As I said in a post a about a week or so ago, I have made a decision not to renew my .mac subscription and instead I went back to my traditional hosting provider, even if I don’t use it that much. I do use it enough to warrant a traditional provider that gives me flexibility. Another technological decision has also been on my mind as of late. This one involves VOIP phone providers.
I currently have a Broadvoice VOIP account. I have had one since I moved into my apartment in Manhattan in 2003. I have my number setup on a Cisco 7940 IP Phone. I think the service and the phone are fantastic. I haven’t had many reasons to complain, but I just don’t use the service that much. On the other hand I also have a Skype In number, and until recently I had Skype Unlimited. Now I am paying month to month for Skype Pro. The problem is I don’t use both services enough to justify the expense of one, let alone both. I have a mobile phone that is my primary number, and I don’t even go over my monthly minutes on that. It is smart to have a VOIP phone since it is really cheap. I want one just in case I have issues with the mobile, but like I said I don’t use either of them that much.
To cut costs I have been thinking about dropping either Broadvoice or Skype. The problem is both services have their pro’s and con’s. Skype is actually cheaper per year and if I started using it more the cost is also fixed since I get unlimited inbound and outbound calls on the plans I have. Broadvoice has a few nifty features Skype does not but I don’t use it enough to make it worth my while. What Broadvoice does have in its advantage is that I can use my Cisco 7940 phone with it. That phone is great. It has a good speakerphone, and I have a really good headset for it. The Skype cordless phone I have has a good speaker, but no headset. I can use a headset with Skype if I use my computer, but there is no way to change from headset, to handset, to speaker on the same call if I use the computer. As weird as that sounds, it happens more than you would think.
My final option is to do what I have done for years in the past before VOIP. That is drop all other phones and just use my mobile. All the major wireless carriers announced unlimited phone plans this week, so that is a very viable option right now. What to do…