PROS / The plans come with 60 minutes of international calling and free calls to Puerto Rico and Canada.
CONS / This service lacks conference calling.
VERDICT / Broadvoice delivers good VoIP services with many features that make it a useful service for most families.
Broadvoice VoIP provider scores top marks for its service plans, with several options to meet your needs and budget. The domestic plans break down by how long your contract is or if you pre-pay. The cancellation fee varies by how long you have had the account, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee so you can try out the service. Domestic plans include Canada and Puerto Rico, something not all VoIP services do, and give you an hour of free international calling each month.The international plans all have unlimited minutes, but the plans vary according to number of nations serviced. For example, the cheapest plan covers 28 specific countries while the most expensive plan covers 87. If you have particular nations you call regularly, be sure to check the lists before you commit to a plan.
You can choose a different area code from your current one. This allows people in that area code – a best friend or college-age child – to phone you without incurring long-distance rates. You can also keep your own phone number in most cases.
Broadvoice delivers most of the calling features we sought in business VoIP providers. Some of these include voicemail, caller ID and speed dial. The service also provides
selective call forwarding, a nice feature as it allows you to choose to forward calls that come from a certain phone number or that are made at a specific time of day. Thus, if you know you’ll be out of the house, you can get calls that come from your child’s school forwarded to your cell phone, or you can program the service to forward all calls to your cell phone when you are working outside the home. While it has several of the X11 services that families find useful, such as 511 Traveler information and 311 City Service, it does not have free 411 calls for directory assistance.It lacks call transfer, and while it has three-way calling, it does not offer conference calls. For most families, these are not vital features, but they are useful for home businesses. Other features useful for home businesses also incur additional expenses. These include a virtual phone number for your softphone or a toll-free number for your customers to call you.
All the plans, however, come with a cloned line, meaning you can have two phones operating independently on the same line. This is great if you have family members who like to talk a lot on the phone. They can chat with friends or family and you can still receive incoming calls or make a call yourself.
A standout feature for this service is the bandwidth saver, which reduces the bandwidth the phone needs. If your family uses the internet, this feature can help ensure clearer calls even during peak hours.
While Broadvoice doesn’t have all the calling features we look for, it does offer all the phone features for an internet phone service provider. The device is portable, so you can carry your service with you when you move or go on an extended vacation. If you have your own adaptor, such as from a previous service, Broadvoice may be able to accommodate it. The website lists compatible devices along with instructions for adapting them to this service.If you wish to make long-distance calls or even international calls using your cell phone, you can download the mobile app and use Broadvoice rather than incurring roaming charges from your cell phone provider. The softphone app lets you turn your computer into a phone as well, and it can integrate with Outlook for contact information. Fax support comes standard, which most VoIP providers charge extra for.
Help & Support
This internet phone service provider has several great support options. This VoIP service offers installation and troubleshooting information specific to a number of different devices, a searchable knowledgebase and a compilation of general FAQs. You can also get email support, call a technician for live help or make use of the live chat.
Broadvoice has all of the essential elements of a worthwhile VoIP provider, including unlimited calling and a rich repertoire of convenient and useful features. While it lacks some useful features, such as conference calling and call transfer, its other strengths make it a great choice for home VoIP service.