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Ooma Blog

What Are the Pros and Cons of VoIP, Landline, and Cellular Phone Service?

By Dennis Peng|Thursday April 18, 2019

The phone technologies of today give consumers more choices than ever. When deciding which type of phone provider to use, it can be helpful to understand the three different approaches to phone services.

Landline Phone Service

Traditional landline phone service used to be the standard in nearly all homes, and this type of hard-wired phone service has been around for more than a century.

 

 

advantages of landline phone

The only hardware that’s needed is a handset, which can be either corded or cordless. In both cases, audio is transmitted through the phone jack on your wall and into the phone cables outside.

Increasingly, households are cutting the cord on their hard-wired home phone service in favor of calling technology that’s more flexible. Currently, only 46 percent of homes have landline phones. In fact, the shift in consumer preferences combined with the aging infrastructure of copper phone lines may make traditional phone lines obsolete in the near future.

There’s a longstanding home phone debate about landlines and if they still provide enough value to warrant their cost. Consider the pros and cons of landline phone service.

Pros

  1. Familiarity: For many households, landline phones are a consistent technology that’s been used for decades. This preference for familiarity may be especially strong for elderly relatives or for slow tech adopters who want to keep the same phone number and handset.
  2. Accurate 911 service: Placing a 911 call from a landline is reliable and accurate. When the national emergency 911 system was established, landlines were the only phone option. Only 11 percent of the population has a full understanding of the location problems with 911 calls placed from a cell phone; yet, geolocation failure rates in some locations are as high as 90 percent.

Cons

  1. Limited availability: Landline phone service is only available when you’re at home.
  2. High Cost: Landline phone service is typically priced high, and plans are needed for both local calls and long distance.
  3. Multiple phone services: About 86 percent of landline users are also paying for cell phone service, which means two phone numbers, two voicemails, and two bills.
  4. Few features: The aging technology allows for very few add-ons, and those that are available typically cost extra.

Cost: On average, the cost of landline phone service is $42 per month. This means that a year of service would be $544, including the purchase of a basic cordless phone for $40.

Cellular Phone Service

Cellular phone calls are transmitted from your mobile device to a nearby cell tower. With widespread coverage of cell towers, users can access their telephone service from nearly anywhere.

 

 

pros cons of cellular calls

Cellular phone service is widely popular because of its mobility and accessibility. Connection options include 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, and 5G, and coverage can vary by provider. You can search for the cellular dead zones in your area to understand the accessibility and speed that you can access wirelessly from your mobile device. Consider the pros and cons of cellular phone service.

Pros

  1. Anywhere access: Cell phones allow you to use your mobile device to make and receive telephone calls no matter where you are.
  2. Multimedia communication: The phone number you use for cellular voice calls is also the same number that you can use to send SMS text messages, helping to unify communications across multiple platforms.

Cons

  1. 911 service limitations: As comedian John Oliver has explained, apps such as Uber and Domino’s may be more accurate at finding a cell phone caller than 911 emergency services.The ability to locate emergency calls made from cell phones can be as low as 10 percent in some locations. In addition, 911 calls placed from cell phones can be routed to national calling centers.Time is crucial during an emergency, and 911 service problems can be exasperated during widespread emergency events. The New York Times reported that during Hurricane Harvey in Texas, call volume more than quadrupled, and “about one call in seven was misrouted by cell towers during the storm.”
  2. No digital integration: Even though cellular phone service is used on high-tech smartphones, there are very few ways that voice calls can be integrated with your other apps or devices. For example, cellular phone service doesn’t have native integration with smart assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.

Cost: Cellular plans can vary widely based upon options and providers. An average cell phone plan has a monthly fee of about $60, based on a Verizon plan with 5GB of data. The average smartphone device costs $567. That totals $1,287 for one year of service including a phone purchase.

VoIP Phone Service

VoIP stands for “voice over internet protocol,” which is a technical way to say that phone calls are transmitted over your internet connection. Voice over IP is a flexible technology that can be used as a home phone line or with your smartphone’s internet connection to make mobile VoIP calls.

