lets you get a number that can be redirected to another number (or two or three or....). Even if you aren't sure what you want to do with it, get an account. Next, get a Gizmo account (, which is very similar to Skype. Gizmo lets you make and receive calls on your computer, all you need is a mic and speakers. Then just follow these instructions that will walk you through forwarding your GrandCentral number to Gizmo. The end result: free incoming calls to a local number.

Pros: Free incoming calls, voicemail, great options (like personal ringers), forward from GrandCentral to Gizmo for free

Cons: Must talk through your computer, outgoing to U.S. is pay per minute (about $0.019/min)

Total Cost: $0 for incoming, pay as you go for outgoing (blocks of $10 which is about 10 hours)

We decided on this one because we barely use outgoing phone (or incoming).

Option 2: Skype

Skype has been making up some ground recently and they have added a couple great developments. All you need to do is download the client and sign up for a subscription ($2.95/mo for unlimited calls in the US and Canada). You will also need to add an online number to (about $30/year) in order to let people call you. The great thing about skype is that you get unlimited calling and you can buy many aftermarket USB phones that hook up to your computer.

Pros: Unlimited calling plans available, can use a phone instead of just a computer

Cons: Must pay for a number, number is tied to Skype.

Cost: $5.45/month for unlimited calling in the US and Canada plus an online number

One important note is that both of these options do not allow you to port your number, so either way you will be getting a new one. That is one reason we went with Grand Central, the number is ours no matter what service we decide to use.


Stanley Phang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I have a family of five and we all have cell phones (even my 8 yr old ughhh). I want to drop my Charter cable VOIP which is costing me $55+ a month and go with Skype (which I already use for video calls). I will probably go with Skype, just because I plan to use the USB phone and video conferencing while on the road and overseas. Thanks again for the review.

Steve Katz said...

Thank you for the phone information. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Great post as for me. I'd like to read more concerning that matter. The only thing that blog needs is a few photos of some devices.
Kate Flouee
Cell phone jammers

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you so much it is a great help, now to get rid of our home phone....kinda. is easy with the help of your information. Thank you

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