In my last entry I made reference to but didn’t explicitly state that you can, and usually do, buy INbound and OUTbound VoIP service separately if you’re rolling your own VoIP service. This is an important distinction! If you get lousy outbound service from one provider when you’re calling certain states or countries, you can set things up to use an outbound line from another provider just for those calls. Of course, you don’t have to — you can certainly use one provider for all your calls, both inbound and outbound, but the point is you have the CHOICE. And, since most providers don’t require a contract, you can move from one to another quite easily: just quit using one provider and start using another.
It’s not quite so easy with inbound, though … unless you take some steps to make it easy. Think about it: your inbound number is what people use to get in touch with youso you need to move that number from one provider to another (called “porting”). Fear not — there is a way around this, too! How? Don’t give out your new VoIP number. Instead, use a service like GrandCentral as your sole inbound number and use it to route calls to all your phones. Don’t have a GrandCentral account? Drop me an email and, while I have ’em, I’ll send you an invitation. And, if you’ve got a VoIP account with the Gizmo Project, you can have your calls routed directly over VoIP to your Gizmo number. Voila — free inbound calls! And, yes, you can buy a router, plug your Gizmo account information into it and now you’re talking over a regular phone as opposed to having to plug a headset into your computer.
I think I’ll stop here and let that sink in. And if you’ve got any questions, feel free to email.