At home, VoIP can provide the same calling experience as a landline. However, the behind-the-scenes technology means that monthly rates are much lower, and there are more features available.

VoIP versus landline cell phoneOoma Telo is a major provider of residential VoIP service, offering connectivity for both home phones and mobile devices via a free calling app. VoIP service can vary widely between providers since the underlying technology is software-based. To help you understand how VoIP compares with landlines and cellular phone service, review the pros and cons of VoIP with Ooma Telo.

Pros

  1. Low cost: Ooma’s contract-free phone service includes unlimited local and long-distance calls. Even Ooma’s top-tier Ooma Premier service with its wide set of calling features costs 76 percent less than the average landline plan.
  2. Features: Ooma Basic service includes a wide set of calling features, such as smart home integration with Amazon Alexa, caller ID, remote voicemail, and online call logs. The feature-rich Ooma Premier service expands access to include Instant Second Line, the ability to block spam phone calls, and more.
  3. HD audio: Ooma’s call quality is among the best in the industry, providing automated configuration tools that respond dynamically to your network.
  4. International rates: Ooma offers affordable international calls that start at just pennies per minute. There are also unlimited international calling plans that can cost as little at $9.99 per month for unlimited access to more than 60 countries.
  5. Familiar Calling Experience: Users who are comfortable with landline phones can find that using Ooma is very similar. Ooma allows you to keep the same number by porting your phone number to Ooma. Additionally, Ooma supports both analog handsets and IP phones, so you have the option to keep the same device.

Cons

  1. Hardware needed: Different VoIP providers will have different hardware requirements. With Ooma, there’s a one-time purchase of the Ooma Telo to set up your phone service.

Cost: The average cost of VoIP phone service varies widely based upon the provider and service options. Ooma Basic is free, and there’s a nominal charge of $4 to $7 per month for the taxes required in your zip code. The top-tier service, Ooma Premier, costs only $9.99 per month to access the latest calling technology and a full set of advanced features. Total cost for one year of service, including upfront purchase of the Telo, a basic cordless phone, and Ooma Premier service, is only $319.78.

Learn more about why Ooma phone service is a great choice.

Ooma Telo White image

Ooma Telo White

Free Home Phone Service
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MSRP:
Ooma Telo Air image

Ooma Telo Air

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Ooma Business Starter Pack

Ooma Phone Business Starter Pack

Comes with:
– 1 Ooma Office Base Station
– 2 Wireless extensions
*Compatible with existing analog phones

Choosing small business accounting software isn’t as much fun as making sales. Yet it is vital if you want to stay organized, minimize your taxes, and pay your bills accurately. When you use accounting software, you will be able to complete your payroll taxes much more quickly. You will also suffer far fewer cash flow surprises. Now, what critical features should you look for?

What should you look for in bookkeeping software?

Accounting tools can drown you in features, reports and data if you’re not careful. You don’t need a Fortune 500 style accounting system. Instead, look for a tool that helps you to manage and report on the following critical business activities.
  • Balance sheets. The ability to create these reports (e.g. assets and liabilities) is essential when you deal with banks, manage debt, and if you plan to sell your business someday. For example, it should be easy to report on current liabilities vs. long-term liabilities. This will tell you when and how to use your credit cards, cash and other resources for the best effect.
  • Cash flow management. The best accounting tools can automatically generate cash flow reports. These reports help you to decide how much of a cash reserve to hold and when you can afford new investments. Sometimes, cash is not enough, so plan by learning how to manage business credit now. The free perks you get with business credit cards (e.g. cashback on your card) are well worth the effort.
  • Creating invoices and sending invoices. You need to get paid! Many small business accounting tools let you send invoices directly from the package. Ideally, look for a solution that enables you to accept credit cards for payment as well.
  • Expense management. You can make millions in revenue, but what about profits? To obtain a clear picture of profitability, you need expense management functions. It is helpful to review reports on fixed costs (e.g. rent), variable costs (e.g. hourly employees), and other types of expenses. Using Ooma’s small business phone system makes expense management more manageable because you have a straightforward bill to manage each month.
  • Free trial. You are going to use your accounting tool on a weekly and monthly basis for years into the future. It is crucial that you like it and find it easy to use. Therefore, look for an accounting tool that gives you a free trial. If the company doesn’t advertise a free trial, contact the vendor and request a free trial.
  • Inventory management. Strictly speaking, this capability is only important if your business sells goods. For example, if you run a retail store, then you need to keep track of your inventory, cost and profits on each item sold.
  • Payroll taxes. Managing payroll taxes can get complicated because you need to consider requirements from federal and state governments. If you have multiple locations in different jurisdictions, payroll taxes may become more complex.
  • Sales tax management. Track and record sales tax on each sale so that you pay only the correct amounts.
  • Time tracking. If you offer services, time tracking is essential. For example, you might have a junior staff member with a $50 per hour billable rate and a $70,000 per year salary. To measure performance, you need a time-tracking capability. If you have a large team, you do not want to be the bottleneck for entering data into the system. Check to see if the accounting tool makes it easy for multiple people to complete their time tracking activities each month.
Tip: Meeting tax requirements requires specialized expertise. Therefore, consult your accountant to see if they have suggestions on critical features or accounting tools. They will also need the ability to download reports.

Business accounting tools for small business owners: Four starting options

To grow your business, you need to track your money. For example, can you afford to pay yourself a bonus or dividend this quarter? Reviewing your bank accounts only tells you your cash balance. Reviewing accounting reports will help you forecast expenses and make better-informed decisions. Here are four accounting tools you can consider to get started. In our research, we selected these four accounting tools because they have received a large number of positive reviews on Capterra, a business software website. FreshBooks (offers a free trial) Capterra reviews: 3200+ reviews, 4.5 stars out of 5 Built for small business owners, FreshBooks supports several important accounting features. You can create and send invoices directly through the system and accept credit card payments. FreshBooks also supports time tracking. The package also includes the option to explore reports to Excel for additional analysis. QuickBooks online (offers a free trial) Capterra reviews: 16000+ reviews, 4.5 stars out of 5 QuickBooks Online provides several different options depending on your needs. With the Simple Start plan, you are limited to one user, and you can perform basic tasks like managing receipts. With the higher-priced plans, you get additional features like adding other users (e.g. yourself, your bookkeeper, and accountant). Note that many small business accountants and bookkeepers are trained in QuickBooks. Sage 50cloud (free trial available) Capterra reviews: 200+ reviews, 3.7 stars out of 5 Do you rely on Microsoft Office? If so, take a close look at Sage 50cloud. This accounting tool includes integration with Outlook and Office applications. That’s valuable because you can look up a customer’s accounting status at a glance. In addition, Sage provides expense management features so you can track your expenses and forecast cash flow accurately. Once you have it set up, make sure you use the “1-click reports” to get a current picture of your sales, taxes and profitability. Zoho Books (free trial available) Capterra reviews: 400+ reviews, 4.4 stars out of 5 In contrast to Sage, Zoho Books is designed to integrate with more than 40 Zoho business apps. If you already use Zoho products like CRM Plus, Mail and Docs, Zoho Books is worth a close look. In terms of accounting features, you get time tracking, inventory management, and standard reports (e.g. cash flow and balance sheet). Zoho Books is also appealing because they offer several pricing tiers so you can get started with a small budget. Small business accounting software: make the most of your free trial Most accounting tools for small businesses offer features like cash flow and balance sheet reports. You will also find the ability to create and send invoices are widely available. So how do you choose which product is right for you? Start by asking for a recommendation from your accountant or bookkeeper. Second, check for technical compatibility (e.g. does the tool integrate with your credit cards, bank accounts and office software)? Based on these first two questions, you will probably narrow down the list to two or three options. The final step in choosing bookkeeping software is to get your hands dirty! Sign up for at least two free trial accounts. During those free trials, put some data in and see how the system performs. Do you like the built-in expense management features? Are you getting helpful insights to grow your business? Based on these assessments, choose the bookkeeping software that is easiest to use.